Restaurant apps for webOS: the rundown
You know and love @MrKal_El on Twitter, now know and love him here as he gives us a rundown of restaurant apps on webOS!
Who doesn’t like going out to restaurants? But we can all use some help finding where to go and what’s good, especially when traveling. For those who know me on Twitter: I love food and travel. One of my favorite things to do involves going out to try new and exciting restaurants. As a launch day webOS user, some of the first apps I downloaded dealt with finding great new places to go to. After the break I’ll walk you guys through the apps I typically use on my webOS device to help me accomplish this. This guide is great for local use or when traveling. Hopefully it will help any foodie or casual diner out there find interesting and unique eats.
First up is Yelp. Yelp’s app ties into their website that has over 12 million local reviews covering a wide range of businesses such as restaurants, bars, nightlife etc. I like reading professional and local user reviews equally. What I find with local reviews is a more personal take compared to a “foodie” critique. Yelp is great for multiple reasons. With such a large user base, you will find multiple reviews and pictures of any venue.
Yelp has the option of allowing the user to pick any type of cuisine they might be in the mood for. I also love the money ratings, which is a good estimate on a venue’s cost. Another great feature of Yelp’s app is the Contacts tie-in. When clicking on a restaurant, its contact info comes up, with reviews under. From here you can dial the venue by tapping on its phone number, but a cool feature is the ability to either Save, Map or Share said info. When you click on Save, it is automatically added to your contacts. Pretty slick.
Two other apps I use are mobile by Citysearch and GoodFood. These apps do similar things like Yelp, but both have a much smaller user base. I like to jump between all three so I don’t miss a great local find. I also like the Map View in GoodFood because it allows an instant view of where the venues in relation to your current GPS location. GoodFood also uses a very simple: “Recommend / Don’t Recommend” rating for each venue. While it isn’t as detailed, it allows for a quicker search.
Now we move onto one of my favorite apps: OpenTable. OpenTable is a free service that allows the user to make a reservation for a restaurant without ever needing to place a call. It is super convenient and has other great benefits. There are two ways that OpenTable allows a user to search: by restaurant name or by available seating at a specific time. Clicking on the “All Restaurants” button will bring up a list of all OpenTable venues in that area (quick tip: Just Type to pull up any venues you might have in mind). The other way is to click on “Find a Table” after choosing a time; then you will see price and cuisine types.
From these lists, further refinement is an option. Once you select a restaurant, you’re presented with links to reviews, menus and contact info. Now let’s get back to the “Dining Points”. When OpenTable is used, a standard reservation gives the user 100 Dining Points. But there is something called “1000 pt Tables.” Many restaurants will have 1000 point tables throughout the week to grab more business which is great for everyone. If a diner earns 2000 points they will receive a $20 check, 5000 points = $50 and lastly 10,000 points will give a $100. Theoretically, you could dine out two times and earn $20!
Also beyond just points, OpenTable has many partners (Time Out New York, Los Angeles Times, and Yahoo to name a few) that will run promotions like free deserts or half-off a particular night. The one thing to remember is OpenTable is geared to more of a fine dining selection compared to the apps discussed earlier. You can see the benefits of using OpenTable, from getting great reviews, convenient service and free money.
Finally, when I show up to the restaurant, I check in with Foursquare. Foursquare is cool because you can get some last minute tips for the venue, like which waiter to ask for or specials not on the menu. Also, if any of your Foursquare friends have been there before and they leave tips, it will pop right up.
I love food, I love going out and I love using my webOS device. It helps me find new restaurants in a convenient and efficient way on the go especially when traveling. Get out and eat, everyone!