New restaurant app promises last minute tables at the city's hottest spots

Ottawa foodies regretting a lack of dinner reservations can rejoice – a new app coming to the city promises to fix your fine dining foibles.

DINR has just launched in Ottawa, promising to “match last-minute diners with same-day availability at the best restaurants.”

The app lets a limited selection of in-demand restaurants post last-minute openings for reservations. Diners can join waitlists for restaurants they want to get into last minute without a reservation when a cancellation opens a spot.

“It works for customers and restaurants” said co-founder Kyle Nares, who has a background in restaurants. “In my restaurants, I usually have 10 per cent of reservations cancelled, and that can make the difference between a profitable night or not.”

For foodies the advantage is obvious – a table at the hottest spots in the city without a reservation made a week in advance.

Mr. Nares started the app in Montreal with business partner Bryan Mahoney. Last week they launched in Ottawa with eight restaurants including North and Navy, Supply and Demand, Beckta, MēNa, Soif, Fauna and Bar Laurel.

“We’ve always had an old fashioned pen-and-paper reservation system,” said Jen Wall, co-owner of Supply and Demand, who started using the app last week.

Ms. Wall said weekends tend to be busiest for the restaurant, and they’re sometimes turning people down who are trying to book a table four or five days in advance.

“We’re turning people away and then night-of we’re having cancellations,” she said. “It’s so frustrating to know that on a night that’s your safe bet for sales, you lost money not because you didn’t have interest but because of the no-shows.”

Ms. Wall said on one recent Saturday the restaurant had 19 people booked for reservations who never showed up.

Ms. Wall said she doesn’t expect DINR to completely solve that problem, but it does fill a gap and means more people in the restaurant.

This article originally appeared on metronews.ca on June 15.