It can be tough to find a new place to eat that lives up to your expectations. Plenty of apps can help, but today's (Jan. 29) merger of reservation app Open Table with restaurant photo-review site Foodspotting could make the process a lot easier.
OpenTable offers a quick way to make reservations at nearby restaurants, showing you when tables are available for your party. The app includes user reviews, but few photos. After purchasing Foodspotting, OpenTable will add diner photos so people can see a restaurant's food before they book a table.
But will chefs embrace the new partnership? Some restaurateurs have grumbling about diners who distract others by taking photos, and some upscale restaurants have banned food photography. Patrons can usually avoid problems by snapping pictures a bit more discretely. (Read more: " Shooting Your Restaurant Meal on the Sly .")
Some chefs object to the poor quality of diners' photos that are then posted for the world to see, at least to that big segment of the population on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. A quick scan of Foodspotting photos shows a huge range in picture quality, differences that have little to do with the food.
For instance, Foodspotter Nassim Lewis can make a pastrami sandwich at Max's look as delicious as the Wagyu Beef Poutine at the far pricier Copper Onion. (Need professional advice? Try " 5 Tips for Delicious Food Photos .")
While it will take some time for OpenTable to implement the changes to its app, Foodspotting designers will get a prime seat on the app's creative team, and we can expect to see other new features along with the added photos, Open Table said in a statement. However, the company will maintain Foodspotting as a separate website and mobile app as the two companies blend.