Make Restaurant Reservations via SMS with Reservely

June 17, 2011
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Jevin Maltais
Brad Miller

Brad Miller and Jevin Maltais used the Twilio API at HackOTT a couple months ago and won the event. The app was called Reservely and allowed you to make a restaurant reservation online, then the app would call the restaurant and relay the message with text-to-speech. We caught up with them to talk about Reservely and how they managed to build it in one weekend!

Why was Reservely created?

Reservely was the winning entry in a 6-hour HackDays event that was based on a mashup of APIs. We leveraged Twilio and Yellow Pages to create a restaurant reservation system that allows a user to easily complete an online reservation form and have the app call the restaurant to relay the details. We also send SMS confirmation messages and connect the restaurant to the guest if need be. Regardless of how restaurants manage their reservations, the phone is the lowest common denominator. In which case our app integrates with every restaurant listed online.

What technologies did you use?

Reservely is a Ruby on Rails application deployed on Heroku. There was a Ruby library available that allowed us to get up and running with a solid IVR system within a couple hours.

How did you get started developing with Twilio?

Brad has a background building enterprise telecom applications. A seemingly simple task such as making two phones ring would require an enormous amount of effort to configure and develop. Even when abstracted through SOAP-based services, it was unnecessarily complicated and crazy expensive to roll out into a production environment. Twilio is an amazing platform and having an insight into the underlying technologies, I have a huge appreciation for the power and simplicity of the Twilio API. I’ve been wanting to integrate something with Twilio for a while and the HackDays event provided a great opportunity.

What are your future plans for the product?

We’re working at bringing Reservely live to the masses. It’s currently a proof of concept, but we’ve been accepted into the YellowAPI Developer Program and are looking to launch in Summer 2011. Yellow Pages were so impressed with the app that they’ve provided funding to complete and launch the application.

Congrats Brad and Jevin!