It’s no secret that the ability to make restaurant reservations online is being touted as an up-and-coming trend, especially with foodservice industry analysts and speakers at foodservice conferences. One company is launching an initiative to jump on that small bandwagon.

Urbanspoon, which operates a popular restaurant search engine and iPhone application that is used more than 1 million times per day, is starting a pilot program to offer restaurant reservations. The company will have to take on Open Table, the existing giant in the category.

Urbanspoon is starting small, with only four restaurants in Seattle, according to media reports. Urbanspoon and Open Table are charging $1 per reservation.

Open Table also offers an application for BlackBerry and iPhone handheld devices. The public company also offers incentives for its users, such as points to earn free meals.

Urbanspoon, if it expands the program to all its 90-plus markets, would have a broader range than Open Table, according to media reports.