Best Reservation Systems for Restaurants
With so many online reservation systems available on the market, it can be hard to select the platform that makes the most sense for your business. Restaurant reservation apps make it easy for customers to book tables, and they help staff keep track of reservations.
We’ve created this list to compare and contrast OpenTable competitors and to help restaurants find what works best for their business. Learn more about the most popular restaurant reservation systems below!
Best Restaurant Reservation Systems
OpenTable is probably the most popular reservation system currently on the market, and for good reason. This platform is intuitively designed and easy to use for customers and restaurants. It sends automatic confirmation texts and emails.
OpenTable comes with training for employees to better learn the platform, and support is available 24/7 in case of technical difficulties. This reservation app also includes table and waitlist management.
- 24/7 technical support
- Free GuestCenter certification training
- Table management and waitlist management
- Since this service is so heavily populated with businesses, if potential customers are browsing the site they are less likely to find your restaurant
Yelp Reservation Systems
Yelp is one of the most recognizable names in reservation and reviews systems. Since 2016, Yelp has reserved 92 million seats for customers across the country. When you sign up with Yelp, they send a free iPad to help get started with helpful technology.
They also offer a waitlist management tool, automatic reminders for guests, and other tools. Because Yelp doubles as a review platform, however, keep in mind that reviews will affect your bookings.
- Brand recognition, large volume of users
- Free iPad
- Flat rate for all services
- NoWait waitlist management app
- Automatic SMS and email reminders
- Two-way diner messaging, table management, table assignment, and server management
- Because the reviews are easily accessible in the reservation system, if you do not have a strong base of good reviews, customers may be dissuaded from booking.
EatApp allows customers to make online reservations 24/7, but phone calls only work during regular business hours. This app also directly integrates with social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, so customers can book directly through those sites or through advertisements on their social channels.
EatApp also offers features like POS integration, table management, and waitlist management. It is a Google and TripAdvisor partner, so EatApp is a reputable source for reservations.
- 24/7 online reservations
- Social media integration
- POS integration
- Table management and waitlist management
- EatApp is an official Google and TripAdvisor partner
- One main drawback is that SMS and email confirmations are only free for the first 250 messages. If you usually have a higher volume of reservations and are interested in confirmations, it may be worth looking into a plan where they are included in the monthly cost unlimited.
Tablein is easy to use and very user-friendly for both restaurants and customers. It offers 24/7 booking and offers year-round customer support if you face and technical issues. Tablein sends automatic SMS or email messaging for confirmations and reminders.
With Tablein, restaurants can choose to allow customers to choose their seating placement as well. It also includes table management. Tabelin is a better option for smaller restaurants.
- User-friendly platform
- 24/7 booking
- Year-round customer support
- Automatic SMS or email messaging
- Table management, table selection for patrons
- Inexpensive compared to other options
- Since Tablein is a newer platform, they have only seated over 10 million patrons, much less than Yelp’s 92 million or Resy’s 200 million.
- Their standard package only allows for up to 150 bookings monthly. The premium package gives you unlimited bookings.
- Tablein does not offer waitlist management or POS integration, which many other platforms include with standard packages.
Resy has seated over 200 million users, making it the most-used reservation platform on this list. This system offers online reservation booking, waitlist management, and table management.
Resy sends automatic SMS confirmation for guest bookings and asks to confirm, lowering the amount of no-shows. Depending on which package you choose, Resy offers POS integration and custom reporting.
- Well known reservation system
- Automatic SMS confirmation
- Waitlist management and table management
- Only the highest tier package includes POS integration and custom reporting, but POS integration can be added for an additional $100 per month to Platform or Platform 360 packages.
- $249 per month for Platform level
- $399 per month for Platform 360 level
- $899 per month for Full Stack level
Tock is another top-rated restaurant reservation system. Along with reservation bookings, Tock offers social media integrations to share and increase bookings on social channels. A unique feature of Tock is that it allows users to create guest profiles.
Here, customers can create a profile and save information like food allergies, special requests, and other preferences. This can help create a personalized experience for your customers and increase return clients. Tock also sends post-visit questionnaires to generate feedback to improve your restaurant performance.
- Social media integration
- Guest profiles and preferences
- Post-visit questionnaires
- The higher priced package might not be worthwhile if you don’t have a high percentage of prepaid reservations.
- $199 per month for Plus with a 2% fee on prepaid reservations
- $699 per month for Pro with no fee for prepaid reservations
What is a Restaurant Reservation System?
A reservation system is a platform that allows customers to book reservations with ease, both online and offline. Simpler booking means more reservations, which means more profit for your restaurant. Not only does this software lead to happy customers, it can also help you manage employee schedules, save time and optimize efficiency.
Modern reservation software often includes intelligent features like waitlist tools, table management for hosts, and confirmation messaging. Different platforms offer different features, so learn more about each system and how it works before buying it for your restaurant.
How To Choose a Reservation System for Your Restaurant
There are a few key components to keep in mind when making your decision. Price can vary a lot between platforms. Free sites are more cost-effective, but may lack certain valuable features. Each system has a unique set of tools and functions, so it is important to keep in mind which will be the most useful for your needs. Ease of use is also good to keep in mind.
How does the reservation software work? The main feature that you should consider is reservation booking, of course, but many systems bring more to the table. Other features often include table management, waitlist management, SMS or email confirmations, automatic reminders, and more.
Advanced restaurant reservation systems can often integrate with your POS system or with social media, making it easy to share information about your restaurant and promote reservations. To help you learn more about your restaurant business and reservations, many tools also share reporting on reservation trends and statistics.
Another feature that comes in handy is customer support. If you aren’t a tech expert or you choose a platform that requires some assistance, it can be extremely useful to have a dedicated customer service line in case of any issues.
Price is always a factor when making decisions about your business. While reservation systems can help increase profits by making it easy for customers to make reservations, the system itself shouldn’t break the bank.
Consider your budget as set forth in your business plan and set a limit on how much you can afford to spend, then explore options within your price range. Some reservation systems offer packages at different price points, some offer a flat rate, and some charge per reservation made.
Ease of Use
Online reservation systems are meant to make your life easier, not harder. Make sure you choose a system that you and your employees can easily manage without too much added stress. The system should help streamline reservation booking, not complicate it.
Ease of use is also important for customers. If they want to make a reservation but find the process too complicated, they may be turned off and dine elsewhere. Again, your restaurant reservation system should make it easier to book a table, not more difficult. Try making a reservation on your chosen system from the customer’s point of view to see how it works.
Restaurant Reservation App
Does your reservation system have a corresponding mobile app? Most people access the internet via smartphone nowadays, so the best restaurant reservation systems should have an app that makes mobile booking simple. Check the app for ease of use as well, as a glitchy app will turn people away just as easily as a difficult website.
No matter which online reservation platform you choose, we hope you find one that works well for your business. Weigh the pros and cons and costs of each before making a commitment.
Need help getting more reservations? Restaurant Clicks specializes in restaurant marketing, so we can help fill seats with various techniques. Check out unique promotion ideas, learn more about restaurant branding, or contact us for help developing a restaurant marketing plan!