In this article we’re going to talk about the best online reservation system for your restaurant. It’s a necessary addition to any restaurant website. Before we get into the best options, let’s take a look at why you might want to use an online reservation system in the first place.
Assuming you accept reservations at your restaurant, even if it’s only during certain hours or days, an online booking app is an ideal way to not only save your staff time but also create a better experience for your customers.
It’s extremely frustrating when a group of customers arrive at a restaurant only to find out that there will be an hour wait for a table. Allowing those customers to book a table ahead of time would have stopped them from eventually finding a different nearby restaurant that would take them.
As for your staff, constantly answering the phone to take reservations and remembering to write down the proper information can be quite a hassle. Human errors are sometimes made, especially when the restaurant is busy, and it also wastes a lot of time.
Using an online booking app gives customers to freedom to book a reservation whenever and wherever they would like without having to call you.
We’ve listed below some of the best online booking apps so that you can choose which one is best for your restaurant.
Online Reservation System: Yelp Reservations
You have likely already heard about Yelp, with respect to customer reviews, and you should be using it. However, you may not be aware that Yelp also have an online reservation system.
With Yelp Reservations you can accept bookings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without doing a thing. It only takes a few minutes to setup and then you can add a widget to your website or just take reservations from your Yelp page. The system will automatically confirm with and remind guests to free up your time.
Yelp Reservations not only let’s you accept bookings online, but it also has a table management component. You can keep track of your restaurant’s entire floor, assign servers and guests to specific tables and give walk-ins an accurate wait time if your restaurant is at capacity.
Get started with Yelp Reservations
Online Reservation System: OpenTable
OpenTable is another online booking app that you have likely heard about. They’re one of the most popular apps for restaurants. Similar to Yelp Reservations, OpenTable allows you to accept reservations through both the OpenTable website or through your own website via their widget. The OpenTable app will confirm and notify your customers of their reservation. They will also be able to modify their reservation without having to call you back.
One of the main benefits of using OpenTable is that it is highly recognizable by most customers, which means they’ll trust using it online.
Get started with OpenTable
Online Reservation System: Tablein
Tablein is one of the easiest online reservation systems to get setup and running on your website. You can also integrate it with your social media accounts and email to accept reservations everywhere. Check out some of the main benefits of Tablein.
You can automatically ask customers to leave a review on TripAdvisor, getting your restaurant more 5 star reviews.
Get started with Tablein
Online Reservation System: Eveve
Eveve markets themselves as one of the most dynamic and advanced live restaurant booking systems. They deliver over 40,000 online diners each and every week to their client’s restaurants.
You get all of the usual features such as 24/7 reservation availability, controls over table availability and timing, automatic confirmations and notifications to customers, and alternative date offers if the restaurant is fully booked.
Eveve offers a one platform system where all online reservations, telephone bookings and walk-ins can be managed on the same system.
Get started with Eveve
Online Reservation System: TableAgent
TableAgent is a free restaurant reservation system that offers restaurants an alternative to OpenTable and other expensive online booking systems. There are no monthly fees or per customers fees that you would normally pay with most other systems.
TableAgent also includes table and floor management so that you can control the status of each table, create an active waitlist and set seating time restrictions.
If your restaurant is just launching, or you don’t have a large budget, TableAgent may be your best option to get started with an online reservation system.
Get started with TableAgent
We’ve listed just five of the more popular online reservation systems for restaurants. However, doing a quick search online will show you that there are many more options. Make sure you do your research and choose the best online reservation system that works for your restaurant. Make sure it fits within your budget, has all of the necessary features you need and offers good support should you have any questions about the system.
Look at what your competitors are doing. If they’re already using and online reservation system then you are behind. Get started with one today and start seeing the benefits immediately.
If you need a new restaurant website to help you get the most out of your new online reservation system let us know, we can build you one!