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9 cutting-edge restaurant reservation systems

5-minute read

Jessie Day

2 July 2020

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UK restaurants, pubs and other venues are preparing to reopen – managing queues and crowds will be key, so could an online reservation system help you out?

From big-network partnerships with Google and Tripadvisor to smaller systems with cutting-edge tech, here are our best online restaurant reservation systems for 2020. Two can be run for free, two come with 10-minute set-up options, and a few have waived their fees to help businesses work their way out of lockdown restrictions.

Which restaurant reservation systems make our top nine?

We’ve based our round-up on standard features like real-time bookings management, restaurant reservation waitlist options and booking widgets, along with added tools, including social media and Google integration, brand reach and your access to their diner network, plus special offers and support during coronavirus.

In no particular order, here’s a quick look at the top 9 UK restaurant reservations systems. It’s followed by a more detailed look at the features, pricing and Covid-19 support for each, along with any watch-points to factor in.

Anything for Covid-19?Pricing
Eat AppNo$129 / month
OpenTableYesFrom £ 29 / month + £2 / network cover (£39 month-to-month)
ResyYesFrom £ 133 / month
TableinNoFrom £59 / month
TheForkNoFrom free
HostmeNoFrom $29 / month
favouritetableNoFrom £69 / month
ResDairyYesFrom £89 / month
QuandooNoFrom free

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Eat App

Eat put the focus on a central, one-stop-shop for all your operational needs, from managing reservations and guests to increasing revenue and customer loyalty.

Top features

  • real-time website and social media bookings
  • partnerships with Google and Tripadvisor
  • SMS/email communication
  • table blocking flexibility (keeping you free for walk-ins etc.)
  • custom tagging for specific guests
  • auto-suggest to help you see quieter gaps
  • extra POS (point of sale) options

Covid-19 support?

Nothing advertised

Things to watch out for

From our enquiries, the clever POS (point of sale) functions do cost up to $90 extra per month. There are other add-on features too, which may bump the pricing.

Pricing

$129 / month (you’ll get a 14-day free trial)

OpenTable

It’s a huge brand, with the network and customer reach you’d expect. Right now, OpenTable are featuring their Open Door programme, specifically designed for coronavirus recovery and including waived fees.

Top features

  • certain fees waived during Covid-19
  • brand reach, with over 31 million diners each month
  • access to OpenTable’s global diner network
  • reputation management
  • customisable website widget
  • SMS/email communication
  • custom tagging for specific guests

Covid-19 support?

  • No subscription fees for 2020
  • No cover fees until 1 October 2020
  • Up to 50 per cent discount on cover fees in Q4 2020

Find out more on the Open Door Covid-19 hub

Things to watch out for

OpenTable is famous for its customer feedback tools, but this means any bad reviews get a very public platform, fast.

Pricing

From £29 / month + £2 / network cover (£39 month-to-month)

Resy

Resy are putting the spotlight on Covid-19 recovery, with 100 per cent relief on all fees for new and existing partner restaurants. They take care of a wide range of eateries, from local favourites to Michelin-starred venues.

Top features

  • all fees waived for 2020
  • complete reservations and waitlist system
  • CRM (customer relationship management) help and support
  • POS (point of sale) integration options
  • no cover fees (as standard)
  • analytics (including cover, server, and feedback reports)
  • SMS/email communication
  • feedback management

Covid-19 support?

  • 100 per cent relief on all fees

Find out more on the Resy Covid-19 hub

Things to watch out for

While Resy’s basic 'Platform' package does include analytics, custom reporting is restricted. Guests usually need to pay a fee of up to 3 per cent for events and prepaid reservations, but these are cancelled for 2020.

Pricing

From £133 / month

Tablein

The focus for Tablein is to stop restaurants wasting time on paper or email reservations, phone calls and social media chats. They also feature a 10-minute set-up and free 14-day trial.

Top features

  • 10 minute set-up
  • cross-device widget
  • SMS/email communication
  • multiple language options
  • automatic guest feedback
  • Google and Facebook integration
  • reporting dashboard and guest search

Covid-19 support?

Nothing advertised

Things to watch out for

On the Standard plan you’ll be limited to 150 bookings a month, whereas Premium is unlimited. If you’re over the limit, Tablein will charge 0.2 EUR for each extra booking.

Pricing

From £59 / month (you’ll get a 14-day free trial)

TheFork

A Tripadvisor company, and part of an impressive network, TheFork promises to get your restaurant booming, with smart revenue boost functions, maximum visibility and an ultra-efficient system.

Top features

  • 29 million monthly visits across all devices
  • part of the Tripadvisor family, with impressive network access
  • Google, Facebook, Instagram, Apple and Bing integration
  • pay-per-use model
  • YUMS loyalty program
  • SMS/email communication
  • customer credit card imprint options (to reduce no-shows)

Covid-19 support?

Nothing advertised

Things to watch out for

TheFork features a pay-per-use model, and the commission charges aren’t advertised, so you’ll need to do a bit of digging. Along with booking fees, the Pro+ plan comes with an additional subscription fee.

Pricing

Free for the basic package, and up to £99 / month for the Pro+ deal (plus fees)

Hostme

With multiple package and price options, plus online ordering for takeaway, Hostme focuses on customisable software, for small restaurants up to larger empires.

Top features

  • waitlist and food ordering functionality
  • CRM help and support
  • Google, Facebook, Instagram and Tripadvisor integration
  • staff rotation and performance management
  • advanced analytics
  • POS (point of sale) integration options
  • reservation deposit options (to reduce no-shows)

Covid-19 support?

Nothing specific, but lots of Covid-19 customisation tips

Things to watch out for

The Piccolo plan limits you to 200 bookings a month, and the website pricing, whilst flexible, does get a bit confusing.

Pricing

From $29 / month (you’ll get one month for free)

favouritetable

The big sell here is on flexibility, and favouritetable promise no booking fees whatsoever for the restaurants in their network. Their cloud-based restaurant management system is designed to be all-encompassing, with unlimited bookings at a fixed monthly rate.

Top features

  • unlimited free bookings
  • 10-minute set-up
  • cross-device booking widget
  • branded emails and SMS marketing
  • review management
  • Facebook integration
  • allergen management

Covid-19 support?

Nothing advertised

Things to watch out for

You’ll need to factor in a one-off £50 + VAT set-up charge.

Pricing

From £69 / month

ResDiary

ResDiary are putting the focus on Covid-19, with new features to help pubs, restaurants and other venues recover and grow. They’re set up for online order and takeaway integration, pre-orders and online payments, and you won’t pay any booking commission.

Top features

  • certain fees waived during Covid-19
  • brand reach, with nearly 200 million diners each year
  • new tools for social distancing
  • cross-device booking widget
  • Google and social media integration (Google Reserve partner)
  • reservation deposit and credit card imprint options (to reduce no-shows)
  • branded emails and SMS marketing

Covid-19 support?

Some fees have been waived, there’s a new Order & Pay option and lots of supporting Covid-19 info

Things to watch out for

You’ll be on a quarterly contract, and there’s a one-off £99 + VAT set-up and training charge

Pricing

From £89 / month

Quandoo

Quandoo advertise as the industry’s most forward-thinking restaurant platform. They focus on digital expertise and cutting edge software to secure more bookings and build a diner community for your business.

Top features

  • access to Google, Facebook, Instagram and WeChat partnerships
  • direct bookings through social media
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and social advertising support
  • shift planning
  • 1000+ affiliates to drive more bookings
  • interactive table management
  • smart diner preferences

Covid-19 support?

Nothing advertised

Things to watch out for

Quandoo don’t advertise their prices, so you’ll need to book a demo to find out more. A free version is available, however, which may be a good taster option for businesses just about to reopen.

Pricing

Free basic package, book a demo for full functionality

Are you planning to reopen with an online restaurant reservation system? Which one have you gone with? Let us know in the comments below.

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We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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