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.
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 App||No||$129 / month|
|OpenTable||Yes||From £ 29 / month + £2 / network cover (£39 month-to-month)|
|Resy||Yes||From £ 133 / month|
|Tablein||No||From £59 / month|
|Hostme||No||From $29 / month|
|favouritetable||No||From £69 / month|
|ResDairy||Yes||From £89 / month|
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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.
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.
$129 / month (you’ll get a 14-day free trial)
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.
Find out more on the Open Door Covid-19 hub
OpenTable is famous for its customer feedback tools, but this means any bad reviews get a very public platform, fast.
From £29 / month + £2 / network cover (£39 month-to-month)
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.
Find out more on the Resy Covid-19 hub
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.
From £133 / month
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.
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.
From £59 / month (you’ll get a 14-day free trial)
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.
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.
Free for the basic package, and up to £99 / month for the Pro+ deal (plus fees)
With multiple package and price options, plus online ordering for takeaway, Hostme focuses on customisable software, for small restaurants up to larger empires.
Nothing specific, but lots of Covid-19 customisation tips
The Piccolo plan limits you to 200 bookings a month, and the website pricing, whilst flexible, does get a bit confusing.
From $29 / month (you’ll get one month for free)
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.
You’ll need to factor in a one-off £50 + VAT set-up charge.
From £69 / month
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.
You’ll be on a quarterly contract, and there’s a one-off £99 + VAT set-up and training charge
From £89 / month
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.
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.
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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