Online reservation systems help restaurants, pubs, and other venues to manage bookings, but which platform is best for your small business?
From big-network partnerships with Google and Tripadvisor to smaller booking apps with cutting-edge tech, here’s an overview of some of the best online restaurant reservation systems.
We’ve based our online booking system 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.
In no particular order, here’s a quick look at nine of the best UK restaurant reservations systems. It’s followed by a more detailed look at the features, pricing, and support for each, along with any watch-points to factor in.
|Reservation system||Pricing||Free trial?|
|OpenTable||From £19 a month + £2 per network cover||No|
|ResDiary||From £89 a month||No|
|Resy||From £133 a month||No|
|TheFork||From free||Yes (3 months for Pro+ plan)|
|Eat App||From $119 a month||Yes (14 days)|
|Hostme||From £29 a month||Yes (14 days)|
|Tablein||From £60 a month||Yes (14 days)|
|favouritetable||From £69 a month||No|
It’s a huge brand, supporting over 60,000 restaurants worldwide, with the network and customer reach you’d expect.
OpenTable is famous for its customer feedback tools, but this means any bad reviews get a very public platform, fast.
From £19 a month, with a £2 per network cover charge.
ResDiary is 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. Plus, the cheapest package (RD Connect) is limited to 150 reservations a month.
From £89 a month.
Quandoo focuses on digital expertise and cutting-edge software to help restaurants secure more bookings and build a diner community.
Quandoo doesn'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.
Free basic package, book a demo for full functionality.
Resy takes care of a wide range of eateries, from local favourites to Michelin-starred venues.
While Resy’s basic 'Platform' package does include analytics, custom reporting is restricted. Guests usually need to pay a fee of up to three per cent for events and prepaid reservations.
From £133 a month.
A Tripadvisor company, TheFork promises to manage your restaurant diary, with smart revenue boost functions, maximum visibility, and an ultra-efficient system.
TheFork features a pay-per-use model, with fees starting at £2 per cover. Along with booking fees, the Pro+ plan comes with an additional subscription fee.
Free for the basic package, with a three-month free trial available for the Pro+ package (which usually costs £125).
Eat puts the focus on a central, one-stop-shop for all your operational needs, from managing restaurant table bookings and guests to increasing revenue and customer loyalty.
The extra POS (point of sale) functions cost up to $90 extra per month. There are other add-on features too, which may bump the pricing.
$119 a month, with a 14-day free trial available.
With multiple package and price options, plus online ordering for takeaway, Hostme is a restaurant booking app which focuses on customisable software.
The cheapest plan for restaurants (Piccolo) limits you to 200 bookings a month.
From £29 a month for takeaways only, with a 14-day free trial available.
Tablein is online booking software which aims to stop restaurants wasting time on paper or email reservations, phone calls, and social media chats.
On the Basic 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 for each extra booking.
From £60 a month, with a 14-day free trial available.
The big sell here is on flexibility, and favouritetable promise no booking fees whatsoever for the restaurants in their network.
You’ll need to factor in a one-off £50 + VAT set-up charge.
From £69 a month.
What is the biggest benefit of using an online restaurant reservation system? Let us know in the comments below.
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