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Round-up: 9 of the best restaurant booking systems

4-minute read

Simply Business Editorial Team

22 July 2021

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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.

The best restaurant reservation systems for small businesses

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 systemPricingFree trial?
OpenTableFrom £19 a month + £2 per network coverNo
ResDiaryFrom £89 a monthNo
QuandooFrom freeYes
ResyFrom £133 a monthNo
TheForkFrom freeYes (3 months for Pro+ plan)
Eat AppFrom $119 a monthYes (14 days)
HostmeFrom £29 a monthYes (14 days)
TableinFrom £60 a monthYes (14 days)
favouritetableFrom £69 a monthNo


It’s a huge brand, supporting over 60,000 restaurants worldwide, with the network and customer reach you’d expect.

Top features

  • brand reach, with over 31 million diners each month
  • access a global diner network through the OpenTable guest centre
  • paid digital marketing features
  • ability to manage reviews and surveys
  • customisable website widget
  • SMS/email communication
  • custom tagging for specific guests

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.


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.

Top features

  • brand reach, with nearly 200 million diners each year
  • 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

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. 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.

Top features

  • access to Google, Facebook, Instagram, and WeChat partnerships
  • direct bookings through social media
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and social advertising support
  • digital tools for shift planning and floor plan management
  • 1,000+ affiliates to drive more bookings
  • interactive table management
  • smart diner preferences

Things to watch out for

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.

Top features

  • complete reservations and waitlist system
  • CRM (customer relationship management) help and support
  • POS (point of sale) integration options
  • no cover fees (as standard)
  • custom insight and survey tools
  • SMS/email communication

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 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.

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
  • anti-no-show feature
  • special offers feature to increase bookings

Things to watch out for

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).

Customer paying for restaurant meal

Eat App

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.

Top features

  • real-time website and social media bookings
  • partnerships with Google and Tripadvisor
  • tools to help manage capacity
  • 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
  • syncing of reservations across devices every three seconds

Things to watch out for

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.

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With multiple package and price options, plus online ordering for takeaway, Hostme is a restaurant booking app which focuses on customisable software.

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)

Things to watch out for

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.

Top features

  • 10 minute set-up
  • cross-device widget
  • automatic confirmation and reminder notifications
  • multiple language options
  • automatic guest feedback
  • Google and Facebook integration
  • reporting dashboard and guest search

Things to watch out for

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.

Top features

  • unlimited free bookings
  • 10-minute set-up
  • cross-device booking widget
  • branded emails and SMS marketing
  • floor plan to help manage bookings
  • Facebook integration
  • allergen management

Things to watch out for

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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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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