There can be no denying that online reservation systems have now become a necessity to run a successful restaurant business. The use of these systems has now become a standard followed by almost every restaurant business worth its salt, and not being one of them is one of them is like openly declaring your restaurant to be inferior. But with so many third-party systems out there, how do you choose the one best for your restaurant? Well, let’s take some of the more popular ones available in the market today.
One of the best online reservation systems out there, the OpenTable system isn’t just an online booking app, it’s the complete package, brimming with tools that’d not only help you manage your restaurant better, but also analyze customer data to help you plan your advertisement campaigns. Sound a little too complex? No worries! OpenTable will train you and your staff to use their system and get the most out of it. The thing is unless you’re running a major restaurant gig with multiple branches, most of OpenTable’s stellar features would be of absolutely no use to you. Not to mention the system is one of the most expensive out there, so it’s not worth investing in if your restaurant is of a humbler size.
A relatively simple restaurant reservation service, Yelp is easy to use and suitable for both small and large businesses alike. They offer a straightforward pricing plan and even throw in an iPad to sweeten the deal, which you can use to manage your bookings made by users on Yelp and keep track of your guests. However, you’re unable to link Yelp’s service to your website, meaning your customers will have to find you on Yelp’s website. And just because Yelp is straightforward with its prices doesn’t mean it’s cheap.
For new restaurant owners or established restaurateurs looking to streamline their restaurant operations without breaking the bank, Restaurant Manager by eat is the perfect solution. This free restaurant reservation system is chock full of great features including waitlists, table timers, a rich contact database and even analytics. Best part is along with your account, Restaurant Manager by eat provides all its restaurants with a free booking widget to allow them to capture bookings from their website or social media channels.
The best features of the EVEVE system is the fact that you can easily manage your restaurant brand spread across different locations and have customers book tables at the one that is the most convenient for them. It even assembles a database on each customer that registers through it, making it an extremely powerful analytical tool. However, their fees are quite arbitrary (depending on size and location of establishment) and their best features are left inaccessible to owners of smaller restaurant brands.
Letting you place a widget on your home website to allow your customers to reserve tables there, Zomato Book tries to make the online reservation process streamlined for the businesses that use their services by offering them real-time data of their reservations, so that they can manage their restaurants better. The downside, however, is that Zomato charges you based on your profits which through unofficial reports is known to be around 7-10%, a hefty sum to pay indeed.
Not as impressive a system as the others on this list or with as many analytical or management features, SAGENDA earns its place among the best online reservation systems out there not because of its system but because of its simple, effective interface and its low, low price of $0 (barring special features you don’t necessarily have to unlock). Sure, it’s not the most sophisticated or well-designed system out there, but for small businesses looking to make a move into online reservations but lacking substantial capital, SAGENDA is the best tool for the job.
We hope this article helps you make your decision about which restaurant reservation system may be best for you and your restaurant.