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We know that running a restaurant is not easy. Profit margins are low, business is seasonal, and having one person (or two) call out can make things incredibly difficult. You’re always spending time with vendors, dealing with online reviews, and on top of that, you need to deal with reservations. Sure, technologies like those offered by OpenTable make things easier, but these services can be costly. Thankfully, OpenTable now has competition. Today, we will discuss 8 Open Table Alternatives to help you save on reservation software costs.

How Much Does OpenTable’s Reservation System Cost?

Here’s a breakdown of OpenTable’s costs. There is a monthly fee of $249 PLUS:

  • Booking on OpenTable: $1 per cover extra
  • Booking on Restaurant’s Website: $0.25
  • Booking on Facebook Via OpenTable: $0.25

While these prices are significantly better than the original cost of the service (it used to cost $1,295 just to install), those quarters here and there add up. Today, we’ll introduce you to Open Table Alternatives that will help you save on reservations so you can increase your bottom line.

Affordable Restaurant Reservation Systems & Open Table Alternatives

We hear many restaurant owners complain that OpenTable is too expensive. Many are moving…and the good news is that there are alternatives. The convenience of OpenTable and its popularity can be great for restaurants that charge a higher cost per seat, but for more affordable places, the cost may not prove to be worth it.

We’re not poo-poing OpenTable. There are advantages to OpenTable. Their website notes that there are two reservations being made per minute. You can also reach out to your customers before AND after they come to the restaurant. This is a great advantage if you want to re-market them.

OpenTable and services like it help restaurants get reservations. From a diner’s point of view, it is much easier to just hop on your laptop or smartphone to make a reservation, than getting on the phone or sending an email and having to wait for confirmation.




If you want the benefits of an online reservation system, but aren’t fully in love with OpenTable, we’ve listed a few OpenTable alternatives for restaurants.

8 OpenTable Alternatives Worth Considering

RESY

Other reservation systems than OpenTable

Resy boasts a monthly cost of $189 per month with no extra charges and 24/7/365 support. As of January, Resy had seated 93 million people and serviced 2,400 venues in 160 cities. One feature we loved about Resy is that they have partnered with social media sites including Instagram, Airbnb, Google, Facebook, and other international partners to integrate Resy restaurant booking directly into their platforms. That means that you have a better chance to be discovered by people on those platforms.

URESERV

Ureserv Application

URESERV is a ridiculously affordable online restaurant reservation and table management system. It was developed by a restaurant owner for restaurant owners to provide an affordable and robust solution to fulfill their online reservation and guest management needs. URESERV allows diners to make reservations through the restaurant’s website or social media pages. There is a flat monthly fee of $60 and a $0.10 reservation fee.

EVEVE

 

Eveve Application

Eveve charges a licence fee for TELOS and does not charge a fee per online diner, meaning that despite its superior technology and stability, its offering can be very cost competitive, particularly for busier restaurants. Last we heard the fee for licensing was $200 flat.

BOOKATABLE

BookATable App

You can list your restaurant on Bookatable.com to gain wider exposure for your brand and generate new business. Display your restaurant on local, national and international partner websites such as tastecard.co.uk. Livebookings is an award-winning company built for restaurateurs by restaurateurs. Headquartered in London, with offices in Hamburg, Stockholm, Madrid, Washington DC, and New York and customers in 23 countries. Livebookings enables real-time, online reservations on restaurant websites and helps restaurants access customers that would otherwise be difficult to reach through a global network of partners including Bookatable.com, lastminute.com, American Express, and Time Out.

RESERVATION GENIE

Reservation genie allows restaurants to easily get reservations

Reservation Genie is both a reservation system and table management service for restaurants. Packages including online reservations start at $49 per month if you opt to include the Table Management, the cost moves to just $79 per month. All reservations from locals are included in the monthly fee eliminating keeping the prices lower. They also offer a mix of table management and marketing with tools to bring in new business. This includes a loyalty program that encourages customers to return to your restaurant and tools to network with local concierges.

NOWAIT

No Wait Application

 

The NoWait Guest App seamlessly syncs with the NoWait Host app, connecting guests to your host stand in real-time. The NoWait Guest App uses revolutionary wait quoting technology to extend hospitality into the mobile world and show real-time activity at your restaurant to would-be guests. They partnered up with Yelp in 2016 and were acquired by them, so this is where Yelp’s reservation system comes in.

FAVOURITETABLE

Favourite Table

Favouritetable.com is a dedicated restaurant resource listing to help people decide what to eat, where to eat and how to get there. FavouriteTable typically charges between £69 & £199 per month for unlimited online bookings (restaurant website & FavouriteTable). There are no hidden fees whatsoever – and they provide complementary social media advertising and a stable of online magazines. FavouriteTable started 4 years ago and offers a 5 year no price increase guarantee.

FREEBOOKINGS

Free Bookings Online Restaurant Reservation System

No complicated contracts, no hidden fees, no lock-ins. Freebookings is a “freemium” service. The basic reservation service is always free (and robust enough to be used in your everyday business to take online reservations from customers visiting your website), and on top of that, they offer paid for upgrades. Users can upgrade at any time to take advantage of premium paid for services such as mobile-optimized websites, advanced table management, email marketing, extensive reporting and access to a partner marketing network to bring your restaurant more reservations.

YELP

Yelp SeatMe App

Yelp announced it’s own competitor to Open Table. Free for restaurants as long as they have claimed their Yelp page. Yelp Reservations lets customers book a reservation from the Yelp business listing on their mobile or desktop computers. Users will also get a text message reminder and an option to cancel or change their reservation via text.

Yelp has already offered reservations through Yelp SeatMe, a startup acquired by the company last year. But, Yelp Reservations lets smaller and lesser-known restaurants — that don’t need the heft of Yelp SeatMe — to also sign up for the service.

Social Media Management For Restaurants

Great tools are incredibly important to restaurants. Now that you have a great set of restaurant reservation dashboards to choose from, it’s time to consider the perfect social media tool for restaurants.

Socialdraft is an all-in-one social media management tool to help you and your team to manage your social media sites. Here are a few reasons you will love Socialdraft as a social media tool.

Set up your team

On Socialdraft you can add people to help you create social media content for your restaurant AND you can set permissions up for them. For example, you can add your bartender and give him or her access to your Instagram account. You can decide to allow their posts to go out without your approval, or you can set them up as managed users so that they can create content, but it won’t publish without your ok. How cool is that? Imagine that it is not just you creating content for your restaurant. Your chef could share his/her special of the day…your bartender can share his/her specials for the night, and your manager can share when a celeb happens to walk in the door.

Recurring Posts

This feature is great if you run specials on a weekly or daily basis. Say you run a Saturday all-you-can-drink brunch. Instead of creating a post for it every Saturday, simply create it once – set it – and forget it. This feature is great for those amazing reviews you’re getting too!

Drag & Drop Calendar

If you need to quickly re-schedule something, simply click, drag & drop it to another day in the calendar.

Instagram Reposts

If your customers are always posting pictures of your food on Instagram, it’s a perfect opportunity to give them some love. Simply search your hashtag on our dashboard and schedule shares of their content not only to Instagram, but to all your connected social networks.

These are just a few of the features offered on Socialdraft. If you have a question, open up a chat and ask us or, take our social media tool for a risk-free trial and once you sign up, ask us for a video walk through of the dashboard so that you and your team can learn how to use Socialdraft to the max!

 

Let’s face it. The restaurant industry is not easy. You’re putting out fires daily, dealing with suppliers, filling in when people call out sick, and you’re dealing with marketing and all those crazy reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor. This means that you need to save time wherever possible. Luckily, there are some awesome apps for restaurants to help you save time, money (and sometimes cut back on unnecessary staff). Here are some of the best apps for restaurants, managers, and owners to help you do all this.

Best Apps for Restaurants

Open Table is an online reservations application

Reservation Apps with OpenTable.

If you haven’t already paired up with one of the many reservation apps out there, you should do so now.  Customers prefer to make reservations online via programs like OpenTable. It’s easy, they get a confirmation right away, and they don’t have to wait on the phone until someone flips through a book to find them a time.  The OpenTable restaurant management software lets guests make reservations 24/7 from your website, your Facebook page, or via Twitter. You don’t miss bookings because guests can’t reach you, and your staff spends less time on the phone. Every reservation booked online is instantly visible to you and your staff.

OpenTable minimizes over and underbooking. Since you’re taking phone conversations out of the loop, you won’t miss out on reservations that could be missed by long wait times and missed emails. Meanwhile, your staff can access any information, anytime — so they’re prepared for surprises. OpenTable also makes it easy to send out great-looking marketing emails, using key information to target each diner. You can give first-time customers a reason to try you again, offer steak lovers a deal on filet mignon, or send out birthday specials.

If you are not a fan of OpenTable, there are plenty of alternatives to OpenTable you can try, but OpenTable is one of the most trusted by customers all over the world.




Some of the best apps for restaurants include virtual menus

Digital Menu Apps

Why order and print new menus and signs whenever there’s a change when you can easily change your digital menus and signs from one location. You will eliminate staff and printing errors and decrease expenses by managing and controlling your entire menu board system from a central location. You can confirm which menu boards are running in each location as well as control what messages you are displaying to your customers. Digital menu boards can help your business by altering consumer behaviors at the point of sale, enhancing your brand, and scheduling your promotions during peak periods. Ok Menu is a great option to check out.

Delivery apps save time and increase your profit margin

Online Ordering

Instead of spending time on the phone taking orders, you can utilize an online ordering system for restaurants like 247 Waiter, Seamless and Delivery. With these apps, customers can see your menu and schedule orders any time day or night. Your fax machine or printer will print out your customer’s order (E-mails are also sent). You’ll get an automated call or a text message alert to let you know as soon as an order is placed. Your customers really don’t want to make a call and deal with repeating things over and over, make it easy for them with one of these systems. On top of this, many of these apps are compatible with social media sites like Facebook which recently announced they were activating food ordering on their mobile app. 

SeatMe App by Yelp to help you manage your restaurant

Apps to Track Guest Wait Times and Manage Floor

With a program like SeatMe, you can eliminate the need for pagers and buzzers. Send guests an SMS message when a table opens up, and let your guests wander while they wait. You can provide your guests with accurate time quotes, and receive a warning when real waits exceed the quoted times.

You can also keep track of your entire floor at a glance, so you’re always running at full capacity. Easily assign servers to tables, and make sure guests are equally distributed. You can keep track of dining preferences, allergies, special occasions, and more. Guests can elect to be messaged if a reservation slot they want opens up. And guests can book the reservation on the spot, so your tables get filled automatically.

SeatMe sends reservation reminders via email and SMS. Guests can confirm or cancel reservations by simply responding, freeing your host from hours on the phone and turning what would have been a no-show into a cancellation. All the helpful features of online reservations are also available for your normal in-house or phone reservations. Add credit card holds, keep track of every detail, send confirmation emails, and have guests automatically receive reminders.

Table tablets for restaurants

Table Tablets

Last year, Applebee’s announced plans to install a tablet at every table in its restaurants across the United States. Instead of ordering from a waiter, customers will be able to use the devices to order food, pay the bill, and play video games. Chili’s unveiled basically the same plan. Palo Alto, California-based startup called E La Carte has produced a souped-up iPad that lets you order and pay right at your table. It’s known as the Presto. The tablet could show you nutritional information, ingredients lists, and photographs.

You can make special requests, like dressing on the side or double bacon. “When you’re done, the order zings over to the kitchen, and the Presto tells you how long it will take for your items to come out. Want a margarita in the meantime? Just add it to the console, and wait for the waiter to bring it.” Even just a few tables equipped with Tablets could cut down on wait staff in favor of a few “table runners” per shift who could double at busing tables.

As a side note, all waiters at Inamo, a restaurant in Soho, London, have been replaced by overhead projectors and computers. Diners place orders from an illustrated food and drinks menu projected on their table surface. You place an order from the table’s touchpad top, which is sent to the kitchen. A food server delivers your meal and the check. The digital dining menu includes computer games and a map of the local subway system.

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Social Media Management Tools for Restaurants

Use a social media management tool for restaurants like Socialdraft to schedule to all your social networks.

On top of that, Socialdraft has plenty of time-saving features designed just for restaurants:

  • One time posts
  • Recurring posts: Great for specials and press
  • Duplicate: Lets you clone a post for a date in the future.
  • CSV Bulk Uploading: Achieves the same results, just a little different. You can create a spreadsheet with all your content and upload it for whatever dates you want.
  • You can set up multiple people at the restaurant with accounts and different permissions
  • You can pull reports
  • Keep an eye of whenever your restaurant, chef and bartender are mentioned online
  • tons more.

 

If you would like to take Socialdraft for a risk-free trial, just click here.