Restaurant reservation software lets guests reserve a table online and alerts owners to new reservations, cancellations, or no-shows. However, an online reservation system also may provide in-house table management and waitlist features to control occupancy levels or let you sell event tickets online.
We reviewed more than two dozen restaurant reservation software providers to uncover industry leaders. We looked at table management, waitlist, and customer communication features. In addition, we explored each application for ease of use and affordability. After comparing all solutions, we determined the best use cases to ensure your restaurant can get the most from your software selection.
Best Overall : Tablein
Take control of restaurant reservations with Tablein’s user-friendly and affordable program that earns our overall best spot.
Free 14-day trial, no credit card needed
Control restaurant capacity
Social media integrations
No POS integrations
No waitlist management
Not for large, high-volume restaurants
Although Tablein isn’t as well-known as brands like Yelp or OpenTable, it provides small to medium-sized restaurants with everything they need to take reservations and improve guest experiences. Tablein’s affordable plans, robust toolset, and 10-minute setup time make this reservation software stand out from its competitors.
Unlike other programs, you don’t need to download an app for Tablein to work. Simply open a browser on any device, and the responsive platform automatically fits on your cell phone, tablet, or desktop screen. Moreover, guests can place orders on your website, Facebook, or Google using any device.
Tablein is easy to use and offers table management and reservations features, such as:
- Guests can select a preferred table or leave special instructions with their reservations
- Customers receive automatic booking confirmations, reminders, cancellation notices, and feedback requests via email or text
- Managers get reservation notifications via email or text
- Oversee restaurant capacity by setting limits on time slots or days
- In-depth reporting dashboard with exporting capabilities
With Tablein, you don’t need to spend hours setting up your reservation software or training your staff. Its intuitive interface makes it easy to accept and manage reservations. Top features for ease of use include:
- Quick table cloning to set up your restaurant layout
- Drag-and-drop tools help you create one or more floor plans
- You can add an unlimited number of dining areas
- View reservations by floor plan or time frame
- Color-coded reservation status via a table view
- Make changes to reservations with drag-and-drop functions
- Use the search tab to find guest information
- One click to print your daily reservation list
Tablein offers two plans that come with all available features. In some cases, text messaging features may cost an extra fee per message. The packages include:
- Standard: $75 per month for up to 150 reservations
- Premium: $110 per month for unlimited reservations
Best for Customization : Resy OS
Personalize floor plans, communications, and employee access with Resy OS software.
All plans are free through June 2021
Web- and app-based booking
Custom table types
Expensive monthly plans
No POS integration on the Basic plan
No analytics on Basic plan
With over 15 million Resy users, restaurants can accept reservations and get discovered on the Resy platform. Resy OS lets restaurateurs personalize all aspects of the reservation process, making it the clear winner in the best for customization category.
Resy OS provides web and mobile app access for guests and employees, so you can use any device to review or make reservations.
Its custom solutions help you deliver excellent experiences by:
- Giving VIPs exclusive access to reservations during specific time frames
- Allowing guests to choose their desired dining location, such as a bar table or outdoor seating
- Personalizing your reservation confirmation text messages
- Setting access levels for different team members, from management to servers
However, Resy OS provides many other features to support restaurants, such as:
- Mobile waitlist application so guests can get an alert when a table is available
- Ability to book reservations through multiple online platforms
- A built-in customer relationship management (CRM) program
- An occupancy monitoring tool that sends alerts before you go over your capacity limit
- Available contact tracing report for health-related concerns
- On-premise and off-premise options for virtual events or seat optimization
Currently, Resy OS is free for all users and plans until June 2021. After that, you can choose from three packages:
- Basic: $249 per month for reservations, table management, waitlist, and support for pick-up and virtual events
- Pro: $399 per month for a dedicated success manager, onboarding support, third-party pre-payment options, and post-meal surveys
- Enterprise: $899 per month for restaurants with 10 or more locations needing unlimited reporting options
Best for Ease of Use : Eat App
Easily access reservations, guest data, table management, and marketing content from any device.
14-day free trial
Official Google partner
24/7 instant messaging customer support
Add-on fees can get expensive
Limited white-label options
Can’t track channel where reservations come from
Eat App provides all-in-one functionality to oversee table bookings, plan for occupancy limits, and review analytics. Its management applications, visual layouts, and editing tools are user-friendly, earning Eat App the top slot for ease of use.
Along with iOS and Android manager apps, you can access your reservation and table management system on any desktop using a web browser. Its simple interface makes it easy to learn and use with functions such as:
- Drag-and-drop floor plan editing tools
- Choice of four views: floor plan, reservation list, grid view, or timeline
- Multiple filters to show reservations, no-shows, late arrivals, or finished bookings
- CRM is searchable by customer name or by adding tags to guest profiles
- Capacity settings of 30%, 50%, or 100% to easily manage volume
Eat App integrates with Google, Maps, Instagram, and Tripadvisor, which gives your restaurant higher visibility. Moreover, the plans include many features, like:
- Time-slot-based discounts
- Space for adding reservation notes
- Automated guest confirmation emails or SMS messages
- Waitlist and walk-in function, so guests get a text when a table is ready
- Ability to accept reservation deposits or charge for event tickets
- Customizable reports available on-screen or by printing
Choose from two plans and various add-on features to get the right combination of functionality for your business. Packages include:
- Pro: $129 per month with an annual payment or $159 monthly for all features and 250 guest confirmations via text per month
- Enterprise: Get a custom quote to add automated guest surveys, a digital menu, point-of-sale (POS) integrations, and phone integration
You can add several features to the Pro package, such as:
- Automated guest surveys and feedback: $25 per month
- Digital menu, contactless dine-in ordering, and delivery: $50 per month
- POS integration: $90 per month
- Phone integration: $25 per month
Best Linked to POS : OpenTable
Integrate your restaurant reservation software to 10 POS systems for free.
All plans free through March 2021
Free online training
Highly rated mobile applications
Extra fees for reservations and payment processing
No phone support
Free POS integration not available with Basic plan
Thirty-one million people book through OpenTable each month, and the platform features more than 600 affiliate booking partners, making it easier to get your restaurant noticed. Most reservation programs don’t offer restaurant POS integrations or charge hefty monthly fees to integrate. In contrast, OpenTable easily connects to popular systems, making it the best choice for restaurants wanting to link their reservation system to an existing POS program.
You can access OpenTable via iOS or Android apps or a web-based dashboard. To easily track customer spend and visit frequency while running comprehensive reports, connect OpenTable to POS systems, such as:
- Squirrel Systems
- Silverware POS
OpenTable also offers dozens of integrations with email marketing programs and review sites, giving you plenty of options to oversee restaurant operations and dining experiences. Other top features include:
- Email or push alerts for new reservations, VIP bookings, and cancellations
- Automated email or SMS confirmations to customers
- Table management with custom dining and bar floor plans
- Waitlist capabilities provide guests with time estimates and a text when a table is ready
- A digital takeout menu with a sharable ordering link
- Real-time view of shift revenue
- Review collection and management from sites like Google, Yext, Facebook, and Tripadvisor
OpenTable offers three plans on a month-to-month basis. You can connect your payment processor to collect online payments, but you’ll pay a 2% service fee per order. The monthly packages consist of:
- Basic: $29 per month plus $1.50 per network cover and $0.25 per website reservation, or you can pay $49 per month for free website reservations
- Core: $249 per month plus $1 per network cover for table management, in-house and online waitlist, POS integration, and real-time inventory
- Pro: $449 per month plus $1 per network cover for automation tools for email campaigns, guest profiles, and customer preferences
Best for Consumer-Facing Reservations : Yelp
With top-rate mobile applications, two-way communication, and a customer-centric focus, Yelp delights guests while making it easy to manage reservations.
Poor Yelp reviews may affect sales
Hard to get eyes on your site on the Yelp platform
Since 2017, Yelp has seated over 433 million diners and is considered one of the top platforms for people to find restaurants, order food, or reserve a table. Yelp’s ease of use and customer-friendly features make it perfect for consumer-facing reservations.
Yelp’s reservation and waitlist software gives you a dedicated front-of-house management tool that works on an iPad. However, the consumer-facing mobile apps receive high usability ratings for:
- Using AI-driven algorithms to predict guest wait times accurately
- Offering two-way text messaging so you can communicate with waiting guests
- Providing a remote check-in function to keep guests safe and happy
- Giving real-time updates regarding a guest’s position in line or estimated wait time
- Allowing customers to add themselves to a waitlist or sign up for a reminder
- Notifying guests when a takeout order is ready
- Personalizing experiences by tracking guest preferences, history, and special dates
Yelp also supports your staff and helps you optimize front of house (FOH) operations using features such as:
- Custom floor maps and a visual layout view
- Automatic reminders and confirmations to reduce no-shows
- A dedicated to-go tab for managing carry-out orders
- Tracking and analytics to see performance on Yelp
With Yelp, you pay a flat monthly fee with no extra charges, and all subscriptions come with a free iPad. The Table Management plan starts at $249 per month and includes takeout, reservations, waitlist, and server management tools.
You can also add Yelp Connect for $180 a month to customize your Yelp page, increase brand visibility, manage photos, and share business highlights. Or get started with Yelp ads for as low as $5 per day.
Best Free Software : GloriaFood
With no setup fee or subscription cost, GloriaFood restaurant reservation software allows you to accept unlimited bookings and orders for free.
Unlimited locations and orders
Intuitive customer-facing application
Supports website reservations
No visual table management display
Not available on desktop
No occupancy management
GloriaFood offers an all-in-one system to handle your reservations, pick-up orders, delivery orders, and even supports customers who want to order ahead of time. Although some companies provide limited-time free specials, GloriaFood is completely free forever, making it the best free restaurant reservation software.
Although GloriaFood isn’t accessible by desktop, your staff can use the intuitive app on iOS and Android devices. Customers can order from the FoodBooking application, your website, or Facebook.
The free plan comes with a robust set of features, including:
- Online menu with custom or stock photos
- Customer confirmation emails when you accept, miss, or reject an order
- Email blast capability to quickly communicate with all guests
- Print receipts using existing hardware
- Pre-ordering function with prepayment
- One-click to enable no-contact delivery and curbside pick-up
- An ordering widget to add a "table reservation" button to your website
If you want to accept payments using GloriaFood, you can choose your existing online payment gateway using the management application. GloriaFood doesn’t charge extra fees to connect your payment processor. You also can buy a custom branded reservation and ordering application for smartphones with pricing available via a custom quote.
With many great solutions to reservation woes, it can be challenging to choose the best software for your restaurant. Start by selecting your budget and must-have features, such as customer-facing apps, waitlist management, or visual floor planning functions. Consider restaurant reservation software offering the best fit for your business and restaurant guests.
Our top pick for the best restaurant reservation software is Tablein. It’s an affordable solution that’s easy to set up, integrates with social media, and provides an excellent visual appearance and user interface. Plus, Tablein’s 14-day free trial gives you enough time to explore its features without committing to a new service.
|Company||Why We Picked It||Key Features|
|Tablein||Best Overall||Affordable, easy setup, and robust features|
|Resy OS||Best for Customization||Custom floor plans, user permissions, and communications|
|Eat App||Best for Ease of Use||Simple drag-and-drop tools and multiple views|
|OpenTable||Best Linked to POS||Integrates with 10 POS systems|
|Yelp||Best for Consumer-Facing Reservations||Top-rated mobile app and customer-centric features|
|GloriaFood||Best Free Software||No-cost reservation, pick-up, and delivery order management|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Restaurant Reservation System?
A restaurant reservation system lets customers reserve a table while restaurateurs oversee bookings, cancellations, and no-shows. Reservation software may also offer waitlist tools, visual table management features or allow you to handle digital pre-payments.
Most restaurant reservation systems work on web browsers and offer mobile applications for guests or management. However, you can also add a widget to your website to simplify online reservations or allow people to book a table via Facebook or your Google business page.
What Are the Major Types of Reservations?
Although people used to reserve tables for dinner or special events, today, consumers may need to book a table to meet pandemic-related occupancy limits. Restaurant owners may also use restaurant reservation software to handle a virtual event or on-site event ticketing, sell to-go food bundles, or book a table at the last minute.
What Is the Cost of Restaurant Reservation Software?
Most restaurant reservation software solutions are subscription-based plans where you pay a flat fee per month. But, some providers charge extra fees for POS integrations or reservations booked through your website or third-party providers.
Monthly plans range from free to $899 per month. Higher-priced plans often include more features such as occupancy control, waitlist functions, and an online ordering platform. If your reservation software includes prepayment options, you may pay additional fees to your payment gateway or an extra service fee to your reservation software provider, such as OpenTable’s 2% service charge.
How We Chose the Best Restaurant Reservation Software
To find the best restaurant reservation software systems, we reviewed more than two dozen providers. We compared tiered pricing plans for overall affordability, types of features, and volume limits. Plus, we considered web browser services and mobile applications’ functionality to ensure ease of use for customers and restaurant teams. By looking at unique features and add-on capabilities, we determined specific software solutions best for certain use cases.