In today’s busy digital world, it seems customers are always looking for instant gratification. This statement is certainly true for the Millennial generation.
Millennials seem to want what they want when they want it. Their belief in “instant gratification” has trickled down to other demographic groups as well.
Why do we bring this up? We bring Millennials into this article because providing an online booking app for your restaurant website is a terrific way to the meet the needs of this generation, and by default, other demographic groups as well.
In this article we’re going to talk about the best online booking app for your restaurant website. In fact, we’re going to look at three of them and let you decide which one will work best for your restaurant website.
First, let’s talk about some benefits of using an online booking app for your restaurant website:
If your restaurant offers more than fast food or casual fast dining, the online booking app is for you. It’s incredibly frustrating for diners to stand in line waiting for a table. Yet, many restaurants are too busy to think about taking reservations by phone.
Enter the online booking app for your restaurant website. You’ve got several choices when it comes to apps, and the advantages are many. Taking online reservations allows you to:
Plus, by taking online bookings, you have the added benefit of capturing your customer’s email address and contact information. (tweet this) This means you have the ability to capture their attention and market to them in the future.
Growing in popularity is the paid online reservation. With this form of booking, your customers can make a reservation at your restaurant in the same way they buy airline tickets or rent a car.
They can pre-pay for their reservation. This benefits you in several ways. First, you get paid before dinner. Second, you ensure you get paid something even if they don’t show up because you set a non-refundable amount.
Third, your no-show numbers will decrease as people are more inclined to follow through with their reservations because they’ve already paid.
One study shows that adding a no-show penalty as high as the price of a meal resulted in a statistically significant decrease in the number of no-show reservations made by fine dining customers.
Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of offering an online booking component to your restaurant website and introduced you to a novel new idea in the prepaid reservation, let’s look at the best online booking apps.
You are probably familiar with Yelp, but did you know they have a booking app?
We like this app because it not only allows you to take online reservations, but you can also customize a seating chart and organize your tables and your staff.
When it comes to taking online reservations, this system knows what it’s doing. You’ll never miss a reservation again because you can take them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s simple to set up and accept reservations right from your website (and your Yelp page, too).
The online booking system allows you to integrate credit card holds, send confirmation emails and reminders. Additionally, you can also add credit card holds when you take over-the-phone reservations.
Plus, the online reservation system automatically confirms and reminds your diners about their upcoming reservation so you don’t have to.
Inside your restaurant, reservation management couldn’t be easier. The system will send SMS text messages when your guest’s table is ready and gives them time quotes, too.
The reporting system inside Seat Me is top notch. You can keep track of your customers’ dining preferences, allergies, special occasions and much more. You can export your contact information to use in your email marketing to retarget customers.
This online booking system is simple to use. Your customers can make reservations online, and you can take phone-in or walk-in reservations all while collecting customer contact information so you can provide them with future special offers.
Tablein offers an online booking widget for your website. You can even add it to your social media platform. It’s easily customizable with colors, layouts and even languages. While you pay a fee, your customers can use it free of charge.
What we especially like about this system is its intuitive reporting capabilities. You can see visual graphs and reports quickly and look at customer feedback. As the system manager, you have full control over a number of features including set up, customization, reporting and managing bookings.
In addition, you have marketing features available in the Tablein dashboard. You can offer specials and promotions. You can look at booking statistics and manage a client database.
A valuable addition, you can also integrate your account with MailChimp to follow up with your customers through email. Don’t use MailChimp? No worries – you can export your database with a CSV.
With Nextable, you can also take reservations from your restaurant website 24/7 using their widget. You can also offer your customers specials and promotions through the widget.
This online booking app is feature rich when it comes to updating table status and keeping your tables full and organized making it easy to use inside your restaurant, too.
Included in this booking system is also the ability to easily view reports from your computer or any mobile device. You can analyze reservation trends and much more.
We’ve looked at three of the best online reservations systems you can integrate with your website. Each one of them makes reservations easy for your customer. Diners have immediate access to your system and don’t have to wait to talk to someone.
By offering an online booking app for your restaurant website, you not only streamline your business operations, but you meet the needs of a generation of people desiring instant gratification.
Today’s digital generation wants things made immediately available to them. That’s why you should add an online reservation app to your restaurant website today.
You can bet your competitors are looking at an online booking app, so stay a step ahead and add yours today.
Need a new restaurant website?
At Restaurant Engine, we build responsive, mobile-friendly restaurant websites with dynamite online menus. Contact us today for your free website consultation. We are here to help you update your website and stand out in the crowd so you can stay ahead of your competition with your restaurant website.