A lack of reservations doesn’t always mean your product or service isn’t good. Most of the time, the absence of online bookings and reservation platforms drives your customers away.
Not everyone wants to have live conversations to book a table, hotel, or event seat. Plus, looking for ease and convenience is part of human nature.
Customers want to know the status of their bookings without having to call or visit you. They also want to see reviews and recommendations from others to guide their decisions. All of this won’t be possible if you’re stuck with paper and pen reservations.
How To Choose the Best Reservation Software?
Before we jump to the best options for your hotel, restaurant, or event, let’s see how to choose one. Keeping this information in mind, you’ll be able to judge the options better when we do get to them. So, here’s what you need to look for in reservation software.
- Identify Your Needs: While the main features will remain the same, every reservation platform fulfills different needs. Some might be more extensive than others. So, you must know whether you need all the extra features or not.
- Website Customization: You should be able to customize the outlook of the website your customers use to make reservations. For example, you might want a customizable splash page for each event. Even if the platform is online, incorporating your branding keeps customers connected to you.
- Mobile Compatibility: People don’t want to wait until they’re in front of their computers to make reservations. They want the ease of booking through mobile phones. So, the platform you choose must have this capability.
- Ease of Use: Your customers shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time figuring out the functionality of your reservation platform. This will make them want to choose your competitors.
- Automated Reminders: One of the main problems business owners face is that people don’t show up after making reservations. Of course, you can call customers to reconfirm their bookings. But this may frustrate them. So, your reservation platform must have the ability to send automated reminders through texts and emails.
- Customer Support: Unless you’re a technical person or have someone who knows their stuff, you can’t do without this feature. What will you do when you face technical issues? For that, you must be able to rely on customer support. Some reservations are also implementing AI technologies for restaurants that automate many aspects of the procedures.
Top 3 Options for Restaurant Reservation Platforms
Even if you’re not using pen and paper for bookings, there’s a lot that goes into a successful reservation. There are cancellations, no-shows, inquiries, and a lot more you have to deal with.
Automating these processes takes the burden off your shoulders and raises the bar in guest experiences. When you’re starting, free options will do just fine. However, as your restaurant progresses, you must switch to more extensive solutions. So, here are three options for restaurant reservation platforms.
1. SevenRooms Does More Than Just Reserve Tables
It’s no secret that customer data and insights play a huge role in optimizing your marketing and business decisions. SevenRooms is a platform that lets you do that in addition to reserving tables and managing bookings.
Moreover, your customers can make bookings directly from your website. They’ll be using your branding instead of the platform, which is good for recognition and familiarity. Plus, you can take bookings through social media and emails as well.
However, the perks of this platform become double if you have multiple locations.
It helps you share customer data and reservations across all your venues. If one location doesn’t have any tables left, you can relocate the customer to another venue.
Additionally, it reserves a table that is in the venue nearest to the customer, elevating their experience.
Some people have gone completely cashless and become frustrated when they can’t pay in other ways. With SevenRooms, you will also be able to give different payment options to your customers, like reservation deposits.
If you’re facing a lot of cases where customers don’t show up, SevenRooms has got your back. It lets you charge customers for making the booking but not showing up.
Other features include a virtual waitlist, guest profiles, and commission-free reservations. However, the pricing isn’t readily available on their website, so contact them to find out how much it will cost.
2. Choose Carbonara as a Free Option
When you’re just starting, you might not want to make huge investments. While many platforms offer a free version or a free trial, they usually don’t have enough features.
But Carbonara is a reservation platform that always remains free with a lot of helpful features. If you’re a small business, this is the perfect option for you.
With great reviews and many fans, it also offers you a digital waitlist. Customers can easily see the status of their bookings. Moreover, customers can pre-order drinks and food before they arrive at your venue.
This way, they have peace of mind that they’ll get their food as soon as they reach their seats. These small things add up to make for an exceptional restaurant customer experience.
You can also use its customizable guest messaging feature to update and talk to your guests. They will get instant notifications about when their table will be free.
3. Resy Lets You Customize Everything
Let’s end this list with Resy, which allows you to customize reservations and waitlists. It also includes a floorplan editor, and you can send automated confirmation messages to your guests.
Moreover, it has features for before, during, and after the guests make reservations. It’s also quite easy to use, which, as mentioned earlier, is important in a platform.
When customers visit a restaurant, they expect staff to help them choose their food. But how can you do that without knowing what the customer likes?
Well, Resy also gives you access to guest information such as preferences and history. This way, you can give personalized recommendations to your customers.
Additionally, you’d want to know what your customers thought about your food and service.
After all, if you don’t know whether your efforts worked or not, how will you make them better?
Resy includes surveys, detailed reports, and analytics to deliver this information to you. In short, Resy is the complete package for optimizing your reservations and guest satisfaction from the start to the end.
Its current pricing starts at $249 for the basic plan. Prices keep fluctuating, so visit the website for the most recent numbers.
Top 3 Options for a Hotel Reservation Platform
Moving on from restaurants, let’s look at options for a hotel reservation platform. This industry faces the most number of no-shows. So, if there’s any industry that absolutely must automate its online reservations, it’s the hotel industry.
- SiteMinder - This is the most popular platform that hoteliers worldwide trust. It doesn’t take any commissions when you get reservations. It gives you the ability to take reservations on all devices with an easy and intuitive design. Plus, you can manage guest reviews and enhance your online reputation. Grow guest loyalty by solving their issues and talking to them like a human.
- Bookinglayer - This is a cloud reservation platform where your guests can book their holiday packages. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about collecting and verifying payments because you can automate everything. With very few interactions, guests can have peace of mind about their bookings, making them loyal to your hotel.
- Little Hotelier - It acts as a hub to manage your whole property from one place. It keeps all your channels in sync, so you don’t have to face the problem of multiple bookings. Additionally, it gives you access to more than 400 local booking sites. This way, you will be able to get in front of more eyes. Plus, increase your revenue with direct bookings from your website or Facebook page.
Event Reservation Platforms That Make Your Work Easier
The last industry that requires reservation platforms is the event industry. A lot goes into the success of special events. But the most important thing is keeping your attendees happy.
If you’re stuck with bookings all day, how will you make the other necessary arrangements? So, here are some event reservation platforms to help you.
- Jotform helps you create simple forms that customers can fill out to book their seats. It doesn’t have to be boring. There are more than 750 templates you can choose from. Each template lets you record different things, such as food preferences, etc. So you can choose the one that best fits your needs. When guests enter their information, Jotform automatically creates tables for you so you can manage the bookings easily.
- Eventbrite is one of the most popular reservation systems for events. It lets you incorporate your branding so your attendees can become familiar with your brand.
Other alternatives include Eventdrive, Bizzabo, or Ticketbud. Just remember, sure, you get something proportional to what you truly need.
Reservation Platforms Can Take Away Your Worry
Reservation platforms for restaurants, hotels, and events take the burden off your shoulders so you can focus on guest experiences.
However, choosing software isn’t easy since your needs are different from your competitors. Plus, they keep changing as your business grows. So, you must do your due diligence before choosing one.
Want to supercharge your booking system? Use Beambox to scale your business. It is a WiFi marketing platform that gathers data from your customers while they browse the internet at your venue. Beambox also lets you automate marketing campaigns and grow your reputation online. Try it for free for thirty days!
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