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Set Up Online Reservations for your Restaurant

Set Up Online Reservations for your Restaurant

If you’re running a restaurant, takeaway, pub or club, you’ll understand the need for reliable, efficient booking service. Easy booking is vital for bringing in customers, retaining their business, and ensuring your venue is running at capacity. So, how can Australian food-serving venues make it easier for their customers to book tables?

Online booking is the answer – and it’s easier than you think to add online booking functionality to your website. Here we take a look at some of the best online booking software solutions and offer tips on how to add these platforms to your website. We also find out exactly why online booking is so popular with customers and why this catering solution will be essential to your business moving forward.

Three popular restaurant reservation platforms in Australia?

With so many software options now available on the market, we’ve taken a look at some of the best online booking platforms for Australian restaurants. These include:

  1. OpenTable

    OpenTable is one of the world’s largest and most successful online booking solutions. Founded back in 1998, it was one of the early pioneers of online restaurant reservation software. Today it is used by over 60,000 restaurants all around the world.

    OpenTable offers a wide range of features, from online booking and live waiting times through to floor plans, business analytics and much more. It enables you to streamline your operations and make your venue run more smoothly and efficiently. The automatic table status feature helps you to achieve a faster turnaround time, so you can increase the number of customers you can accommodate.
    Screenshot of restaurant categories available on the OpenTable reservation platform

  2. Obee

    Obee is an online booking system designed specifically for the Australian market. With an impressive list of current users and an extensive suite of features, it makes it easier for you to get the most from your tables and keep your operation running like clockwork. One of the most useful features is secure credit card vaulting, which makes your customers feel safer when booking online, as well as waiting list management and live floor plan monitoring.

    When it comes to marketing and analytics, Obee can easily be integrated with various well-known marketing solutions including Mailchimp (an email platform) and MyGuestList (an email and SMS platform). This helps you to spread the word about your restaurant and attract more customers while making it easier for customers to book tables. With three different plans available, you can choose the option that best suits your needs and the size of your business.
    Screenshot of Obee calendar layouts

  3. Now Book It

    Now Book It is the ideal solution for takeaway restaurants and QSRs, as well as traditional restaurants with table service. Popular for its user-friendly, no-nonsense approach, Now Book It offers a varied range of features, including a handy Online Ordering feature for those customers who want their food delivered directly to their doors. This enables you to maximise your business, whether you also offer eat-in dining or whether you don’t.

    Easily customisable, Now Book It's table booking and online ordering systems can be tailored to feature your own branding. The software also integrates easily with Google Analytics and Facebook, so you can keep track of your marketing reach at the same time as streamlining the service end of your restaurant.Example of the Now Book It calendar showing multiple reservations

How to add online reservations to your website

Every online booking platform works differently, but one thing they all have in common is that they can easily be integrated into your existing restaurant website. Within a few easy steps, you can have online booking, takeaway ordering and real-time table plans installed to make life much easier for you and your customers, even if you’re not a technical pro. And, if you do need some help, all of these companies have support teams available.

In addition, all three of these software solutions outlined above offer free demos so you can get used to using the software before it goes live.

Why are online reservations for restaurants so popular?

Having an online booking feature will give you a distinct advantage over your competitors, simply because it is what today’s consumers want. We are all used to being able to order whatever we want at the click of a button on our smartphones, and booking a table or ordering takeaway shouldn’t be any different.

In addition, many customers don’t want to have to call to make a reservation. Particularly at busy times, calling for a reservation can often lead to frustration. If the line is busy for too long, potential customers can easily decide to go elsewhere. Online booking means you don’t need to worry about losing business because customers can make a reservation without physically needing to speak to anyone.

Find out more about adding online booking systems to your website

Reward Hospitality can provide all the help and support you need to run a successful cafe or restaurant. From specialist products to equipment advice and venue design, we have all the expertise you need to get the most from your business. Please contact us for more information and advice.

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