Restaurant reservation systems are a central communication hub between restaurants and customers. Especially in the era of COVID-19, these tools have become even more robust, to include options for online ordering, prepayment, capacity management alerts, and two-way texting. Average fees range from $150 to $500 per month, with some systems basing total fees on the number of reservations or payments you process.
The best restaurant reservation systems for 2020 are:
- ResyOS: Best overall
- Tock: Best for boutique restaurants with prepaid reservations and online ordering
- Yelp Reservations: Best for waitlist management
- EatApp: Best for small restaurants and occupancy control
- SevenRooms: Best for multi-unit restaurant groups
- GloriaFood: Best free reservation system
Top Restaurant Reservation Systems Compared
2.9% + $0.30*
iPad Pro and iPad Air
Google PixelBook, ASUS Chromebook, Galaxy Tab S6, iPad Pro
Any internet enabled device
Any internet enabled device
24/7 Live Support
To find the reservation system that is best for your restaurant, read our individual evaluations below. Alternatively, you can start your search by taking this quick quiz. It is only four questions, takes less than a minute, and will provide a result without redirecting you to another page.
How We Evaluated Restaurant Reservation Systems
Restaurant reservation systems are becoming increasingly high-functioning restaurant software tools. With waitlist functions, online ordering, and options for pre-paid private events and reservations, these systems provide incredible support whether you are starting a restaurant, or simply trying to manage an existing restaurant more efficiently.
To find the best restaurant reservation systems, we considered:
- Basic considerations: Cost, ease of use, and reporting functions were our baseline concerns.
- Flexibility and Customization: We looked at prepayment/pre-order options, table management features, ticket sale options, waitlist functions, and POS integrations that would support various restaurant types.
- Guest Communication Options: We valued systems that have in-built two-way communication via SMS texting or email.
- Signature features: Many of these systems contain at least a killer feature that they do better than all their competitors, from robust customer relationship management, mobile waitlist functions, or easy creation of special events.
A reservation system’s payment options cannot replace a POS. Reservation systems do not process on-site orders and communicate with your kitchen. You will still need another solution for processing on-site payments.
Based on the above criteria, Resy is our top pick for the best overall restaurant reservation system. It is competitively priced with flexible solutions for restaurants of all types. ResyOS has all of the basic features that small operations need to manage reservations and communicate with customers. It also includes some ordering features that allow interested restaurants to use the ResyOS platform for takeout orders with contactless payment.
Resy: Best Overall Restaurant Reservation System
The name ResyOS can be a little confusing. Just forget the “OS” part. ResyOS is not a P-O-S, or point-of-sale, it is a reservation “operating system.” When you set the confusing name aside, however, what you see is an incredibly user-friendly, cloud-based reservation system that operates on iPads. Since the onset of COVID-19, ResyOS has added a mobile waitlist and an automated capacity monitor, to help restaurants retain revenue streams while adhering to social distancing requirements.
Easy to use
Can be pricey for very small restaurants
Lots of POS integrations
Online ordering module does not include delivery management features
Mobile Waitlist allows customers to add themselves to your waitlist
Marketing options could be better
ResyOS pricing starts at $249 per month for a single venue and increases based on the number of locations. Multi-location restaurants will need to opt for the $899 enterprise membership. Integrating with your POS comes at an additional $100 per month cost for Basic and Pro subscribers.
ResyOS Fees & Add-ons
+$100 per month (for Basic + Pro members)
Online payment fees
2-3% for all pre-payments and order ahead
In response to COVID-19, Resy is extending 100% fee relief to new and existing customers through the end of 2020.
- Included in baseline system: Detailed guest profiles, table management, table mapping, and online and in-house reservations are all part of the baseline system. Event bookings, prepaid ticketed options, and basic online ordering functions, as well as a mobile waitlist function are also included.
- Optional add-on features: Upgrading to Pro and Enterprise packages unlocks additional reporting features, personalized guest messages, and customized post-meal surveys.
- Standout features: The online ordering function creates an excellent, cost-effective contactless payment solution for restaurants that need one.
- Reporting and back-office: ResyOS has all the reports that a reservation system needs, allowing you to easily see your expected cover counts, available table inventory and shift summary.
What Makes ResyOS Great for Reservations
ResyOS is our best overall restaurant reservation system because it is so flexible and easy to use. The various subscription tiers ensure that restaurants of all sizes can find the perfect fit and avoid paying for functions that they don’t need and won’t use. ResyOS integrates with most POS systems.
Tock: Best for Prepaid Reservations
If you are considering any reservation systems that offer pre-payment features or a ticket-based reservation model, then you have Tock to thank. Even a few years ago, this feature was uncommon in other reservation systems, and now it is available almost everywhere. This is just one example of the way Tock sets trends for the restaurant industry.
After COVID-19 shut down restaurant dining rooms, Tock developed online ordering and delivery functionality in six days. Tock specializes in solutions like prepaid reservations, and ticketing for special events like wine dinners. Pricing starts at $199 per month. Prepaid reservations, tickets, and online orders also have credit card processing fees applied, but the platform allows you to add those fees to the customer end.
Trend-setting platform is always developing new solutions
Traditional, over-the-phone reservations can be a little clunky.
Credit card processing and online ordering can be paid by customers
May be more robust than some restaurants need
Customer support is highly reviewed
Less familiar to customers than other systems
Considering its massive functionality, Tock is available at a very affordable price. The baseline reservation module is available for $199 per month. Though, if you are running a pop-up restaurant, or only need to use a ticket-based reservation model for a holiday or special event, its events plan is available without any subscription fees. You’d only pay $0.99 per ticket plus credit card processing fees.
Tock Fees & Add-ons
$199 per month
$699 per month
3% per order
Prepaid Reservations and Tickets
Plus members - 2% per reservation*
Pro members - 0%
Toast and Upserve. Open to developing more; ask about your specific POS when getting a demo.
2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
*These fees can be paid by the customer if you choose
- Included in Baseline System: Includes reservation, table, event, and guest management solutions. Including unlimited covers, users, and devices. Tock also offers in-built two-way SMS texting with your customers through the app.
- Optional Add-on Features: Beyond simple reservations, tock also offers online ordering and delivery functions, and ticketing functionality for special events like wine dinners or holiday services.
- Standout Features: Customers can book anytime, from any browser, on any device or on Facebook, Instagram, and Google. Detailed customer profiles can be arranged into specialized lists for marketing, discounts, or other purposes. Customers can add themselves to a digital waitlist to be easily notified when a reservation comes available.
- Back Office and Reporting: Tock’s reporting features are robust. The system synthesizes a lot of information into easy-to-navigate snapshot reports that show you at a glance what to expect in an upcoming shift. Fully configurable guest tags and automatic Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn profile integration allow you to see exactly who is dining with you.
What Makes Tock Great for Reservations
Tock is incredibly nimble and constantly adapting to a changing restaurant landscape. Its prepaid reservation and ticketing systems protect restaurants against losses due to no-shows and cancellations. Tock’s Guest Segmentation tool allows you to automatically apply discounts and grant VIP access to your most valuable guests. Pre- and post-visit surveys allow you to catch disappointed guests before they post a negative online review.
Yelp Reservations: Best Reservation System for Waitlist Management
Yelp Reservations is an extension of Yelp.com. While many restaurant owners have a love-hate relationship with the site, 45% of customers check Yelp reviews before visiting a business. Adding a reservation or waitlist widget directly on your Yelp page can definitely help you capture more customers (if you have a good yelp rating).
Yelp Reservations Strengths
Yelp Reservations Weaknesses
Mobile waitlist allows customers to add themselves to your waitlist
Tied to the Yelp platform
Easy for customers to reserve directly from your Yelp page
Does not include online ordering or prepayment functions
Yelp provides users with an iPad
Does not integrate with any POS systems
Yelp Reservations Pricing
Yelp Reservations is a very streamlined system. It does not offer many of the bells and whistles like online ordering and pre-paid reservations like competitors Tock and ResyOS. For a small restaurant, however, that operates mostly via waitlist, Yelp Reservations may be the perfect size. Pricing starts at $249 per month and comes with a complimentary iPad.
Yelp Reservations Fees & Add-ons
$249 per month
Includes a complimentary iPad
Yelp Reservations Features
- Included in baseline system: Two-way SMS text message with customers in the app, including automatic email and SMS reservation reminders, table management, and waitlist management.
- Optional add-on features: Yelp Reservations currently does not offer additional services beyond reservation and waitlist management.
- Standout features: Your staff receives a warning when real wait time begins to exceed the quoted times.
- Reporting and back-office: Yelp Reservations allows you to view standard reports like cover flow, shift summary, and close of shift reports from the Yelp website. You cannot get these reports via the iPad app.
What Makes Yelp Great for Reservations
Yelp Reservations allows customers to find you where they already congregate; on Yelp. Considering that Yelp claims a dining population of 93 million active users, this can be a big boost to your restaurant’s visibility.
Customers that add themselves to a waitlist before arriving at a restaurant are also more likely to wait for a table than walk-in additions. During COVID-19, the ability to use a virtual waitlist also increases customer perceptions of your restaurant’s social distancing protocols. This all comes, of course, with a very big caveat. Since Yelp Reservations is tied to the Yelp review site, you need to ensure that your restaurant retains a high Yelp star rating. If your rating dips, chances are your reservation and waitlist requests will, too.
EatApp: Best Small Restaurant Reservation System
EatApp is a fascinating addition to the US market. It is, essentially, the ResyOS of the Middle East, so it developed massive functionality before US restaurants ever got a glimpse of it. EatApp has all the basic features of the other reservation platforms like phone and online reservations, ability to accept pre-paid reservations, and operate a waitlist. Since it operates via a mobile app or in a web browser, you can use EatApp on equipment you already have, whether that is a laptop or a web-enabled iOS or Android tablet.
Integrates with your phone system so you always know who is calling
24/7 customer support is chat-based
Offers a free trial
App and browser based system can be glitchy if you lose internet access
Occupancy control features are excellent
Online ordering and contactless payment functions are still in development
EatApp pricing starts at $129 per month for subscribers who pay annually. If you want to only commit to a month-to-month subscription, that rate goes up to $159 per month. EatApp also offers a 14-day free trial if you want to kick the tires on the system before committing. Since EatApp operates via a mobile app and in web browsers, you can use the system on virtually any type of internet-enabled equipment, completely cutting out the costs of proprietary terminals.
EatApp Fees & Add-ons
$129-$159 per month
Varies. EatApp operates via a mobile app or in a web browser; you can use whatever equipment you have
$25 per month
$90 per month
Credit Card Processing Fees
Varies based on a custom quote
- Included in baseline system: Reservations and Table Management, 250 SMS and email confirmations, Capacity management, 24/7 chat support, customizable floor plan, user roles and server management, and automatic integration with Google that allows you to add a “Reserve Now” button to your Google search results.
- Optional add-on features: Phone integration, POS integration, and integrated payments all come at additional, reasonable costs.
- Standout features: Phone integration displays a customer’s profile on the reservation screen when they call. You and your staff can see exactly who is calling along with any special notes about their birthdays, anniversaries, and dietary restrictions.
- Reporting and back-office: Using the Manager App, you can see pick up trends, daily reservations, no-show rates, server performance, and revenue dips from your smartphone.
What Makes EatApp Great for Reservations
EatApp offers subscription tiers for restaurants of all sizes. It also features high-functioning capacity management tools, which can really help small restaurants that need to quickly adhere to COVID-19 occupancy restrictions. Currently, EatApp’s customer support operates from Europe and the Middle East. Also, 24/7 support is available via chat, but some US-based restaurants have trouble getting a person on the phone during usual business hours. A North American-based customer support team is in the works and should hopefully be operating by 2021.
EatApp offers a 14-day free trial so you can test drive the system before committing.
SevenRooms: Best for Marketing & CRM
SevenRooms is a highly efficient restaurant reservation system that streamlines communication between several venues. This enables multi-venue restaurant groups to share information about their customers and guest preferences between restaurants in their group. SevenRooms compiles a massive amount of customer information and includes robust tools to arrange that information into personalized marketing campaigns which can make your customers feel like VIPs while you grow your business.
Larger than a small restaurant needs
Constantly developing new solutions
Available online ordering and delivery management features
Customer facing platform can be tricky to navigate
SevenRooms is the most expensive reservation system on this list. SevenRooms bases its pricing on custom quotes, and third-party sources list a baseline price of $500 per month. The cost can be worth it, however, if your long-term profitability plans include collecting customer information on a single platform in order to leverage it for marketing purposes. SevenRooms does that better than anyone else.
Alternatively, if you are planning to grow your restaurant into a restaurant group, the ability to share customer profiles with your sister restaurants is invaluable. SevenRooms also has this function streamlined with loads of reporting and analytics.
SevenRooms Fees & Add-ons
~$500+ per month
Varies based on custom quote
Varies based on custom quote
- Included in baseline subscription: Online and on-site reservations, table mapping, table management, detailed guest profiles, review-tracking, and reputation monitoring are included in this all-in-one reservation, guest management, and restaurant marketing system.
- Additional modules: SevenRooms is an all-in-one tool, so there are no real “additional modules” to call out. This system has a ton of features, so it is worth noting the social media integrations and guest segmentation features that allow you to create customized upgrades and offerings.
- Standout features: SevenRooms alerts you to new reviews from Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, and allows you to track changes in sentiment over time and see feedback emails from guests. You can also send personalized emails to every guest, from a “thanks for visiting” to “we haven’t seen you in a while,” to give your guest communications a personal touch.
- Reporting and back-office: SevenRooms generates a daily guest report that can be automatically sent to your management team so you always know where and when your most treasured regular guests are dining.
What Makes SevenRooms Great for Reservations
Like Tock, SevenRooms is a leading innovator in the restaurant industry. During COVID-19, the brand released a contactless dining kit to offer contactless solutions like order and pay technologies to digital menus to reopening restaurants. SevenRooms is also exploring voice-enabled restaurant tech and data-driven personalization. SevenRooms will likely be the first restaurant software that is prepared for the day when customers start making reservations and placing orders through their Alexas.
GloriaFood: Best Free Restaurant Reservation System
GloriaFood’s stated mission is to develop free and low-cost restaurant technology solutions to support small businesses. In addition to reservation tools, GloriaFood offers great online ordering and delivery functions for restaurants. All of its tools offer a free version. All of its tools are also easy to add to any WordPress-based restaurant website. To get the most out of GloriaFood’s reservation system requires some office time, but if your restaurant is low on funds, investing your time might be preferable to paying another costly monthly subscription.
Can add reservation and online ordering widgets to restaurant’s website and Facebook pages
Requires administrative time to set up
Free to use baseline functions
Customer support is via email, or online forum
Operates on iOS or Android devices
Reporting functions are limited
GloriaFood reservation system is completely free to use. If you want to add order-ahead options with pre-payments processed online, however, you will need to pay $29 per month to connect GloriaFood to your merchant services provider.
GloriaFood Fees & Add-ons
$0-$59 per month
Varies; GloriaFood operates on Android and iOS smart devices.
$29 per month
Branded Mobile App
$59 per month
Varies; GloriaFood is not a payment processor, you will need to find your own
- Included in baseline subscription: The free features include basic online reservations and table mapping via a widget that can be placed on your restaurant website and social media accounts.
- Additional modules: Prepaid reservation and online ordering features can be added for $29 per month, plus whatever processing fees your merchant services provider charges. You can also get a sales optimized online ordering website for $9 per month, or a branded mobile app for $59 per month.
- Standout features: Order ahead function allows customers to order their whole meal and pre pay for it before they arrive at your restaurant, making GloriaFood an excellent contactless payment solution.
- Reporting and back-office: Reports and analytics are basic, but include the ability to see a map of where your online orders come from as well as allowing you to download your complete customer list for marketing purposes.
What Makes GloriaFood Great for Reservations
The best feature of GloriaFood’s reservation platform is the price and the scale of service it offers. There are very few tools designed for restaurants with a small footprint, and GloriaFood has made it their mission to fill that gap. If all you need is the ability to take reservations online, GloriaFood is completely free to use. Extending the functionality to include pre-ordering with online payments and an end-to-end online ordering and delivery system is also incredibly low cost.
Reservation systems are more than a list of customer names and what time to expect them. Today’s restaurant reservation systems include mobile waitlists, ticket-based reservations, fully pre-ordered and pre-paid meals, as well as robust databases of customer details. These tools are valuable for organizing your daily service, optimizing your seating capacity, and tracking your customer’s likes, dislikes, and special requests.
Our overall pick for the best restaurant reservation system, ResyOS, offers a massive suite of functions at a price that most restaurants can afford. The various subscription tiers ensure that smaller operations don’t pay for functions they don’t need. Pricing starts at $249 per month. Contact ResyOS for a free demo.