The Restaurant & Takeaway Innovation Expo

19 & 20 OCT 2022


Do Restaurants Need an Online Table Booking System in 2021?

At the time of writing, we are in various tiers of lockdown in England, with Scotland, Ireland and Wales under similar restrictions. It looks like these tight and unpredictable restrictions will continue into 2021. 


With many restaurants only able to trade for take away and delivery, is an online restaurant reservation system a worthwhile spend? 


Thousands of UK Restaurants Have Introduced an Online Table Booking System before 2021 - here’s why.


Customers Expect Book Online 

Statisa confirms the share of people who used telephone booking for table reservations in restaurants in the UK dropped massively between 2015 and 2019, from 58 percent to 20 percent. The most popular reservation method in 2019 was online booking, with 45 percent of respondents saying they prefer to making table bookings this way.

Taking Bookings Takes Time and Manpower 

With many staff on furlough, it’s likely you’re running short handed. You will no doubt have many other things to be doing than taking calls, checking direct messages on social media, chasing emails and manually writing bookings in the diary. 


An easy, fairly priced online solution for your table bookings takes this task off your plate. Simply monitor notifications and see how your service times are booking up. 


No More No-Shows 

Unfortunately, people are people and they do not understand the impact of not showing up for a booking. The loss of revenue and the cost impact can be large, reducing your margin. 


Therefore, using an online table booking system that allows you to take a deposit or charge a no-show fee, will go some way to cover your costs and make customers think twice about cancelling at the last minute or just not showing up. 


If you don’t choose to take a booking deposit, choose a system that confirms booking with customers via email and sends reminders via email or SMS - they’ll be grateful you did!  


Track and Trace

With the lack of clarity, one thing is pretty clear and that is that the track and trace rules will still exist. Keeping records of who has come to your venue will be important, if this can be done up-front during the table booking process, it takes the strain off when that customer arrives. Allowing you to maintain the great experience you provide. 


Easy Social Media Marketing

Online booking solutions are easily shared on social media. Getting your message out to your social followers, making it easy for them to book and leave a deposit there and then, no matter what time they are reading your post. 


This is where you can make social media work for you, quickly and easily getting your message out to many people with very little effort and without any cost.


Add your table booking link to your “Google My Business Profile”, your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook profile so customers can find it wherever they’re searching for you.


What Does an Online Table Booking System Cost?


Long story short, it’s a sliding scale. There are “free” systems available - which often charge “hidden” fees for optional extras like email confirmations or hefty SMS charges to customers. 


There are also “marketplace” style systems, which can cost in the hundreds or even thousands of pounds per month. These systems may charge per cover, have caps on the number of bookings per month, or charge marketing fees.


At Menu Tile, we believe a Table Booking System is a core piece of software for all restaurants. For that reason, we believe it should come at a fair price any venue can afford, with no caps on bookings or cover charges. 


Check out our easy, flexible system, from £24.95 + VAT per month