Customers want to be able to guarantee a table when they want it and avoid a wait, especially at peak days and times. Restaurants want guaranteed customers and a full house. These days, there are several options available to manage reservations online, but choosing the right one really depends on the functionality required. Here, we provide a pro/con list of two of the most popular and highly rated reservation tools in the industry today -- OpenTable and Yelp.

OpenTable

Pros

  • Reservations through your restaurant's website and also through OpenTable.com and the OpenTable app
  • 19 million users/mo
  • Comes with a reservation management system
  • Points system incentivizes reservations

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Points system is for OpenTable, not your restaurant

Cost

  • One-time fee of $1295
  • Monthly fee of $199/mo
  • Optional fee of $99/mo to be featured in the OpenTable Dining Guide.
  • Chart of $0.25/reservation booked via the restaurant's website; $1 for reservations booked on OpenTable.com

Yelp

Pros

  • Much more affordable
  • Users are already on Yelp looking at reviews
  • Texts for waitlist notifications

Cons

  • There is no browsing feature for restaurants with available reservations
  • Reviews are tied to the reservations - if your reviews aren't positive, they cannot be deleted

Cost

  • Flat rate of $248 per month.

Note, there is a third option that is swifly becoming a preferred solution for restaurants that want to avoid high-cost reservation services and eliminate the hassle of no-shows - the NoWait app. The app shows diners a list of nearby restaurants, wait times, and distances, and lets you join wait lists from your phone. A text or phone call alerts the diner when the table is ready.

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