The restaurant reservation process is so familiar that it’s easy to overlook the fact that it could be a lot better. Reserve was created to make all aspects of the reservation process intuitive and pain-free for everyone, for every reservation. Today the company is taking two major steps forward. They’re introducing Reserve for Restaurants, a new table management system that offers restaurants more control, enables better hospitality and creates aligned incentives; and they’re launching Reserve.com, a web destination to discover great restaurants and instantly book reservations.
Their table management system, Reserve for Restaurants, is built around a simple philosophy—technology should facilitate hospitality and not stand in the way of a restaurant’s relationship with its guests. Restaurants deserve a better reservations platform—one that they love, and their guests love, too. So Reserve does a few things differently.
Better economics and aligned incentives
Reserve charges a flat $99 monthly fee for their table management software, and there are no cover charges. An embeddable reservation widget, which restaurants can use to show inventory and take bookings directly from their own site, is completely free. All reservations made through the app, on the restaurant’s website or on Reserve.com are free for restaurants and diners. Now, operators used to setting aside tables to fill through other sources (like walk-ins or phone calls) can list more of their inventory online without paying a financial penalty. The company’s goal is to create a solution that restaurants love, and Reserve only gets paid if they like what they’ve built.
Reserve for Restaurants is built to help restaurants connect with their diners. Operators get sophisticated CRM features to help them get to know guests better. Because Reserve’s table management program is a modern cloud-based solution, restaurant groups can easily share information, like guest notes and visit history, across all their locations. Restaurateurs never need to say no to guests—if guests don’t see the time they want on the restaurant’s website or Reserve.com, they can always make a request via the Reserve app and the restaurant can offer alternate times or seating options, or place them on the waitlist. This process would normally be handled over the phone, but now it can all be handled with a few taps through the Reserve for Restaurants platform. For restaurants that are walk-in heavy, Reserve for Restaurants also offers waitlist management and analytics that help staff notify diners and offer more accurate wait quotes.
Returning control to restaurateurs
Because no two restaurants are alike, Reserve built a flexible, versatile table management system that can work across the industry. They give partners the tools to run their restaurant the way they want to, making it fast and easy when they need it to be, and detailed and robust when they want it to be. At reservation-heavy restaurants, operators have more control over when guests can book and where they can book from. Restaurants can choose to offer tables only on their own website or on the Reserve app, or make them available across Reserve’s entire network. By selecting the times they offer guests, hosts can better manage their tables, maximizing the number of parties that can be seated at a table over a given night. Walk-in restaurants can easily seat diners in two taps, check table statuses, text guests when their table is ready if there was a wait and more.
Restaurant operators, industry experts, chefs, and owners have collaborated with Reserve throughout the development process. Chef/owners gave them insight into what motivates their businesses to consider a new technology, and industry experts helped identify the biggest pain points with existing solutions and where innovation would be welcomed. And the product wouldn’t be possible without many patient hours of feedback from dozens of GMs, reservationists, hosts and servers, who not only talked with Reserve about what would make their jobs easier and help their guests, but also completed UX studies, tested paper and clickable prototypes, brought their entire guest relations, operations and management teams in for collaborative design sessions and most significantly, brought Reserve into their restaurants.
For the past few months Reserve staff has stood behind the host stands of restaurants across the country, working in the trenches alongside their partners as they tested the very earliest versions of their software. Their hospitality allowed Reserve to improve the product rapidly—sometimes adding functionality as quickly as the next day. Where Reserve is today is because of their partners, and they will continue to guide Resrve as they move forward.
On the first day Reserve for Restaurants is officially available, there will be around 150 partners using the software to run their dining rooms.
As a companion to the Reserve app, the company is also introducing a new destination for finding great restaurants and making reservations, Reserve.com. Visitors can get details on any of the 500 restaurant partners Reserve works with across the country, which have been curated and selected based on their food, service and ambience. Guests can sort and filter by neighborhood, cuisine and vibe, as well as by restaurants that offer Instant Bookings online.
Reservations made on Reserve.com and on the Reserve app are free for guests, and web bookings can be seen and managed in the Reserve app. Moving forward, Reserve will be working with partners to add additional Instant Booking availability to Reserve.com, as well as continuing to add restaurants that accept reservation requests via the Reserve app.
The restaurant industry has been waiting for years for one connected platform that supports the guest journey from start to finish, for tools that integrate and talk to each other, and for a system that puts the operator back in control. Today’s launches take everyone closer to that goal. Reserve has always focused on the entire guest journey—from the moment a diner is hungry through discovery, reservation, payment and feedback. With the support of a growing network of partners, Reserve is ready to build a platform that both restaurateurs and their guests love.
For more information, please visit www.reserve.com.