The advancement in the IT industry has made sure that now there is an app for everything, from cars appearing at your doorstep to buying anything that you might need.
Much like every other industry, the restaurant industry is also turning to this trend as well. Many diners prefer to have food at their fingertips, that includes the access to restaurant reservations system.
People like to find and reserve their table at the click of a button.Having a reservation system is beneficial to all, the restaurant owners, staff and diners.
But there is a big question that may cross everyone’s mind, how much will such a reservation system cost?
We are here to help you with the calculations
There are many factors that come into account, we’ll go through all of them, one by one.
Just like paying a monthly fee for music streaming and Netflix, there’s a similar fee for your reservation system, this is called a reservation fee. This fee stays the same even if you take a single reservation or 100 reservations in a month.
Cost of subscription ee varies depending on the provider. Some providers may even skip the reservation fees altogether. While it might be tempting to go to a provider that doesn’t charge subscription fees, you should take other factors into account as well, maybe they are going to charge more for other things, like maybe their per transaction fee will be higher.
Subscription fees might be 0 or as low as $229 a month or maybe as high as $899 a month. Again, it all depends on the provider.
Transaction fees and per cover fees
It is the price that the reservation system charges you for any number of reservations booked through the said system. For example, for a website widget integrated inside the system, any bookings through that widget will cost money.
While selecting the system, you should have a clear idea about how much reservations you get. For example, if you think you take 25 reservations but they are closer to 40 or 50, transaction fee might add up to be way more than you expected. Some reservation systems might cost as low as $0.25 per diner, which is not too expensive. But, some systems can even cost up to $2.50 which means 10 times more expense.
Another concern is that some diners might be a no show. While some systems allow you to skip the no show fee, the window to report it may be way too narrow for you to properly even report it. And in that case you will have to pay the fees.
One of the major conveniences of having a reservation system lies in the ability to sync it directly to your POS system, which makes managing the reservations easier. Integration fee is basically the fee that you pay to make your reservation system and POS to communicate with each other.
Some providers may not charge an integration fee while some may charge as much as $100.
As the name indicates, other fees can cover a variety of things that are not covered in the above 3 fees. Make sure you ask your provider about all the fees and hidden charges that may appear in the future.
Pricing Models for reservation systems
Now that you have a clear idea of what fees may be included in the systems, you can better understand the pricing models as well.
1. Cover only
It is a pricing model that lets you pay transaction fees for the reservations made. This come with little to no additional functions in the platform (reporting, guest profiles etc)
Sometimes the transaction fee is higher if reservations are made on platform's website or app and it is lower if reservations are made through the platform's integration on the website of your restaurant.
The main idea behind this is that you pay higher rate for the reservations of the diners who found you via the platform and a lower rate for those diners who searched specifically for you and your website.
But there's also a catch, these platforms compete with your website on search engines so that they can make more money if people book on their site instead of yours.
2. Subscription only with full features
It means that you pay an all-inclusive flat rate, regardless of how many reservations you book. There is no hidden and additional charges for more functionalities.
3. Subscription only with optional add-on features
This is a similar model with a difference that it begins with more basic management and you can pay for any extra features. This includes messaging, surveys, bookings and security. Initially it may seem that the pricing is low but it may double or triple in case you require extra features.
4. Subscription plus cover
It means that you pay a base price and a per transaction fee. The transaction fee here might be lower than the cover only pricing model, and you may get fewer features. Make sure to get a full list of what is included so you can get all that you require