We compare OpenTable, Resy, Reserve and Yelp

There are so many options when it comes to choosing an online reservation system for your restaurant that it can start to feel a little overwhelming. That’s why we decided to compare and contrast a few of the major players, to help you make the most informed decision possible.

It’s important to note that not one of these is necessarily better than the other—it comes down to what’s best for your individual business, and whichever one you end up using, BentoBox will seamlessly integrate it with your website. So go ahead, take a look closer look at OpenTable, Reserve, Yelp Reservations and Resy and decide which one is right for you.

OpenTable 

opentable restaurants reservations

Pros: 

- Major marketing engine with 19 million diners per month, significantly more than other platforms. Users are incentivized to go to OpenTable.com to search for a reservation.

- Helps fill empty tables and generate steady business flow by recommending open tables to customers on the app.

- Option for their simple-to-use Electronic Reservation Book, which handles reservation management, table management, guest recognition, and email marketing.

- Dining points system to incentivize guests. 

Cons:

- The dining points system builds loyalty for the OpenTable app rather than for your restaurant.

- Because the platform is so well-established and heavily used, approaches systemic changes with more caution and less speed than smaller, more nimble programs, such as an outdated Electronic Reservation Book screen.

- Offer the ability to sell gift cards, but links away from your website and comes with service fees. (An alternative is to sell gift cards straight from your website).

- More than 37,000 restaurants on the app, meaning there's lots of competition.

- Expensive and complex cost structure that includes cover fees, even for returning guests.

Cost:

OpenTable has a one-time fee of $1295 and a $199 monthly fee, with an optional fee of $99/month to be featured in the OpenTable Dining Guide. For online reservations, there isn’t a monthly subscription fee. Instead, OpenTable charges a pay-per-performance fee of $1.00 per cover booked on OpenTable.com or $0.25 per cover booked via the restaurant’s website.

Note: We’ve seen a lot of restaurants integrate OpenTable incorrectly on their website, costing them $1 per cover, which adds up to a huge loss of revenue. But we make sure to integrate OpenTable correctly, so that you only get charged $0.25 per cover when guests reserve through your website. Not sure if yours is integrated correctly? Feel free to ask us.

Best for:

Reservation driven restaurants. If the bulk of your traffic is from walk-ins, to-go, or delivery, then OpenTable makes less sense.

Resy

resy reservations for restaurants

Pros:

- Ticketing and reservations on one platform.

- Restaurants can mix and match their inventory in different ways to allocate tables by seating zone or prominence.  

- Two-way texting for reservations and waitlist.

- Managers can track small-but-important events like wine ordering and table greetings.

Cons:

- Curates the restaurants it chooses to display, so users don’t see everything at the same time. Your restaurant might not get featured even if you’re using their software.

- Not a strong marketing tool for restaurants since there are less users on the app compared to OpenTable.

- The app is only in major cities.

Cost:

Monthly flat fee ranges from $89 - $899 depending on plan. 

How it’s different:

They're thinking past the host stand by making communication effortless, streamlining customer service and enabling restaurants to share receipt data with other businesses to track trends.

Reserve

reserve reservations for restaurants

Pros:

- Seamless system for keeping notes on diners, helping build guest loyalty.

- Simple monthly pricing with no cover fees.

- Support team availble 24/7. 

Restaurants can decide whether or not they want to put a cancellation policy in place.

Cons:

- Only live in 7 cities at the moment, though they are pushing for a nationwide launch soon.

- No longer offers guests the ability to pay the bill and tip on the app, which was an attractive feature for users.

- Lesser-known and lesser-used than large platforms like OpenTable. Not a strong search or marketing tool for restaurants.

Cost:

$99 per month. No cover fees and no long-term contracts.

How it’s different:

Restaurants see fewer reservation cancellations because the guest gets penalized.

Yelp Reservations

yelp reservations for restaurants

Pros:

- Over 95 million people look at Yelp every month, or 37% of the digital population, helping drive additional attention to your restaurant beyond your website.

- Guests can receive a text message when a reservation opens up and can book the table on the spot.

- Automatic waitlist that fills tables if there's a last-minute cancellation.

- You don't need to take reservations—Yelp can be used just for table and waitlist management.

- Simple payment plan with no hidden fees.

Cons:

- Lacks restaurant discovery—users can’t browse through a list of Yelp Reservations restaurants that have available tables.

- When you integrate it onto your website, it’s heavily Yelp branded. Users can upload their own (low-resolution) photos, which might not accurately reflect your brand.

- Yelp reviews are right next to the reservations, and you cannot alter or change reviews. Your restaurant's rating is also extremely visible, right above where users make the reservation. So if there are negative comments or low ratings, diners might be less inclined to book.

Cost:

Flat rate of $248 per month. No setup fee, no cover fees, no texting fees, and multiple device access at no extra charge.

Best For:

Restaurants with strong Yelp reviews and those who don’t want to pay more than a fixed amount each month.

 

Full disclosure: A Resy co-founder is an investor in BentoBox.

 

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