Online reservations are taking the restaurant industry by storm right now. Many restaurants use reservations systems to improve their customer service and operations through streamlined guest and table management.
Two platforms you might be weighing for your restaurant are Tock vs OpenTable. OpenTable has been around for years and has made a name for itself among restaurant owners. But with the emergence of Tock as the new kid on the block, we wanted to compare the two and understand how they improve restaurant discovery and operations.
Tock is an all-in-one platform designed to help restaurants better manage table reservations, food-to-go, and event bookings. The technology allows you to reduce no-shows and empty tables, access a marketplace of potential diners, and improve customer relationship management.
Tock’s reservation system operates by marking tables as ‘unsold tickets.’ Each table receives its own ticket number, and customers buy a ticket or pay a small deposit rather than make a reservation.
The purpose of implementing table ‘sales’ is to reduce the number of no-show diners in your establishment. If people have to commit funds upfront, they are more likely to arrive for their seating. In the right setting, this modern and unique booking system can maximize profits and increase occupancy.
Tock’s reservation platform isn’t limited to dining reservations either. Besides their reservations software, Tock offers an event-specific booking platform that handles ticket sales.
Establishments like wineries, breweries, museums, and other hospitality-related businesses can take advantage of the software’s events management features. The events booking process functions similarly to reservations, and businesses can sell event and experience tickets through their website or the Tock app.
Finally, Tock’s network is a marketplace that diners use to find great restaurants or venues. When you sign up as a restaurant, you can access this network and market to diners in all major cities, including San Francisco and Chicago.
When a diner makes a reservation at your establishment, you also get insight into their dining preferences, which can help you offer a great customer experience.
Who is it Suited to?
Tock is suited to high-end or fine-dining restaurants. Smaller restaurants and casual eateries may find it challenging to get diners to pay for a table ticket upfront. In addition, many platform features and products may be lost on these types of establishments.
Also, the platform focuses on the features that support relationship building with customers. With access to detailed guest profiles, marketing, and customer segmentation tools, Tock is ideal for venues that want to establish loyalty and keep diners coming back.
Tock is packed to the brim with handy tools and features. For restaurants, the software helps manage the reservations process, in-house dining experience, online ordering, takeout food delivery, and food collection.
It includes a comprehensive reservation system that allows diners to book seat tickets quickly and easily. They can also select certain add-ons before the event or dining experience, helping you upsell and increase your value-add and revenue.
Similarly, diners are given pre-dining and post-visit questionnaires to complete. The information you receive here can give you an understanding of what they want and how to deliver better customer service.
The pre-dining surveys also help customers customize their experience, improving sentiment and increasing the chance of repeat business.
Walk-in guests will never have to stand around waiting for a table. Instead, they can be added to the automated waitlist that will fill any empty seats after cancellations or absent customers. The customizable floor plan helps optimize your layout per day, and the real-time updates mean that you can streamline your floor plans on the go.
Tock offers multiple device access so you can use the platform on the go - from your host stand to the kitchen or through your general manager’s tablet or mobile app. And with all your tools in one consolidated application, Tock ensures steady business flow at all times.
Tock offers different pricing structures depending on your needs. Plans for restaurants (and wineries) include a Plus, or Pro subscription billed monthly.
- Plus: complete reservation, table, event, takeout, and guest management, including unlimited covers, users, and devices. $199/month, with an additional 2% fee on all prepaid reservations.
- Pro: includes all the features of the Plus plan but with no zero additional prepaid reservation fees. $699/month.
If you’re looking for events-only management software, Tock offers both the Essential and Premium plans. These plans are not subscription-based, and users will only have to pay a small commission and booking fee for every ticket sold.
The Essential plan has a 2.5% commission fee per transaction and costs around $0.49 per booking. This plan covers once-off event offers with general admission.
If you need a more comprehensive event software, their Premium plan covers regularly scheduled events with special configuration for around $0.99 per booking and a 3% commission on every transaction.
OpenTable is a globally recognized restaurant reservation and table management system. With millions of users, the platform aims to help restaurants better manage their guest experience and reservations.
Listing on their massive marketplace will get your establishment in front of diners who use the OpenTable App and potentially result in more reservations for your restaurant. Diners use the platform to search for restaurants and cuisine types. They read and write food and establishment reviews on it, and make their table bookings.
Unlike Tock, OpenTable has been catering to restaurants for years. It has had time to build its reputation as one of the most widely-recognized reservation systems around. This makes it a fantastic marketing tool for restaurants that want to reach a broader customer base.
Although OpenTable has great marketing and management features, it can be quite costly for small restaurants just starting. They charge a cover fee for reservations, which can quickly add up and chip away at your budget.
Furthermore, restaurants can pay to appear above yours on the marketplace, making it quite competitive.
Who is it Suited to?
First and foremost, OpenTable works well for venues seeking extra visibility by marketing on a globally recognized platform. Like Tock, OpenTable processes diner and reservations data. Using it lets you capture and analyze diner information to provide excellent service and streamline reservation management.
Generally speaking, the businesses that can benefit from OpenTable include restaurants, cafes, bars, wineries, hotels, casinos, and other hospitality groups.
While Tock is suited to high-end establishments and larger groups, OpenTable’s platform works for restaurants of all sizes. Any business from a fine-dining powerhouse to a casual eatery can use it. It can even help smaller businesses grow by bringing in more customers.
OpenTable’s core focus is, of course, on streamlining restaurant reservations. Customers can easily make bookings through the OpenTable app or your restaurant's website via the OpenTable widget.
The platform features an integrated point of sale and payment API to help you facilitate quick and easy bill payments or even pre-payments where needed.
Diners can complete guest surveys after their meal, which helps you improve your restaurant in real-time. Completed survey data is kept on OpenTable's guest performance business reports as well so that you can access your establishment's day-to-day performance and service executions.
One of the best features of this platform is the staff management capabilities. Unlike Tock, OpenTable includes a table management tool that allows you to allocate server sections and assign tables. This ensures you can maximize seating and send waitrons to serve where you need them most.
Like Tock, Opentable offers a customizable floor plan feature. You can even create multiple floor plans at once to streamline seating flow and make every dining service more efficient.
As you move up the payment plans, you get access to built-in guest management and CRM features. With deeper customer insight, you can deliver more efficient service and drive loyalty for your business.
OpenTable has three pricing plans billed monthly. A monthly flat rate gets you your standard features, but there are several add-ons and extra charges which can raise your bill substantially.
The first subscription is the Basic plan, which is also available for a free 30-day trial. Once the free trial period expires, you will be charged a flat monthly subscription fee of $39. Additionally, each reservation made through the OpenTable app costs $1.50, plus an additional $0.25 for bookings made through your restaurant's website.
The Core plan has a monthly subscription fee of $249 with no cover fees for bookings made through the OpenTable widget on your website. However, customers that make a reservation through OpenTable's network will incur a $1.00 fee per booking. We recommend the Core subscription for restaurants that need better front-of-house management functionality.
As to be expected, the Pro plan packs the most in the way of features. $449/month will get you Basic and Core plan features plus relationship management and automated marketing functions. Besides that, you’re paying $1.00 per network cover and a 2% service fee for takeout and experience bookings.
Tock vs OpenTable: So What’s The Difference?
To better understand what sets these two restaurant reservation systems apart, you first need to consider what each system aims to achieve.
Tock's major appeal centers around enabling restaurants to maximize profits by putting more guests in available seats. That said, keep in mind it has fewer users. In contrast, OpenTable's primary objective is to help restaurants better market their business and expand their customer base.
Similarly, Tock is catered toward high-end and luxury restaurants, while OpenTable works for restaurants both big and small! When choosing a restaurant reservations platform for your business, consider your establishment's needs and goals.
If you’re looking to host events or private dining experiences, you need a powerful event management platform to complement your reservation system. Check out Perfect Venue’s event management software as a solution to manage your event calendar, automate documents, and streamline event-related tasks. The best part is that Perfect Venue integrates with both Tock and OpenTable, so regardless of which reservation system you choose - you’ll be in good hands!