We had been dining at different pizzerias in San Francisco for several years and there were times where we were prepared to stand in line for the next available table. People do not seem to mind waiting in line, even in foggy or cool weather. The thought that "They should add reservation system" never came to mind. I suppose they have their reasons why they don't bother to take reservations.
I have noticed lately, however, new pizzerias popping up who offer to take reservations. To have a competitive edge over other pizzerias, they use either OpenTable or Urbanspoon's Rezbook. When I made reservations, I admit it was convenient to know we were assured of a table being available on a specific day and time, and not having to wait in a line which is really nice.
Looking at the business side, I had not thought of offering reservations at Mozzeria as our pizzas would take 90 seconds to bake plus prepping time. I did not include downtime during the time tables are prepared for new customers. The more I think about accepting reservations, I am leaning towards putting a reservation system. Some friends told me they would love to host events occasionally and they prefer to make reservations. If I am a customer, I would prefer to do the same.
Ok… okay, what’s the pros and cons between OpenTable or Urbanspoon's Rezbook?
OpenTable has been around for 15 years and, of course, they have rather large customer base. They offer nice features for diners such as earning points every time they dine at restaurants that are affiliated with OpenTable. Diners are promoted to VIP status when they reach a certain level and could receive benefits including free appetizers or a glass of wine. Diners love these perks, and it keeps them loyal to OpenTable.
Urbanspoon was launched in 2008 with restaurant information and reviews similar to Yelp. The Urbanspoon app became one of the most popular downloaded apps. One of its features, which is so cool, is spinning - when you shake the iPhone, it will assist you in selecting a restaurant if you are undecided. In late 2010, Urbanspoon introduced its new program, Rezbook. Although it is still relatively new and has a smaller customer base, most customers are in San Francisco which makes sense as most of us are being Appleized, and we have iPhone and iPad. Rezbook works well on Apple products and even on Android smartphones. The drawback is that they do not offer diners the opportunity to earn points.
* 12-month commitment
* Monthly Fee - $1 per diner reservation through their own website
OpenTable: still committed to a 12-month plan, even if the business fails.
Rezbook: can back out of commitment if the business fails, but return iPad.
OpenTable: Pay 25 cents for each reservation made through Mozzeria website
Rezbook: No charge if reservation is made through Mozzeria website
OpenTable: PC-based Kiosk with wired Internet
Rezbook: Apple iPad with 3G (after paying for 12 months, own the iPad)
OpenTable: Installation and training costs – approximately $$$
Rezbook: Set up and training- no charge
Have you experienced both OpenTable and Rezbook? How do you compare both products? If you were me, which one would you choose?