Remember the times when you went to your favorite restaurant without a reservation, and the entire place was fully booked. It wasn’t such a great experience, right? Now it’s easier to stay away from this kind of negative emotions.
Table reservations are convenient from multiple points of view: live-tracking the capacity and the dynamic of the restaurant, offering a pleasant time to everyone and keeping things clear to focus on what truly matters — the atmosphere.
Step 1 – Where to start?
We recommend two main options to get the job done. One is OpenTable, one of the most reliable online services that offers restaurant reservations to more than 30K locations all around the world. The second one is tailored for self-hosted needs, so basically you can use any plugin you want. However, our top recommendations is Restaurant Reservations.
Step 2 – How to make it happen?
If you plan to go with OpenTable, and add a reservation form on a particular page, here’s what you need to do:
- First, you need to get the Reservations Widget embed code from OpenTable (here’s a quick link) — please note that you need to already have your restaurant part of the OpenTable network (more details);
- Now from your WordPress Dashboard go to Appearance → Customize → General and copy&paste your embed code into the OpenTable Embed Code field;
- Click the Save & Publish button and you are done here.
Now that you have the data about your restaurant, you can create all sorts of reservations forms anywhere you like:
- using the OpenTable Widget and adding it to your front page, footer area or sidebar;
- using the [ot_reservation_widget] shortcode to add a reservation form in any page content or hero you like; the shortcode supports the “type” parameter with the following values: ‘standard’, ‘tall’, ‘wide’, ‘button’ (i.e. [ot_reservation_widget type=”wide”] for a wide reservations form).
On the other hand, if you have a self-hosted website and you want a reliable option to achieve the same result feel free to use the Restaurant Reservations plugin. This allows you to accept or reject bookings, send a custom e-mail notification and keep people in the loop or restrict booking time in just a couple of minutes. The plugin is developed by a team with in-depth knowledge about the culinary businesses.
You can go even further by using a premium solution, such as the WooCommerce Bookings plugin to add a reservation feature to your website. Also, you can explore the Contact Form 7 plugin if you only aim to receive an email with the booking details and don’t feel the need of a complex booking management system. Whatever fits you best.