In today’s competitive hospitality landscape, it takes a lot more than a good meal to win guests’ loyalty. Today’s diners expect personalized experiences — and the only way for restaurants to deliver personalization at scale is with a customer relationship management (CRM) solution.
Over the last decade, CRM growth has exploded as businesses across every industry have narrowed their focus on generating loyalty by tracking customer habits and behavior.
There are dozens of restaurant CRMs to choose from, but not all of them are built for the hospitality industry. A true hospitalityCRM integrates reservation, marketing, guest feedback and POS data to deliver actionable insights that help you streamline operations and drive repeat business.
Our team has researched the top restaurant CRMs and created this comparison guide to help you make a more informed decision when choosing the best solution for your business.
SevenRooms is the hospitality industry’s leading reservation and CRM solution designed to give operators and their teams insight into the entire guest journey. We offer a full suite of integrated solutions such as online reservations, online ordering, table and waitlist management, marketing, guest satisfaction and analytics tools to help your team elevate the guest experience and work more efficiently.
SevenRooms CRM, centralizes all of your guest data in one platform, making it accessible across venues and teams. Our suite of integrated front-of-house solutions allows you to capture guest data across every aspect of your business. We also integrate with over 20 POS systems to help you build data-rich guest profiles.
Assign a custom guest tag to each guest profile based on preferences and behaviors (like VIPs, Critics, Regulars, Big Spenders, Wine Lovers, etc.). Even better, you can segment these tags to personalize the guest experience during service and after using SevenRooms’ Marketing Automation and Email Marketing tools.
An integrated review aggregation feature also allows you to track customer reviews from automated feedback surveys as well as Google, Facebook, Yelp and more in one central place.
Unlike other solutions, SevenRooms gives restaurants complete ownership over the guest data they collect, which means we won’t remarket to your guests or compete for loyalty.
SevenRooms’ guest feedback surveys are automatically attached to customer profiles, but you’ll need to manually link third-party review channels like Google and Facebook.
SevenRooms integrates with over 100 solutions worldwide, including POS, event and property management systems, global booking networks and payment providers like Stripe and CyberSource.
SevenRooms is a global company with 24/7 customer support, 1:1 onboarding and training and an online help center.
SevenRooms operates on a flat-rate pricing model. Choose from three different packages and multiple add-ons based on your restaurant’s needs. For specific pricing information, book a call with the sales team.
OpenTable’s main offering is its reservation system, which includes an extensive diner network to help you fill seats. They also offer CRM capabilities along with marketing and review management features.
OpenTable is both a consumer and restaurant solution that helps diners discover and book restaurant reservations. As diners book, OpenTable builds guest profiles within their database so you can see guests’ preferences, average spend, number of visits, etc.
Integrated marketing functionalities allow you to send custom, automated emails to guests before and after their dining experience and track the ROI for each campaign.
OpenTable has a marketplace model which means they own the guest data their CRM collects, potentially limiting your ability to create customized marketing experiences.
Additionally, their pricing model includes certain elements that may be tough on your wallet. For example, under their standard plans, they charge cover fees for some reservations. Also, since payment may be used as a factor for the ordering of restaurants on their marketplace, you might incur additional costs if you want to boost your business.
They also only empower restaurants with automated CRM tools (e.g. automated email campaigns, guest preferences and guest profiles) at their highest price tier: Pro.*
OpenTable integrates with sites like Booking.com, Zagat, Meta and Priceline. They also integrate with POS systems in various regions, however, you currently cannot access these POS integrations with their Basic plan (only Core and Pro).*
OpenTable offers 24-hour customer support and serves customers globally.
OpenTable advertises three pricing plans: Basic: $39/mo., Core: $249/mo., and Pro: $449/mo. You may also be charged a per-network cover fee ranging from $1 to $1.50 and a 2% service fee for Takeout and Experiences. Payment made by a restaurant to OpenTable may be used as a factor in the ordering of restaurants on their marketplace, so higher placement may correspond to higher monthly costs for your restaurant.
*Per listed pricing information available on the OpenTable website.
Eat App is a reservation and table management system that also has CRM capabilities. The cloud-based system automatically creates, tracks and segments a guest database full of guest preferences and behavior information. Once segmented, you can send guests customized marketing messages from within the database.
Eat App’s table management and reservation CRM allows you to track guests with preset or custom tags, which unlocks personalized marketing features you need to increase engagement. Its automated survey feature sends guests a review request after they’ve dined with you.
Collecting and managing guest data in a centralized database allows restaurant managers to run one or multiple restaurants on the platform. Like SevenRooms, they allow restaurants to take sole ownership of their guest data.
Additionally, their desktop, mobile and iPad options make accessing the system easy and convenient.
Eat App’s POS integrations list is extensive, but they charge per integration, which can add up depending on your business needs.
Additionally, their guest database/CRM, review management and marketing automation capabilities are only available on their Pro plan, or for an additional monthly fee on the cheaper plans.
Eat App can be integrated with over 20 POS systems and several online booking and PMS systems.
They offer 24-hour customer support and though they operate globally, they primarily serve customers based in the Middle East and Europe.
Eat App has four plan options: Starter ($49/mo), Basic ($129/mo), Pro ($229/mo) and a free option. These plans do NOT include POS ($90/mo) or phone ($25) integrations.
Toast is primarily known as a POS system with reservation and table management features. It also has some CRM capabilities. The system collects guest data, but its main benefit is its email segmentation. Use it to facilitate email marketing, gift cards and customer loyalty programs.
Like several of the restaurant CRM systems on this list, you can store guest information in Toast’s database. Since the POS system is robust, so is the itemized guest data, which allows you to create data-rich profiles based on dining preferences. You can use this data to automatically build email lists and send targeted marketing campaigns.
Guests can also enroll in a credit-card-linked loyalty program that allows them to accrue points and retain customers.
Toast also gives you sole ownership over your guest data.
Toast Tables, their reservation feature, powers a lot of their CRM functionality and can only be used if you’re working with Toast’s POS system. If you work with a different POS provider, you may want to consider another restaurant CRM option with a more robust reservation system.
In terms of a reservation system, Toast has limited functionality compared to other providers. In the solution we tested, we found it can’t take payments, upgrades or offer add-ons within the booking process. Additionally, guest management tools are also limited as they don’t offer integrated survey functionality.
Toast POS offers over 90 integrations including reservation systems, like SevenRooms.
Toast primarily serves customers in the United States and offers 24-hour customer support.
CRM and marketing features are available when you enroll in the “Build Your Own Plan” option, so prices will vary depending on your needs. Since the system is primarily a POS, they bundle software and hardware costs.
Resy is a reservation platform with a consumer diner network that rivals OpenTable. In addition to reservation and table management features, they offer some CRM capabilities.
Resy’s reservation system allows guests to enter information such as contact details, special occasions, dietary restrictions and notes. Like other solutions, they also integrate with POS systems to capture guests’ dining preferences.
They also help you collect guest feedback through automated, post-dining surveys.
Resy’s biggest advantage is its diner network (albeit smaller than OpenTable’s). They charge a flat rate for bookings instead of costly cover fees. They do, however, offer paid options to boost your restaurant’s profile in their marketplace.
While Resy does provide basic guest data, they lack the robust CRM capabilities that other solutions offer — specifically their data access. Resy only gives you a month-to-month look at your guest database. To pull email addresses, for example, you’ll have to pull contacts each month. And similar to OpenTable, when a guest makes a booking, their data is shared with Resy which gives them the ability to market offers to your guests.
Resy’s standard solution doesn’t offer the option to auto-segment your guest database or send out automated email campaigns (beyond surveys) to engage your diners.
Resy integrates with a variety of online booking and POS systems but they list fewer POS integration options compared to other solutions.
Resy offers 24/7 customer support and serves restaurants globally.
Resy advertises three pricing plans: Basic: $249.mo., Pro: $399/mo. and Enterprise: $899/mo.
Tock is an online reservation and table management system that offers CRM functionality. Like OpenTable and Resy, they have a diner network to help you drive new business. Tock also has event management features, which establishments like wineries, breweries, museums and other hospitality-related businesses leverage to collect pre-payments and gather specific guest preferences.
Tock’s claim to fame as a reservation system is its robust ticketing and pre-paid features. As a CRM, Tock gives you access to guest data such as dietary restrictions, guest notes, special occasions and visit history. You can also create a fixed set of guest tags based on dining preferences and habits.
Tock has a diner marketplace like OpenTable and Resy but they give you full ownership over your guest data. They also don’t charge cover fees and instead, operate on a flat-rate pricing model.
For the cost of Tock’s service, their marketing automation is more limited than other systems on the market today. On the solution we tested, you can’t auto-tag guest profiles and their tag customizations are limited compared to other solutions. They also don’t offer email marketing features or many email marketing integrations.
Additionally, according to their integrations and partners page, Tock only integrates with a few POS systems and a small number of other restaurant providers. Unless you work with one of their existing POS partners, your guest database may not be as robust as other systems.
Tock integrates with Toast, Lightspeed and Tripleseat in addition to 20+ other restaurant solutions.
Tock serves restaurants globally, but primarily in North America and parts of Europe. They provide night and weekend support, email, phone and dashboard support options.
Tock advertises two pricing options: Plus: $249/mo. and Pro: $749/mo.
What to Look For in a Restaurant CRM
A restaurant CRM differs from a traditional CRM, such as Salesforce or SugarCRM, since its features and integration capabilities are tailored specifically for the hospitality industry. Below we’ll dive into the five core elements that you should look for in a restaurant-specific solution.
Compatibility and Integrations
Ultimately, your CRM should help you better understand your guests regardless of how they interact with your business.
SevenRooms’ Vice President of Product, Angela DeFranco, explains “Restaurants need a complete view of their customers, no matter where they are in the guest journey. The best restaurant CRMs give you a holistic view of every guest interaction by collecting data across various touchpoints of your business — including those that happen outside of the CRM platform entirely. This singular view provides your team with better insights to create personalized experiences at scale.”
Consider the various ways guests interact with your restaurant. Your CRM should be able to integrate and collect data from each of those touchpoints: reservations, online orders, marketing campaigns, guest feedback and POS systems.
The more access you have to data, the better you’ll understand your guests which helps you build stronger relationships and identify opportunities to drive more revenue.
Ownership Over Guest Data
If today’s recipe for success is personalization, guest data is the key ingredient. Ask your CRM provider how they collect guest data and how much control you have over it. Some CRM solutions allow you to build guest data but offer very limited ways to customize and use it; others give you full autonomy.
You’ll also want to ensure that you’re the sole owner of your guest data. Some solutions share the data you collect and use it to re-market to your guests to promote their own loyalty programs and marketing campaigns.
CRMs range dramatically in terms of features: some are better suited as restaurant reservation systems, while others have more advanced features like automated marketing, review management and reporting insights that deliver a tangible impact to your bottom line.
When choosing a restaurant CRM for your business, think about common CRM functionalities such as:
Guest profiles: The data that’s collected about each guest such as reservation and online order history as well as dining preferences.
Auto-segmentation & tagging: The ability to use both custom and pre-built guest tags to filter and segment your customer database, which helps you easily identify groups of customers to create targeted marketing campaigns.
Automated marketing: Streamlined features that generate awareness, such as personalized emails and surveys that are automatically sent to your guests based on behavior and interaction history.
Reporting & Insights: Centralized reporting dashboard to monitor marketing campaigns, measure guest lifetime value and provide insights for driving revenue.
Guest loyalty features: Components for identifying and rewarding guest loyalty, which make building a profitable customer loyalty program easier.
Review integration and management features: Surveys and review aggregation capabilities that help you build and monitor guest feedback within the centralized database, directly impacting your brand reputation.
Date export and integrations: Seamless integrations with your POS system, booking channels, payment providers, SMS and voice tools help streamline restaurant operations and boost efficiency. You should also be able to easily export your CRM data to fuel marketing campaigns outside of your CRM solution if needed.
Pricing for restaurant CRMs can range anywhere from $49 to $1,000 or more per month depending on the provider, features included and how many restaurants you operate. You’ll want to watch for additional set-up costs, cover fees and integration add-ons.
FYI: Ultimately, the goal of a CRM is to help you make more money. Be sure to ask about the ability to track your ROI. Most integrated CRM platforms should include reporting and analytics that help you measure success. Find out how Andonis Cafe & Bar achieved 80X ROI in the first four months with SevenRooms.
In a perfect world, you’d never run into any problems with your technology systems but we know that’s not the reality. It is crucial to choose a responsive provider that offers support when you need it. They should also offer onboarding and ongoing training support to make sure your team is set up for success.
Selecting the right CRM solution is an important decision. If you’re still unsure which one is the right fit for your business, we recommend booking demos with a few providers to compare options.
At SevenRooms, we’d love to show you how our integrated CRM and FOH solutions give your team the tools and insights to deliver magical moments that keep guests coming back. Schedule a demo today.
Restaurant CRM FAQs
What Is a Restaurant CRM?
Restaurant CRMs are tools that help you understand your guests by storing critical information about them in a centralized database. The information that’s collected and stored in a CRM makes it possible for restaurants to provide personalized service and targeted marketing campaigns that boost loyalty and drive revenue.
Do Restaurants Use CRMs?
Yes, successful restaurants are increasingly using CRMs to provide guests with the personalized experience they expect in today’s age of accessible information.
Why Is it Important to Use a Restaurant CRM?
One of the most important aspects of using a CRM is that doing so encourages repeat business. Creating a loyal customer base is the ultimate way to secure your restaurant’s success, so leveraging data to keep people coming back is invaluable.