South Africa’s preferred restaurant booking app
Dineplan is South Africa’s leading reservations management software, providing more than 1000 restaurants across South Africa as well as restaurants abroad with a versatile electronic reservation book.
Co-founders Martin Rose and Greg Whitfield started the company in Cape Town in 2011, developing back-end software for restaurants. This would later enable easy, instant online bookings to diners via an interactive online booking widget on the restaurants’ websites. Dineplan initially started with top tier fine dining establishments as clients, but quickly evolved by making its software extremely diverse and completely customisable to suit restaurants of all types and sizes – from the country’s top award-winners to family-friendly restaurant chains and coffee shops.
Restaurants benefit from a wide range of functionalities, including online bookings, SMS functionality, reduction in no-shows, database creation and table management. Today, more than 20 000 bookings are made across the South African Dineplan network every day, with 30% of these made online.
THE DINEPLAN APP
In February 2018, the company launched the consumer-based Dineplan App, enabling app users to make instant or request bookings at 1000s of restaurants across South Africa from their mobile phones.
The app, downloadable for free on Android and iOS phones, allows users to search restaurants by availability, name and area, as well as to create lists of their favourite restaurants, browse opening hours, customer ratings, and research different cuisines on offer.
Once an instant booking is made, the app user immediately receives an SMS and email confirming the details of their booking. On the day of the booking, they receive a reminder SMS asking them to reply ‘Confirm’ or ‘Cancel’ to automatically update the status of their booking.
Diners can also share reservation information with fellow diners, which includes Google Map locations.
REQUESTS BY DINEPLAN
In September 2018, the company went one step further and officially launched a free online booking platform for restaurants in South Africa.
Branded ‘Requests by Dineplan’, restaurants can now load an interactive booking widget onto their website, Facebook page and Google business listing for guests to make quick and easy booking requests online. It also integrates into the Dineplan mobile app for consumers booking on the go. The widget allows guests to choose the date, time and party size they would like to book for. Once a request booking is made on the widget or app, the system automatically notifies the restaurant via SMS and email to respond to the guest timeously.
This has proven to be highly beneficial for restaurants, particularly those still using outdated booking enquiry forms on their websites, since around 80% of guests who do not receive a response to their booking request within 30 minutes, simply book elsewhere.