South African diners can now book tables at thousands of restaurants in the country directly through Google Search, Google Maps, or Google Assistant.
The new feature is the result of South African company Dineplan’s reservations management software being integrated with Reserve for Google.
This allows users to see live availability at many popular restaurants, and book directly via Google by hitting the “Reserve a Table” button under the Business Profile of a restaurant.
This opens up a page which allows the user to input the party size, date, and time for a reservation. They can then select a suitable available time slot, with options provided in the various areas of the restaurant.
Dineplan said Reserve with Google will help consumers plan their week and stay notified about their booking through Google Calendar, Gmail, and via their devices.
The Dineplan mobile app can also be used to cancel, confirm, or change their instant booking.
Dineplan director Martin Rose said the feature presented a convenient and efficient way for diners to make bookings and is great news for South Africa’s restaurant industry.
“This will be hugely beneficial for restaurants as the convenience of booking online will help to drive more bookings and people into restaurants, all of which comes at a difficult period for restaurants in general with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rose.
Dineplan’s network currently consists of 2,000 restaurants across the country.
The company originally developed back-end software for restaurants to use as their electronic reservation book, and later enabled instant bookings to diners via the Dineplan booking widget on restaurant clients’ websites.
It also offers a mobile app to enable diners to make instant or request bookings at restaurants from their smartphones.
More than 300,000 bookings are currently made at these restaurants through Dineplan – 30% of which are made online.
We searched for popular restaurants in our area on Google and found the new Reserve for Google functionality worked with popular night-time restaurants such as Salsa Mexican Grill, Turn ‘n Tender, The Fireroom, The Grillroom and Sushi Bar, and Lupa Osteria.
A screenshot of the feature provided by Dineplan also showed it was supported by La Colombe and one of Johannesburg’s most acclaimed restaurants – Marble.