Restaurant Reservations 1.0 released!

Today I released my new WordPress plugin to take restaurant reservations and table bookings online.

I’m really proud of this release. The plugin has gone through a careful development process to ensure it’s easy to use and manage. The initial release includes only the features you really need to take bookings and reservations through your WordPress website. Several components were conceived, written, thrown out and rewritten again to make sure that it’s as simple as possible. When you’ve got a bustling restaurant floor, the last thing your staff needs is a difficult-to-use system interrupting their work flow.

Here’s what went into the design decisions.

Be useful, not intrusive

Restaurants still get most of their table reservations over the phone. If you run a restaurant or cafe, you’ve already got a working system that your staff know how to use. Maybe that’s online, maybe it’s done with pen-and-paper. Either way, you need your website reservations system to work with what you’ve already got.

Restaurant Reservations is designed to work with what you’re already doing. You’ll receive email notifications whenever a request is made. Simply click on a link in that email to confirm or reject the booking. All you need is a smartphone at your maitre’d’s desk. A color-coded bookings table lets you see requests that need to be confirmed or closed at-a-glance.

rtb-1.0-bookings

Easily manage schedules

Restaurants have a wide variety of open schedules. Some are open multiple times a day and there are always holidays when you need to close. I made it as easy as possible to set up a schedule for when to accept bookings and when to let people know you’re closed.

rtb-1.0-scheduler

Customization

You can easily customize the notification emails through your WordPress admin panel. If you’re a developer, I’ve gone even further and added extensive actions and filters so that you can customize and extend this plugin to fit your needs. Are you a theme designer? Easily replace the default booking form with any HTML output you’d like. Are you a plugin developer? You can hook in to add custom notifications, extend the bookings data and more. Submit issues and pull requests for Restaurant Reservations on GitHub.

rtb-1.0-notifications

 

Restaurants Plugin Suite

With the release of Restaurant Reservations and Food and Drink Menu, I’ve now got the two main components of my restaurants plugin suite. I plan to add plugins for handling reviews and restaurant profile details (opening hours, maps and contact details) that will work closely with the other plugins.

If you’d like to know when these become available, follow me on Twitter or Google+.

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