@SQBiz the restaurant currently does not have an electronic booking system - their booking is all done ‘old-school’, with pen and paper. They want to move onto a digital system, which will integrate directly with their website, so that website visitors can book online directly, without having to call, and without needing staff intervention. This means that the system needs to handle online bookings, phone bookings and ‘walk-ins’. The system also needs to do things such as work out table availability for parties of different sizes, and estimate when a table will be available again - allowing for multiple sittings in one shift. It must be multi-user savvy - different staff members need to be able to use at the same time - and must be able to work well on an iPad, which is probably what the hostess/concierge will have in hand as they welcome guests. The system needs to be able to send SMS and email reminders, and it is essential that guest/booking lists can be exported, so they can be used in email marketing campaigns (integration with MailChimp would be a bonus).
@jakobploen thank you for the tip about phpjabbers. I had a really good look at their script, and it does look interesting. Its main advantage is that it is much cheaper than all the other solutions I’ve come across. Its main disadvantage is that it is quite underpowered - it has no built-in reporting functions, no performance tracking, no client info and marketing data, and the interface is not as well-developed as the alternatives. Also, it requires the booking script to run in a sub-directory of the site’s domain. I don’t know how well that would work with Kirby, considering that Kirby takes over routing for all requests within its domain. I’m guessing it could possibly be worked out with custom routes, etc, but it may be a chore.
I would LOVE to find a booking script that I could instal on my own server - that would indeed be the ideal solution - so if you know of any others, please do let me know.
In the meantime, I have found a couple of cloud-hosted alternatives, which like MailChimp, can be integrated into an existing website via a customizable widget:
If anyone has experience with these or similar services, please do let me know. Are they reliable? Any caveats?