POS provider TouchBistro this week launched a reservation and guest management platform for restaurants that will compete with SevenRooms, Toast, and others.

Dubbed TouchBistro Reservations, the new platform integrates with TouchBistro’s existing POS system and offers restaurants better communication between the front and back of house, more channels for booking tables, and better data on customer preferences.

While Reservations works as a standalone app, when restaurants integrate it with TouchBistro’s POS, it creates a real-time connection between the front-of-house reservations system and the back-of-house POS. For example, when a server sends an order to the kitchen, the system not only tells the kitchen to start making the food, but also alerts the front of house of that table’s status. Same goes for when the food is served or a table pays a bill. Real-time status updates such as these make it easier for, say, the host to more accurately gauge wait times for other guests. The system also provides the kind of real-time data that’s become increasingly important for restaurants to have in order to better personalize the dining experience for customers: dietary preferences, customer spend, and even when a customer is a first-time guest at the restaurant.

Reservations also allows participating restaurant to accept bookings via Google Search and Maps, their own website, or TouchBistro’s own restaurant discovery app.

Reservations enters some crowded waters in terms of competition among guest-management platforms. NYC-based SevenRooms’ front-of-house-focused platform also offers deeper insights into customer data, and the company is currently testing a voice-tech layer s via Amazon Alexa. Toast’s platform — a mix of its own tech as well as numerous integrations with third-party partners — manages both front and back of house and includes hardware components. Square, Omnivore, and Resy are just a few more companies bringing various solutions to market to handle various aspects of restaurant guest management.

TouchBistro’s differentiation is the connection it provides between the front and back of house. As more tech enters restaurants, businesses increasingly look to solutions that make their operations more efficient without burdening staff with clunky devices or non-intuitive software. Having that seamless communication between what’s going on in the kitchen and dining room will be crucial going forward.

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