Online booking firm Livebookings has won deals to provide real-time reservations and online marketing services to both hospitality firm Whitbread and pub company Fuller's.
Whitbread will use the system in its restaurants nationwide, while Fuller's will use it in almost half of its managed sites.
In both cases, the companies are moving away from email request booking systems towards instant real-time reservations and confirmations, in response to customers' increasingly mobile and last-minute booking habits.
Fuller's has developed new websites that incorporate the Livebookings restaurant reservations tool, so that customers browsing its pub websites can book straight away. Fuller's will also use the Livebookings partner network to promote its pubs on over 300 dining out websites, including SquareMeal and Bookatable.com.
John Skinner of Fullers said: "Livebookings puts the customer at the heart of their experience, and recognises that a mobile optimised approach is paramount. It is an outlook that we share, and their keenness to integrate with our existing systems made Livebookings an ideal partner."
David Murdin, marketing director of Whitbread Restaurants, said: "With Livebookings, we can make the most effective use of the online channel, to drive restaurant bookings on our restaurant websites as well as at touch points with customer bookings at our Premier Inn hotels. That's why we felt Livebookings was the obvious choice for us."
Olivia FitzGerald, regional director of UK and Ireland for Livebookings, said: "With online bookings rising fast on desktop and mobile devices, the big pub and restaurant groups are leading the way in making sure customers can make reservations and see offers whichever way they wish. Research by Google shows that 67% of people expect to be able to book a restaurant online, and our own data has shown mobile bookings increasing by a massive 236% year on year. With the bespoke packages we have created for Fuller's and Whitbread, we hope to contribute to their continued success by delivering incremental revenue as a result of these growing trends."
By Neil Gerrard
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