simpleERB can now generate bookings straight from Google, as we have partnered and developed the integration with Reserve with Google.
Reserve with Google enables customers to discover and book a wide range of table bookings for restaurants directly from Google Search, Google Assistant, and Google Maps all via booking buttons.
With Google Maps fast becoming a new booking platform for locals and travellers alike, this will give your restaurant greater exposure to new customers that current website and social media booking widgets are missing out on.
This makes the booking experience for the customer seamless as they don't even have to leave the Google page they are on to make a booking with you.
Unlike bookings made via other booking collective platforms, these types of bookings cost you nothing and show the customers live availability straight from your simpleERB diary. The bookings cover amount will just be deducted from your allocation as it is for all other booking types.
Important: Please note the integration is not a live feed and any availability changes made in simpleERB are only passed to the Google integration for 31 days availability, once per day at 11:30pm GMT and is live on Google from 1:30am GMT.
If your restaurant has limited availability, high cover bookings or you often make changes on a daily basis to your diary’s booking availability in your settings, unfortunately, it might not be suitable to have the Google integration enabled. This could potentially cause customer booking issues and confusion.
You can still take bookings from Google without using the integration by adding your simpleERB widget link to your Google Business Profile. The widget is taken from your live booking diary. See how to apply this here.
How does it work?
When a customer searches Google for your restaurant or happens upon it in a Google Maps search, they are presented with booking buttons as per the sample images provided below. Customers don’t need a Gmail account to book, anyone can book through the feature.
The customer is then shown the booking calendar, just like the example below. This is integrated from your simpleERB reservation system, which then allocates the booking made through Google into your diary to a table as per your setting specifications.
How do I set this up?
Setting up this feature is easy and you can quickly disable it if not required for any reason. Your Reserve with Google will be auto-enabled from the time of launch, you can enable/disable it at your leisure.
In your simpleERB settings, under the booking widget section, you will find, Reserve with Google Bookings.
You just need to ensure the contact and address details of your restaurant are correct, along with your location's latitude and longitude coordinates. Select the 'enable' option and then click to save the settings.
We strongly suggest setting up both Reserve with Google features of adding a Google booking cancellation policy and adding any important messages customers should be aware of when booking. For example; payment/card capture rules, to book direct if looking for a special menu/offers and to highlight booking requests may not be able to be guaranteed.
As Google bookings can be modified by customers (date/time/covers), a set Google cancellation policy prevents customers from being able to modify or cancel the booking once they are outwith the policy cancellation time. If the customer attempts either action they will be notified to call the restaurant directly. We recommend setting the cancellation policy to at least 1 day to prevent any issues that could be caused due to it not being a live availability feed.
Will the payment and card capture rules apply to bookings coming from Reserve with Google?
Our team has been able to allow Google bookings to request a payment or card capture depending on the rules set in place but be aware, this will not be requested until the customer completes the booking. This method is different to the current enforced rule used when an online widget booking is placed.
Customers will receive an email with a secure link to supply the requirements. If the customer does not supply these by the rules specified due date, the booking will be automatically cancelled in your diary. This now means Google bookings will still require a payment/card capture as per your rules and are not confirmed in the diary until supplied.
If you have payment/card capture rules in place, we strongly advise you to include that these apply to bookings in the Google booking message and have set up a Google cancellation policy here so customers are clear on your booking policy and requirements when placing this via Google.
Will simpleERB special booking offers appear to customers?
If you have any special selectable or enforced booking offers setup in simpleERB, these available time slots will still appear to the customer, however, the booking offer requirements will, unfortunately, be bypassed and a normal standard booking will be made in your simpleERB diary. The customer will not be made aware or given the opportunity to make a selection. This is a feature Google, unfortunately, does not offer.
Do I need to register with Google My Business in order to have this feature available?
You don’t need to register or claim your Google My Business profile to have access to this feature. All you require is your simpleERB details to match the Google maps location for your restaurant.
How can I register or customise a Google My Business page?
To find out how to add, customise or claim your business profile on Google, please click here.
Please be aware, if your restaurant is a part of a hotel that uses Reserve with Google to book accommodation, you will need to register a separate profile just for your restaurant.
Is this feature available in my country?
Google say: “Reserve with Google is currently not supported in all countries. The feature is currently supported in; United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, France, Singapore, Germany, Italy, India, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Spain, and the Netherlands.”
Please see Google’s list here for the latest update of supported countries.
Will my simpleERB booking rules and restrictions apply to the Reserve with Google availability?
Your simpleERB booking rules will follow the Reserve with Google booking availability, however, Google has a max booking size limit of 10 covers. This will also include any table back by messages you have set.
As mentioned, the feature will only offer customers advance booking availability of 31 days. The integration is not a live feed and any availability changes made in simpleERB are only passed to the Google integration once per day at 11:30pm GMT and is live on Google from 1:30am GMT.
Is the Google booking integration suitable for my restaurant?
If your restaurant has limited availability or you often make changes on a daily basis to your diary’s booking availability in your settings, unfortunately, it might not be suitable to have the Google integration enabled. This could potentially cause customer booking issues and confusion.
You can still take bookings from Google without using the integration by adding your simpleERB widget link to your Google Business Profile. See how to apply this further down in the article.
Will customers receive the booking confirmation email and reminder set up in simpleERB with the customised messages?
A customer will receive the simpleERB booking confirmation along with any reminder emails or SMS you have set up. Cancellation emails are also actionable.
Google will also generate a basic booking email and cancellation email that is sent to customers. These emails are unfortunately not customisable and cannot be prevented from being sent to customers. They also send a booking change email when a bookings cover or time changes along with a follow up ‘Post-dining’ email.
Customers can edit/cancel the Google booking or cancel the booking via the simpleERB notifications.
Can customers modify Google bookings?
Google allows customers to modify and change their bookings; date, time and covers prior to the date of the booking. Any modifications to the booking will be updated in the simpleERB diary and recorded on the customers booking place notes for you to view.
As customers can modify their Google bookings, it's important to add a cancellation policy so the customer can no longer cancel or make changes when it enters the cancellation period without directly contacting the restaurant.
What customer booking information is captured?
The booking information requested for the customer is; ‘First Name’, ‘Surname’ ‘Telephone Number’, ‘Email’ and ‘Special Requests’. Customers will be given the opportunity to add in a comment box any special requirements.
Customers are unable to optin for marketing preferences, therefore, all bookings will be recorded as opted out in the customer booking place.
It will be recorded if the customer has booked as follows; Source - Google Maps Booking Date/Time placed. You can also view in your Booking Source report here, the percentage of bookings that are being generated through Reserve with Google.
Please see the Google Privacy and Terms to find out what Reserve with Google do with your customer's data.
Can I still generate bookings through Google without the RESERVE integration?
Yes, Google has recently made changes to allow once again, the previous feature of pasting your simpleERB URL widget into your Google My Business profile. This links directly to your live widget availability.
This could also be a suitable option for your restaurant if it is situated within a hotel and your hotel's Google my Business already has a 'Book a Room' Google reservation integration.
To apply this;
Sign in to your Google Business Profile, then click to edit the URLs section.
Under the Reservations URL option, paste in your simpleERB booking link URL highlighted in the setting here within the widget URL box and click 'apply' to update.
Disable the Google integration here in your simpleERB account.
An example of the widget URL format is; https://www.simpleerb.com/XXX/yourrestaurantname/
If you can’t see the Reservations URL option in your Google profile, you may need to update your primary business category to ensure its listed as a restaurant, click here for more information
Take note, it could take Google up to three days to approve the change and update the link to be visible.
*We currently integrate with the following payment providers to securely process and manage the payment process; Stripe, RMS and takepayments. Please be aware that the payment provider will charge you a transaction service fee on all payments processed.