Covid-19 changed the way restaurants do business, especially accepting table reservations. Here are easy ways for restaurant management to manage restaurant table ordering reservations.
The covid-19 pandemic has changed the way the food and hospitality industry business opportunity operates, and technology is becoming increasingly ubiquitous in the restaurants’ management systems. In the past, most restaurants had a ‘first come, first serve’ walk-in policy, which wasn’t always ideal. Oftentimes, it resulted in frustration for both the customers and the owners as there would be long queues and waiting time, thereby leading to unhappy customers. Most people now prefer to pre-book their tables, and the ongoing pandemic requires restaurants to adhere to social distancing measures.
Contactless methods of ordering and payment are becoming increasingly popular, and restaurants need to find a way to maximize their revenue while operating within a limited capacity and service hours. That is where an efficient restaurant reservation management system can help. Organized and efficient restaurant reservation management can boost your revenue and table turn-over. However, if incorporated incorrectly, you might end up with a lot of empty tables, lost profits, and unhappy customers. Here are some of the easy ways that will help you manage your restaurant’s reservations.
Ditch the Old Paper and Pen
Taking notes using paper and pen is an old traditional method, and you might be tempted to use it for restaurant reservations given its ease of accessibility. However, older doesn’t always mean better and as technology has drastically improved with the way restaurants manage their reservations, it would be unwise to stick to paper and pen. There is also a greater chance of error when recording information via phone call, and it also is time-intensive. Moreover, you wouldn’t have access to analytics that most modern restaurant reservation systems provide which let you analyze your peak hours, table availability and provide you a greater insight into your customers’ demographics and needs. Also, there is a greater chance for paper notes to be misplaced and you can lose valuable information about your customers, including their contact details.
Website Online Reservation System
If your restaurant is popular, then building an online reservation system on your own website will be helpful, as it allows you to bypass third-party commission charges. You will have full control over the bookings and can streamline and customize the entire process according to your needs. The only downside is that unless your restaurant is already a crowd-favorite, you will face issues with the discoverability of your restaurant.
Customers prefer to book online as they are able to access all the information they need on your website, and they can book anytime from anywhere. This is also more convenient for social introverts who might appreciate not having to speak to someone to make reservations. Given the convenience of online reservations, you might want to incorporate the system on your website.
Use Third-Party Apps and Software
Using third-party apps can help your business by increasing the visibility of your restaurant on their platform. By utilizing their existing user base, you can improve your own discoverability and in turn revenue. In exchange for an efficient and comprehensive software that manages your restaurant’s reservations, you will be charged a certain fee each month. However, using third-party apps takes out much of the work required for you to boost sales and discoverability, they’ve worth the money.
The covid-19 pandemic has also made contactless ordering methods popular to limit physical interaction and slow down the spread of the virus. So, you might want to consider checking out restaurant table ordering systems. These allow for greater accuracy and efficiency in taking orders and ensure a better customer experience. You will also gain more insight into your diner’s purchasing behavior, as well as their likes and dislikes which can help you provide better, customized service.
Place Time Limits
By placing time limits on your reservations, you can make sure that the table can be given to another available customer, in case the booked party doesn’t show up on time. Unfortunately, no-shows or customers not turning up after making reservations can lead to a significant loss of revenue, and in order to avoid that, you need to have an effective ‘no-show strategy’ in place. By communicating to the customer about your time-limit policy, you will not only encourage punctuality but will also be better able to make use of the reserved empty table in case the customer doesn’t show up on time. You can also request a booking deposit at the time of reservation but it can also deter some customers, so think wisely before using this option.
Research Average Dining Time Per Table
Before you even set a restaurant reservation system in place, you need to do thorough research on your restaurant’s average dining time per table. You will also need to know how many tables you have available, and about your restaurant’s peak hours so you can organize your reservations accordingly. For instance, if you get more walk-ins at a particular time of the day, this can affect the number of reservations you can take at that particular time.
Restaurant management software programs can be especially helpful in this as they provide you real-time analytics and can help you decide how far to space your reservations in order to provide optimum experience.
Assign a Specific Employee to Run the Management System
Whether you’re using the old pen and paper method or an online platform to manage your restaurant’s reservations, consider assigning a specific employee for each shift for the task. This can help you streamline the process which helps in avoiding overbookings and losing reservations.
Send Email and SMS Reminders
Many restaurant management software programs come with an inbuilt email and SMS reminders that can be sent to the customers to remind them of their reservation. This can help you tackle the problem of ‘no-show’ customers. While sending reminders may not entirely eliminate no-shows, but it can significantly reduce the number.
While managing restaurant reservations might seem like an additional task to already overburdened restaurant managers and owners, these tips can help you streamline the process. Moreover, due to the ongoing pandemic, online bookings and reservations are here to stay. Restaurant reservations can be beneficial to your business, as these promote better organization by alerting your staff about your customer needs beforehand. It also provides a better customer experience as there will be no more waiting time. By using these strategic tips, you can effectively manage your restaurant’s reservations and boost your revenue.