Why Reservations are Beneficial for Restaurants is easily explained in one short sentence. The phrase “Open Table” is a much hated term in the direct catering industry, and a solution must be every restaurant managers top priority. “Open Table” refers to an empty table in the dining room. This applies equally to all types of restaurants, cafes and hotels that accept casual diners, not just reservation only restaurants.
The fact that these businesses pay up front for rent, electric, utilities, and food, any seat left unfilled is a loss of profit. These are all fixed costs, since these bills don’t lower depending on how many customers they get per day. In order to help reduce the number of open tables in a restaurant and maximize table turnover more restaurants began taking reservations. Rising costs mean that it was no longer just the prerogative of Fine Dining establishments. Even for mid priced restaurants it pays to limit the waiting time for customers, and minimise table turn around times.
Here are some ways restaurant reservations are beneficial to owners, staff, and customers.
Restaurant management gain a better idea of how busy a night will be. Whether or not a restaurant will have a dinner rush with open tables is an unknown constant. Taking reservations will give owners a better idea of how busy or quiet their nights will be. If in fact, they have a low number of reservations, this will give them enough time to arrange a special to promote on Messenger, by SMS and social media accounts, thus encouraging customers to come out and spend money.
Chefs can plan their food preparation and staffing levels according to the level of bookings. If the reservation schedule is showing that they’re going to be packed, chefs and kitchen staff will have fair warning and be prepared for an incoming rush at a specific time. Hostesses taking the reservations, and seating walk-in customers, will also be able to space the seating times out enough so that the kitchen doesn’t get orders arriving all at once.
Reduce diners waiting times. Not only are restaurant reservations beneficial to owners and kitchen staff, but they help make the dining experience for customers more enjoyable. When a party books a table for 6:00 p.m. on a Friday, they can expect to be seated pretty close to that time, reducing their wait. Remaining on top of reservations and getting guests seated as closely to their time slot as possible will result in happy customers that are sure to return!
So how do restaurants, and other catering establishments tackle the table booking problem?
Top end restaurants and other fine dining establishments can tie in with online portals such as OpenTable or EatIGo. These more expensive meals can absorb the, often high, cost per diner of these booking systems.
Let’s look at the options of the mid-range restaurants, cafes and hotels and why Reservations are Beneficial for Restaurants
What’s needed is a system that is convenient for your customers to use. You must be able to collect the bookers email, for written confirmation and follow up. The bookers mobile telephone number would also be very useful so you can call and confirm on the day of the reservation. It would also be very handy to be able to provide a location map and directions for new customers. You should be able to simply integrate any system with your appointments diary and email autoresponder.
Anything I’ve missed?
Oh yes, of course this system must be linked directly from your website and Facebook page, even your Instagram account. It could be connected to a Whatsapp account vis the mobile phone number provided, as well as an SMS account. There must be a “Click to Call” feature so that the customer can call you without dialling.
Obviously it should be available 24/7 and be fully automated.
Restaurants should be able to advertise the system with direct connection on Facebook ads and, literally, anywhere else, both online and offline, using QR Codes. You should also be able to retarget anybody who has connected with any part of the system to ensure that they are followed up efficiently.
It must be able to use an app currently in your customers smartphone. Most people nowadays are wary of downloading more apps, and seldom use the apps they already have.
Novelty soon wears off, convenience always prevails.
I’m sure that there are many more reasons why Reservations are Beneficial for Restaurants that are not covered in this article. We need to cut to the chase and suggest the one single method that complies with all the requirements we have listed so far.
Our suggestion is Messenger, from Facebook.
For a demonstration click on the QR code above, or the link Here.
To find out more about our Three Months FREE Trial Offer click here.
To your successful restaurant reservation system,
If you have any comments on this post, suggestions as to what I may have missed, or want to book an appointment to discuss Messenger Marketing as it applies to your business, please fill out the form Here.