It’s an exciting tech world we live in! Do you want to cuddle with someone tonight? There is an app for that. Or wondering when you’ll need to pee when watching a super interesting movie? There is an app for that too. This article isn’t about cuddling or movies, but you get the point - there’s an app for pretty much anything you want to do nowadays. So it’s no surprise that the restaurant reservation system helps with reservations in the restaurant industry.
The restaurant industry, like the movie and “cuddling” industries, is also turning to this app trend. Hence, competitive restaurants bring food and restaurant experiences to the fingertips of their diners through a restaurant reservation system. These systems allow perfect restaurant seating and enable your guests to choose a table at your establishment by clicking a button from the comfort of their homes (or wherever they find themselves).
Hence, people from both sides of the equation benefit - the staff, owners, and most especially guests. If you aren’t using the systems to manage restaurant reservations for your business, this post is for you. In this article, we cover all the basic information you need to know about today’s reservation systems, including how technology impacts reservations.
The Role of Technology in Restaurant Reservation
Parties like hostesses, managers, and other regular restaurant staff began table reservations by writing down names and time is record book, and taking phone calls. This method of reservation tables was time-consuming, error-prone, and ineffective. Workers who could be busy clearing tables had to devote time to picking calls taking notes.
Also, there was the advent of extra money that it would take owners to hire extra hands for these tasks. However, the technological advancement of recent years brought better internet connectivity; several companies saw the avenue to improve the way diners made restaurant reservations. As such, several companies developed restaurant reservation software to quicken the process and make things more convenient, both for guests and restaurant staff.
This is why a restaurant reservation system is so vital in the restaurant industry. In the end, this software paved the way for online restaurant reservations, which many restaurants offer through their websites. Online reservations are also available to several third-party sites, but that’s a discussion for another day. Based on factors like your staff, location, and traffic, this post can help you choose the best restaurant reservation system for your establishment.
When ready, we proceed to find out some essential benefits of a reservation system.
Benefits of a Restaurant Reservation System
In the restaurant business, you find a lot of lovely terms; the term “open-table” isn’t one of them. This is the term used to describe empty seats in any given restaurant. Usually, you pay upfront for expenses like restaurant entertainment, utilities, rent, food items, and electricity. Hence, any empty seats are money lost that the restaurant will have to account for. Because at the end of the day, you don’t pay the bills based on the number of people you sit.
Therefore, restaurateurs have prayed for a solution to the “open table” problem. And a restaurant reservation system did the trick. The systems helped maximize table turnover and speed up waiting time for customers by taking reservations.
Below are some ways the reservation system has benefited the customers, owners, and staff that use it.
Prep Cooks for the Rush
Through a reliable restaurant reservation system, you know your reservation schedule. Anytime you observe a lot of reservations, you know the place will be packed. The chef, waiters, and other kitchen staff won’t be taken off guard. Everyone will be ready for the coming rush. By the close of the day, both the staff and guests will be content. Perhaps this is the most important benefit, the smile it will leave on everyone’s faces.
Give Fair Warning of How Busy Nights Will Be
The uncertainty factor in the restaurant industry doesn’t allow you to know if you’ll have open tables during a dinner rush. However, by taking restaurant reservations, you do not only prepare for better restaurant management as the night progresses. Also, you get a fair idea of how silent or busy any specific night will turn out.
Plus, if you record a low number of restaurant reservations, the systems will enable you to anticipate this and prepare. There are creative ways of getting the customer to come out and spend money. You can launch a night special through social media or print something unusual on the menu that’s bound to bring in more diners.
Minimize Waiting Time
Apart from the obvious benefits, you can derive from the right restaurant reservation system; it also benefits your customers by making the dining experiences more memorable. The waiting time of customers is drastically reduced because they can expect to be seated pretty close to the actual time they book a table for.
Your customers will be even more happy with you if you can get them to sit as close to their time slot as possible. To do this, you need to be on top of your reservations, and the reservation system does this best.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Reservation System
As you might have guessed by now, a system that helps streamline your reservations requires some investment. As such, you need to research and make sure you’re making the right choice. We compile key factors you need to consider to ensure you’re getting good value for money.
These factors are:
Cost - Though this sits at the top of the list, it’s certainly not the most important. However, it is common to find two or more restaurant POS software systems with similar online reservation features. In these cases, the price becomes the determining factor.
Features - There are many essential features to look out for. But it’s better to begin by asking a few questions like; how does it help reduce no shows? Is the system easy to use? How does it help boost online restaurant reservations?
Portability - There are different types of systems out there. Some require specialized hardware installed at the hostess stand. Also, you can find others that support multiple devices and run whether you’re on or off the premises. These differences make a big difference. As such, you want to consider them.
The number of restaurant reservations systems out there are well, plenty! You can find one that caters to your needs and budgets. Hopefully, this article will help you make the best choice for your restaurant. However, if you desire a software and hardware solution with a comprehensive list of features, something that takes complete charge of your restaurant management, not just reservations, then a restaurant POS software is your best value for money. It does more than a dedicated restaurant reservation system and is also very budget-friendly. We recommend you check it out before making a final decision.