When planning to dine out, there are two ways to do it. Either show up in hopes of finding an empty spot or get a reservation in advance to secure a place. People these days, when planning for business or family dinners prefer to make reservations beforehand to avoid any chaos at the last minute.
Restaurant management is very important. Done right it earns you happy customers, good tips and ratings. Done wrong, it leaves empty tables, angry customers and bad ratings.
In this age of internet and mobile apps, the restaurant management system has revolutionized and led to happier customer experience and better service.
A Few of the Restaurant management systems are:
- Yelp Reservations
- Zomato Book
Then there are waitlist apps that help make waiting and managing more efficient. It makes easier to filter customer, send them texts and organize.
- Wait for Me
- On Cue
Despite the increase in walk-ins, the reservation system is still in frequent use by urbanites. 36% of the reservations are made online which shows this as the main medium for reservation.
Handling Reservations when Restaurant is Busy
It is important to manage the reservations efficiently as empty tables mean lost revenue. Not always relying on walk-ins it is important to use a mix of both walk-ins and reservations.
- Keep time on reserved tables:
Provide tables for reservation for a limited time so more revenue can be generated from a single table.
- Do not reserve all the tables:
Keep some tables for the walk-ins as well to entertain other customers who did not reserve.
- Using OWL (On waiting list):
As it can be hard to reserve a table at the accurate time for guests, rather than to turn the diners down completely, you can put them on a waiting list where they can wait 15 to 30 min after their preferred dining time.
Gather and Change Feedback
It is very important to know the preferences of your customers and provide them with better services. They can give tips to improve your service. And do not forget to take feedback from your employees because they are the eyes and ears of your business and their view is important.
You can make Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) surveys help to build good feedback forms with questions related to it.
You can also use online portals like social media and websites for feedback in the form of ratings and open it for the suggestion. And for those who don’t invest in social media and software, you can provide them with comment cards and put a suggestions box there.
Training Staff to Manage Reservations
- Make policies for large groups of people as they take longer to serve and occupy most of your dining area. Avoid serving large groups during busiest hours.
- Educate your staff to educate your customers. When your staff knows how your restraint functions best, they can explain customers better, making for them a pleasurable experience.
- Stay organized by not promising customers reservations when you don’t have one.
- Assign reservation manager for each shift, so there is no confusion
- Send customers reminders of their reservations
- Remember to be hospitable and don’t forget the human element.