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How your booking system can ensure your tables are never empty

As a restaurateur, your objective will be to ensure that all your tables are filled with customers at all times. However, this is a mammoth task as even the busiest restaurants cannot fill all of their tables at times. Your tables may be empty because they were reserved or your customers cancelled their reservation. Sometimes tables are empty because your employees have made a mistake and have booked customers in for the wrong time. A computerised booking system will have the ability to fill up your empty seats.

How your booking system can ensure your tables are never empty

Overbooking on busy days

As a restaurateur, you may think that overbooking is a recipe for disaster. Overbooking could lead to your customers becoming angry as they are having to wait for a table even though they made a reservation. However, it is important to remember that not all of your customers will turn up which will lead to your tables being empty. You may think it is risky to overbook tables and hope that one of your customers do not turn up. A computerised booking system will give you the opportunity to predict the amount of cancellations based on data from other days. For example, you will be able to predict the amount of cancellations you will receive during 6-8pm on a Saturday by seeing how many cancellations you received on the previous Saturday. This gives you the ability to overbook tables without the risk of making your customers angry.

Waiting Lists

Do your customers wait a long time to be seated? As a restaurateur, it is crucial to understand that if you keep your customers waiting for a long period of time, they will leave your restaurant and may not return. When you use a booking system, you will be able to quickly calculate the waiting times for your customers and wil be able to put them on a waiting list. You can introduce an automated text message which will notify the customer when their table is ready for them. This will be extremely effective during peak periods as you will be able to tell your walk-in customers if a table will be available and when it will be available. If your staff were unable to tell your customers how long they would have to wait for a table, your customers may leave and eat at another restaurant. Without a computerised booking system, you will severely reduce the number of customers that you will receive.

Don’t leave reserved tables empty

Are your reserved tables empty? As a restaurateur, you will have the painful task of telling customers that there are no available tables even though your tables are empty. When your tables are reserved, it is important that you use them up until the time they are reserved for. If a table is reserved for 8pm, you should still seat customers at that table at 7pm. Without technology, seating customers at reserved tables can be risky business. However, a computerised booking system will enable you to seat customers at reserved tables without the danger of your customers becoming annoyed that they have to wait for their table. This shows a booking system will prevent you from having to reject customers and will prevent your tables from being empty for a long period of time. A computerised system will give you the ability to boost your sales.

Be able to take reservations during your busiest times

As a restaurateur, it is crucial that you are always able to take reservations even during your busiest times. You may have the fear of being overbooked due to being uncertain about how many customers will walk in to your restaurant or how long your customers will take to finish their meal. When you integrate your booking system with a WOWPOS system, you will be able to take reservations at any time. Your WOWPOS system will be able to tell you the average time your customers spend sitting at your table. This will enable your staff to know how many tables are free at all times which will enable your customers to be seated quickly.

Mobile Friendly

Can customers book a table online? During the recent years, a substantial number of consumers are using their mobile to browse your restaurant’s website and book a table in your restaurant. This will encourage more customers to book tables last minute. This will  significantly increase the number of customers you receive. As a restaurateur, it is vital that you use social media to promote your restaurant as many consumers will use their mobile phone to browse on social media. This will attract social media users to visit your restaurant which will increase the number of reservations you receive.

Discount

Do you offer discounts to your customers? As a restaurateur, you may struggle to receive bookings during your quiet periods. It is recommended for you to provide special offers to your customers as this will encourage them to book a table as they will not want to miss out on the deal. However, it is crucial that you do not lower your prices by a substantial margin as you may be unable to generate a sufficient profit.  Are you quiet during a certain period of the day? You will be able to increase the number of bookings you receive during a specified period of the day by offering a promotion for a limited time. For example, if you are quiet during lunchtime, you should offer customers a meal deal. This will encourage customers to visit your restaurant at lunchtime as they will not want to miss out on the deal. In order for you to lure customers into your restaurant, you must link your booking system with your marketing promotions.

Do you use a computerised booking system?

 

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