How to Handle Restaurant Reservation Without the Headache

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Nidhi Raghuvanshi

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: May 20, 2021

If you are a restaurant owner or manager, you would know how difficult it is to run a restaurant.

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The main headache is to manage the mix between reservations and walk-ins. Customers either book a table to secure a spot in advance or show up randomly in hopes that they will get the table. 

Managers need to develop and maintain an efficient reservation system. Otherwise, it might lead to increased waiting time for customers, empty tables, and bleeding profits. And you don’t want a dissatisfied customer for your restaurant. 

So, how to handle the restaurant reservation process smoothly? The only solution is by embracing modern-day technology — restaurant reservation system. A restaurant reservation system is well-designed to take care of all aspects of a restaurant — table management, faster service, and more. 

Here are a few ways a Restaurant Reservation System can benefit you:

1. Helps You Manage Your Restaurant Efficiently

To begin with, a restaurant reservation software can help you with staff management. The software can help you determine the number of staff you will need each night based on your reservations. 

Besides, the reservation system allows your guests to make the booking online. As a manager, you will be able to pay more attention to floor activity rather than answering the phone. Not only that, but you will also be protected from overbooking and double booking. An effective restaurant management system syncs all your mobile, desktop, and call-in reservations in real-time. 

Or, in case a customer cancels the booking, the software will automatically update the system and open the reservation time for another customer. 

In short, the system ensures that you stay up-to-date about the availability of tables so that you don’t lose any customers. 

2. Provides a Better Customer Experience

Using a restaurant reservation system can help you provide better customer experience. For starters, customers can make reservations online 24/7 from any location. Did you know that 54% of customers like to make reservations online? 

Furthermore, the system contains a notification module that sends out automatic texts or emails to your customers. This alert notifications ensure that your customers don’t forget about their scheduled reservation time. 

The system also gives the options to choose their favorite table location, thereby increasing customer satisfaction. In fact, customer history is automatically saved, which enables you to create the best dining experience for your customers during their next visit.  

What’s more, you can leave a text message to diners on the guest waiting list when their table becomes available. Or, when you have walk-ins, you can check with the system and easily track which table is available. 

It all results in the smooth operation of your floor activity. The whole reservation process becomes a hassle-free experience for your customers, and they feel satisfied more than ever. The restaurant reservation system ensures that your customers have everything they are looking for at just the click of a button. 

How to Train Your Staff for an Efficient Reservation Process

Staff is the backbone of a restaurant. Wouldn’t you agree? 

Of course, a restaurant reservation system eases up the whole process of managing a restaurant. However, you can’t run a restaurant without a team of trained staff to attend to your customers. 

So, how do you train your staff? 

1. Teach Your Staff to Handle Customers

You need to educate your staff on how the restaurant functions so that they can impart the same knowledge to the customers. 

For instance, if a group walks in for lunch just before the kitchen’s closing time. Your waiter should let them know about the same. Your waiter can ask them to place the order before the closing time to provide the best service. 

2. Assign Designated Roles

For instance, don’t allow every staff to make a reservation. You can have a reservation manager during each shift so that it avoids the chances of any confusion or double booking. Also, make sure that no table is left unattended. To ensure that, assign waiters to every table so that no customers have to wait for their turn. In fact, it also helps you in knowing how much staff you will need to run smoothly. 

How to Prevent Empty Tables?

Your restaurant reservation system will help you effectively manage all your bookings. However, research shows that for a typical restaurant, the average rate of no-shows is 15%. That could hurt your business as empty tables mean no revenue. 

A restaurant depends on both walk-ins and early reservations. Now, to optimize your reservation process, here are a few tips that can help you effectively take care of table turnover. 

1. Don’t Reserve all Tables

The first tip is that you don’t want to book all your tables. Keep a couple of tables free during the busiest hours to allow some room for walk-ins. Your regular customers who show up unannounced will be happy to find a table available. 

Besides, it saves you from the embarrassment of overbooking, when two customers walk in at the same time. 

2. Have Time Limits on Reserved Tables

Your customer has made a reservation. So, how long do you wait for them before you give the table to another customer in waiting? 

You can’t wait forever for your customers to show up. The best thing to do is place time limits on reserved tables. Ask them to arrive on time, or they will lose their table after 10 mins. Communicate your reservation policies to your guests clearly to avoid any disappointment later. 

Parting Words

To meet the demand of your customers, it is worth implementing a restaurant reservation system. Your staff can easily take care of the needs of your customers; cooks can be informed, and be ready for customers when they arrive, and more. It all leads to a pleasant dining experience for your customers. 

But remember, there is always room for improvement. Take feedback from both your employees and customers. Employees are, after all, the eyes and ears of your business.

Understand your customers’ dining preferences and tailor your reservation process accordingly to serve them better.

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Passionate Digital Marketer & Software Analyst. I recognize the importance of interactive engagement in today’s world and works towards building a steady flow of relevant, user-oriented content to obtain high-rank placement in search engine results.

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