Customers may be relieved to hear your restaurant takes reservations, but on your end, you need to make sure your business is prepared to accommodate these bookings. By integrating new technology, you can enhance your reservations and provide more accurate wait times, while increasing the speed of table turns.
For example, with a restaurant reservation management platform, you can streamline the process and make sure every guest is satisfied. Simply utilizing a mobile waitlist system can decrease guest walkaways by up to 28%.
Let’s take a look at other key benefits seen when integrating this type of system to handle your reservations.
Reduce the Number of Walkaways
Some customers may make reservations days or even weeks ahead of time, but accidentally forget about their plans. Unfortunately, the average no-show rate is around 20%, which can lead to significant losses in an industry with such low profit margins (3-5%).
With a restaurant reservation management system, you can ensure that your customers are reminded by pinging them with text messages shortly before their reserved time. This can potentially reduce the number of no-shows and free up tables during busy hours.
Certain systems may also allow you to provide text updates to waiting guests, preventing walkaways during peak times. The average walkaway rate is about 20%, and over time, this can negatively impact your bottom line.
Manage All Reservations in One Place
What if your waitlist also showed your pre-booked reservations?
These days, there are reservation management systems that do just that – with no need for separate lists. With the right platform, you can combine your reservation list with your waitlist, giving you a better idea of table availability during peak hours.
In addition, you’ll be able to see which tables are pre-assigned to guests who made reservations ahead of time.
Sync Front and Back of House Operations
Synchronizing reservation management systems with point-of-sale systems helps to keep everyone on the same page as the front of the house. When these two systems are in sync, you can see the status of tables at any given time. For example, you’ll know when a check has been printed, a party has been seated, or a payment has been initiated. With this information, you can serve customers more quickly and efficiently, increasing the table turn rate.
A recent study discovered that 70% of restaurant customers who choose to leave instead of waiting do so permanently. Synchronizing your front- and back-of-house technology can ensure that you’re doing as much as possible to reduce waits, free up tables, and satisfy your loyal patrons.
Make Changes in Real Time
Today’s reservation management systems have features that make them useful for a number of applications. For instance, you can create interactive floor maps, eliminating the need to manually draw out a map for each shift.
Reservation platforms are also designed to accommodate on-the-fly adjustments. You can manage online reservations, walk-up reservations, and your wait list as it changes on a minute-to-minute basis – no need to write out everything by hand.
About 29% of restaurants say they still use a handheld paper to let customers know when their table is ready. Pen-and-paper systems cannot be adjusted on the fly to reflect updated wait times, and sheets are always at risk of going missing. With an all-in-one digital system, you can create a more versatile, reliable system for managing reservations.
In the end, you may be able to tackle several issues with this one solution, making it one of your most valuable business assets.
Whether you are looking for a way to organize your floor maps or combine your online and walk-up reservation lists, today’s software is designed to do it all.