Restaurants are facing new challenges every day as they reopen during COVID-19. One of the biggest ones is managing the number of guests inside your eatery. This issue can be handled through the use of mobile technology.

In fast-paced environments such as restaurants, technology is crucial to the guest experience. It’s improving core operations such as online reservations and ordering. At this time, restaurants need to ensure they are safely maximizing operations. Even with limits on capacity operators are thinking about their bottom line. One way to help reach this certainty is through a table management system. Another is the mobility of table-side ordering. Both are beneficial to guests’ safety and adapting to the challenges of reopening.

Operators can access all this right from an iPad. Applications make it accessible for restaurants to expand their business through mobile tablets. In this blog post, we’re going to go over the value of these two types of mobile technology and why they’re important.

The Benefits of a Table Management System

A table management system is a key to creating flow in your restaurant. The first thing a guest does is either make a reservation or put their party on the waitlist, right? This process should be easy and accessible in many ways. With a table management system, your restaurant can do this and so much more.

The benefits of this kind of software will help you manage limits on capacity and guest flow. Let’s go over some of the perks and how they help in the post-COVID era.

Here are 3 features of a table management system:

Accept Reservations Online Or By Phone

Did you know that there has been a 20% boost in reservations since restaurants opened after COVID?  Right now, reservations are essential to consumers when looking to dine out. Give your guests access to this with an online reservation system.

According to OpenTable’s data, 48% of reservations are made the same day or within 90 minutes. With an online reservation system, it’s easy for customers to book directly online. Some of the most popular reservation systems are OpenTable, Yelp, and Guest Manager.

Find a step by step guide to adding reservations and updating your restaurant technology here.

Reservations provide consumers a sense of relief as this new way of dining shapes out. It helps them avoid crowded waiting areas but allows them to inch their way back into dining.

Minimize No-shows & Walk-aways

There’s no time to wait! Every empty table in your restaurant is costing you money. Avoid this by being able to reach your guests where they communicate the most – on their phones. Having a mobile-first mindset will help you capture your guests online.

Consumers want to get on a remote waitlist now more than ever. They want flexibility. You can offer this to them with an online waitlist management system. This would allow them to “get in line” virtually and avoid waiting in person. Having a set time to dine will allow them to reduce contact time with others while waiting.

One issue with accepting reservations is dealing with no-shows. Everything counts right now and you have to do your best to prevent this. An online reservation system will remind and ask guests to confirm at least a day in advance. 

This technology can help your hosts provide the most accurate wait times. Inaccurate wait times is one of the top reasons customers walk away from restaurants. Reach your guests by automated calling and text as soon as their table is ready.

View All Tables At Once

Depending on the size of your restaurant, it could be difficult to see all your tables from the host stand. With the iPad though you’re able to see all your tables at once. It’s a digital floor plan of the whole restaurant in your hands.

Learn how to optimize and create your restaurant’s floor plan here. 

You can know the status of every table with a table management system. From afar you can track where each table is at. For example, you can change indicators to check dropped, or needs bussing. This way you can suitably plan where the next reservation or waitlist party is going.

It’s important to remind hosts that it’s a good habit to consistently do table status updates. Not updating the statuses properly can affect the flow of the whole night. Guest Manager integrates directly with our POS so real-time status is always ready.

The Benefits of Table-side Ordering

The rise in mobile technology has allowed us to better engage with customers. One of the ways this is done is through utilizing table-side ordering.

Here are 3 advantages to table-side ordering:

Speed of Service

The faster your staff can turn tables, the more guests you can serve, the more money you can make. Though you don’t want to rush your guests, table-side orders will increase the speed of service. This is also effective in reducing dining times to helps lower risk exposure to COVID.

Having access to take orders right at the table and send them to the bar or kitchen saves useful time. There are many instances where servers get backed up and can’t make it to the stationary POS. With a table-side POS, servers can input all orders at the table before moving on to another.

Improve Order Accuracy

Another benefit to inputting orders in real-time is improving the accuracy of them. There’s less room for mistakes when servers are inputting orders as they’re given. Traditional pen and paper can be messy when servers are in the weeds. They get to the POS and can’t read anything they’ve written or don’t remember special requests.

A table-side POS will help reduce server mistakes and order errors.  Servers will also have the most up-to-date menus in their hands so they can inform guests of any menu changes. This can help prevent customer frustration of 86’d items and errors.

Increases Safety

The National Restaurant Association notes that table-side ordering will improve business after COVID-19. Processing payments at the table cuts down on the need for paper and pens which are havens for germs.

Table-side ordering also increases the safety of your staff. If each server has its own assigned tablet, there’s no need to share POS screens. The tablet can be quickly sanitized after a guest payment and then remain clean. It’s the more sanitary and faster option for all.

Find your solution

Enhance your operations and your guest’s experience all with mobile technology. Serve more customers and boost revenue with table management and table-side ordering.

Our guest management system, Guest Manager, and table-side POS, OrderPad were created for this. Guest Manager can help your restaurant optimize your reservation process. You can handle your waitlist, reservations, and table statuses all in one application.

Complement this with OrderPad to turn tables faster and handle your peak rushes. Both of these systems easily integrate directly with CAKE’s POS system. Restaurant technology is a new reality after COVID. It’s going to support your guests’ safety and improve your bottom line. Get set up with the right mobile technology today and grow your business.