It isn’t surprising that demand for online restaurant reservations is on the rise when statistics show the majority of us are spending more than 24 hours a week on our mobile devices. And for 1 out of 5 of us, that figure is even creeping beyond 40 hours a week.
As a result, the days of calling your local restaurant to book a favorite table could be coming to an end as the convenience of online technology becomes simply irresistible. According to Mintel’s latest report, more than half of Brits, for example, are more than happy to book online or use AI technology to assist with restaurant reservations.
But for some restaurateurs, online advantages might not yet be fully obvious. That’s why it’s worth exploring some of the key benefits of implementing an online reservation system:
6 Advantages of Online Restaurant Reservation Systems:
- Provide greater convenience for customers. You want nothing more than to make it as easy as possible for your customers to get a seat at the table. But there is nothing more frustrating for them than when they’re dreaming of their favourite meal and call to book – only to discover your phone is busy. Most don’t have the time to keep ringing or the patience to wait on hold, which means they’ll likely go somewhere else. Online booking – which only requires customers to provide a few details and tap book – helps avoid such potential loss of business.
- Reduce the risk of human error. With staff busily attending to current customers, it’s understandable that they sometimes might forget to write down all the details of a telephone booking they just answered or record it in the wrong book or on the wrong day. With online ordering, such mistakes are no longer a worry because customer bookings are uploaded directly to your restaurant reservation system in real time. Management can even be notified if any booking queries occur on the system, and these can be dealt with immediately to prevent problems.
- Keep hosts focused on the task at hand. Not only can an online table booking system help prevent against human errors, it can ensure staff members deliver the best service. It allows them to focus solely on the guests at hand and not worry about the distraction of tending to ringing phones.
- Optimize staffing. With an accessible, centrally stored reservation system, it’s easier than ever for management to be prepared for and predict rushes, providing proper staffing levels at all times to deliver exceptional service. It’s one of the best ways to keep customers happy and manage operational costs more effectively.
- Improve cancellation notifications. With online table reservations comes online cancellations. For some customers, the prospect of calling a restaurant to cancel a reservation is uncomfortable, leaving operators uninformed and turning away guests unnecessarily. But what if cancelling was as simple as clicking on the link of a booking reminder SMS? Just a few taps and everyone is happy. Your restaurant reservation system is automatically updated, notifying staff that a table is now available for walk-ins or future bookings.
- Capture customer information. Rewarding loyalty or keeping customers up to date with latest offers can be difficult when you have no means of capturing or storing guest details. Online booking provides an effective method for obtaining such information in a non-invasive, mutually beneficial fashion. Reward returning customers through a restaurant loyalty program that integrates seamlessly with your online restaurant reservation system.
If implementing an online restaurant reservation system is the next step in growing your restaurant, learn more about our restaurant POS systems or contact us today to learn more about the right solution for your business.