Finally, restrictions are being gradually lifted and more businesses are reopening and ready to serve customers at their premises, including restaurants.
Customers have waited for quite a long time to enjoy a meal or a gathering at their favorite restaurant.
But the pandemic has completely changed our world and our way of doing business, maybe forever.
Therefore, health measurements should be still taken including social distancing that affects the number of customers in your dining area.
It became essential to notify restaurants before showing up at their door.
Restaurant reservations guarantee your place at your favorite spot and take into consideration your safety as a top priority.
No wonder that restaurants are choosing a reservation software that is integrated in their POS when fully reopening their dining areas.
Reservation software gives you full control on the guests’ flow and monitors the capacity of your restaurant.
What is a reservation software?
A reservation software is a software that allows waiters and waitresses to make and update reservations, seat guests and change floor plan on the fly.
It might work standalone as well as integrated with the POS saving communication among staff and reducing human errors like the Hoster offered by BIM POS.
What are the benefits of a reservation software?
Whether you are following strict guidelines or not, you need to manage your reservations.
As a restaurateur, you don’t want overlapping reservations or under-booking /overbooking.
You want your guests to enjoy a delightful experience without any problems.
You can use the software to set a certain limit to the numbers of guests at a certain time.
For example, if you want to follow the health restrictions of 50 or 70% capacity at your restaurant and the restaurant capacity is 10 tables.
You change the floor plan of your restaurant to 5 tables or 7 tables only and automatically the number of maximum guests at a certain time will be amended.
Without any restrictions, the floor plan is set to 10 tables so you can make reservations for the allowed guests on each table preventing over or under-booking .
Floor plan management
Another challenge added with Covid-19 where restaurants have to continuously alter their floor plan to abide by the health restrictions enforced.
Beside the imposed restrictions, you might have a certain celebration at your restaurant that requires a total change of floor planning.
Tables might be set differently to accommodate more guests.
But, don’t worry.
A reliable reservation software gets your back and does the job for you.
You change your floor plan on the reservation software and automatically the number of guests is affected so your staff can make the reservations for that event accordingly.
Customized reservations upon guests’ requests
Satisfying your customers is a very important and wide process. It has different aspects and it begins with choosing the right spot at their favorite restaurant.
Taking reservations over the phone and writing down their preferences is hectic especially with different shifts.
Guests might choose to dine outdoors while others at the end of the restaurant. Some of them might request an additional chair. All this can be easily managed with your reservation software.
Reducing the number of no-show
Totally eliminating the no-show number is impossible. Using a reservation software reduces no-shows in different ways though.
First, the waiters or floor managers can easily remind customers of their reservations through sending them emails or text messages or sometimes calling them for confirmation.
Second, this follow-up with expected guests helps you identify any cancellations to fill in their spots to avoid underbooking and ensure the maximization of your revenues.
POS integration and enhanced communication
With a POS integrated reservation software, communication among the front of house and back of house employees is well maintained and managed.
Kitchen staff know exactly what to expect when they know the reservations made and the number of expected guests.
Easier and more efficient reporting
With the changes occurring during Covid-19, customers’ behavior has changed.
Keeping a track of your customers is very important as well as keeping a record of returning guests.
This operation is easily performed with the reservation software.
You can also track how many people are coming and when.
By doing so, you are monitoring your business and its performance to apply any needed changes.
You might find out that people don’t visit you at a certain time when you check your reservations.
You may want to offer your customers a certain discount or have a happy hour during those times to encourage them to come to your restaurant at those targeted times enhancing your revenues.
You can also monitor customers who didn’t return for a second or third visit.
Your staff might call them to identify the reason, or you might send them text messages with new offers.
You can also track returning customers through their recurring reservations to give them special offers or create reward programs for them.
Reopening restaurants after a period of closure and with imposed restrictions isn’t the easiest thing to do.
Luckily, technology used at restaurants has made operations way simpler and much more convenient.