The year’s most awaited and well celebrated time is here! For restaurants, it is the perfect time to capitalize as dining out at their favorite restaurant is their go-to place during the holiday season. Though the holiday rush is surely going to surge your restaurant’s revenue and profits, it can be extremely disappointing for your customers if they don’t get good service amidst all the hassle. And this disappointed service can affect your restaurant’s reputation not only during the holiday season but after that as well.
While many customers prefer to reserve tables beforehand, the average number of no-shows for a normal restaurant also increases to around 15%. Empty tables mean lost sales. So how to prevent that? The key is to optimize your reservation processes and effectively manage the mix of walk-ins as well reservations. To help you out, we are sharing the tried and tested restaurant reservation tips that will help you capitalize the most during the busiest hours of the season.
Place Time Limits On Reserved Tables
While booking a reservation, communicate clear policies to your customers to avoid any confusion later. Clearly ask your guests to reach on time or risk losing tables after 15 minutes. If possible, send a reminder email or call them to confirm their reservation one hour prior.
Avoid Overbooking Your Tables
During peak hours, avoid overbooking and keep some tables free. In case of a high number of reservations, try to push them to a less popular time slot or add them to waitlist instead. A reservation management software lets you do this with utmost ease. It also helps you know your repeated diners, prevent overbooking, manage guest flow as well as your waitlist. This way, you can impress your regular walk-in customers with an instant service.
Never Say ‘No’ To Customers
No customer likes the ‘NO’ word. Instead of declining reservations, create a “Waiting List” with the help of reservation management software. As mentioned earlier, the number of no-show increases during busy hours. For diners looking to book a table during busiest hours, add them to the waitlist. This way, these diners may have to wait 15-20 mins, even if they arrive at their preferred reservation time, which might be less than the time taken for walk-in customers
Engage Your Walk-In Customers
The average wait time for a restaurant can vary. To avoid losing your customers, you can update them their wait time or queue number in real time. This way, instead of making them wait in a crowded area and making them more impatient, they can roam freely and come back once their table gets free.
The majority of restaurants still use handheld paper and pen to make reservations. During busy hours, the pen-paper system makes it difficult to update or organize reservations and wait times. Also, there is a huge risk of missing these sheets. With a digital reservation management software, you can have a versatile, reliable and easy system to manage reservations so that you can focus on other operations of your restaurants.