Due to staff shortages, supply chain issues, and a handful of other things, it’s become nearly impossible to get into any restaurant without a reservation these days.
That being said, it’s crucial for your reservation system to be on point. There’s no better way to do that than to create an automated reservation system. You can do this directly through your website, or you can use many of the third-party sites and apps readily available to you on the web.
Having a set online reservation system makes it easy for you to manage your reservations. You can send text messages or emails to your guests to confirm their reservations and make any modifications.
Personally, my suggestion would be to use a third-party site like OpenTable, Resy, or Yelp, only because customers earn points through these sites when they complete a reservation and can redeem these points for rewards (which is a great incentive for them to come back). They’re just a great universal tool that most consumers use to book all of their reservations.
When you give your customers a reliable reservation process, you show them that trust and certainty they want when choosing a restaurant to dine at. Having a paper trail is a great way to ensure they can always count on you when planning a night out.
Most consumers appreciate a confirmation text or email, just so they’re not worried their reservation has been taken or cancelled. You can send them reminders leading up to their reservation day/time. Maybe even personalize this process with a text message using their name and go a step above and include a PDF link to your menu! Guests appreciate building a personal relationship with the staff at the restaurants they frequent.
If your establishment for whatever reason doesn’t take reservations or, if a guest is looking to come in last minute, we have a solution for that too. Online waitlists! These can also be done through a third-party site. 82% of consumers are more likely to eat at a restaurant if they can add themselves to a waitlist ahead of time. This is a fairly new trend I suggest hopping on ASAP.
Moral of the story is, if you want diners, create a reliable online reservation system. Nobody wants to pick up the phone and call to make a reservation these days, and I’m sure you don’t have the staff to answer phone calls all day anyway when you’re slammed with orders.
Utilize technology and streamline that reservation process to make things easier for both your guests and your staff.