Just as technology has slowly permeated into every sphere of the industry today, it has also now made its way to the restaurant business, where it is mostly used by owners to manage and track reservations made by guests. Though this job was traditionally done by human employees attending phone calls and writing down the reservations in a planner book, there can be no denying that giving up this task to technology has had some astounding benefits for the industry, saving quite a lot of labor time and costs.
So where do ONLINE reservation systems fall in all of this?
But first, why are reservations so useful?
Reservations are a great practice followed at almost all restaurants in the world since they benefit everyone associated with the restaurant industry, from the owners to the employees, to even the customers. Reservations give the management a sense of how busy the day will be, and in the short term helps their staff prepare for a busy day, while in the long term it gives the management a sense of how popular his restaurant is and helps him think up ways to attract more customers especially on nights that are less busy to boost sales. For the customers, on the other hand, reserving seats ensures they’ll be served at their desired time instead of having to wait if they were walk-in customers instead.
But there a lot more benefits taking this process online…
Having your customer’s reserve seats online may seem like a deal that mostly for their benefit. After all, they no longer have to make phone calls or interact with employees to reserve seats but can get the task done 24/7 and in just a couple of clicks. However, the restaurant will benefit too, since moving the system online will make it easier to manage, accept or reject bookings requested by clients and reduces the time you lose on taking phone calls for reservations.
Nevertheless, how do you get started on online restaurant reservations?
Third Party reservation sites
A popular method of getting started with online reservations is to get yourself registered on third party reservation sites. The benefit of doing so is that since these sites already have a huge customer base that uses them as a search-engine-of-sorts for finding open tables at restaurants, your outreach is instantly increased. They also offer other neat features like planning calendars, a full booking system, etc. However, if their system is not fluid and top-notch, you could end up having to deal with customers on your own, not to mention that most even require you to pay hefty initial and monthly costs, something that not all businesses can afford to stop.
Google Adwords Click-to-Call feature
You could also rely on the Google Adwords Click-to-Call feature, a relatively cheaper alternative compared to third-party reservation sites. With this feature, whenever your advertisement appears on Google, a tap of a button will allow your customers to call you and book a table at your restaurant. Though no entirely an online process, it is still a simple, effective and popular solution.