We would love for all guests to make reservations and to always not only show up, but to also show up on time. However, we all know that it’s not going to happen. While we can only dream of a perfect world with perfect customers, we can still aim for making better use of reservations and optimizing our seating capacity. Here are some good tips to remember:
Offer reservations on your website and your Facebook page: Remember that 84 percent of customers will visit your website before they make a reservation, and 52 percent of them make reservations online. Make it easy for them to do this, so you can capture their reservation before they wander off, change their mind or forget to do so altogether.
Offer a reservation link on other social media platforms such as Twitter, Tripadvisor, Yelp and your Google Plus page: While some of those sites won’t let you place your own widget to accept reservations from their platform, you can always provide a link to your reservation page on those sites. As guests are finding new ways to find places to eat, follow their lead and simplify their path to making a reservation.
Remind your guests that they have a reservation: It’s easy to forget that you made a reservation or to just remember where you made that reservation, especially if you made the reservation months in advance. A day or two before a guest’s planned visit, send them a reminder and also a way to cancel their reservation if their plans have changed.
Be ready for them and seat them upon arrival: There is nothing more disheartening than getting to the host stand and finding out that either your reservation was lost or the restaurant is overbooked. That’s a sure way to disappoint guests and receive those dreaded and highly damaging bad reviews. Be sure to manage your reservations meticulously.
Avoid double-booking: While you inherently know it damages your business, there are many events that could lead to double-booking. For instance, a guest may make a reservation online but decide to also call, as well, to make sure they have a reservation. If you are still managing your reservations with pen and paper, it is excruciatingly hard to spot those mistakes. Invest in restaurant reservation management solutions such as Hostme to avoid those costly mistakes and optimize your operations!
Those few steps can make a big difference that will translate into better customer experiences and augment your restaurant revenues. And what’s great is that none of the steps will take much time to implement. What are you waiting for? Optimize your reservations processes and start growing your business today.