How Your Restaurant Staff Benefits From an Automated Booking System

7 min.
Aug 22, 2023 4:01:41 PM

Automated booking systems designed to optimize the reservation process can significantly enhance the efficiency of your restaurant.

This advantage primarily extends to your staff, who are the backbone of your establishment and the culinary excellence and customer satisfaction it provides.

In the following chapters, we will delve into four key ways your staff can reap the rewards of a seamless reservation process facilitated by automated booking systems.

By exploring these benefits, we hope to inspire you to consider the advantages and potentially integrate this system into your restaurant if it's not already in place.

Without further delay, let's start by addressing the first benefit—eliminating errors during the reservation process.

Critical Mistakes Can Be Avoided During Bookings

Few things are more disheartening for restaurants than excited guests arriving, only to be informed that their reservation is nowhere to be found, or worse, it's penciled in for another day altogether, leaving no room to accommodate them.

These are the all-too-common pitfalls of manual reservation management via phone or email. 

Such errors can damage your restaurant's reputation and diminish patrons' satisfaction. 

A stark reminder of this impact can be seen in negative online reviews, like the one on TripAdvisor, underscoring how crucial it is to get it right.

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Source: TripAdvisor

Admittedly, occasional mishaps may arise due to disinterested staff, but more often than not, it's the chaos of a bustling environment that throws reservations into disarray. 

This is where automated booking systems, such as our solution, Tablein, can prove extremely valuable.

So, how exactly does this modern solution eliminate these issues? Allow us to elaborate.

To begin with, your patrons enjoy unfettered flexibility to make a reservation at any hour, since Tablein operates around the clock. 

This liberates them from the constraint of making phone calls during your restaurant's busiest hours when ambient noise might cloud their communication.

Moreover, guests can effortlessly select their preferred date, time, and party size, alleviating your staff from the need to meticulously record these details—a task prone to human error.

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Source: Symondsbury Kitchen

Additionally, the availability calendar presented to guests, like the one in the booking widget above, prevents any accidental overbooking on your staff's end, circumventing an all-too-common challenge.

All of these factors alleviate the burden on your staff, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their work instead of worrying about whether they've noted down all the necessary and correct details when taking a reservation.

So, if these staff-oriented benefits resonate with you, now's the perfect moment to integrate an automated booking system like Tablein into your arsenal of tools.

Servers Can Focus On Serving Customers

Imagine a bustling bistro at the peak of business hours.

The phone rings incessantly, competing with the clinks of cutlery and lively conversations. 

Amid this symphony, servers juggle between answering calls, managing walk-ins, and attending to seated patrons.

Mistakes are inevitable in such an environment—from the wrong order delivered, a reservation lost in translation, or simply insufficient time dedicated to each guest.

Regrettably, these missteps can cast a shadow over the overall dining experience, culminating in dissatisfied customers and negative online reviews.

To emphasize the significant influence of negative online feedback, take note of these revealing statistics extracted from TouchBistro's 2023 Diner Report:

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Illustration: Tablein / Data: TouchBistro 

The report, which surveyed over 2,600 diners across the U.S. and Canada, revealed that more than half of these patrons would bypass a restaurant due to unfavorable online reviews.

This is precisely where the merits of an automated restaurant booking system come to the fore once again. 

By automating reservations, servers are liberated from the constant interruption of ringing phones.

This freedom allows them to channel their energy where it truly matters—catering to the diners in front of them.

The result? Undivided focus on ensuring each guest receives prompt, personalized attention.

And this undistracted service not only elevates the dining experience but also builds rapport, encourages repeat visits, and generates positive reviews that are essential for a restaurant's success, as this example from TripAdvisor shows:

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Source: TripAdvisor

Ultimately, an automated booking system results in a win-win situation. 

Customers relish attentive service, while servers excel in their roles without the disruption of ringing phones or spending time crafting reservation emails.

Data Can Be Used to Improve the Guest Experience

In the previous section, we highlighted the importance of enabling your staff to focus on customer service rather than manually taking reservations.

Automated booking systems take this further by seamlessly gathering valuable data about each guest.

Why is this data gathering so beneficial for your staff?

Consider a scenario where a guest indicates a nut allergy while making an online reservation on your website. 

This seemingly minor detail is actually quite significant. For example, it allows you to exclude nuts from their dessert even before they arrive at your restaurant. 

Harnessing seemingly small but consequential details like these enables your staff to be well-prepared when guests enter your doors.

A robust automated booking system facilitates the creation of a comprehensive guest database, utilizing phone numbers as unique identifiers.

This information pool gathers insights from guest notes, spanning their dietary preferences, relationship with the establishment, allergies, whether this person is a famous critic or food blogger and more.

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Source: Tablein

Having all this data gathered about each of your guests equips your staff to deliver personalized experiences as soon as patrons arrive.

Moreover, with such data collection and guest profiles, staff members gain access to metrics like visit frequency, cancellations, no-show incidents, the date of their last visit, and average feedback scores. 

This data serves them as a valuable tool for making informed decisions. For instance, they can quickly identify loyal guests and reward them with special offers.

In essence, automated booking systems compile guest data even before they step foot inside your establishment. 

This not only aids your staff in delivering excellent service but also enhances the overall dining experience for your patrons.

Hosts Can Provide More Accurate Wait Times

The final, yet paramount, benefit we will highlight today revolves around managing wait times within your restaurant.

Dealing with impatient guests waiting for their seats can be quite discouraging for your staff. 

The palpable tension that arises as they wonder when the occupied table will finally become available for the next group of hungry diners can be overwhelming.

The pressure is real—your staff's primary goal is to ensure everyone is comfortably seated and content, but this isn't always a straightforward task.

Sometimes, diners linger longer over their meals than anticipated, while others are impatient and demand immediate seating. 

As illustrated by this host's experience on Reddit, many customers fail to grasp the reasons behind wait times, often venting their frustration on the host—an unpleasant experience for both parties.

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Source: Reddit

However, an automated booking system can significantly diminish the uncertainty surrounding wait times, thus making your staff's job more manageable and less stressful.

Let's see how.

To begin with, automating your reservation process enables you to promptly inform your guests about the expected table turnover time, much like the example we see at the Dark Horse Mumbles restaurant in Swansea.

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Source: Dark Horse Mumbles

Right at the reservation stage, they explicitly state their requirement for tables to be vacated within two hours. 

This is immensely helpful for your staff as it allows them to predict table availability accurately and provide precise information to guests patiently awaiting their turn. It also sets clear expectations for diners.

Furthermore, automated booking systems empower your staff by enabling them to add diners to a waiting list and subsequently notify them via SMS when their table is ready.

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Source: Tablein

This feature contributes to an enhanced guest experience and ensures that your staff remains organized, thereby reducing stress and anxiety while striving to keep patrons satisfied.

In conclusion, automated booking systems bring valuable predictability to your restaurant's operations, allowing your staff to provide more accurate wait times.

Conclusion 

Today we have delved into the four crucial benefits of automated booking systems for your dedicated staff.

To recap, these four advantages encompass steering clear of errors that may arise during manual reservation processes. 

Your staff is free to deliver exceptional customer service rather than spending valuable time on manual reservations, they can harness data for enhanced customer experiences, and provide guests with precise wait time information.

It's important to recognize that when your staff benefits, your entire restaurant reaps the rewards. 

Your staff is the essential link between your establishment and your valued customers, so simplifying their tasks can only lead to positive outcomes for your business.

So, take a moment to reconsider these advantages and contemplate implementing an automated booking system in your restaurant.

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