8 Reasons Why You Should Be using An Online Reservations Platform
- You are always open for new business
Traditionally, the only way to reserve a table at a restaurant was to book via telephone, however with the development of technology over the last few years, there are many alternative systems available to businesses.
Arguably the most effective of these is an online booking system. Having a page on your website where customers can check the availability and book a table means that your booking system is available 24/7. This not only makes the booking process much easier for the customer, but also removes the need to have somebody on call to manually negotiate and log reservations.
2. You encourage more reservations
Obviously, by simplifying the booking process with an online system, you encourage more people to book a table, and also enable customers to see exactly what availability you have. This can be particularly useful for motivating people to book in advance, as they see that there are not many tables available, so they book early to avoid disappointment.
At eStart4, we created the new reservations platform as a way of simplifying the booking process and integrating it within the restaurant’s website/ social media pages. We noticed that now that people are starting to visit physical locations again, by integrating a booking system in the same way that we integrated the online delivery system, we can empower eateries to capture more business.
3. You can require prepayment
Since you can link your booking system with an online payment service, a great hack is to enable customers to pay for their food before they attend, eliminating the wait time associated with checking the menu and paying the bill. Not only this, but since they have already paid for their food, these customers are much less likely to ‘no-show’. Since no-shows can account for up to ⅓ of business, this is the perfect way to keep your revenue unaffected by such occurrences
4. Simplify the booking process
At eStart4, we created our new reservation feature with the ambition to simplify the booking process, making it more efficient and stress-free for both restaurateurs and diners. The process now requires only the minimal contact details from the customer- their name, email and or phone number. This information can then be used to send sms/ email reminders to them on the day of the booking, to ensure that they attend. Restaurateurs can access their online diary through the platform to see all the bookings for the day ahead, and manage stock levels and staff rotas according to how busy it is going to be that week.
5. Promote and sell add-ons
Up-selling in the restaurant industry can be a difficult and often awkward task, most often left to the waiter or front of house staff at the time of the booking. With an online booking system, there is the ability to either directly integrate the menu into your reservation system, or to guide the shopper to your online ordering platform. This has heaps of potential, since you can promote new items/ special offers to the customer ahead of their reservation, and if you have set up an online payment system, you may be able to encourage them to pay for extra food or other services. eStart’s menu and booking platform are integrated into the social profiles of restaurants, meaning that the promotion of all products and add-ons can be seamlessly displayed in one place.
6. Easily manage your calendar
It goes without saying that the key to the success of any business is good organization. With eStart’s online reservation system, restaurants can view all upcoming bookings in calendar format, as well as any associated information. Not only this, but they are also able to accurately forecast the quantity of upcoming reservations, and prevent the classic issues such as double bookings.
7. Gain valuable business insights
We want you to grow your business and get more bookings. This is why eStart provides a user friendly interface displaying all data and insights related to your clientele and associated reservations. The available reports are essential to growing your restaurant business without compromising on the quality of the service provided.
8. Prevent mistakes
We all know that nobody is perfect, and whether the cause is a poor phone line, or a rushed booking, errors occasionally occur in the booking process. Most commonly, an incorrect contact number is taken from the customer, or the date is entered incorrectly by the receptionist. These mistakes can ultimately lead to missed bookings and lost revenue, which is one of the main reasons we decided to create an online booking system for restaurants.
By letting the customer book the reservation themselves, you eliminate the risk of error, and save time and effort for your own staff, improving the overall efficiency of the business.
Find out more about eStart’s new online booking feature here.