In reservations it is possible to think that many restaurant managers have reservations about accepting them. A lot of establishments do not even accept reservations. Some permit call-ahead seating. Some restaurants allow reservations only. Because they are so popular that they cannot accommodate people to walk in for seating. Most fall somewhere between.
There isn’t a correct or incorrect answer to the decision to make reservations. It all depends on the kind of restaurant you are operating, the dimensions of your dining space, and the impression you intend to give guests. Reservations are typically connected with the best dining experience–when did you last experience you needed to reserve a table at your local diner to have lunch? Whatever restaurant you operate, you must look at the pros and cons of various booking strategies.
The Benefits of Restaurant Reservations
Restaurants can offer numerous benefits for you and your clients. Here are a few of the major advantages:
- Easy management of the kitchen and staff: If you know how many guests you will need to feed at any moment and know how to prepare the kitchen and wait staff requirements.
- There is no waiting: Customers who reserve their table don’t need to wait in line for long periods or endure unpredictable wait times. This results in happier customers for your server.
- Better planning for dining rooms If you opt for a reservation only, you can precisely plan your dining space arrangement to ensure the best dining experience.
- Profits and tips are more lucrative and higher. Reservations typically bring large numbers of guests who tend to spend more money and give tips more.
The Drawbacks of Restaurant Reservations
There are a few disadvantages to taking reservations, but. Before you begin booking tables ahead of time, you should consider the following negatives and the best way to overcome these issues:
- Limiting your sales potential: The more reservations you book your business to take, the more you’re delimiting the number of customers who walk in, which could end your sales. To prevent this from happening, ensure that you always have an appropriate number of tables available for customers to sit at.
- The costs of no-shows There are always people who reserve ahead only to make a change of mind or fall through scheduling issues. Each empty table costs the restaurant money it is important to have a strategy to solve this problem. A lot of restaurants require a credit card to secure the table. Some restaurants will also be charged a fixed amount if patrons do not arrive or cancel within a specified period.
- Some customers may be lost: especially if you only accept reservations, which will stop certain patrons from trying your restaurant. Most people do not wish to think about planning for meals out. Another way to keep this from happening is by taking a specific percentage of customers who walk in.
Many restaurants, particularly fast-casual chains, achieve an equilibrium by employing call-ahead seating. This combination of a traditional reservation and a walk-in service allows customers to book a seat on the waiting list while at the restaurant. Although this is possible by phone and in some restaurants, there are applications such as Yelp Waitlist and Waitlist Me to permit customers to make reservations online. These apps also offer live updates to customers who want to keep track of their line progress and inform them when they’ll be there the next time.
Avoid Overbooking Reservations
If you choose to accept reservations NYC, you must be mindful not to book too many tables. It’s tempting to create that you have a full Friday night by reserving every table well in advance. It’s a risk, but you’re also playing with fire. A late party or a party that goes over its time will quickly turn the evening into chaos. If the guests at you have a 7 p.m. party arrives and they are forced to wait in line for the table they’d set aside, it’s not pleasant. The guests could be gone for reasons that are not good. Always have some buffer.
Tracking Restaurant Reservations
Reservations can add some difficulties in managing tables. A variety of point-of-sale systems can assist you in organizing and monitoring your reservations. Applications like OpenTable can also facilitate online reservations. However, it is important to evaluate the costs of these options against the advantages they provide to your company. An old-fashioned notebook and hand-drawn chart may also work if the person responsible understands what they’re doing.
However, if you book reservations, ensure that you have a staff member responsible for the reservation process. This reduces the chance of missing a reservation or double-booking tables.
The choice to accept or decline reservations is yours as the restaurant’s owner. Be aware that this decision can affect your customers’ perception of your establishment. You must ensure that managing this aspect of your guest’s experience is consistent with each other aspect of your restaurant’s concept.