Is your restaurant fully maximising its investment in online reservations? After making the move from offline to online, you’re already benefiting from a consolidated diner database and booking portal. The increased visibility that your restaurant now enjoys doesn’t hurt, either. As a restaurant operator, how can you take further advantage of your online presence to make room for more bookings?
The answer lies in a system that takes both your online and offline reservation channels into account. All you need to do is to ensure that the former remains available for bookings as long as possible.
Put yourself in your diner’s shoes. Take John, for example, who wants to surprise his girlfriend Lisa with a last-minute romantic dinner. He’s 40 minutes away from your restaurant, which happens to be Lisa’s favourite. A quick search on his Chope app shows that your restaurant doesn’t have any tables left, so he decides on another option in the vicinity. However, your restaurant might still have tables available — you just prefer to hold these for walk-ins, or have a two-hour cut off booking limit in place.
Check out our tips on how to avoid such a situation, and how to make the most out of your online reservation settings.
1. Stay available for as long as you possibly can
Amending the cut-off time for reservations is one way to bring more diners to your restaurant. After aggregating reservations in 2019, Chope discovered that 30.81% of all online reservations were made within two hours of the diner’s arrival at the restaurant. If your restaurant requires diners to make reservations two hours before their arrival, you might be missing out on potential covers.
Whether it’s to ensure that all staff are briefed about incoming reservations, or that service is not disrupted by additional reservations, reasons for a cut-off time are valid. However, what restaurants don’t realise is that they may be turning away almost one-third more customers who are checking their availability for last-minute bookings. You’ll be surprised at the upside this change to your settings will bring.
2. Allocate more availability to online reservations
All your reservation channels — Facebook, Instagram, Google Maps, TripAdvisor, or the Chope app, website and newsletters— feedback the same availability to diners. As these channels cover more bases than your restaurant’s phone line and walk-in potential, you should consider allocating more availability online.
If you are new to this, you might be uncertain as to how much of your restaurant’s capacity should be allocated online. As you ease into taking online reservations, consider allocating more availability online so that your restaurant remains an option to diners.
3. Say no to double bookings with ChopeBook’s table management system
If you’re in operations, you’ll know that taking reservations through multiple channels can be overwhelming. There’s always that fear of overbooking — nobody wants to turn a hungry diner away! With ChopeBook, our proprietary table management solution, table assignments and restaurant capacity can be managed by the system’s algorithm. It takes into account party sizes, your own preferences on the hierarchy of tables to occupy (e.g. tables closest to the windows first), and many other features.
Ready to optimise your restaurant’s settings for online reservations? Hit the Request a Demo button and our team will provide you with a customised consultation.