Every restaurant is concerned about earning more. There are a number of ways to save money or increase revenues by better coordinating a restaurant’s kitchen work, having good deals with food suppliers, or by taking up a strong marketing strategy. However, there are some techniques for maximizing a restaurant’s revenues by 50% – in the easiest way!

Create an Opportunity to Book Online
Most people prefer to take the easy route, so a contemporary restaurant should provide an opportunity to book tables via an online reservation, at any time within 24 hours. The restaurant app should be user-friendly and comfortable, allowing users to make reservations even when the restaurant is closed. During early morning, afternoon, or in the middle of the night, the restaurant’s website and social networks should work to increase the restaurant’s bookings. By using Tablein reservation software, you can integrate your widget on Facebook, Twitter, or other channels with just a few clicks.

Set the Average Time Intervals for Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner

You can start calculating time intervals; estimate how long taking an order requires, the time needed to prepare the meal in the kitchen, and the average time it takes for your customers to finish their meals. In doing so, you can better manage your resources and reservations. It helps to arrange special time templates for the day. For example, at lunchtime, your customer spends about 45 minutes eating, but at dinner time, they spend more than an hour and 30 minutes.

Use Special Templates

All restaurants have their most popular times in a day. For example, most clients want to visit you at 7 pm, so you mostly have one or, at maximum, one and a half turns per evening. Also, lunch service at a restaurant runs from 1 pm to 3:30 pm, so you may have one or two reservations per table at the maximum, if you accept bookings every hour. In these cases, time gaps are formed and tables are standing empty.

By using so-called time templates, you can schedule reservation times to obtain double turns. When adding these templates, you can book tables cleverly to get more covers and allow clients to reserve at more flexible times, like at 6:15, 6:30, and 6:45 pm – not just 6 pm and 7 pm. This can double your restaurant’s coverage at busy times. Finally, the kitchen load is decreased, as clients come at split times, and there’s no need for extra staff at busy times. Though this can be achieved by paper and pen reservations, it is easiest to increase reservations by using an online reservation system, such as Tablein.

Control All the Tables in the Room

If you use an online reservation system, you can control the all tables in a visual restaurant floor plan. The reservations are assigned to the tables automatically, so it is easy to control all online reservations, as well as walk-ins as extra reservations. In that way, you can avoid human mistakes and see all the possible gaps between your bookings.

Have a Clear Protocol

The customer shouldn‘t feel pressured or limited in their dining experience. It is, therefore, important to have a policy established in the event a customer wishes to stay longer at their table. So, you must clarify the booking time interval in a confirmation email and have an alternate table open which has been vacated earlier than expected.

Fill Slow Hours Efficiently

Also, you can double reservations during slow hours. To fill more tables, you can start sending special offers and some freebies for clients who come in at low times. It is easy to set up and schedule on Tablein, in their Offers tab. Using an online reservation system, you can propose free dessert and coffee for other orders, adding this information into an online widget, as well as in emails and social media channels. Of course, you should experiment with different days and proposals, such as discounts, extra options, or price differences, so as to find your own key to sales.

Popular software review platform FinancesOnline has recently commended Tablein for providing small restaurants with an easy-to-use table booking system that greatly enhances booking workflows, reduces no-shows, and maximizes seating capacity. Due to this, their experts branded our platform as “the booking reservation platform of choice for many small restaurants,” thus, paving the way for Tablein to receive their coveted Rising Star award for 2018. 

Essentially, FinancesOnline believes that our platform provides great value for money due to our inexpensive Tablein pricing options that provide users with a “plethora of tools” to improve one’s booking processes. Apparently, the consensus was the same for our clients as we received a whopping 100 percent user satisfaction rating based on FinancesOnline’s Customer Satisfaction algorithm. Due to the overwhelming positive feedback and recognition of Tablein under FinancesOnline’s top restaurant management system list allowed us to win the Rising Star award for 2018, granted to solutions that are seen as a reliable brand by clients. 

FinancesOnline reviewed Tablein under their best restaurant management software, comparing us with other top booking reservation platforms on the market. Armed with knowledged not only about what is restaurant management software but also what makes for an exceptional solution, their experts also went in length about the numerous ways users can benefit from Tablein. This includes simplified online reservations and cancellations, reduced instances of no-shows, and more bookings, thanks to its accessibility, enabling customers to be fully informed at all times regarding seating availability. They also praised our platform’s capability to streamline and fully digitize processes, expand clientele through marketing tools, run issue-free operations, thanks to a reliable live support team, and much more. 

The aforementioned remarks allowed Tablein to receive FinancesOnline’s Great User Experience award. To qualify for this industry award, a product must offer an intuitive design, easy product implementation, and generally provide an especially pleasing user experience for facilitating one’s work processes. 

We thank FinancesOnline and all our users for these awards and keeping us motivated to create the perfect booking system that will help you bring your restaurant to the next level.

Click here to read Tablein review!

It’s rare for a restaurant to have no trouble keeping up in the market, where the competition is so intense. Caring for customers has never been so important, especially for small restaurants that rely mainly on loyal repeat-clients. Every lost customer can be calculated into the restaurant’s losses. Some deciding factors in if a customer returns or if a new customer tries your business can vary, but it’s widely agreed: ease and convenience are important. If a potential customer could not get in contact with your administration, or if they forget about their reservation – this is a loss to you. After 20 or 30 similar cases, the loss can impact the restaurant owner’s salary. So, how can you use simple math to boost revenues by using an online reservation system?

Let’s rely on the true story of one Italian food trattoria “Piccola Italia”, a 12-table restaurant, which has a great chef, cozy Italian interior, and is conveniently placed in the city center. The small restaurant was popular among local businessmen and Italian food fans. Despite its growing success, it experienced many empty time slots and problems related with customer attraction. That is, until it started to use an online reservation system.

The restaurant owner, Alan, sought to find new information on how to attract more customers. He understood that the restaurant should be more desirable for the busy locals, as well as tourists from other cities and countries. An online booking system might be an answer, so Alan decided to try Tablein – an online reservation system designed specifically for small restaurants. 

This 12-table restaurant is now filled more efficiently and, as a result, earns more. How much?  Here are the simple calculations of this trattoria:

No-Show Customers Convert Into Losses

The first big problem this restaurant faced was “no-show clients.” As this was a routine issue, the calculations are simple: If there are 10 no-shows a day, and the average value of each missed table is 20-50 euros, this costs the restaurant 4,800-12,000 euros a month in lost revenue. That is an extreme amount for a small restaurant! Integrating the Tablein reservation system helped them to save a part of these losses.

Using an online reservation system, now the restaurant can send emails and text messages to clients with links to cancel or change a booking. Also, Alan explains that his restaurant sends an SMS to those who did not arrive with a shameful text. Asking for deposits from clients during holidays or events resulted in a further decrease of no-shows. Overall, the restaurant decreased their no-shows by 23%, which is converted into approximately 2,500 euros per month in revenue. 

Maximize Your Space During Lunch and Dinner Times  

Everyone who manages restaurant reservations knows that most of the clients want to come at 19.00 o’clock, so the restaurant mostly has 1 or a maximum of 1.5 turns per evening. A small kitchen has a huge load when most of their clients arrive at once and orders begin to flow.  While using paper books, you accept most bookings in an advance of one hour, so you form a lot of time gaps – resulting in empty tables. A digital reservation system lets you use time templates and then schedule reservation times to get 2 and 2.5 turns per evening. 

So, Alan’s restaurant capacity at busy times increased by about 50%. Getting rid of gaps saved about 20 covers per day, meaning about 400-800 euros a day. Finally, the kitchen load decreased, as clients came at split times thanks to a better scheduling system. It was no need for extra staff at busy times. 

Save Time and Money in Administration

In our example, the small Italian trattoria, they would receive a large amount of phone calls and e-mails with booking requests during the week. It is joyful news – until you understand that you will lose many reservations when the staff is busy answering calls or emails, or when they’re unavailable because the restaurant is closed.  

After beginning to use a restaurant booking system, the “Piccola Italia” added an online widget to Facebook, as well as their website, and started to promote online reservations, asking people to book online in every single message. Now the restaurant has approximately 63% of their bookings online. The greatest benefit is the restaurant no longer needs to keep administrators, because the waiting staff is fully responsible for the bookings. Everyone can book. Everyone can check in from any location, even when the business is closed. The restaurant can save one or two salaries for the employees per month.

Filling Your Slow Hours Can Add Extra Revenue 

Even if you solve the major problems, one issue remains: your restaurant probably has slow hours between dinner time and the evening. Accordingly, the restaurant owner Alan started to offer discounts and some freebies for clients who came in during these slow hours. It is very easy to set up and schedule with the Tablein Offers function, because, each day, the database of restaurant customers is growing. Alan, for example, proposed 30% off pizzas as well as free dessert and coffee for later orders. Promotional offers increased reservations on an average of 47%. 

Also, the client database provides a visit history, list of cancellation numbers, a calculation of no-show clients, and a name database to help restaurant owners recognize loyal clients. Alan integrated a small loyalty program with a discount for loyal clients – giving 5% off after five visits, 10% after 10, and 15% after 15 – automatically. Clients do not need to have one more loyalty card in their wallets; this system does it for them.

The Results

The “price per client” of an online reservation system, on average, is 5 cents. However, decreased no–shows, maximized covers, and filled gaps during slow hours allow restaurants to increase their income by about 27% per year. Even if they have only 12 tables. Furthermore, what’s great is that system integration takes little time and know-how to use, because the program has functions which take off the pressure. It has never been so easy to optimize your restaurant reservation process and to earn more.

How To Get The Most From Your Email Marketing

Email marketing is simply the best way to promote your restaurant. It’s fast, it’s cheap and can connect you instantly with hundreds (if not thousands) of customers at the press of a button.

But it is not a fool proof system, there are many things you have to think about and do to make your email campaigns successful.

But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Here’s our guide to successful email marketing in the restaurant sector:

Build your list

For your email marketing campaign to be successful, you need a good list of people to send to – and that means existing and potential customers.

The easiest way to build up a strong list is to collect email addresses through an online booking app, as when people book with you in this way they supply their email address. You can also collect email addresses from a form on your website that invites people to sign up for your messages. Try offering an incentive – such as a free recipe eBook – in exchange for signing up.

Be careful with what you send

Email marketing can be great for building your business, but you must think carefully about what you’re sending. If you just send out endless pointless emails then you will annoy your recipients and they will unsubscribe. Instead, you must send emails that are actually helpful – this could be offers, deals, or useful information such as new menus or an expanded wine list.

So, think carefully about each email and ask yourself this question – does this help the recipient in some way? If the answer is no, then rewrite it!

Link it to other marketing channels

You shouldn’t just rely on email marketing to build your business. There are other ways to increase the popularity of your restaurant, such as social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the rest are great promotion methods, so make sure you direct people to your social media accounts through your emails. The more contact they have with you the better!

Choose good email software

If you are sending out marketing emails to more than a handful of recipients, then you need to start using email delivery software – as it lets you complete the whole process in just a few clicks. There are many options out there but we recommend Mailerlite. It’s cheaper than MailChimp, the market leader, but still has great features – such as an easy to use email editor, subscribe and unsubscribe notifications, subscriber management, and campaign reports. Also, Mailerlite offers 24/7 support by email and webchat for paying customers.

Are you ready to try email marketing for your own restaurant? Then sign up to our online booking system – Tablein – and start collecting addresses! It’s free for 14 days and there’s no catch and no obligation – just fill in the simple form below to get started.