Reservation Policy: Simple Secrets to Help Eliminate Client Complaints

Feb 4, 2020 6:09:34 PM

There are many different reasons that can cause customers to complain about a restaurant, but much of the time, negative feedback can be eliminated by providing more information. Clear communication with your clients, in advance, is the key to success in reducing complaints and communicating via a table booking system proves to be the most effective way of doing this.


Advance Communication is a Key!

An online table reservation tool allows you the fantastic opportunity of communicating with your customers in advance. Be sure to provide your guest with any and all specific information which might evoke negative feedback, as early as possible. For example, if the lunch special doesn’t include the fish, a simple, straightforward note is easy to put together, and will pre-warn your customers of this. They’ll appreciate the heads-up, and your restaurant won’t suffer negative reviews from any misunderstanding.

How to Communicate with Your Customers?

There are two ways that you can communicate any complaint-risk rules you may have:

  1. A short note on the reservation form could be exactly the right time to ensure they are aware of restaurant rules before they book.
  2. The reservation reminder email and SMS will remind them of the details of their booking can communicate your restaurant policies also.

Information That Should Be Communicated

Your past complaints will hold the key to any misunderstandings that may happen in the future, so analyze them carefully. Also, consider any restrictions and specifics that your restaurant has and communicate any and all complaint-risk aspects of it.

  • Fixed-Time Intervals for Reservations. Are reserved tables in your restaurant available for two hours? Inform your guests about it and ask them to leave a note if they need extra time. Never promise anything that you can’t be sure about being able to deliver. However, adding that you’ll do your best to satisfy this request, according to availability, will work wonders in improving their customer service experience. Modifying your policy and extending the allowed time, when able, will go a long way in impressing the guest, and most likely stimulate extremely positive feedback. On the contrary, unexpectedly bringing the bill and asking your customers to leave after two hours will almost always trigger complaints.
  • Availability of Different Menus Throughout the Day. Having different menus available during the day is a regular practice, yet not all of the guests will be familiar with it. During lunchtime you may serve only the special set menus of the day, with à la carte and tasting menus available exclusively in the evenings. Let your guests know about this in advance! You can upload your menus onto the reservation system and let your customers see the available menus when they are booking. Not only will your clients know what to expect, but they can even make their dining choices ahead of time, allowing your staff to better prepare for the evening ahead.
  • Table Allocation. Put a note in the reservation form that tables are allocated randomly. If your customer prefers a particular table then you can ask them to leave a message. A kind reminder that you’ll do your best to accommodate the guest at the specific table, according to availability, will again manage the customer’s expectations before they arrive. If the request is satisfied, you will generate positive feedback. And, if not, guests won’t get disappointed because they were prepared for this situation in advance.
  • Dress Code. Does your restaurant require a specific dress code? Provide information about it in advance, so that guests know how to dress appropriately. Having to turn away a customer who has arrived at your fine dining restaurant in sports gear will create an awkward situation, and may provoke negative comments. If you want to avoid unpleasant situations like this then you can quickly and easily inform or remind your customer of your dress code, during the online reservation process.
  • Specific Rules. Are there any other specific rules that you have in your restaurant? Should your guests know them? Upload any particular regulations online. When you customers click “book”, they will understand that they are agreeing to your restaurant policies. In case any misunderstandings arise, you can always remind the guests that all of the information was provided and agreed with by confirming the booking online.

Communicate for a Better Customer Experience

Advanced communication via an online booking system doesn’t cost you a dime, but acts as a hugely effective tool in eliminating many client complaints that arise from lack of information. Turn these tricky situations into positive feedback by simply informing your guests beforehand!

Are you already considering how to deal with complaints arising from miscommunication? All the tools discussed above are implemented in our Tablein reservation system which can be set up and ready to go in just minutes.