Our restaurant is located in a remote place, far away from any big city. This means that all of the guests are already making a large effort by driving many miles to have lunch or dinner here. Our remote location meant that in the past we were often faced with two critical problems. The possibility of being booked out and having to turn people away if all the tables were taken, and not having the right human resources on hand to manage the flow of diners effectively.
Unpredictable Workload due to Remote Location
- Our customers might be motivated by our restaurant reviews, their willingness to see our location, or to try our food. However, they always have to go out of their way and drive out of town as we are located in a remote location. However, it was always a risk that on their arrival, we would be fully booked.
- We could never predict the upcoming guest flow in advance. This made planning the awaiting workload and working out the optimal number of staff in the kitchen impossible, as well as the staff we would need for the dining hall.
We decided to use an online reservation system so that we could see the upcoming flow of guests. Tablein was really flexible and met all of our needs. After integrating it into our management system, we started telling people about our new reservation process in every communication message to encourage them to start using it.
Efficient Human Resource Management and Increased Number of Advanced Reservations
- This new function was really appealing to our customers. From now on, our guests are able to make a reservation in advance which means no more risk of them not getting a seat during our busy hours!
- Being able to see the future flow of customers allowed us to staff the kitchen and waiting workload efficiently and conveniently. We are also able to see patterns emerge, like when our slowest and busiest days are, and set a shift calendar accordingly.
- When filling out the form for the table reservation, clients have the opportunity to write down any special requests (such as food habits, intolerances, etc.). Every responsible staff member can then read their requests and prepare for them in advance. We always try to create the best experience for our guests and will therefore fulfil their requests in any way possible.
Top Tips by Hirvi
- Don’t hesitate in reminding your guests about the opportunity to make table reservations online. Inform them of the preferred process and help them to develop a new habit which is easy and convenient for them, and really helpful for your restaurant.
- It’s extremely important to implement a CTA (call to action) button and invite your customers to click it to make a reservation online. Use it in your website, Facebook page, newsletters, and other online platforms where your target audience gathers!