Restaurant Reservation Software – FAQ 1-4
At ResoSolutions, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions, from Restaurateurs, that are contemplating the conversion to some form of Restaurant Reservation Software. If you do not find an answer to your question here, please respond to our blog or contact us at 888-782-3638.
1. What is Restaurant Reservation Software?
Typically, restaurant reservation software would be designed to simply automate the process that you now undertake with a manual reservation book. Some products simply automate the reservation sheet and are not very useful. The more sophisticated products maintain a very extensive restaurant reservation database and allows you to record all sorts of preferences and special occasions relative the that guest.
If you are considering moving from a manual restaurant reservation book, you need to be sure that the software will record, at the very least, what you are doing manually right now.
The most important restaurant reservation system feature is to make sure that your guests are able to make a restaurant reservation 24 hours a day, seven days a week and get instant confirmations. The online booking widget should be easy to place on your web site. No more playing telephone tag with guests to confirm the restaurant reservation.
The reservation software should also have the option of take a phone-in restaurant reservation. The phone-in reservations and on-line reservations should be automatically integrated so that you always see the “consolidated restaurant reservation picture”. This improves the efficiency of your restaurant, saves labour costs and starts to build an invaluable guest database for future marketing purposes.
2. I don’t have time to constantly check a computer during service!
Make sure that the software allows you to cut off on-line bookings at any time frame prior to the start of service. The more sophisticated systems can set this up so that online restaurant reservation capability automatically cuts off 2 hours before the start of each meal service. This cut off time should be variable and customer defined. Some systems also have what we call a “rolling cut off” which means that guests may still make an online restaurant reservation during a current meal period, but with a 2 hour advance booking provision. Again, these times should be user defined.
The other feature that helps address this concern is cell phone updates. Make sure that you can pick up restaurant reservation notifications on your cell phone during service, if you choose to keep the online restaurant reservation feature open during meal periods.
3. Will I have a problem getting my customer list from the Restaurant Reservation Software company?
Your customers belong to you. Make sure that any system you choose allows you to access your customer database at any time. This includes guests who book online or through your web site or theirs. Depending on the product you select, you should be able to access your customer list at any time to create mailing lists or even send marketing e-mails directly to your clients. This protects your restaurant brand.
In addition, you should think longer term and select a product that offers the most extensive database features and tools to suit your operation or style of restaurant.
4. Do I have to spend a lot of money to put the online reservation link on my web site?
The online reservation booking widget should be designed to add a small amount of code to any page on your web site. With respect to placement, you should have it placed on multiple pages, with your main page being the most important. Make is easy to find on the main page, on menu pages, one contact us pages, etc. The rule is to have the reservation link on any page that you feel gives your guests a reason to make a restaurant reservation. This could be your menus, your specials, your picture galley, you decide.
Once your guests know they can make a restaurant reservation online, you will see a gradual switch to 70% or more restaurant reservation bookings made online vs. those phoned into the restaurant. This saves valuable staff time an no lost opportunities.
If you don’t have a web site, speak to the various restaurant listing sites. See if they will place your reservation booking widget or button next your listing.
Some Restaurant Reservation Systems also have integrated reservation widgets for Facebook and other social media sites.