Restaurateurs sometimes question the risk in taking online reservations. Here is a list of frequently asked questions.
1. We are totally manual. My staff can't learn a new restaurant reservation system.
If your staff uses a POS system now, they can easily use restaurant reservation software. It only takes about 15 minutes for the typical server or hostess to learn how to operate these systems.
2. We will lose control using online restaurant reservation software?
The reservation product should allow you to determine how many bookings you want to take over a certain time period. You should also be able to reduce the number of online reservations you take in peak service periods or block out entire time slots. You should be able to limit the party size that can reserve online and cut off online reservations entirely at any time of the day. Advanced products will know the capacity of all your real tables, plus the typical seat time for different party sizes. More advances products will actually join tables for larger groups and constantly optimize table bookings to accommodate the greatest number of guests.
3. What happens when we are closed on special days or when I rent out the entire restaurant?
Reservation systems should allow you to close online reservations, in advance, for any meal period or date in the future. Your online guests will typically see a message asking them to call the restaurant directly.
4. What if we are full and someone makes an online reservation?
The reservation system should not allow the online user to make a booking in a sold out time slot. The sold out time slots should not be selectable on the online booking widget. On some products, a message will appear advising the guest to pick another time slot or call the restaurant directly.
5. We don't have time to constantly check a computer during service!
The reservation software should allow you to set a time to automatically cut off online bookings at any time prior to the start of service. This way you can properly prepare the dining room for service and not be surprised by a party of 8 arriving at your door in the busiest part of your seating cycle.