Ask restaurateurs whether they take bookings online and many will say yes. Dig a little deeper and some are using online contact forms to administer restaurant bookings as opposed to an automated table booking system. While this is better than having no online booking facility at all, we are here to tell you why an automated table booking system is much more preferable for both you and your customers than a restaurant reservation form.
Losing Restaurant Bookings
First things first, some users, especially the more technically minded will abandon a restaurant booking altogether at the site of a contact form as a means of reservation.
It’s clunky, time consuming in our ultra-quick online world and doesn’t give you real time availability, thus falling short for most consumers.
Contact forms also create high levels of ambiguity for users. While you may know you give quick responses to contact forms, users will have no idea whether you’ll reply in a minute, a day or never – pretty unreliable if you are trying to reserve a table for 6pm that evening.
As every restaurateur will tell you, the customer experience comes first. While that may be emulated in your pub, café or restaurant it may be far from the truth during your restaurant booking procedure.
Those that persevere with a restaurant reservation form are met with a time consuming platform that doesn’t give you real time availability or instant confirmation. Instead, an automated booking system will give your customers instant, real-time availability and instantly confirm their booking once they proceed. It’s quick, easy and convenient which is exactly what customers want in our digital age.
You can even follow up your online bookings with a bespoke, automated email that gives users that personal touch. Much better than sending a contact form submission into the abyss – don’t you think?
Save Time, Resources and Money
You’ve heard about how an automated table booking system is excellent for customers, but what about restaurateurs?
Manning a contact form is never easy, especially during busy service hours. Keeping an eye on a laptop all night is far from ideal and gives you, or your front of house staff, yet another job to focus on. The reality is, you will either miss bookings that come via the contact form or sacrifice your front of house service: not good.
Instead, by letting an automated table booking system take charge of your bookings and responses to customers, you can focus on delivering an excellent front of house service that keeps customers coming back for more!
Our back end table management system which is included with our booking system automatically allows you to view how busy you are from day to day. This removes the need for frantic paper systems, allowing you to allocate relevant staff and better prepare for a busy service.
By automating your booking procedures we guarantee that you will save masses of time, resources and money by removing the need to man contact form replies on a constant basis.
The Best Value Automated Booking System
Speaking of saving money, many restaurant managers opt for restaurant reservation forms as they think they will save them money: wrong.
First of all, there are the costs of paying staff to respond to contact form booking enquiries. Then, there’s the expense of integrating these bookings with a table management system. Not to mention, the added cost of losing precious table reservations caused by using a contact form.
Use Sugarvine Tables however and you could increase bookings, automate your table bookings and table management system, streamline processes and gain coverage on our dining guide Sugarvine.com; all for the low monthly cost of £58.25 per month.
Reduce Restaurant No Shows
Last but certainly not least, an automated booking system can also reduce restaurant no shows; a plight that is sadly on the rise in the hospitality industry.
When reservations are made through an online contact form, users are often left with no reservation confirmation and no reminder of said booking. With an online booking system however, users receive instant confirmation of their table booking as well as text or email reminders for their reservation. Not only does this remind them of their booking, it also builds your relationship with your diners and creates a degree of pressure to either attend or cancel should the table no longer be needed.
Speaking of cancellations, automated booking confirmations and reminders contain clear links to cancel bookings easily online, a factor that contact forms simply don’t offer. And, sadly, if diners need to dig around for a phone number to cancel, I’m afraid they may (wrongly, we may add) simply not show.
So there you have it. An automated booking system can boost customer satisfaction, save you time and money and reduce no shows, far surpassing the outdated contact form as a means of booking. If you want to find out more, call our team on 01253 698328 or fill in the form below.