The hospitality industry in 2024 is likely to remain a competitive, fast-paced environment, where adding value will count for a lot. With costs of ingredients, staffing, energy and utilities all set to remain high, many businesses will turn to restaurant technology to help. And establishments looking at next year’s hospitality trends may benefit from the support a table booking system can provide.
Technology and automation
Continuing the trend of recent years, fewer customers expect to have to pick up the phone to book a table. As such, if your online booking experience isn’t user-friendly and convenient, you may miss out on reservations altogether.
You can avoid this by investing in a table booking system that enables 24/7 online reservations, even outside your business hours. And of course, if you can also take bookings via your social media platforms or email list, you’ll increase occupancy rates.
The post booking experience is also important, with customers expecting instant email booking confirmation and reminders nearer the time.
Offer an offer
It isn’t just hospitality that is facing rising costs. Diners have also been hit with record inflation and soaring bills leaving little leftover cash for dining out or heading to your local, a scenario that has a detrimental effect on hospitality takings.
It is therefore essential that restaurants serve up an offer to entice would-be diners back into restaurants this year. Whether it’s an early bird offer, set menu or happy hour, a good offer with plenty of promotion is much-needed in 2023. A profile on our dining guide is also a sure-fire way to boost the reach of your restaurant or bar’s offer; we can even share your offers on our social media platforms to introduce your venue and offering to a whole new audience and therefore increase your bookings and takings.
As restaurant costs rise but disposable incomes falls, the idea of ‘eating out’ will become more of an ‘occasion’ for many. So, for people prepared to part with their hard-earned money, the customer experience should begin before they arrive at your venue. Whatever sets you apart – specialist menus, innovative cuisine, plant-based credentials – be sure to highlight this. And if you’re showcasing your key selling points on your website, via email or on social media, be ready to take reservations.
If a potential customer sees something that makes them want to book at your venue but it isn’t easily and readily available to do so, that’s a waste. Make sure your restaurant technology or table booking system can be easily integrated into a variety of digital formats. That way, the browsers you wow with your food and drink offering can go from ‘look’ to ‘book’ in seconds.
Managing spending expectations
With the current economy being similarly unpredictable, it’s hard for businesses to make financial commitments based on customer numbers. Many table booking systems operate a ‘per cover’ charge, which obviously makes forecasting and budgeting less reliable. A fixed, transparent fee, without hidden costs or add-ons, is one way to ensure consistency in an often-unstable sector.
Want to make 2024 positive and profitable?
Trend prediction is always tricky, with everything including global and local politics playing a part.
As a hospitality business owner, you can only control the things in your grasp, such as how you invest in your customer experience and retention.
If you’d like free demonstration, or to discuss any questions with our helpful team, please get in touch.