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Reservations at Restaurants & The Move Online

Bonji Foods Aficionado Smart Brief: Volume 60

Hi all, welcome back to the Bonji Food Aficionado Smart Brief! Happy Tuesday and we hope you had an amazing weekend! The past week or so was probably a hectic time period for restaurants. We had Valentine's day, that almost seemed to extend for more than a mere day. In addition, there was the Super Bowl a few days prior! With the special day of love falling on a Tuesday, some waited until the weekend to go out and celebrate with their significant other. This clearly gave some restaurants some trouble; managing space, time, and people. A massive solution to this problem is actually an old solution, but with a modern twist… online reservations.

Why You MUST Offer Online Reservations The restaurant industry has undergone a significant shift in recent years, and the way people dine out has changed as well. With the advent of technology and smartphones, more and more people are turning to online reservations to make their dining experience seamless and hassle-free. Of course, reservations aren't a new concept, however, with the wave of new restaurant goers, online services are a must, including online reservations. The new generation of diners don't want to call up a restaurant, hoping to get an answer, and plan out their night based on what the restaurant staff may tell them. Being able to head online, whether it's a direct website or a third party app like Opentable, people like being able to see what's available right in front of their eyes. Just in 2016 alone, there were already 25% of restaurant goers using online reservations - which we know has most definitely exploded since. In that same year, 47% of diners stated that making reservations online is far easier than any other option, with 44% saying they are more likely to make a reservation online if there is an option. Below, you will find some of the reasons why restaurants should offer online reservations: 1. Convenience Online reservations are incredibly convenient for customers, allowing them to book a table at any time, from anywhere. With the click of a button, customers can reserve a table for their desired date and time, without having to call the restaurant during business hours. This is particularly useful for busy people who don't have the time to make phone calls during their workday or for those who prefer to plan their outings in advance. Additionally, the new generation of diners is tech savy and want to be able to see everything offered. This gives them the feeling of being more in control, and of course it is extremely convenient when planning out their nights. 2. Improved Customer Experience Offering online reservations can improve the customer experience by providing them with a seamless and efficient booking process. Customers can easily view available tables and select the one that best suits their needs. Instead of staying on the phone for longer periods of time, trying to match a time that works for the restaurant, online options lay it all out for them. Online reservations eliminate the need for customers to wait on hold or be put on hold, making the entire process much smoother and less frustrating. 3. Better Time Management By offering online reservations, restaurants can better manage their time and resources. They can view their booking schedule in real-time, allowing them to adjust staffing levels and food preparation schedules accordingly. This can help to reduce wait times, improve the overall dining experience, and reduce the risk of overbooking or double-booking tables. 4. Increased Revenue Online reservations can also help to increase revenue for restaurants by allowing them to manage their seating capacity more effectively. By offering online reservations, restaurants can better plan and optimize their seating arrangements, ensuring that they can accommodate as many customers as possible without overcrowding the restaurant or causing long wait times. This can help to increase table turnover and generate more revenue for the restaurant. 5. Reduced No-Shows No-shows can be a significant problem for restaurants, causing them to lose money and waste resources. By offering online reservations, restaurants can reduce the number of no-shows by requiring customers to provide their credit card details at the time of booking. This can help to deter people from making reservations they don't intend to keep and reduce the risk of last-minute cancellations or no-shows. Here is a link to an extremely interesting article by Food & Wine Magazine, detailing how no-shows affect restaurants and why customers sometimes cancel.

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