An efficient bookings system will allow the kitchen and restaurant to operate effectively and profitably, maximising your trade over potentially busy weekends.
Of course we appreciate that every business is different, and what works well in one restaurant may not suit another, but here are just 10 tips from over 100 we have, from our experiences in top performing restaurants:
1. Confirm your weekend bookings – isn't it frustrating when customers don’t show up? Why not call them on the day to confirm, perhaps suggesting where to park, encouraging them to contact you if their circumstances change?
2. Have a waiting list- if you're already fully booked, then your staff team MUST start a waiting list so that, in the event of cancellations, you can contact potential eager customers.
3. Use Social Media – create a buzz by broadcasting last minute availability for free, quickly, to your regulars on Twitter and Facebook.
4. Online bookings- if you haven't got it already, consider an online bookings facility; an increasing number of surfers will only book online.
5. Introduce a “friends” scheme- if your regular customers bring along friends, then incentivise them further and reward them!
6. Stagger your bookings- avoid filling your restaurant at 8pm. All top operators stagger their booking times throughout the evening, improving overall service and re-selling each table at least twice!
7. Convert enquiries into bookings - develop your staff team to convert enquiries by phone and in person into confirmed bookings.
8. Encourage 'Walk-in' trade- always encourage booking in advance, but let everyone know of potential quieter dining times and encourage them to still walk in - they can always wait with a drink in the bar!
9. Early evening deal - quiet in the early evening? Then consider an early evening reduced price menu that will tempt people in, creating the vital early evening “buzz” in an otherwise quiet restaurant, which is a great first impression for any walk-in customer.
10. Manage group bookings – don’t allow a booked table of 10 to arrive as a table of 6 and leave you with empty chairs. Some operators charge seat deposits, but it's so much 'softer' to just stay in touch with the organiser on the day and ensure that final numbers are confirmed.
These 10 Points are just a taste of the Innventive 1 Day Restaurant Managers' Academy, which we deliver on site for as little as £295, plus VAT.
PHONE US NOW on 07770 653138 or click here to enquire for more details.