16.7.2020

How an Online Booking System Can Make Reopening More Efficient

Written by Abi Constable

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Pubs and restaurants are starting to reopen, following the easing of the UK’s lockdown measures. However, going out for a meal, or even a quick drink, can now feel like an usual experience.

To accommodate social distancing measures, like the one-metre plus rule, hospitality businesses have been forced to think hard about where and how to position tables within their venues. The result, though, is invariably a reduced capacity and fewer overall covers.

What this means is that guests need to plan trips out for a meal. Gone are the days of a spontaneous visit to the local pub, or simply wandering into a restaurant off the street. As a hospitality business, this means that you need to plan, too, and have processes in place to take bookings so you don’t exceed capacity.

A further pain point for restaurants in the COVID-19 era is the problem of 'no shows'. As seen in the popular hashtag #NoMoreNoShows, hospitality businesses are feeling the effects of customers failing to turn up to a booking. With margins tight and covers limited, it's vital to ensure you're getting as many patrons through the door as possible. This is yet another reason why it's important to have a robust booking system in place.

There are a number of methods for take bookings. Via email, telephone or social media are a few, but by far the best way is by using an integrated online booking system.

 

Why use an online booking system?

An integrated online booking system will make planning for capacity and space easier, ensuring that all bookings are synchronised in one place. Using a variety of booking methods, and having multiple staff members responding to requests, is subject to human error.

For instance, a staff member, in the midst of a busy shift, could easily forget to add a booking taken over a telephone. Furthermore, with an online booking system, you can keep better track of exactly who is dining in your restaurant, and help prevent staff from giving their friends and family priority over tables.

Another significant advantage of an online booking system is that it’s a simplified way to collect Test & Trace data from your guests ahead of their arrival. It ensure you have the data you need to support the NHS scheme, while cutting down the risk of other patrons overhearing sensitive personal details provided by customers.

 

How an Online Booking System can help:

Expand your Reach

Easily take bookings via social media or your website, and send tailored marketing promotions to guests.

Reduce No Shows

Take deposits at the point of booking and send email or SMS reminders. You can also track no shows so you can refuse bookings from repeat offenders in the future.

Save Manual Admin Time

Completely automate the booking process by syncing your bookings directly to your Epos Now table plan once customers are seated.

Full Flexibility and Control

Set maximum capacities in line with social distancing, ensuring that you never overbook and set staff permissions.

Want to know more about our SimpleERB online booking system?

Contact us today or visit our AppStore to start your free trial!