There’s not much that’ll damage the reputation of a restaurant more comprehensively than leaving diners twiddling their thumbs while waiting for a table.
Thankfully, the adoption of modern technologies can alleviate this issue, so here are some of the solutions that you might consider embracing to overcome unsightly queues during peak periods.
Choose a great restaurant table booking system
Unless you’ve got a modern system to handle table bookings, you could all too easily find that your restaurant is crowded with disgruntled guests all expecting to be seated as if by magic.
Having everything managed and made accessible via the web means that employees will always be up-to-date with the state of play, bookings-wise.
A modern system will ensure that you never take on more bookings than you can handle, never disappoint customers by making promises you can’t fulfil and never get side-swiped by mix-ups caused by good, old-fashioned human error.
Another perk of a great restaurant table booking system is that you’ll gain access to in-depth stats covering everything from daily peaks and troughs to broader seasonal ebbs and flows.
With all of this data on tap, you can modify your marketing approach to make the most of the times when you’re the busiest, with no guesswork required.
Embrace modern payment options
This is something that a number of the big chains are beginning to introduce, but it’s becoming increasingly affordable as an option for independents, too.
The disquiet brought about by long wait times can often be exacerbated when diners can’t pay for their food quickly, but contemporary payment technologies can reduce this problem significantly.
Supporting contactless cards and services such as Apple Pay will enable your hotel to deal with high volumes of low-value transactions during the lunchtime rush both swiftly and sensibly.
You could also think about adopting apps that allow customers to settle their bill on their smartphone, rather than having to wait for a member of staff to visit the table.
Consider self-service kiosks
This isn’t something that will be suitable for every independent restaurant, but in the right setting the use of self-service kiosks can make a huge difference to service and turnover of covers.
Kiosks that let diners order food and pay for it upfront should help speed up turnaround times and free up tables for new covers – fast.
They will also help you optimise staff resources, rather than pushing employees to breaking point when there are lots of different tables demanding their attention.
Customers may appreciate the convenience offered by kiosks, because they’re essentially freed from the prospect of staying put until a member of the waiting team can deal with their order.
Improving wait times and diner satisfaction at your restaurant doesn’t necessarily require drastic changes to strategy or staff training.
Technology holds the key to happier customers, satisfied employees and more table bookings – providing you take the initiative and embrace it in your restaurant.