Reservations and event management software allows restaurants to automate everything in their restaurant when it comes to dining in — including number of customers, floor layouts, behavioral analytics, personal information on guests as well as (of course!) making both taking and managing reservations. These softwares can also be integrated with POS systems to help both managers and employees (both in back and front of house) be aware of the flow of the restaurant each night to ensure the best possible experience possible to keep diners coming back.
What are reservations / event management systems?
A reservation or event management system is an application or software that allows companies to move their entire reservation system online, essentially digitizing their calendar and booking system. In other words, no more paper and pen, and instead a comprehensive, easy-to-run system that allows patrons to book dining online and staff to effectively manage reservations.
Key benefits of reservations / event management systems
Less Human Error
When customers book a reservation online, rather than calling, this reduces the human error that can come from taking a reservation over the phone and therefore eliminates common mistakes like booking the incorrect time, number of people or even writing the name wrong. Reservation systems can also be streamlined with your POS system to ensure your entire staff knows how many patrons will be dining in the restaurant and when so it’s easier to track, and not solely on the host/hostess to relay to the rest of the staff.
More Accurate Wait Times
No one likes to wait for tables, and it can often result in no shows and an overwhelmed staff. Reservation applications more accurately depict waiting times as well as optimize seating layouts to help reduce them over all; not only does this make things easier on the host or hostess but results in far happier customers.
Better Capacity Control
Reservations have always been used to manage capacity, but online systems have been instrumental in helping track it. This has been especially helpful during the pandemic when restaurants were having to adhere to far stricter capacity limits that also changed frequently and were even more necessary to maintain. Reservation systems are able to automatically set limits for your dining room to make sure you don’t exceed them as well as effectively manage the flow of traffic in the restaurant.
Automated Reservation Reminders
Reservation systems can send automatic reminders to guests about an upcoming reservation via email or text, as well as create digital “waitlists” to help eliminate “no shows” from guests who forgot about reservations. This also allows guests to respond back easily to alert the restaurant if they are running late to a reservation or cancel, in order for the host to seat someone from the waitlist.
The more personal you are in hospitality, the better! And reservation systems allow restaurants to get to know their customers better by creating profiles with information like how often they’ve visited, birthdays and anniversaries as well as more specific items like dietary restriction. This information can be used in more personalized marketing promotions as by targeting them specifically it helps close the gap from staff to customer, allowing guests to feel more welcome at and home when they dine in your establishment.
Kinds of reservations / event management systems
Another bonus of using a reservation application or software as it comes with built-in marketing due to the visibility. Here are examples of some of the most well known and best best reservation management systems: