Booking Tables Online is Not a Request System

Do restaurant reservation websites require 24/7 vigilance from staff? No! Otherwise they wouldn’t be doing their job properly. They would be inconvenient for restaurant owners. We look at some examples from neighbouring industries, illustrating the advantages of restaurant booking systems.

No one knows the advantages of automated restaurant booking systems better than our team. For the best recommendations about current day software, we’re here to help. Learn more.

restaurant booking systems with online reservations
Restaurant in Iowa city via Flickr courtesy of Image Alight, Creative Commons 2.0

How Restaurant Booking Systems Work

The merits of dinner reservation websites can be found more generally in other industries.

But first, what are they exactly?

Online reservation systems provide customers with an easier, more concise way to book tables at a restaurant.

These systems have brought exponential change to the industry, altering the way customers interact and eat out today and in the future.

Through the use of digital technologies, reservation websites for restaurants have introduced automation to help restaurants speed up table turnover rates. The systems themselves capitalise on cloud technology to deliver a sophisticated way to enable reservations. Systems do so in real time, sending and receiving data via the cloud. Therefore restaurant owners don’t have to be present 24/7 to accept bookings.

And this is why reservation websites are not request systems.

Instead, they put the customer at the centre of the reservations process. This in turn creates a more flexible service, leading to better outcomes for customers — such as a decrease in overall waiting times for a table, a vast reduction in the rate of no-shows for restaurants, and a significant increase in satisfaction from diners. The list goes on.

Reservation Websites Improve Experiences

Restaurant booking systems are extremely useful for customers when eating out.

Keeping track of their reservations without having to call or walk into a venue eliminates the tedious work of making bookings.

You could even say it adds enjoyment to the pursuit. A customer can use their smartphone and securely make a booking in seconds, undergoing a hassle-free process for both them and the restaurant.

But opening hours and busy lines on phones — these are just two examples of the many inconveniences customers face when making a booking manually.

But today we’re now using our phones for all manner of services-related reasons, from online shopping to messaging our friends.Don’t take our word for it: online bookings have brought success to many neighbouring industries, providing a few useful examples on how reservation websites work. Let’s look at a few booking website examples.

Booking Website Examples

1. Airlines

The web transformed the commercial travel industry. As such, it changed the way consumers booked and purchased flight seats. 

Global airlines found a more efficient solution in allowing customers to organise trips on their websites. As one writer put it: “Book on our website” started to replace “Book through your local travel agent”.

The change became most apparent in the last twenty years and represents big money. High-profile booking platforms like lastminute.com made headlines with multi-million acquisition deals by bigger companies.

The success story is simple: give customers an easy way to book at the touch of a button and this makes life easier for everyone involved.

via Flickr courtesy of Marinelson Almeida, Creatvie Commons 2.0

2. Hotels

Many would agree that a hotel booking site is a necessity for today’s travel industry. Not only do they improve the hotelier’s experience and efficiency, hotel reservation websites are now a norm, an inescapable fact, representing the bulk of a hotel’s business.

By 2026, analysts predict that 74 per cent of total revenue will come in through online sales mostly generated in the USA.

The reason why is simple.

Like restaurant booking systems, hotel reservation websites offer customers a quick and simple means to reserve hotel rooms. They give hotels and their guests live availability. Therefore, guests waste no time searching for rooms that are unavailable.

via Flickr courtesy of Marco Verch, Creative Commons 2.0 

3. Salons

The beauty industry, including hairdressers and male barbers, typically rely on pen-and-paper booking systems to service incoming customers. Like restaurants, they cater for a service that customers pay for later. 

In recent years, many salons have ditched the pen-and-paper agenda for a digital system, usually in the name of an app.

This is an industry with huge clientele bases. Salons can’t afford to use a book-and-request system. They are typically very busy. Therefore, many hairdressers and barbers open online to help facilitate a constant influx of customers. 

This way businesses can spend more time with their customers — styling hair, painting nails — and less time trying to organise a roster for the workday ahead. 

Restaurants Stay in Control

Like all the above industries, restaurant booking systems maximise the amount of time saved for restaurants.

Book-and-approve systems, where a restaurant operator takes customer phone calls and confirms reservations, is the status quo in the industry. But restaurants right now are putting in unnecessary elbow work. Managing reservations with a pen-and-paper agenda is cumbersome and clumsy, a burden for staff.

Think of it this way. Restaurant kitchens across the industry have already automated indoor processes related to hygiene. Electronic dishwashers, for example, have replaced the mountain of work staff previously put into cleaning plates and cutlery. Someone doing this manually often takes hours. A high-power dishwasher, on the other hand, can handle the job in minutes.

Appliances automate long, tedious, and often painful jobs. They speed up service for restaurants and their guests, saving restaurants loads of time — so why not do the same with guest reservations?

This doesn’t mean that restaurants lose total control over the reservations process. 

So, if restaurants are going to integrate a booking website, what do they need to know?

First of all, restaurant software enhances a restaurant’s control over their reservations. They use sophisticated techniques to store guest data, allocate guest reservations in real time based on table availability, and display reservations in an easy-to-digest format.

Basically, it’s not a case of losing control. Quite the opposite. Restaurants have everything to gain — especially when restaurant booking systems.

Want to know how Carbonara App enables restaurants to launch online reservations with complete control?  We’ve helped restaurants maximise guest service with online reservations. Learn more.