Many restaurants continue to ask what online reservations are all about. Find out about the mechanics of online reservations below, including their benefits.
Summary — What’s Inside:
In order to offer online reservations, restaurants must start simple and create a table inventory. These are the tables that will appear to be bookable online. When creating the table inventory, two core details must be kept in mind:
Some advanced settings may also include:
Next, the restaurant must establish the calendar schedule for accepting online bookings. Here are the basic settings that each restaurant should consider when setting up:
There are various settings that enable online reservations to work well for a restaurant. Here are a few of the most common features:
Once Online Reservations are set up, the last step is to publish the booking link so that customers may actually use it. Common placements include:
Once the restaurant has published their booking links, customers can then reserve online. Typically, there are two key parts to the consumer booking experience:
Depending on the booking size (i.e., 2 people, 4 people, etc.), the interface will show available tables based on the day and time selected. Of course this also depends on the restaurants custom settings, as certain days may be blocked off, etc.
Once the customer identifies the booking day and time, the system will prompt the user to input information, including:
With Online Reservations enabled, a digital reservation system will get to work managing table inventory.
A few additional things happen, particularly around communication:
Often, restaurateurs want to set up online reservations but don’t want customers to book automatically. Instead, some restaurants want to receive the booking request and approve it first.
However, this is not how online reservations work: this idea is really no different from a customer calling, emailing, or messaging the restaurant beforehand to ask for a table booking.
Moreover, online reservations are automatic and instant. They don’t require pre-approval by the restaurant staff.
Online reservations create a framework with different settings. The restaurant accepts instant bookings, allowing the system to do the work of taking in reservations. Read more about how online reservations are not request systems.
See responses to some of our frequently asked questions and debunk myths surrounding online reservations.
Or how about trying Carbonara App — for free. Download in less than five minutes and easily set up online reservations. Any questions? We’re always keeping an ear open to what restaurants have to say about their reservations process. Contact us.