Restaurants that take reservations can now speed up the efficiency of their process. To save a plateful of time, restaurants should now prepare the table for instant, automated SMS confirmations and reminders.
Summary — What’s Inside:
A key part to today’s reservation experience, customer messages help restaurant guests to feel secure that they have booked a table. Without texting technology, today’s restaurant operators risk losing a critical connection with their customers.
So why are digital restaurant communications important?
Automatic confirmations and reminders are better for restaurant teams. They improve the time it takes to process reservations; reduce the amount of errors from occurring, and present readable and decipherable information digitally for all the team to understand.
In addition, today’s guests prefer instant digital communication with restaurants. The BBC has reported on the importance of time and its relationship with digital organisation (i.e. schedules). Once a customer receives an automated booking confirmation from a restaurant, they can immediately work that into their schedule. So, instant confirmations are convenient.
Automated confirmations are very easy for restaurants to set up. They require little effort but make a big difference indoors. With a digital system, restaurants can send automated SMS confirmations in three steps.
With this in place restaurants have the ability to send further SMS texts or WhatsApp messages on the run-up to the customer’s booking date.
Via SMS, restaurant guests appreciate immediate confirmations for three main reasons.
First, the most important aspect of instant, automated booking confirmations is this: the sense of security they offer. Instant confirmations add a layer of customer confidence to the reservations process. A message saying, “Your table is booked” gives customers self-assurance that nothing can go wrong, that their name is now held in a digital guestbook.
Compare it to other confirmation systems. Take an online order from a shopping site, for instance. When customers order an item online, they receive an instant confirmation with key information, such as payment details and estimated delivery time. These messages assure the customer their item is on its way.
Confirmations create the grounds for a promise. Customers gain a feeling of trust. They hold digital proof of their custom and can appeal if anything goes wrong. In the case of restaurants, it is a matter of illustrating their guarantee.
Second, automated messages cut down on waiting times for customers. As soon as they receive an automated confirmation, they can add the date to their digital calendar at home, speeding up the process for them.
Otherwise, with a manual system, customers wait longer for messages to come through — by that time they are usually doing something else, and no longer care so much about immediately sorting their reservation out.
Third, automated messages keep guests interested in your restaurant’s services as well as their upcoming table reservation. At the point of booking, guest excitement runs high. The reasons that originally prompt a guest to make a booking remain with them, but only for a short moment.
So, an immediate confirmation rides on the customer’s wave of initial enthusiasm and interest for making a booking with a venue. From the moment they open a restaurant confirmation SMS, your restaurant has helped to sustain their sense of joy.
Customising messages is essential to fit the tone and overall image of your venue. The original confirmation SMS is the first mode of digital contact with restaurant guests. Therefore, it is important to get them just right.
Text reminders are quick, short, and easy to read, but adhere to a character limit. If sending a WhatsApp message, restaurants don’t have to adhere to a character limit. So it’s best for restaurants to include the essentials in a message, writing with a consistent tone. They can also use free templates to quicken the process.
No-shows for restaurant tables result in wasted resources and lost revenue. Missing reservations damage a restaurant’s operations — and sometimes they happen due to mere forgetfulness.
This is where guest reminders come in. Restaurants can reduce the amount of guest “no shows” with reminder SMS texts.
Engaging frequently with guests recalls the pledge they previously made, that is, the confirmation SMS. As a result, if a guest no longer feels they can make the date, they can easily respond at their convenience. A quick reply illustrating their change of plans is a great improvement to a “no show”.
Other industries have caught on to the efficacy of digital reminders. Regarding SMS reminders in particular, a controlled study on doctor’s appointments found a fifty per cent decrease in a clinic’s overall no-shows. Digital reminders in restaurants provide the same function: they let the guest know in a hassle free way that they have an upcoming date.
Of course, restaurants can use phone calls to remind their guests of their reservations. However, telephone calls are inconvenient. Usually, many guests are too busy to receive a phone call. In fact, many people prefer to communicate via text than phone calls, a demographic that has increased since the early 2010s.
Phoning all your customers to remind them about reservations is too much work. A manual system locks staff members to one spot, having to stand dutifully beside a landline to process reservations. With a free system in place, however, restaurant staff can concentrate on other in-house duties.
Carbonara App provides restaurants with the tools to keep in control of their reservations, including:
Using restaurant confirmation SMS, Carbonara App is here to help restaurants do their best. Contact us to discover more, including free waitlist features.