Instant Restaurant Confirmations To Enhance Customer Experience

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.  

Guests and Reservations

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?

  • Cancel Customer Mistakes. Quite simply, today’s restaurant customers can forget the details of their booking very easily, including time, party size even making the whole booking altogether. Unfortunately, this happens often. On the other hand, digital communications provide quick notifications to help customers remember their plans.
  • Stamp Down On No-Shows. Without any reminders, customers find it hard to honour their table bookings. They may also forget to cancel. A problem for most restaurants, digital restaurant reminders help customers avoid any misapprehensions.
  • Promote Ease-of-Use For Customers. Sometimes, customers have to rearrange their plans. Perhaps they need to make a change to their table booking. For example, they may want to include an extra person. Perhaps they are running behind on their schedule. Digital confirmations provide a platform for the customer to update restaurant staff about their booking(s). All it takes is a quick reply.
  • Boost Guest Information. Using digital communications, restaurants can now share useful information with their guests. For instance, a restaurant confirmation SMS can provide a link to your restaurant’s online menu, allowing a customer to review it before arrival.
restaurant confirmation sms reminder carbonara app
Digital restaurant confirmations help remind guests about their bookings (via Flickr courtesy of Marco Verch, Creative Commons 2.0)

Restaurant Confirmation SMS Texts Are Better

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.  

  1. Input customer details electronically or receive a guest booking online via your online reservation page
  2. If a mobile number is added to a reservation after booking, the system will send an automated confirmation
  3. Guests receive a pre-written SMS text or WhatsApp message that confirms their booking

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.

The Importance of Restaurant Confirmations

Via SMS, restaurant guests appreciate immediate confirmations for three main reasons. 

1. Creates Customer Confidence

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.

2. Saves Everyone Time

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.

3. Boosts Guests Interests

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.

Smartphone in pocket--restaurant confirmation SMS--Jonas

By Jonas Leupe via Unsplash (creative commons 2.0)

Restaurant Confirmation SMS are Customisable

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.

Instant Reminders Reduce No Shows

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

Restaurant Confirmations and Reminders with Carbonara App

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:

  • automatic confirmations. Restaurants no longer need to worry about sending confirmations themselves. The Carbonara App helps out and sends confirmations as soon as operators process guest details, saving everyone time.  
  • SMS notifications. No overheads or tariff rates, ensuring that all restaurants save money when sending out a restaurant confirmation SMS.
  • WhatsApp notifications. Carbonara App also includes WhatsApp functionality, at no cost whatsoever. Guests receive a reminder message on their WhatsApp account. If unreceived or unread, Carbonara App automatically sends an SMS reminder to ensure a message’s full delivery. 
  • reminder features. Restaurants can send as many reminders they need up to the guest’s reservation date, promising to cut down on the rate of “no shows”.

Using restaurant confirmation SMS, Carbonara App is here to help restaurants do their best. Contact us to discover more, including waitlist features.