7 Common Reservations with an Online Hospitality Platform

Running a successful restaurant means navigating the world of online hospitality platforms. It promises to elevate the dining experience and drive traffic to your venue — but the digital journey isn’t all hors d’oeuvres and champagne. Here are 7 reservations you might have about online hospitality platforms, and how to turn the tables to your advantage.

1. Limited Customisation Options

As unique as each restaurant’s menu is, customisation options for reservation settings can often seem as restricted as a prix fixe selection. Your culinary calendar needs to be as nimble as a chef’s recipe, but some platforms serve up a one-size-fits-all dish.

Finding Flexibility 

The solution is to shop around for platforms that don’t straitjacket your options. There are systems out there providing the flexibility to mould the booking process to fit your business flow, from setup to execution. This way, the experience is tailored to both you and your guests, fostering loyalty and comfort.

Learn more: Customisable Restaurant Seating Features with Carbonara App

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2. Booking Fee and Commission Structure

While online hospitality platforms can serve as a marketing avenue, they don’t come free. After the rush of full reservations, commissions and booking fees could leave a bittersweet taste.

The Fee Dilemma 

It’s not unheard of to pay substantial fees — some commission costs reach upwards of 30% in the food delivery industry — for the convenience some platforms offer. This could mean cutting into your revenue or increasing your prices, which might not sit well with your business plan.

Navigating the Cost Seas 

Some platforms are willing to tailor their fees based on the volume of reservations or offer subscription models. Others may allow for direct bookings through your website, bypassing fees entirely. Alternatively, differentiate your offerings or alter your pricing strategy to accommodate these costs without turning away diners.

Did you hear about Carbonara App’s low-cost model? Learn how to work with our low-fee pricing with an online restaurant booking system without breaking the bank.

3. Limited Control Over Customer Data

The customer relationship doesn’t end when they step out the door. If you’re not capturing their data, you’re missing out on opportunities — for instance, with loyalty programs, targeted marketing, and understanding your clientele’s preferences.

Online Hospitality Recipe for Success 

Secure a platform that shares the data wealth. Ensure you have access to robust reporting tools and integrated customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This way, every guest interaction continues to feed the immersive dining experience you provide, even after they’ve left.

Remember it’s important to keep ahead of data legislation. Carbonara App has you covered: read why the 8 restaurant data protection principles are key.

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Image by LEEROY Agency from Pixabay (creative commons 2.0)

4. Technical Glitches and Downtime

Imagine a Saturday night rush interrupted by a system crash, leaving your diners in a digital limbo and your staff floundering in a tech-induced mire.

The Technology Tightrope 

For systems integral to your operations, reliability is non-negotiable. When a platform encounters downtime, reservations are lost, and the delicate balance of your service experience is disrupted.

Balancing Acts 

Look for platforms that boast solid uptimes and proactive support structures, offering backup plans and clear communication in the face of technical gremlins. A great cloud-based hospitality system smoothly delivers during hiccups because crucial customer data is always available in the cloud.

5. Difficulty in Handling Special Requests

Diners crave experiences. A digital platform that falters to accommodate special requests fails to provide that extra pinch of personalised service that your patrons expect.

Special is the New Standard 

Whether it’s dietary restrictions for a growing crowd of vegans or celebrating a birthday with a surprise cake, your online hospitality system should integrate these nuances into a seamless booking process.

A La Carte Solutions 

So choose a platform that handles special requests with as much ease as the regular ones. Carbonara App’s features, for example, allow customers to seamlessly add notes to reservations, alerting staff in advance of special requests.

6. Lack of Branding Opportunities

The online sphere is vast. Your restaurant’s identity might seem to drown in a sea of profiles. A lack of branding opportunities could mean that your digital presence ends up looking like everybody else’s — and that fails to win stars in a world where first impressions can last or leave.

The Branding Buffet 

An online hospitality platform should serve as an extension of your brand. It should help communicate your aesthetic, your values, and the unique benefits of dining with you.

Plating Your Presence 

Platforms that seamlessly integrate with your website and social media set the stage for an authentic, engaging digital experience. This could include personalised confirmation messages or tailored waitlist pages, enriching the connection between your brand and your audience.

7. Dependency on Online Hospitality Platform

Embarking on the online hospitality journey is akin to selecting the perfect wine for your restaurant’s exquisitely crafted dishes — a blend of taste, tone, and timing. 

Boston University has recorded the technology trends in hospitality and found that it now plays an important role in ensuring businesses survive in the future.

To keep your competitive edge, Carbonara App provides the perfect low-cost solution.

Scared of dependency on a digital system? First, try it out. Seamlessly manage queues and reservations to witness the transformative impact the app can have on your restaurant’s processes. 

In a space where innovation meets tradition, it’s the restaurateurs who know how to wield technology that will rise to the top, to craft a dining experience that’s not just satisfying, but truly unforgettable.

For an in-depth breakdown of how an app works, check out our ultimate guide to restaurant reservation systems.

Read More: Why This Portuguese Restaurant is Now Using Carbonara App

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Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay (creative commons 2.0)