Booking in person or via a telephone has its charms. However, today’s customers want a speedier service, and have found it in making online reservations with their favourite venues.
We run through the top 4 reasons on why this is so.
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Why Online Reservations?
Today, when a whole world of instant services sits at the customer’s fingertips, customers no longer want to wait for things. People use their phones for a great deal of services, from aeroplane tickets to Google map directions.
Customers have undergone a change in mannerisms. The Wall Street Journal has reported on the restaurant industry in the USA, saying that customers have experienced a culture shift in their attitude to dining out.
Spending habits have changed. A large portion of people would prefer to stay at home, as online services offer instant services, from shopping to entertainment — even food.
Restaurants now need to make the reservations process as smooth as possible for customers. Online reservations for restaurants will maintain guestlist movement, reassuring venues that they are up to speed with the rest of the commercial world.
Going Online Eliminates Delays
Customers prefer booking online in other businesses, in other day-to-day duties, because it helps keep their schedules running smoothly.
In other industries online booking systems have had huge long-term benefits for visitors. In Kent, England, for example, people actually voted in to keep a public services online system running. The reason why was simple: it had a positive impact, for online bookings at half-hourly intervals minimised visitor dwell times.
Restaurants can learn a lot from customer demands in other industries. Clearly, visitors don’t want to wait — and online reservations can help prevent that from happening in restaurants. Public feedback has proven this change.
So why do people prefer online reservations for restaurants?
1. Customers discover restaurants online
Most of us are regular internet users. With the British government calculating that over 90 per cent of people are online in the UK alone, it comes as no surprise as to why online bookings work.
Consumers use various online sources to find new places to eat. Food blogs, price comparison websites, news sites — all are online sources that turn users into potential customers. Having a whole world of information at their fingertips, customers now have this opportunity to book instantly.
This being so, restaurants with an online reservations page are at a distinct advantage. Should customers read or find what strikes their fancy via the net, the next step for them is to make a booking. This is where a restaurant’s reservations page comes into play.
Making it easier for customers, online reservations for restaurants provide a great opportunity for new customers to view live table availability. Otherwise, they will have to go through the bother of phoning up, risk being held or have to wait for someone to pick up, and then negotiate a time for a table.
2. Open for business 24/7
Phone-based systems rely on two drawbacks: staff availability and time. During a restaurant’s operating hours staff are usually busy with other duties. When it comes to closing time, a venue can no longer take reservation requests.
In addition, a restaurant can only receive a limited amount of phone calls per day. Physically speaking, a staff member cannot have two phone conversations at one time.
This is difficult for customers. When operating at peak hours, restaurants that receive phone calls for table reservations find it difficult to heed to customer demands.
On the other hand, online platforms give new customers the ability to choose tables at any time. This also has the benefit of unlimited space — customers can book from anywhere with an internet connection.
All in all, restaurant customers find this process far more convenient.
Ease and comfort are gold standards when it comes to booking online. Consider the phenomenon of online shopping in today’s culture: convenience has ranked first in previous surveys of online shoppers. If shopping in-person is inconvenient, consumers go online. It’s a simple way for them to save time, eliminating the need to undergo a lengthy process to acquire goods.
The same ethic applies to online table ordering. Within a matter of seconds, customers can arrange a reservation via a web portal. If they’re using a mobile smartphone, it merely takes a few taps to complete a process that once required a phone call or visit to the restaurant.
3. Customers like to share experiences online
Chances are restaurant guests are excited to make their bookings. As such, it is highly likely that they will share this news online, that is, via social media.
When it comes to social media, customers may want to share a restaurant’s online page with others. If they find the online booking process smooth, they may accompany this with a positive online review — free publicity for your venue.
There is also a practical reason for this. Online reservations make it easier for customers to communicate and organise special occasions, appointments, or events with friends, family, or colleagues. They can share a booking link online to certify an upcoming arrangement, to make sure everyone in a party is up-to-date with upcoming arrangements.
Online restaurant reservations are convenient for customers (via Flickr)
This means easier availability. Otherwise, even if a customer wants to call up a restaurant, they will need to find the venue’s phone number first. This being so, the customer is probably using a web browser to find this out.
So why not give them the convenient option? Add a booking link to your restaurant’s Google Maps page and allow new customers the opportunity to make online reservations for restaurants with you in one go.
Don’t forget that online availability enables multi-language support.
If a restaurant attracts a customer base from across the globe, then not all newcomers will have the necessary linguistic skills to make a booking in person or over the phone.
With online reservations for restaurants, however, venues can support non-native speakers with ease. A web browser automatically translates foreign text into the first language of the user, permitting an easy booking process from the offset.
4. Gives customers control
In the course of their forays into restaurant bookings, many customers have no doubt grown frustrated with a needless process over the years. It’s clear where the direction of customer interaction with today’s restaurants lie: from hotel bookings to ordering food, clients now take online processes for granted.
Some restaurants are going further these days and are going completely cashless in the face of today’s demands.
It’s time to give restaurant customers the most convenient booking process available — for free. Restaurants can integrate a cost-free online reservations system at no cost whatsoever, all with the helping hand of Carbonara App.