The summer presents both fantastic opportunities to generate revenue from increased table bookings and staffing challenges for you as a hospitality business owner, so how can you build on last year and reduce the headaches?
In this blog, we explore six steps to a successful summer to help you to increase operational efficiency and delight your customers -- so they’re re-booking before they’ve finished their last spoonful of sundae.
Suns out drinks out
In the UK, we tend to have to live spontaneously when it comes to the weather, so it’s no surprise that customers want the convenience to book a table quickly and easily when they fancy brunch alfresco.
For restaurant owners, this provides a chance to snap up last-minute bookings. The challenge arises, however, when the restaurant team are busy and the phone remains unanswered or no-shows result in lost business, where tables could and should have been re-booked.
This is where savvy restaurant owners that have 24/7 online reservation systems will have the edge -- with real-time availability you can easily fill up tables and release no-show tables to last-minute bookers. When it comes to the other 20%, there are tools like liveRES’s Bookings by Phone product, powered by IOVOX, which are a very cost-effective way of ensuring that calls are answered and bookings are secured.
One in one out keep moving
Many restaurateurs pride themselves on the ability to flip tables and get the next booking in, but if done manually, there can be a large margin for error. For instance, where a customer has been given a time slot for a table in a busy restaurant but is still contemplating their dessert choice five minutes before they were supposed to be done.
Use an app or a tablet for reservations, serving staff, customer orders, and you might just speed up the service even further. Plus, your customers want you to use apps and tablets to improve service according to GO Technology, who reported that 31% were willing this technology along. Why? Customers are rapidly connecting technology with convenience and better service.
A taste of summer
Another way to capitalise on the income that summer customers can bring is by launching special menus for summer and incentivising your customers to pre-order. Pre-order technology is revolutionising restaurant and pub efficiency -- it’s so much easier if you can plan recipe ingredients and resources.
Where pre-order and events technology really come into their own is when you know there are big events or celebrations booked in. Whether it’s a cricket-inspired menu or Wimbledon-themed fruity drinks, you can inspire your guests, increase revenue, and keep chefs happy with capacity planning.
Hot and bothered
When the sun is shining and your venue is heaving, it can put a lot of pressure on team members and managers. When staff are struggling to keep up, it can often result in sub-par customer service from stressed out team members. Busy periods are great for income generation, but only if they result in delighted customers.
By using reservation software with integrated features that offer customer convenience, such as liveRES, you reduce the stress levels on your team. Whether it’s front of house or in the kitchen, planning for numbers gives everyone the information they need, and fewer people ordering at the bar enables more team members to deliver food and drink to customers at tables.
Shaken not stirred
Insights into customer behaviour are like gold nuggets, they allow you to plan your summer based on peaks and troughs, incentivising quite times and maximising revenue in busy periods. Not only is this great for planning staff resources, but it also enables insight into guest behaviour -- such as when they book, where they like to sit, and what they like to order.
Maximising your income during the summer season is easy with technology that is specifically developed for the hospitality industry. liveRES software is an online bookings and table management solution that puts your business first. Plus, with game-changing integrated extras, such as liveRES Bookings by Phone powered by IOVOX, Events & Pre-Order, and Feed It Back guest feedback, your restaurant will run like clockwork.