Still using a pen and paper diary?
Cunninghams EPOS Group have recently conducted some research into the methods restaurants use when recording table bookings. Sent to over 1000 recipients, the responses shared some valuable insight into the various considerations when taking bookings. The largest revelation is how restaurant owners and managers still use out-dated processes that have obvious issues: providing clear future areas for improvement.
Staff Taking The Wrong Information
Whilst humans possess superior initiative and intelligence, there is room for error when performing repetitive or time pressured tasks. Bookings taken over the telephone provide an additional layer of complexity. Misspelled names or incorrect contact details make future contact attempts difficult, should you ever wish to reengage. Unfortunately, this can lead to restaurants with empty tables and poor data to contact no-shows.
Peak periods in the restaurant can lead to extremely busy sittings. In addition to staff members integral roles, the additional pressure of receiving telephone or email bookings can often lead to oversights. Forgetting to record table bookings at point of enquiry can lead to the embarrassing scenario of double bookings, long waiting times or inadequate facilities. This has a direct impact on customer satisfaction, restaurant reputation and missed revenue if the customers cannot be accommodated.
Unless restaurants have employees specifically to record telephone and email bookings (which is rare in smaller establishments), the task can be labour intensive. After recording, manually checking other diary entries and avoiding overbookings requires time and resource. The employee must know the basic figures required before confirming the table booking to avoid crossed wires or miscommunications.
An example of this is:
Maximum number of covers - number of diners already booked in diary = current availability
No Available Reports
Whilst maintaining a diary does collect some data, its value to your business is questionable. In order to turn the data into actionable resource, it must be collated in a method that is useful. Having telephone numbers stored in a phone book is much less actionable than having email addresses that are stored electronically. For businesses looking to future proof their customer communications and engagement, whilst software may seem like an unnecessary investment at present, future data archiving and marketing strategies must be considered.
While many companies have taken one step to becoming more efficient and use EPOS systems compared to dated POS tills, there is still some way to go. EPOS systems are now more advanced than ever, with multiple integrations and product offerings to suit independent business requirements. To be able to minimise the above everyday issues, businesses can look to depending more on their highly capable EPOS systems to get more value for money and increase profits through repeat business.
About Cunninghams EPOS Group
Cunninghams EPOS Software Group is a leading provider of EPOS solutions. With over 40 years' experience, Cunninghams has a specialist team of UK based, in-house technicians and developers. With outstanding knowledge of the EPOS environment, each solution is truly unique in its offering. Incorporating project management and after care support, with a Cunninghams product, customers receive a software investment for life that will grow and develop to fit their needs.