Many restaurants are either looking for the capability to take bookings online or trying to determine if the online booking system they are using is right for their business. There are a lot of choices out there and knowing the pros & cons of each system enables restaurants to choose the best solution (software application) for their business
There are an increasing number of restaurants choosing to use online booking systems because of the advantages and benefits relating to time management. Online booking systems increase productivity in the workplace by decreasing the number of telephone calls during service hours. Bookings can be made even when the restaurant is closed or unattended i.e. busy periods. Once the booking is made the restaurant can then add the customer to their database. This means even if they do not show or have to cancel, the restaurant has now captured their information and can use direct marketing to attract them back to the restaurant.
A minority of restaurants, have implemented their own online booking form, which is filled out online by the customer and then forwarded as an email to the restaurant. This process has its limitations the number of bookings cannot be segmented or analaysed to gain a better understanding of customer behavioral patterns and current trends, thus making direct marketing (emails & campaigns) and implementing sales promotions (e.g. special offers or vouchers) to your customers far more time consuming. This manual process does not feed into a database and there is no process of recording notes on the customer to improve customer relationships.
There are 3 companies offering online booking systems for restaurants in Australia. Marketing4Restaurants has clearly differentiated itself from the other two: Dimmi & Book A Restaurant.
Dimmi and Book A Restaurant have very similar business models, they are customer focused.
Potential customers that book through Dimmi or Book A Restaurant input their information and contact details, which is then retained and added to their existing database. The booking is then passed on to the restaurant. Dimmi and Book A Restaurant use direct marketing to attract your potential customers, sending them special offers and promotions for other restaurants.
All the bookings made through Book A Table belong to the restaurant and only the restaurant. This then enables the restaurant to build their own database and develop their own marketing tools & strategies for their customers.
Marketing4Restaurants have created a chart to clearly show the difference between each online booking system enabling the customer to decide which solution (software application) is best for them.
Hopefully this review of restaurant booking systems will have helped you to decide if you are using the right system for you. If you have any questions, contact the team at [email protected].
Is Poor SEO Killing Your Restaurant?
Too many times we see customers with websites that are costing restaurants thousands of dollars every month through poor design, poor messaging and poor SEO. If your website could be improved to bring in 200 extra visits per month and just 10% of those made a booking, and each booking was for 2.5 seats on average at $50 a seat, you would have an extra $2,500 in revenue a month. A 30% food cost, that is $1,750 in profit extra a month. This ignores those customers coming back as regulars – which is more profit.
Remember, if these customers aren’t finding your Restaurant, they are finding your competitors.
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