Restaurant operations in leading organizations in the industry have changed strategies quickly in recent times to meet the demands of a new paradigm. This is in light of social distancing and capacity restrictions in support of public health concerns. With mandates to better manage adequate spacing and serving guests within more specified windows of time, greater precision is vital to providing a comfortable guest experience. To achieve that central goal, leading restaurants have invested in reservations, and catering and event management software solutions that help them keep track of the details to be as agile as possible with a range of reservations and events scenarios.
What are some of the key elements that allow them to be successful? How does this apply to where the industry is headed when it comes to technology solutions like this in general? Let’s take a look.
Making more with less
With reduced space to work within due to necessary social distancing measures, innovative restaurant organizations are taking a look at how to deliver to the value of the guest experience under new conditions. As restaurants continue to open up, they are making more with less, and using reservations functionality to help them do it in a new paradigm. This means gaining greater precision on managing all kinds of requests from guests, from online reservations, to reservations by phone, to walk-ins. With the right solutions, restaurants can gather all of these requests and map them to available space according to capacity restrictions with no guesswork needed.
High-functioning software solutions help organizations to manage tasks better throughout the process from booking to bills. This includes mandated cleaning regimens in between table turns that includes door handles and other high touch areas in a property as well as table surfaces. Automated prompts help keep staff updated between one reservation and the next, placing all relevant activities on a visual timeline so as to get the most value for each booking while also providing greater clarity on how to ensure public health while delivering the best possible guest experience. As regulations and restrictions change around capacity restrictions, cutting edge reservations and events software is designed to change with them, making sure that this level of precision continues.
Creating greater efficiency via more empowered staff
This is another important area that reservations and catering and event management software offers in an era of social distancing and strict capacity regulations. In light of the various kinds of traffic, it can be difficult and even stressful to make sure that one booking does not clash with another. Paper and pen can only go so far. And these days, the stakes are higher. Reservations and event management software takes on the burden by displaying booking details on a timeline that gives everyone who needs it greater visibility, rather than placing it on the shoulders of individual staff members alone.
Visual and cloud-based solutions help staff see all bookings in one space, easily adapted and automatically updated as new elements like walk-ins, over-stays, no-shows, and early leaving guests are introduced into the mix. Restrictions and safety measures are configured into the systems. In this, staff can better manage clear and informed communications with each other and with guests to provide more realistic wait times, helping to avoid too many guests in waiting areas. When staff have the booking and capacity information they need at the right time, they are better equipped to create atmospheres of comfort and welcome, minimizing stress levels for everyone. That makes for a better guest experience all around.
Gaining a more inclusive perspective via the data
Under any conditions, more data as it is applied to consumer demand and behavior is better than less. As conditions shift and change in the restaurant industry landscape, restaurant reservations software and banquet and events solutions are key sources to gain a more inclusive perspective. Through incoming data, organizations can see the results of guest engagement, including average values on every table and event, ideal customer profiles, repeat business, and other metrics that indicate levels of success and areas of improvement. The key to getting to that place is creating a centralized environment where that data is more accessible across multiple locations.
With this more data-driven approach, leading organizations are rolling out solutions in the cloud, standardizing operations, and gathering business intelligence in a single ecosystem. This informs a more inclusive perspective on where the organization is winning, where to improve performance, and to determine where to invest in resources to create greater potential for profitability. When reservations systems, private dining event management solutions, point of sale data, booking and payment preferences, and other sources of data are integrated, organizations can create a clearer vision for what the future will look like while also meeting the demands of the present.
A new version of normal
The approach and means to engage with prospects and guests during an era of social distancing and on-property capacity restrictions is redefining what service and the guest experience means in restaurants. Hospitality technology and cloud-based restaurant solutions are helping organizations to better adapt. This helps to ensure greater resilience as current conditions determine the new version of normal for businesses and their guests alike.
The status quo of a previous era is no longer viable as the industry transitions into a new one. What else must restaurant and food services organizations consider for greater operational flexibility and resilience in light of that? We’ve created an in-depth resource that outlines some of the details.
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