Recently I started working with a new client who has not yet decided to use an online reservation system. As I prepared my reasoning for why his restaurant should, I decided to write it here for you.
1) Online Reservations accept your customer’s requests when THEY want to reserve a spot at your restaurant. 24/7 anytime they want. Social media never sleeps and a diner who is surfing early in the morning can click and make a reservation when they see your F page, web page, twitter feed etc… Plus: If their call goes to voicemail at your restaurant it can direct them online for ‘Immediate Confirmation’
2) Information Collection, many restaurateurs can talk until they are blue in the face about getting emails from customers, but employees are resistant. Online reservations basically require that the guests provide an email. With opt in check boxes your email list can bloom. That is money in your pocket.
3) Reminder Tweets & Facebook posts at the ideal times can be distributed to provide direct links to the online reservation page from each social media titan. Remember these are people who like your restaurant enough to follow you on twitter and/or become a friend on Facebook. They are ripe and proven customers who you can reach out to unobtrusively with these posts providing a simple way to make their plans. No hassle = better results.
~ Basically a very good online reservation system is going to cost you approximately $150 a month. That is $37.50 per week, for a tool that makes it easier for your customers to visit you. How many reservations would you have to get per week to justify this expense and add it to your online marketing efforts?
Let me know what you are using, why you are not, or what I can help you figure out about the various services. I am always here to talk, or on twitter @Spirocks.
You can reserve at my restaurant here: Evenfall Online Reservations