Online table management services are crucial for hospitality venues in organising and managing bookings. But, a challenge for these venues is finding the right platform, and being able to customise so it suits the venue at hand.
This can be particularly difficult for venues that don’t fit the mould of a traditional café, bar or restaurant. One such example is a theatre restaurant, which offers dinner and a show. They have to find a system that can handle both the dining experience and the entertainment, while offering a range of features to suit their unique capabilities. The same may be true for stand up comedy venues, jazz clubs, musical theatre venues, and cabarets.
According to ResDiary ANZ Customer Support Lead Declan O’Toole, a venue’s diary can be modified by the support team to suit almost any type of venue. Here’s a few things for dinner and show venues to consider in choosing a platform, and tailoring it so customers are coming through the door again and again.
Finding the right package, and sync the diary accordingly
ResDiary’s customer support team has worked with all sorts of dining venues – including dinner & show restaurants – and can create different VIP packages, in consultation with the venue, depending on customer preferences. These might include a show-only option, a dine and show option, and a dine and show option with different perks included.
The venue can also utilise promotions in the booking process to secure reservations, and encourage bookings. According to O’Toole, promotions that have been used by entertainment restaurants include pre-payments to avoid no-shows, discounts for children and the use of ResDiary Vouchers.
“Especially during lower periods like January and February – which are usually quieter months – [these venues] have advertised [discounted] offers … and we have worked with them on different deals and promotions,” he says.
“When the customer goes to make a booking through a promotion, everything – including the time and dates available – are preselected for the customer, and [the booking] links straight into the venue’s diary. It’s easy and straight-forward to make and process these reservations.”
O’Toole says that different promotions can be built to suit the events and venue types.
“For example, we have [installed] trivia night promotions in the past. The guest can choose to make a standard reservation, or make a booking through the promotion that’s been highlighted [for them],” he says.
“It means they are able to create the right reservation for the [event] that the venue wants.”
Using data to drum up repeat business
Another challenge for venues offering entertainment is encouraging customers to return to the venue on a regular basis. O’Toole says that building their customer database – and creating marketing strategies around it – can be key in achieving this goal.
“At the moment, the most valuable resource isn’t oil, but data. ResDiary is an incredible tool for securely storing data, and growing that database over time. There’s lots of things that hospitality venues can do to incentivise customers to opt-in to their database – such as asking them to subscribe [to an online newsletter, or for updates about upcoming events],” he says.
“There are also details that venues can add to their booking process, [such as] date of birth. Venues can [subsequently] use ResDiary Reports to see which birthdays are coming up in the next two weeks. They can then extract that database, and send an email to customers with whatever offers are available on their birthday.
“For larger groups with multiple venues, they often have a dedicated marketing team behind them. Customers can opt-in so they receive information from sister venues, [and/or] the venue they attended.
“Venues use their customer database all the time to drum up repeat business.”
ResDiary is an incredibly flexible tool
ResDiary is a versatile tool that can be modified or adapted over time. For entertainment venues, this might mean being able to book dinner and a show, but for other venues, the add-ons or booking details involved might be completely different.
He adds that the customer support team is always there for venues to get the best out of ResDiary.
“Even if the request is quite unusual or unique, we can certainly make it work.”
Disclaimer: This guide is general in nature and does not take into account your individual circumstances. Before acting on any information, you should consider whether this is right for your business.
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