Don’t Ditch your Diary

A Guide to Special Event Days

Everyone loves a celebration, be it Christmas, Easter or even hokey old Mother’s day.  If you work in hospitality though, these lovely occasions can seem like a nightmare.  Everything changes in-house, shifts get longer and your family and significant other start muttering about “not even recognising you anymore.”  You’d never dream of ditching your loved ones during these changing times, so why ditch your reservation system?  Sure, things are a bit different, even complicated but that’s when you need them and your diary most.

We’ve noted a trend that when the going gets tough, restaurants put down the laptop and pick up the big paper book, believing that no one but a live human can deal with a new set up. That’s simply not true. ResDiary has all the tools to ensure your venue is set up as needed and your staff members follow the new rules. After all, the last thing you need is a Christmas temp taking a 40 top and not storing their number.

So take a look at all of the features within ResDiary that will make your big days a bit easier. More than any book, ResDiary can streamline your operations, stop mistakes and perhaps, even get you home for mum’s big dinner.

“My restaurant changes shape when we have a special event on”

You can have unlimited configurations for your diary for special events. Your tables all join together to create long rows? You squeeze an extra few tables in during Christmas that aren’t there during rest of the year? It’s a big room of 2-tops at Valentines? No problem.

HOW TO USE SEGMENTS | JOINING TABLES

“I want to squeeze an extra guest onto a table”

Sometimes you’d put a 5 where normally a 4 would sit. You don’t need to change the table capacity settings, but as a manager, you can increase the party size, on a case by case basis. So yes, Mr Smith’s Granny can join them on Saturday. And yes, your staff will know she’s coming.

 HOW TO OVERRIDE THE CAPACITY OF A TABLE

“We’re doing a special menu that night and want to make sure our customers know”

Let your customers know at the point of booking what to expect. If you ‘force’ the promotion, they’ll also know there’s no option to dine a la carte that day, as they can only book for the promotion, and price, that you’re offering.

FORCED PROMOTIONS

“We don’t want to lose any business on special days”

Special day events book up quickly, and you’re less likely to gain walk in business as potential customers may assume (rightly) that you’re fully booked. This means that no-shows are a particular problem as it’s not as easy to fill that table again. To help protect your revenue, try holding card details as a deterrent to no-show diners.

STRIPE TOKENIZATION

ADD YOUR NO SHOW AND CANCELLATION POLICY TO YOUR EMAIL CONFIRMATIONS

“I don’t want the kitchen to be slammed, but my staff have a habit of taking all bookings at 7pm”

Accurately control the flow of bookings with a limit to the number of bookings or covers that can be booked in by staff at each time slot.

CLOSEOUTS | YIELD MANAGEMENT

“My Opening/Closing times change for one day”

Depending on how drastic a change (service times, tables, areas) being made to your diary for your event/special day – you may wish to set up a new segment for the changes, rather than edit your regular service times if they won’t be changing afterwards. This means you can open all day if you usually have a break in service after lunch, or open/close earlier or later in the evening.

WHAT ARE SEGMENTS AND HOW DO I USE THEM | HOW TO SET UP A NEW SEGMENT

“I want to give guests longer/shorter times at their tables for one day”

You can alter the time automatically allocated to a reservation manually, but if you prefer to give tables a longer seating time for a particular day – you can alter average time at table using a segment. You may also wish to confirm to the customer that they must vacate the table by a certain time by using Leave Time Rules.

AVERAGE TIME RULES | LEAVE TIME RULES

“We are running a different menu, how do I show our guests?”

Show your customers a preview! Add a sample menu to encourage bookings. You can also add this link to your confirmation emails, so they can send this on to other members of the party to view when they’ve booked.

HOW TO UPLOAD YOUR MENU

“How will my customers know we are doing something different?”

Send them a promotional email from your diary to encourage them to come! Send them the link to the menu, what to expect on the day and a link to book directly too. The easier you make it, the better the customer experience. You can also set up a promotion on ResDiary so all customers booking online can see the promotion details. This also acts as a prompt for staff taking reservations internally too – ‘you’re reserving a table for the Swinging Sixties Spaghetti Night, please remember not to wear white…’

HOW TO USE THE RESDIARY MARKETING SUITE | HOW TO ADD A LINK TO AN EMAIL

HOW TO SET UP A (FORCED OR UNFORCED) PROMOTION

1

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