With just the basics, ResDiary is an effective and user-friendly table management system. But, delve a little deeper, and there’s a wide range of features that can help to maximise a hospitality venue’s revenue, booking capabilities and organisational efficiency. According to ResDiary’s Head of Customer Success and Support APAC Stefan Overzier, there are a range of underrated features that hospitality businesses should keep in mind.
1) Widgets & Booking Channels
ResDiary’s widgets make it easy for patrons to book a table. Venues can embed them on their website and social media channels, patrons can click the ‘book now’ option, enter their group size (and all other details) and confirm the table. But, Overzier says there’s more to the feature than some venues realise.
Venues can customise the look, settings and details within the widgets. They can add colour codes to see where bookings are coming from (for example, Instagram bookings might appear in purple, Google bookings as red and group bookings in yellow). They can also add relevant promotions to encourage bookings through specific channels.
Discovering where patrons are making reservations can be an important marketing and analytical tool, while providing booking widgets across different platforms can help to increase bookings. So play around with the widget configurator – the benefits could be meaningful.
2) Booking notification emails
When guests make a booking through ResDiary channels, they receive a notification email. Many venues have also set up reminder emails to reduce no-shows, emails to confirm cancellations and a post-dining email for feedback. But, according to Overzier, there are even more capabilities entwined with booking notifications.
Venues can modify the notification emails to add terms and conditions. They can adjust themes, incorporate pictures and logos and schedule when the notifications are sent.
“These notifications are very dynamic, and can be set up so customers are equipped with relevant information before they arrive. By including images or a description of the menu, it can add to the excitement for the experience to come,” Overzier says.
“Often, the notification email is unadjusted, and can look old with broken or unrepresented images. But, the customer support team is happy to help, and it’s really worth it. It can be a great looking email that really shows off the venue’s brand.”
3) Event Manager and pre-ordering
ResDiary’s Event Manager enables venues to manage events, enquiries, group bookings and events in one place.
Once the event is confirmed by patrons, staff members can add and share notes, files and links, add run sheets for events and organise contactless pre-orders, payments and customer requests ahead of time. The venue can then access a report which captures all relevant data. Overzier says the Event Manager enables staff to communicate with guests, and prep for service.
“With Event Manager and pre-orders, the venue doesn’t have to contact customers [in person] to clarify bookings or dining requests. The feature reduces costs and wastage [as staff know what the guests are ordering in advance] and assists with predictability of service,” he says.
“The feature is exciting and easy to use.”
4) Table plan
ResDiary’s table plan is a great tool for front-of-house staff. Bookings are colour coded, with the colours changing depending on a range of actions including (but not limited to): whether patrons are fully/partially seated, if drinks and mains are ordered/away and whether payment has been made.
“A particular benefit of the table plan is that if a group has a two-hour booking, but is seated for 90 minutes, the venue has the opportunity to send a text to someone from the waitlist to fill up that table quickly,” Overzier says.
“It’s fun to set up, and can help the venue get bums on seats.”
5) Yield Management
Yield Management works best in tandem with seating duration and close out times. According to Overzier, the feature enables the venue to control group sizes in an organised fashion.
“Venues can [let] everyone come in at once, or use the Yield Management feature to spread the room across different time slots. For example, they might allow 10 covers, or 20 bookings for between 5:30pm-7pm on a Friday evening and, once that’s achieved, they can close the time-slot,” he says.
If the yield is right, the venue can maximise their covers without overwhelming the kitchen.”
6) Booking and customer codes
Booking codes allow venues to create, and insert colours and symbols into relevant bookings. For instance, a booking will come up with a B attached if it is for a birthday, an A for an anniversary and so on. Venues can also add unique customer codes to mark relevant details, including: if they are food reviewers, locals/regulars, or if they request a window seat.
Overzier says these codes and symbols are seen by staff in the table management grid, which can help to provide excellent customer service.
“These codes will form part of the customer profile. For example, if a patron walks in, and it’s their birthday, the [associated] code can provide a talking point between staff and the patron,” Overzier says.
“Service which is customised to customer needs and interests can encourage repeat bookings.”
7) Dish Cult (powered by ResDiary)
Dish Cult is a multi-faceted dining companion where hospitality venues can promote their venue, increase their brand awareness and generate bookings in the one place. Readers can search names, locations and cuisines to discover new venues, or reacquaint with favourites. There’s a range of neighbourhood guides, interviews and stories that inform potential diners looking to explore the hospitality scene, and build anticipation for the experience to come. Readers can access previews featuring descriptions, images and menus, add venues to their Wish List and – as DishCult is integrated with ResDiary – a table reservation is only a few clicks away. Following the dining experience, patrons can add the venue to their ‘My List’ as a reminder to return, and share their experience via ratings and reviews. This just scratches the surface of what can be done with Dish Cult – now’s the time to set up, or update your listing.
There’s heaps of ways to use ResDiary, and it might be a particular feature that is the perfect fit for your venue. So get in touch with the customer support team – they’ll guide you through everything that ResDiary has to offer.
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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