How Restaurants Benefit From Offering Reservations

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Restaurant Reservations

Film
and television make it seem as if only the most exclusive New York City or
Paris restaurants accept reservations. While it may be true that some of these eateries require
reservations, even casual dining establishments can offer
reservations. In fact, doing so may help
fill up those bar tables and provide a host of other benefits for a restaurant
striving for success.

Brings in Additional
Customers
When
the tables for restaurant patrons are offered on a reservation system, there’s
a good chance that the eatery will see an influx of new patrons. While the New York Times did point out in
2010 that some consumers won’t even consider eating at a restaurant that
doesn’t offer reservations, doing so actually brings in guests in a variety of
other ways.

On
nights that are sure to be busy around town, for instance, many individuals
will opt for a restaurant they’re guaranteed a seat at rather than showing up
somewhere and potentially having to wait an hour. Whether it’s prom night, college football
season or simply Friday night on a city’s main strip, the promise of a timely
table is very attractive to patrons.

Helps With Restaurant
Scheduling
One
of the biggest issues with running a restaurant is
figuring out how many servers, cooks and other staff to schedule. After all, the number of full bar tables can
vary on any given night. Fortunately,
offering table reservations can reduce the headache of figuring out scheduling.

This
isn’t to say that everyone who shows up asking for a restaurant booth will call
ahead. But when reservations are offered
at an eatery, culinary entrepreneurs will at least have an idea of the demand
they’ll experience on a specific night. This can help reduce labor costs and ensure servers aren’t upset about
showing up on excessively slow nights.

Reduces Hectic Nature of
Peak Hours
In
addition to having an idea of how many people will show up at a restaurant,
offering reservations can also reduce wait times and prevent kitchen and server
backlogs. The peak hours of a
restaurant, for instance, could be between 6 and 7 pm. Even with this being the case, though, some
patrons will opt to reserve a bar table or booth outside of these busy hours to
ensure they have no wait.

Fortunately,
restaurant staff can assert maximum control over this. If patrons call in looking for a table at a
certain time, it isn’t difficult to persuade them to come in half an hour
earlier or later. This can ensure a
restaurant has a steady flow of guests without overwhelming staff or requiring
"show-up-and-wait" patrons to face long wait times.

Even
if all of a restaurant’s bar tables aren’t filled up via reservations, offering
the service does provide a variety of benefits. It’s important to note, though, that there are additional costs in doing
this. A restaurateur simply needs to
weigh the costs and benefits and decide if taking reservations is right for
their establishment.