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How to Capitalize On the Future of Restaurant Reservation Software

In the last few years the restaurant tech landscape has been rapid evolving. In the past, the restaurant sector, and in particular fine dining business, have been slow to see the benefits of software when compared to other small business categories.

But this is changing.

Restaurants that take reservations now must acknowledge the central role tech plays in getting more bookings – both incrementally, and in increasing repeat customers.

Restaurant Reservation Software

In this article we’ll consider some of the ways the changing reservations landscape is effecting diner expectations, and how reservation software companies are looking to help restaurants meet those challenges and ultimately increase not just hospitality but also revenue.What is the future of restaurant reservations?

  1. Large aggregators dominate the demand side.

Companies like Google, TripAdvisor and Zomato are now the main driver of restaurant discovery online. On the flipside dedicated restaurant booking platforms like Open Table are becoming less and less powerful.

How restaurants take advantage

Choose a restaurant reservation system, like Eat App, that gives you access to a wide selection of booking partners. Many large discovery platforms like Google and TripAdvisor allow users to make bookings directly on their platform, but you need to be partnered with a software provider that connects to these platforms.

  1. Frictionless user experience

Tech in general has ushered in an age of convenience. Good software makes it extremely easy for people to interact with businesses. The result is that consumers now expect a frictionless experience in all areas of their lives. The same is true for restaurant reservations. People will use services that make their lives easier.

How restaurants take advantage

In short, restaurants should look how they can make the booking process as easy as possible for their customers. Technology is central to this process through optimized online booking widgets that make the booking process seamless for their guests. This includes fast load times, a great user interface, the ability to make requests directly.

  1. Era of automation

Automation can remove the time-consuming tasks that plague businesses. For restaurants the best example is the time hosts spend on the phone taking reservations and then confirming them a few days later, (not to mention the phone bills associated with this.) If each reservation call takes a host on average 2 mins to complete then over the span of a year this can add up to hundreds of hours of wasted staff time and money.

How restaurants take advantage

Partner with a reservation system that auto-confirms and contacts guests without having to use the phone. Today’s reservation systems auto send SMS and email confirmations to guests, removing the need for phone calls.

  1. Embrace Personalization

Personalization is a buzz word in the restaurants business these days. Each restaurant can approach this differently depending on their unique circumstances. Smart operators are looking beyond things like adding name tokens in emails and are now focusing more on segmenting users based on customer behavior.

How restaurants take advantage

Reservation management can play a central role in a restaurant’s personalization efforts. Reservation software will allow marketing managers, hosts and managers to see their customer data segmented so they know which customers need a certain type of treatment when they walk in the door.

  1. The future is great CRM

Getting repeat customers will increasingly become the name of the game for restaurant operators. This is because customer acquisition costs – the marketing cost it takes to get someone in the door – is rising and rising. Great food and service will always be the main driver of repeat customers, but CRM (customer relationship management) is also a vital tool for bringing guests back into the restaurants.

CRM is a suite of tools that allows you to communicate with guests in a relevant way. Most restaurants don’t have a systematic way of building a rich customer database and will simply blast emails through Mailchimp to the few people they have managed to get emails from.

How restaurants take advantage

The best way to get started is to choose reservation software that also acts as your CRM. The benefits of this are obvious. When guests make reservations, the system will automatically add them to a customer database which can used as the basis for CRM activities.

This massively improves the number of emails and phone numbers collected. It also gives the restaurant much finer details on their guests beyond simply a name and email address. This includes things like preferences. With this information a restaurant can send targeted offers to people who like seafood for instance.

Wrapping it up

The future of restaurant reservations is likely to be heavily impacted by digital technology. Software providers in the restaurant reservation space are meeting this new reality with features and products that help restaurants take advantage of this new reality.

Central to this new future is the changing way people discover and book at restaurants online. Restaurants must now make sure they are partnered with a reservation provider that gives them access to large discovery platforms. After the reservation has been placed reservation tech is giving restaurants the tools they need to provide better hospitality and also execute more effective marketing campaigns.

After working as digital marketing consultant for 4 years Deepak decided to leave and start his own Business. To know more about Deepak, find him on Facebook, LinkedIn now.


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