Gone are the days when one could walk into any restaurant in their neighborhood, order some delicious food, have some amazing taste experiences in a peaceful environment, and drive back home with a happy tummy. Thanks to the ever-growing human population and the dinginess in metropolitan cities, people now must reserve a table at a restaurant before arriving at the same. Well basically, a table reservation is an advance arrangement to reserve a table in any restaurant either using a phone call, personal meetup or online portals.
While the clear majority of restaurants around the world don't have a need to make reservations, some of them not even having any policy or channels to make one, this approach is mostly followed by the high-end restaurants in super crowded cities to avoid congestion at the restaurant waiting areas.
Some business owners believe this feature of allowing reservations at their restaurant adds a feather to the excellent dining experience they provide to the customer. Hence the customer feels like they have been delivered a quality experience in terms of service.
In these recent modern times, most restaurants have replaced the traditional "writing down a name and number "approach with an online reservation system. There are websites and apps of different restaurants that customers can use to make these reservations. Services like Zomato allow you to reserve tables at more than one restaurant through one single website or app. The website or app has made restaurant bookings relatively easy and convenient enough to be readily available at the touch of a button. A restaurant will always consider the pros and cons of advance table reservations before allowing the same. Advance table reservation does involve some cost, although the benefits generally outweigh the disadvantages of this feature.
Like any other service, there will be customers who will be attracted to and customers who will churn away. When a customer decides to discontinue his interaction with a service or business, it is customer churn. Let us now discuss some possible ways of reducing customer churn in restaurant table bookings.
Provide Attractive Incentives:
Restaurants can provide specific discounts and offer to customers who prefer reservations over walk-ins. The offer may include a small waiver from the total bill received or a complimentary drink or meal. Customers will then be encouraged to book tables most of the time using this reservation feature. The restaurant will also have a count of the total number of customers to be expected for any particular time and hence can ensure quality service and efficient customer experience. Reservations also help the restaurant to maintain a more organized dining place as only a certain number of people would arrive at any particular time. However, the restaurant should ensure that this offer brings in enough customers to break even with the loss incurred due to the discount and always be in profit.
Avoid Reservation Cancellation Charges:
Customers may change their minds at the last moment. They may have a better restaurant that they wish to go to; they may have an absolute emergency due to which they might not be able to make it to the reservation, or there may be other factors involved. If a restaurant has charged a small fee for the advance table reservation made, it should ensure that the entire amount is refunded back to the customer in the event of a cancellation. Some restaurants do not charge any fees for making a reservation. They set a timeline instead. If the customer can arrive at the restaurant within the preferred timeframe, the booking is considered valid. Charging any cancellation fees or marking the reservation as invalid in case a customer fails to arrive on the exact stipulated time may hinder the customer experience and they may decide never again to use the service.
Efficient Booking Experience:
The restaurant business must make sure that the reservation feature provided on their website or application is seamless customer experience. There should be minimal to no problems that customers should face while making a reservation. The service should avoid overbooking at all costs because if all customers decide to turn up, and some of them end up waiting, it would negatively impact the customer experience provided by the business. If there are any hassles that a customer faces while trying to make a reservation online, the service needs to make sure that the issues are all fixed within minimal time. In case a customer faces any hardships while making a booking, the service should compensate by providing specific incentives as a token of apology. All such steps will make the customer feel that the service cares and values the customer's tie and experience.
It may be impossible to avoid customer churn, but keeping it down is very much possible. Using innovative data-driven methodologies, not only will the churn rate decrease, but customer retention will also be a reality. If you are looking for such a platform, we suggest you try out Datoin.