Keeping track of your table reservations on an old-school booking sheet can be a daunting task, often prone to errors. Plus, taking bookings over the phone adds additional strain on your already busy staff. With an online table booking system, you can lift off some of the burdens whilst also increasing your operational efficiency, as well as customer satisfaction.
However, there’s a wide range of booking systems on the market, choosing between them can be a challenge.
So, how do you make sure a table booking system does what you expect and need?
11 Must-Have Table Booking System Features
Here are 11 key features (and some optional ones) to look out for that will help you pick the right one.
Customer point of view:
- User-friendly interface – easy to navigate, minimal clicks to make a booking, automatically resizes for all screens
- A simple calendar view to choose day & time
- Options to add special requests and dietary requirements
- The ability to brand and design touch points to support customer experience
Business point of view:
- Full table management – set cover length & number, availabilities, booking priorities
- Timelines – quick visual overview of upcoming bookings
- Floor plan – manage venue layout and seating plan
- Real-time booking updates & offline access
- Booking reminders – automated email & SMS reminders to reduce no-shows
- Easy to embed on the website with a link on your social channels
- User-friendliness – intuitive to use and quick for staff to get started
Additional nice-to-have features:
- Full integration with your CRM and other tech tools (i.e. feedback tools)
- Waitlist management – online queueing option
- Pre-order feature with integrated menu
- Pre-payment option for deposits
Quick Tips – How To Master Essential Table Booking System Features
Calculate your average dining time per table to determine the right booking slot size.
Add some extra time to your slots to leave enough space in between each booking. This allows you to clear the table and get ready for the next customer.
Make sure to block larger online bookings (for events, parties, etc.) by setting a max. party size, i.e. < 10 pax. And be sure to offer an alternative contact method for those that don’t fit the regular options.
Leave some tables free during peak times to allow for walk-ins and take them off your online bookings.