Summertime is patio season. There’s nothing better than enjoying a cold one after work on a patio at a restaurant with your co-workers, friends, or family.
However, chances are you may find yourself waiting for a spot to open up on your chosen patio, with potentially a 20-30 minute expected wait time before being seated. What do you do? Do you hang around the restaurant the entire time, just waiting for them to call out your name? Do you leave the restaurant after putting your name down for a table, risking the possibility that you will lose out if a table opens up sooner than expected?
Neither of these options is ideal. Waiting around is boring and can cause congestion in the waiting areas for both staff and other patrons, while leaving means you might lose out on a table that opens up earlier than the provided wait time, causing frustration.
As a restaurant, how can you keep your patio patrons happy and get them on your patio as soon as possible, while limiting the amount of patrons waiting around and clogging up space?
It’s time to implement an automated patio waitlist management solution!
What does a solution such as this entail, you ask? Check out this blog where we outline the four easy steps to implement an automated patio waitlist management solution.
You may also be asking why your restaurant needs an automated solution to manage the waitlist for your patio. Lucky for you, we have compiled a list of benefits that we hope will persuade you that adopting an automated solution is not only helpful, but necessary!
Let’s check them out.
1. Save Time and Boost Efficiency
Alright, so this may actually be two benefits in one, but it doesn’t make it any less true. An automated patio waitlist management solution will allow your restaurant to save the time it takes to collect patrons’ names and phone numbers and write them down manually in a list by simply having them add themselves to a digital waitlist. They can do this by scanning a QR code with their mobile phone and filling out a short form with their information, the number of people in their party, etc. Submitting the form will automatically add the patron to the waitlist that your host can look at when a table frees up, boosting efficiency in that they won’t have to look at a hastily scrawled, handwritten list to determine to whom to give the table.
2. Reduce Human Errors
In the same vein as the previous point about the “hastily scrawled, handwritten lists,” when you are writing down patron information onto a patio waitlist quickly in a crowded and noisy restaurant, it is easy to accidentally collect incorrect information. Perhaps you misheard the patron’s name or wrote down an incorrect phone number. Perhaps you forgot to include the number of people in the party, meaning you have to call the patron and confirm, wasting precious time and getting their hopes up prematurely.
An automated and digital waitlist solution helps to prevent these potential human errors and allows you to make sure all required information is captured the first time, leading to an all around more pleasant experience for all parties involved.
3. One-Click Notifications
Once a spot opens up on your patio, having an automated solution on hand means that there is no need to go flipping through the pages of a manual waitlist to search for a party of an appropriate size to offer the table to. This information is all contained in a digital, easy-to-read format that is accessible from a phone or computer! All a host needs to do to notify the next suitable party on the list is click a button to send an automated, pre-templated notification to them. The patron can then respond to the notification with a simple “Yes” or “No” to indicate whether they would like to accept the table.
4. Easy Waitlist Removal
Another benefit of an automated patio waitlist is the ability to automatically remove customers from the waitlist once they respond to the notification one way or another. This helps you to keep your waitlist clean and manageable so you always know exactly who is still waiting for a table and who has already been served or has already declined their seat.
5. Safe Data Storage
Data security is a big deal. Your patrons want to be sure that any information they provide your restaurant will not cause them to end up on a spammer’s email or robocall lists. There are also security concerns with manual waitlists, where the physical waitlist can either be stolen or lost. In the case of a digital system, all customer data is kept in a centralized and secure online database and notification transmission is encrypted, meaning you can be sure that all patio patron information will be stored safely.
Do you need an automated patio waitlist management solution?
Hopefully these benefits have done enough to convince you of the merits of managing your patio waitlists digitally with an automated solution. Here at SimplyCast, we have developed a fully automated waitlist management solution that can be customized to your restaurant’s specific requirements. From the creation of your automated waitlist form to building out the notification templates, we can help you do all this and more to get your automated waitlist management solution up and running s quickly as possible!
Want to see more? Click the button below to request a one-on-one demo of our patio waitlist management solution today!