Relationships with booking systems can be a lot like human ones. It all starts out well, the honeymoon period is punctuated with declarations of adoration and life seems so simple. But then the niggles creep in. You’re spending too much money, wasting too much time together, and your brand is losing its personality. Is it time to break up with your booking system?
Yes. And you’re not alone. In a recent survey conducted by ResDiary, 47% of competitors’ customers said their current system wasn’t their preferred provider, and the majority were considering a move. If you’re nodding in agreement, what better time to act than before the festive madness? Here are some reasons why:
Fall for your bills
One of the main causes of disenchantment with reservation systems is cost. If you’re shelling out £2 a cover through third parties and even paying from your own site, it all adds up. Venues can spend thousands of pounds a month, like James from Maray: “Our previous provider would take out ads so that when someone Googled our restaurant they’d be directed to the provider's website and we’d pay £2 per cover. By swapping, we’ve made huge financial gains in the region of £1000 per site, per month.”
It’s well documented that venues are closing at worrying rates, and as the industry goes through a tough period, it doesn’t make sense to pay for regular customers’ bookings. Operators require complete control over their bottom line, something that can only happen when you know how much your bills will be.
Hook up with other great companies
Being in a partnership can make your life much easier, and technology is no different. Linking your reservation system to your other tech gives you a wealth of information and helps improve your service, as Jack Edge from Mission Mars does with Feebi, ResDiary’s partner chatbot: “Feebi has helped decrease our average response time on Facebook from 7 hours to 5 minutes. It automatically books guests in without interaction from our sales team, resulting in a 14% improvement in missed sales calls as staff are freed up to answer the phone.”
Add in EPOS and PMS links, and better diner experiences are provided through guest information and customer journey tracking. Details like wine preferences, frequent visitor status, and even customer spend helps you tailor experiences to keep them coming back and helps with staff efficiency.
Connecting your systems is also really important for gathering data, both for marketing and for improving operations. After all, if you can collate information across systems, you get deeper insights into your guests. Having the ability to automatically pull this information into data management software lets you send targeted marketing to your high spenders, frequent visitors, or to encourage first time visitors to return.
Take control of your bookings
After a breakup, one of the best bits is regaining control. Especially if you’ve been taking bookings from different places, with no way of managing them, or deciding how many you accept from where and when. In this tough climate, it makes sense to amp up your reservations and reach as many guests as possible, but it doesn’t make sense to pay over the odds for bookings. Operators need the ability to list on third party sites to boost business, while keeping complete control like London’s Mommi does: “We list with ResDiary-integrated companies like Hot Dinners, First Table, and Square Meal, all of whom have their own dedicated audiences, with the marketing muscle to bring extra visibility to venues. It’s imperative for us to boost business outside of peak times.”
Venues also need the tools to manage those bookings properly in their internal diary. No one wants overbooked Saturday evenings and a rush of customers appearing at 7.30pm every night. Which is why it’s vital to pick a system that helps focus on controlling these costs, letting you use your budget wisely, not maximising your bookings for their own profits.
Rebuild your brand personality
Has your personality been eroded by a bad partnership? Rather than guests seeing carefully curated emails, logos, and branding, customer communications are sent by your booking system, pushing their branding to the front. You need a booking system that will boost your brand; where you can create beautiful widgets that match your colours, tailor your booking process, and create own-branded customer communications. To do this, follow Trisha, the owner of Edinburgh’s Sonder’s lead: “Before opening, we spent a lot of time creating a website and a logo that reflected who we were. That meant branding was really important to us. We spent a lot of time looking at booking systems and trying to find one that showcased us and not themselves.”
And if your last system had a shared database where they marketed nearby venues to your loyal customers, it’s a definite sign it’s time to escape.
Is it time to move on? Call ResDiary and find “The One”. With commission-free bookings, smart integrations, own-branding and communications, no-show protections, and the best support team around, this is a breakup you’ll never regret…
Discover why ResDiary has a 93% satisfaction rate now: resdiary.com/breakupbh