10 Features to Look for in a Restaurant Reservation System

Restaurant reservation system provides big help to restaurant owners by removing the hassle of customer reservations and allowing them to focus on food and customer service. Today’s reservation systems provide many other features that makes the job of managing restaurant much easier. There are number of solutions available in the market, however not all of them are equal. It all comes down to trade-off between cost and features. There are number of features you should consider as you narrow your selection. Here are some of the most important ones any reservation system should have.

  1. POS Integration – Integration with POS system allows you to provide seamless service to the customers. As with reservation systems there are number of POS systems available in the market. You should make sure the restaurant reservation system provides interfaces to as many of those systems as possible.
  2. Kitchen Integration – Along with POS integration having a seamless integration with kitchen solution helps manage the restaurant in an efficient manner. However, very few reservation systems have this integration available today.
  3. Monthly Fee – There are several ways in which reservation systems charge for the usage. Some have flat monthly fee while others charge per customer. In general, flat monthly fee will result in lower overall cost compared to per customer charge.
  4. Table Management – Having a table management feature allows you to run the front of the restaurant more smoothly. Functions such as server shifts, rotations and stations can help you manage either manually or automatically.
  5. SMS Texting – This feature allows you to provide your customers an update on the wait list via phone text so that the customers don’t have to hang around the restaurant waiting for their name to be called. It helps reduce traffic in your restaurant and allows customer to take care of other tasks while waiting for the table.
  6. Floor Plan – Having an accurate view of the floor plan makes it easy to manage customers. Having a floor plan in front of you allows you to know which tables are already occupied and which ones are awaiting assignment.
  7. Reporting – Reservation system can collect lot of valuable customer data that allows you to understand restaurant traffic, wait times, table turns, seating statistics and so on. The reservation system should be able to produce reports providing insights into these key metrics. It should also allow you to build custom reports based on your unique needs.
  8. Wait Time Estimate – The reservation system should provide insight into current wait times based on the seating capacity and real-time current traffic. Providing accurate wait times to your customers will avoid them becoming frustrated if they have to wait for long time.
  9. Reservation Widget – In this age of internet and mobile phones having a widget on your phone or website is essential. This allows your customers to make reservation from their phones or computers before even leaving home.
  10. Training – Finally, the company providing reservation system should have good training plan in place to make sure your employees are trained properly in using it. There is nothing more frustrating than having an expensive reservation system sitting idly because your employees do not have proper training in using it.

Comparison of the most popular restaurant reservation system will help you compare these features and make the right decision.

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