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A nice problem to have.. managing capacity

Managing capacity is perhaps a challenge more operators would be happy tackling, however better weather and occasional Mediterranean days, almost instantly attract so many additional customers. Many operators, understandably, struggle to be instantly equipped.

Predicting the weather is a dark art for many operator’s, risking over-spending when the sun doesn’t shine, or under-spending when it does. With teams being a scarce, expensive resource around our unreliable weather, technology can be a useful enabler, which also doesn’t cost anymore if the sun decides not to shine - which let’s face it, is so often the case.

1) Booking systems

Implementing a reservation system allows guests to book tables online. Sounds simple but so many pubs still don’t have a system and perhaps they’ll never know how many sales are just being ignored as the phone just rings, and rings.. Also customers often want to book during their lunch hour, or when they finish work, exactly the time operators are busy. 

2) Virtual queues

Good booking systems have a queuing function, customers can join if the venue is full when they arrive, or they can join online without even visiting - a virtual queue. These systems work quickly and efficiently for operators and customers, compared to operators keeping a manual list of people to call if there are cancellations.

Encouraging customers to book in advance helps manage the day, any no-shows can then be filled from an automatic queuing system. No-shows are also reduced, with emails or texts for customers to easily cancel. Many sites like to keep a few tables outside of their online bookings, for local walk-ins or regulars - that’s perfect. Tech should be set-up to suit every business’ individual and local needs.

3) Order & pay

Whether via electronic order & pay software, or card terminals which are ‘mobile tills’, enable your outside area to be similar to a Mediterranean terrace to help staff flit between tables, taking orders and payment. The days of staff endlessly returning to waiting stations or tills are in the past. Ensure your team are maximising their time in front of customers - the right tech is a 3-way win:win:win… for operators + team members + customers.

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