Hostme Blog

Accepting Online Restaurant Reservations:
5 ways to rethink your strategy!

1 – It’s more affordable today:

Before, the options were limited. You had to choose between binding yourself to OpenTable and paying outrageous fees, or acquiring an expensive in-house system that would need support and updates. Both options were as appealing as a 7-day-old fish dish. But nowadays, thanks to the advancement of the internet, cloud-based solutions such as Hostme allow you to take online reservations without having to understand the technical intricacies. For a low, flat, monthly fee, a team of expert engineers will make sure that everything is up and running for you 24/7, and you can now take online reservations worry-free.

2 – Diners’ search habits are changing:

While we are on the subject of OpenTable, it used to be the prime site for diner-wannabes to select a restaurant and make a reservation. But with the exponential growth of Google business services and TripAdvisor, search trends have radically changed and now revolve more around organic searches, unbiased review sites and simple friend/Facebook referrals. Paying a hefty referral fee to OpenTable for diners who already knew where they wanted to eat makes as little sense as chocolate with liver pate. By offering online reservations on your restaurant’s website through Hostme, you give the diners the flexibility they want for a fraction of the price. It’s a win-win situation!

3 – Online reservations are open 24/7:

Customers have grown accustomed to instant responses. When they decide they want to go out, they want to be able to decide on the spot where and when. If they have to wait until your location is open, chances are they will go somewhere else that offers the convenience of online reservations. It’s not so much of a competitive advantage anymore, but it’s something that has come to be expected by your clientele. With no way around it, your best bet is to find a solution that will fit your needs and your budget, as well as your customers’ expectations.

4 – Better reservation management:

What if you could centralize all of your reservations in one single, accessible-by-all and always up-to-date place? No more flying Post-it notes, no more barely readable names and no more “Oops, I did not know we were closed on Mondays.” Online reservations are just the tip of the iceberg, though. With a solution such as Hostme, you can record reservations from all of your different channels in one place and make sure you avoid double-booking, over-booking and all kinds of troubles in one simple way.

5 – Optimize your social channels:

With Hostme, you can easily add online reservation capability to your website - but wait, it gets better! You can also maximize your social media efforts and tap into all of your different social channels such as Facebook, Google page or Twitter. Simply drive more business to your restaurant by directing your social media followers toward your online reservation page and encourage them to refer their friends as well. Thanks to Hostme, you have a ready-to-plug CTA (marketers’ beloved Call-to-Action) for all of your social communications, and that’s gold for your business.

Online reservation capability is just one of many important trends in our industry. Come back to our blog to stay abreast of all of the ongoing deep transformations of the restaurant industry.

by Marylise Fabro

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