Over the past two years, restaurants have been in survival mode. Now that dining rooms and terraces are open with fewer mandates, it’s a good time to step back, re-evaluate front and back of house operations and ensure your restaurant can withstand whatever comes next.

Let’s use the following checklist to formulate a plan to future-proof your restaurant and grow your business. 

Do you have systems in place that make it as easy for customers to do business with you? For example, can customers join a waist list on your website and receive a text when their table is ready? If a customer does a Google search for a steak house, will your restaurant profile appear with a convenient “make a reservation” button?

These conveniences are now expected by today’s post-pandemic consumer. They are accustomed to doing everything online and that includes making a reservation at their favorite restaurant. Strengthening your digital reservation processes will help grow your customer base, increase profits, and more importantly, stay relevant in the digital age.

Are you curating personalized experiences and engaging your customers, so they visit more often? Living in a virtual world for the past two years has made face-to-face hospitality a challenge. An online reservation system that gives you the ability to ask, keep, and organize customer information is a powerful tool that can be leveraged before, during, and after the meal itself. 

Many reservation apps hold on to customer data collected during the reservation process. For example, your customer’s allergies, favorite wine, birthday, and table preference. If you had full control and insight of that data, just imagine the type of dining experience your team could provide. Even better, all that valuable information can (and should be) utilized to engage customers with personalized promotions and customized marketing messages to generate a return visit.

Is technology helping your staff perform their best, focus on customers, and run a profitable dining room? Staffing continues to be problematic across the entire restaurant industry but there are leading reservation systems with automated features to ease some of the burden. The Libro reservation platform, for example, will optimize seating based on your actual restaurant layout to control capacity, respect social distancing rules, and manage server to table ratios. You can even access reservations from the kitchen or on a mobile device. 

Your online reservation system should do more for your business than fill tables. The tech you adopted to keep your restaurant doors open during COVID-19 may need to be re-evaluated or upgraded. If you want to future-proof your business and start building a highly personalized and profitable dining experience, you need tools to reduce no-shows, manage your staff, and give guests more accurate wait times.

Do you have a strategy to gather and share customer reviews?  Before customers make a reservation, they do two things: scour your menu and read reviews from total strangers. In fact, 82% of consumers say online reviews play an important role when searching for a place to eat and drink.  In addition to showcasing your restaurant’s stellar service and food, online reviews can help increase sales, attract new customers, and improve search rankings for your website

Acquiring and sharing online reviews is a must to future-proof your restaurant business. A modern reservation platform like Libro gives restauranteurs the ability to send a post-reservation survey to collect reviews. Even if you don’t receive a five-star review from every customer, you can use the feedback to make improvements, keep a pulse on the overall dining experience, and address customer complaints in a professional manner so they give your restaurant another chance. 

If you want even more tips to future-proof your restaurant and grow your business, contact Libro and let’s start a conversation.