Restaurant owners are busy — really busy. You’re constantly getting calls from VIPs requesting reservations, and you need a quick, easy way to update your books no matter where you are. You also need to let your staff know exactly who’s coming in and when.
The latest Guest Center update is all about our iPhone app, which allows owners and operators to access the host stand when they’re on the go. Now, app users can make and edit reservations from their iPhones — anytime, anywhere.
“We talked to many chefs and owners who already scan the reservation list to identify VIPs and prepare the staff for who is coming in,” says OpenTable Product Manager Jon Morin. “Some of them would write notes on a paper reservation list on what to send specific guests, and others would make these notes on a separate pre-shift report.
“One maitre d’ in New York would diligently scrutinise the guest list for every shift, regardless of whether it was his day off. With the capability to edit the guest details from his iPhone, Guest Center is making this process much more efficient.”
Here’s a familiar scenario: One of your best regulars calls looking for a reservation tonight, and you’re out of the restaurant taking a meeting. Once you hang up you have to call the restaurant, talk to the host, and ask him to add the reservation to the books.
This is exactly the extra step that technology can help eliminate. With the iPhone app you can create a reservation from any view in the app, so the capability is literally at your fingertips. Just select the reservation icon and follow the booking path to choose a date and party size. (Another great feature: you can see shift notes in the booking flow, so you’ll know if there’s a buyout or special event going on.)
Finally, if you’ve activated alerts and notifications in Guest Center your host will see the new reservation and any related notes immediately and be able to respond quickly.
As you’re making a reservation on your iPhone, you can also search for your guests and add new guests to your database. Know your friend is coming in with a high-profile business contact? You can add her into the system, too.
Additionally, you can click into guest profiles to see contact information, guest notes, and tags, along with their dining history — and you can also add and edit notes. So when that VIP calls and tells you it’s his wife’s birthday, your whole staff will be prepared with glasses of bubbly.