Category Archives: Restaurant Management

Teapot Table Restaurant Booking Software

One of the question we get asked is why we offer an online booking system rather than installable Restaurant booking software for Windows, Mac or other operating systems. So we have listed the top reasons below.

Why not check out our Restaurant Management software?

Our system is continuously updated

We add new features all the time, often from suggestions from our customers. Software usually works for only one operating system and becomes quickly outdated.

Pay monthly instead of high upfront costs

Instead of having to purchase the software outright, at a large cost, you can pay smaller monthly fees.  You will be safe in the knowledge that your system is being constantly updated, monitored and tested. If you buy software at a one off cost you are on your own, and that software may become outdated within the year, which makes a monthly fee Teapot Table offers great value.

Works on all devices, now and in the future

Our system will work on all web browsers from old to new, mobile phone to TV. We keep updating our system at no extra cost to you so all new devices can easily access your booking system. We make sure the booking system works with all devices, including mobile phones, laptops, tablets and desktops.

How do I install Restaurant booking software?

With other solutions you would have to read the instruction manual you received with your software. If the software is made for a specific operating system you would need to install it on that. If your software is web based, you would need to install it on your website hosting provider.

Can I install your Restaurant Booking software on my server?

Teapot Table only offers a fully managed hosted solution, so you would not have to install any software on your server. You can integrate our online booking software on your web server with a few simple lines of JavaScript and HTML.

Our solution is custom made

Our restaurant booking software is bespoke and custom made fit in with our feature rich restaurant management system. It is built from the ground up to make it as easy as possible for you and your customer to use.
Unlike other booking software, we do not shoehorn existing open source software into a booking system. We created our own specifically for this task.

Any questions? Please contact us

Top London Restaurants

Top London Restaurants

Teapot Table’s restaurant management system continues to evolve thanks to the constant feedback from restaurant owners, staff and customers. Our agile approach to development has allowed us to exceed the requirements of restaurant and thanks to our premium white label products, we now provide some top London restaurants with a sophisticated, but simple to use, restaurant management system allowing them to connect and maintain good relationships with their customers.

Customers have been able to reserve tables at their favorite restaurants hassle free. Both customers and restaurants receive booking confirmations. Our fresh looking dashboard allows restaurant staff to easily view customers and their bookings, as well as the ability to contact customers with newsletters and promotions both individually or as a whole.

Our new dashboard provides graphs which show useful statistics regarding top customers, number of sittings and customer signups. All accessible with any device from any location. No software to install, you can even access all statistics and graphs from your smart phone anywhere with a signal.

We are pleased to announce our recent success with some top London restaurants and would like to continue to provide our white label products to our premium customers and chains.

Our white  label solution allows you to fully remove all references to Teapot Table and replace them with your own branding. All powered by links on web pages and emails can be removed or replaced. We even provide fully branded customer support, allowing you to focus on what you do best.

Please get in touch (sales@teapottable.com) if you would like to find out more about our white label products and see how we can help your business.

Free Voucher System Launch

We are pleased to announce the launch of our free voucher system. This is one module of our restaurant management system that we have now released for free for everybody. It doesn’t matter if you are not a restaurant, you can still benefit from the system.

This is a genuinely free system - instant signup, no free trail or payment details needed, just sign up and jump straight in.

What can it do? Generate vouchers, track their use, advanced validity settings and much more. Its also bundled with a basic customer relationship management (CRM) system, when your customers use your vouchers you collect their details. This can be through you entering their details manually or the customer signing up themselves. You can see when customers used their vouchers and when. 

Go over to the Free voucher system page for a feature list and to sign up.

Why free?

Most importantly we want to create the best voucher system available. Easy to use with great features, but we can’t do that without a lot of feedback. The voucher system is an integral part of our restaurant management system – restaurants use this every day. This only gives us a limited opinion and feature set, that of the restaurant industry. We want to create a voucher system that every industry can benefit from.

We also hope that through the use of the free system you will be interested in other great services we provide, such as printing and Email + SMS marketing. You are under no obligation to buy anything, you can happily use the voucher system without any of these.

Plans for the future

We will release more posts about new features and how to use the system, but for now here is a few thing we will be doing.

Modules for your favourite CMS - Our free voucher system will integrate with your CMS so you can easily add a sign-up form that generates the user a voucher, voucher validation and many more. Which content management systems? We are working on plugins / modules for a few, but if you think the one you use should be first, please contact us.

Features, Features, Features - We will add more features, make the system even easier to use and keep innovating to help your business. Ideas on what we should do next? Send them along to us and we’ll get back to you.

Thanks for reading, now head over to the Free voucher system page!

Top Tips for Restaurants Reservations

Online, Telephone and Walk-in Restaurant Reservations

This blog post will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various restaurant reservation methods, and will give some top tips for restaurants when considering how to take table bookings.

Should you take restaurant reservations at all?

Firstly, lets look at some pros and cons of taking restaurant bookings.

Disadvantages:

  • Absent customers / no shows lead to loss of revenue
  • Holding tables when customers are late for reservations also results in revenue loss
  • Changing party sizes involves reshuffling tables around to accommodate them

Advantages:

  • Special occasions often wish to book ahead
  • Planning bookings ahead often leads to better customer service as staff are prepared
  • Customers get a sense of good service if they are greeted and seated quickly, rather than enduring a long wait
  • Taking table reservations allows you to naturally build a valuable customer database
  • Accommodate large parties which often leads to more revenue directly; and even indirectly via word of mouth

Overall, I’d say taking table reservations is important, but there are various methods you should consider, which we’ll be discussing now.

Walk-in bookings

Although most reservations are done over the phone or online, during busy periods it may become necessary to maintain a waiting list.

The benefits of keeping a table waiting list include reducing table turn around times, which both increases efficiency and believe it or not, can encourage new customers to give your restaurant a go. This is unofficially referred to as the “busy restaurant theory”, which applies to many walks of life; customers assume that the restaurant must be good if it is busy, and others are willing to wait to be seated. It’s all about psychology I guess. Or is it simply logical?

The disadvantage of keeping a waiting list is the management and floor space required to keep customers entertained. Finally, if poorly managed, uncertain / inaccurate waiting times can often irritate customers and cause them to leave. This may lead to customers never returning…

Online Table Reservations

One of the main concerns with restaurant owners when it comes to the use of online restaurant reservations is whether or not it encourages no-shows.

Based on a recent study carried out at a popular Mediterranean restaurant in Sheffield, we found that in fact no-showing customers, are not a major concern.

Often restaurants request deposits or credit card details to reserve, however, this can discourage even those who are genuinely looking to reserve online, or by telephone. This problem is particularly the case for smaller, less well known and independent restaurants.

How can restaurants discourage / prevent no-shows?

One method which has been adopted by many restaurants now days is to replace credit card details upon reservation with other customer information such as:

  • email
  • telephone number
  • postcode

This is said to discourage customers from not showing up for table reservations, or at least it encourages them to give the restaurant notice of the cancellation in advance.

Online table reservations are the perfect way to build a customer database, excusing you from the laborious tasks involved in maintaining a list of customers manually. This of it like this:

The customer is providing their data entry services AND bringing you custom to your restaurant.

It also reduces the chances of spelling mistakes, which are too common when taking telephone bookings.

One thing to consider when using an online reservation tool is that you need to ensure that you have tables available to accommodate the party at the time they have reserved. Teapot Table offer a solution to this problem with their restaurant management system and online table booking module.

Online table booking enquiries are completely different to online reservations. Flat form enquiries should be discouraged as they require staff time, and require lots of work for a relatively low conversion rate.

Instead, the customer should be able to see if a table is available on a given date for a given party size at a given time on your online booking module. Teapot Table’s booking module provides just that.

Telephone reservations

Telephone bookings are necessary, but can often result in miscommunication in terms of spelling customer names, telephone numbers, dates and times.

It is recommended that the customer is reminded about their booking via a confirmation email at the time of the booking, followed by a reminder a day or two before the sitting. This allows the customer to double check the details are correct, or contact the restaurant if necessary to amend them.

Teapot Table’s dashboard provides restaurant employee with a simple data entry system which automatically populates customer specific fields if it detects that the customer already exists in the database. The advantages of this are:

  • Speeds up the telephone reservation process
  • Clearly shows availability to staff so they can advise over the phone
  • Checks spelling
  • Validates emails, telephone numbers etc
  • Sends the customer an automatic confirmation email.

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to table reservations, is that it is all about customer service and satisfaction. Building a customer database is just one of the perks…