We know that many restaurants and bars are now booked up for the next few weeks, even months, with customers eager to get back to their favourite eateries.
However, many restaurateurs are already becoming increasingly frustrated with the number of booking no-shows. Many businesses within the industry took to social media to express their disappointment at the number of recent no shows since opening their outdoor areas to diners. At a time when the hospitality industry urgently needs to recoup lost earnings, business owners are looking for a solution to the issue.
The main problem with customers who fail to turn up is that it may be too late to fill those now available seats, despite potentially long waiting lists. Restaurants are faced with losing the initial booking as well as being unable to give others enough notice of new availability.
For those looking for a customer-friendly means of preventing restaurant no-shows, SMS confirmations and reminders offer the ideal solution. Cost-effective and easy to implement, SMS communications can streamline the customer journey from booking to confirmation and if needed, cancellation.
SMS booking confirmations and reminders
An initial text message sent upon booking with dates, times and numbers will ensure customers have the details of their reservation to hand at any time. Follow this up with a second reminder SMS a day before their visit is due to take place.
Within the reminder message, restaurant businesses can make it easy for customers to cancel a table if needed. There a couple of ways to make this process as simple as possible:
- A Keyword on a Short Number – for example, reply CANCEL to 60777 if you can no longer make your booking.
- Ask customers to confirm whether they still plan on attending by enabling users to reply YES or NO to your message.
- Include a link to a mobile web page or form where customers can amend the number of guests or date.
Simply by asking for a confirmation or providing the option to move or cancel a booking, those within the hospitality industry can ensure their reservation diary is as accurate as it can be.
In addition, your team are alerted to any cancelled bookings ahead of time making it far easier to share the newly available time slots with your waiting list, social media following or opted-in SMS database.
We know the difference SMS communications can make to businesses like yours. One Textlocal customer recouped over £100 in what would have been lost bookings. Another great example of an SMS success story saw one restaurant receive more than £400 worth of bookings within five hours of a text messaging campaign.
Ready to take control of your reservation book? Talk to our team today about our SMS solution on 01244 752299 or create a free account in a few easy steps.