The purpose of this article will be to examine the different types of table management systems and recommend the best for use in the restaurant. This paper will identify three of the most widely used table management systems currently available in the market. It will also evaluate each of the most widely used systems in terms of cost efficiency, benefits to the restaurant operation and possible disadvantages. These findings will be used to select and justify the reservations system recommended for the restaurant (Oz 12).
This paper will limit itself to restaurant reservation systems that are currently being used in the hospitality industry. Only three systems will be identified and investigated with the intention of recommending them for use in a particular restaurant. The study will limit itself to the capacity of the table reservation system to cater for the needs of the restaurant. Therefore, it will relate the functionality of each system with the needs of the restaurant and recommend the most appropriate technology.
The first assumption is that by introducing a table management system, the restaurant will be able to reduce customer wait period, increase table turnover and increase profitability. The second assumption is that a table management system will be the best solution for the poor communication system that prevails between hostesses, servers, kitchen staff and clients. Another assumption is that the best table management system for the restaurant is already available in the market and can be found among the three most commonly used systems. The paper assumes that the implementation of the recommended system will completely solve communication issues in the restaurant and guarantee profitability and customer satisfaction.
The researcher will conduct an inquiry into some of the most widely used reservation systems. This search will help to narrow down the list to the three most popular systems. The three most common systems will be studied using all available literature such as books, electronic sources, journals and newspapers. The final recommendation will consider the initial cost of acquisition, adaptability, functionality, user friendliness and compatibility with the restaurant need (Dahmer, Sandra & Kurt 26) . The final recommendation will be inferred from all the available information of the three chosen reservation systems.
There are many table reservation systems available in the market, by limiting the choice to three; the final recommendation may not be the best option available for the restaurant. The identified tale management system can most of the issues related to reservation, the system cannot solve interpersonal issues that may be affecting communication among restaurant staff (O’connor 67). The critical information on the capabilities of the software will be derived from the manufactures and industry users, it is easy to choose the most popular system yet it might not be compatible with the unique restaurant’s needs.
The first criteria for choosing the best table management system will be the software’s adaptability to the restaurant’s operation. The new system should be adjustable to the unique needs and style of operation of the establishment. It should also be cost effective to the restaurant. A simple cost benefit analysis should indicate that the cost of buying the software is equivalent or above the benefits accrued to using it in the restaurant. According to Walker and Donald (45), another important criteria is usability, the software should have an easy to operate user interface. The restaurant staff should be able to log into the system and manage reservations without any technical difficulties or regular glitches. An easy- to- use software will reduce the cost of training, resistance from staff and allow the company to integrate the system into its operation as soon after its purchase.
Table Reservation Systems
Restaurant reservation systems and table management systems have revolutionized the provision of dining services to restaurant clients. Restaurants are currently using online based reservation systems to improve the client experience, speed up the table reservation process, eliminate booking errors and reduce staffing requirements (Robinson 27). A hotel or restaurant can increase efficiency, drastically improve the customer experience and its image by adopting an appropriate table management system. A restaurant with a good reputation attracts more customers and is more capable of achieving its profitability targets. Management information systems have also increased making the manager’s decision making easier (Oz 21).
Brendall (102), advises that, while selecting table management software, a restaurateur should make a list of the specific needs of the establishment. A restaurant that regularly conducts garden dinners and ball-room style parties may require a system that can cater to these needs. The selected system should contain the latest developments in table reservation software to ensure that the restaurant buys the most up to date technology. The technology should be upgradable to newer versions in the future in order to avoid becoming obsolete soon into the future.
The best technology for a restaurant should have adequate technical support from the manufacturer (Broffini 129). The system should be able to handle both light and heavy activity without breaking down. It should be easily accessible to the receptionist, clients and servers at all times. The user interface should be easily navigable and easy to operate.
Eveve Restaurant Booking Systems
Eveve Restaurant Booking systems is an integrated table management system promises to meet manage customer bookings 24 hours a day and maximize the number of covers allocated to clients at any given time. The system also reinforces other marketing strategies by conducting online advertising for restaurant products.
The Eveve system facilitates control by storing all booking information on one site. The data can be used to derive information that can be utilized to identify future booking patterns. The system allows for quick booking volume analysis and quicker responses to booking enquiries and queries. A restaurant manger can quickly assess the level of activity within the restaurant and predict any possible hitches before they occur
The system can be used to create a detailed database on diners. Information such as physical address, frequency of booking, average expenditure per visit and preferred food choices and preferred table number can be generated by the system. This information helps the hostess, chef, servers to personalize the client’s service and increase customer satisfaction. This database also reduces the average waiting time per client the restaurant can easily predict what the client will order and the chef can prepare before hand for the order.
The Eveve software has also integrated the social media into the system. A restaurant can exploit the marketing opportunities available on the social media such as Facebook and Twitter. This opens up a new dimension for marketing and promotion. A restaurant can reach out to more clients across the word therefore improving its visibility. The system allows the restaurant to optimize its search engine availability. This means that potential clients can easily access the restaurant’s website by entering few key words. The restaurant can also send email alerts and any other communication to its clients via emails and shot messages using the client information available on the Eveve system.
Eveve has been used by leading restaurant groups such as Benihana, Hi Sushi and Vitorria. The product has been used by independent restaurants such as Dalmatino and Chez Vous. Eveve reservation systems are custom made to meet the individual restaurant need. However all systems include ESOS, SEO, marketing, consultancy, online take away services and website design.
Eveve products are available on request. The communication process begins with an expression of interest by the restaurant. A brief consultation period follows before the company recommends a system that is appropriate to the client’s needs. The final price is based on the number of specialized products attached to the final table management system.
Restaurant Diary (RD)
Restaurantdiary is restaurant booking system that combines the ease of online booking with additional application support on iPad Apps, Android and iOS. The system allows supports online booking and generates valuable data on table turnover, restaurant capacity during service and estimated yields per service. Restaurantdiary takes live bookings form clients accessing the system accessing various restaurant portals supported by the system such as booktoeat.com, where to eat.com, booktoeat iPhone APP and Android APP for booktoeat. Restaurantdiary can incorporate the restaurant’s image into the widget that is used to link the online portals to the restaurant website.
Restaurantdiary is taunted as the diligent restaurant manager in the market. The system is capable of maximizing potential restaurant earnings per cover by streamlining the flow of customers and increasing the turnover per service time. The automatically generates reports for mangers to use while analyzing staff performance, food flow from the kitchen and operational costs.
The systems enable multi-level access for managers, staff and clients. The system manages reservations and table service with minimal errors since it is easy to use. The system empowers managers with control over all facets of the service management system form the reservation to the performance analysis at the end of service.
The system incorporates automated marketing options which take into consideration the individual tastes and preferences of each client. The information on each client is readily accessible on the system. Managers can use this to know the clientele better and design more personalized services for patrons. This increases repeat visits and builds loyalty in customers.
A restaurant can get Restaurantdiary after paying a flat rated monthly fee. There is no commission payable for the live online bookings that generate business for the restaurant. The monthly fee allows the restaurant to enjoy an unlimited access to live internet bookings. The restaurant also owns its customer database and is free to manage it as it wills. Restaurantdiary products are grouped into 5 main categories. BooktoEat costs 25Euros per month, RD Social costs 69 Euros per month, RD Express will require 99 Euros per month while RD Pro costs 150 Euros each month. The last option is RD Ultimate which costs 175 Euros per month. Out of the 5 options, RD pro is most popular with restaurants.
Point of Success Software
Point of Success (POS) is a bar and restaurant management software that improves order entry, guest service and financial tracking. The system also includes additional reporting capabilities for management decision making. POS requires a combination of computer, printer and a standard operating system to run the software. POS has several versions which are available for comparison. The system developers help clients to choose the most suited versions for their restaurants.
Some of the best POS feature accessibility to customer orders and information on total orders at the click of a button. It helps to improve employee efficiency by reducing human errors during service. Managers can make better decisions from the automatic reports generated by the system. The system also allows managers to limit pilferage and reduce theft within the establishment. POS supports external marketing strategies by generating information that can be used to design marketing campaigns and target the correct clientele.
Additional features include online ordering, restaurant inventory and employee timekeeping records. The system can support caller identification information for ease of communication with regular clients. The POS system is effective in handling credit card payment options and generating loyalty card and reward systems for loyal customers. Finally, the POS can support video surveillance system which can be used to increase security by monitoring the transactional aspects of the restaurant business.
The POS software can be purchased online or by contacting the nearest independent dealer. All products are sold with a 30 day return policy; the client can return the product and get their money back if they are not satisfied with its performance. The POS premium plus package costs between $846 and $946 depending on the number of additional features purchased. The premium package includes a set up training CD and any two options of employee timekeeping, employee scheduling, table management and central point control. There are no monthly fees since the product is has a one-time price tag.
The Point of Success table management software is the best because it contains all of the important features of a table management system. The software is user friendly and cost efficient. The software only uses the readily available resources within the restaurant and does not require the purchase of new expensive equipment. Managers can use the system to manage current, operations and to postulate future performance necessary to achieve business goals. In addition to these features, restaurant managers can monitor staff conduct in terms of punctuality and integrity.
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