Double booking restaurant table is an industry-standard technique for maximizing revenue per table. It's a smart way to nudge your business towards extra revenue. Crucial to efficiently double book your restaurant is using a restaurant reservation system.
The built-in features of a good reservation system make it so that effectively double booking your restaurant is a seamless process for restaurant management. Restaurants using this strategy have gone from having slow inconsistent business to almost fully booked all the time.
What does it mean to double book a table?
Double booking a table occurs when for the same shift, you allow the same table to be booked at least twice.
For example: If the dinner shift at your restaurant runs from 7:00 pm- 9:30 pm, instead of only seating one party at each table for each shift, you fit in two. One from 7:00pm-8:15pm and the next from 8:15pm or 8:30pm until closing. This change effectively doubles the number of customers you can seat.
Benefits of Double Booking your Restaurant
There are numerous benefits to double booking your restaurant, a few are:
- Increased efficiency from your kitchen staff as the double booking process forces your employees to be more organized and coordinated
- Over time your regulars will start to adjust to your split shifts and make reservations at timings that are more beneficial to your business.
- If you are using a restaurant reservation platform, you can start to fill your first shifts online and your second shifts with walk-ins.
How can you start double booking at your restaurant?
Before you can begin to double book at your restaurant, there are a few things you need to do.
Alter your shifts
If you’ve been in the restaurant industry long enough, you’ll know the average time it takes for your customers to finish a meal. Typically, guests stay for a little over an hour during the lunch shift and over two hours for dinner.
With these numbers in mind, you can start to divide your breakfast, lunch, and dinner shifts into smaller time slots that match your average meal times. This prevents your guests from booking a table right in the middle of a shift, thus ruining your ability to double book a table.
Use a restaurant reservation system
All of this can be achieved with pen and paper, however, the manual process of separating shifts, dealing with walk-ins, and online reservations will take you ages. Without a cohesive process, your kitchen and front-of-house staff will begin to lack organization.
Benefits of a restaurant reservation system
- It allows you to better visualize your restaurant floor to help make decisions on the spot whether it be for walk-ins or for online reservations
- The ease of use will save you hours and hours in the long run, giving you more time to focus on the tasks that require
- Stores and updates your customer database, giving you the opportunity to remarket or even provide a completely customized dining experience to all your regular customers.
- Most reservation systems also offer a free-to-use online booking widget that can take all the guesswork out of double booking from your online channels.
Have a backup plan in mind
Although double booking is a great solution for you as a restaurant owner, from the customer’s perspective this might limit their choices. Double booking your restaurant means only allowing your guests to book a table for certain time slots, leaving little room for flexibility.
As a result, you need to make sure you have a backup plan in the event a customer decides to show up earlier or stay for longer than the allotted time. Using a reservation system can greatly help with this process.
Restaurant Manager by Eat, for example, offers “Grid View” - a perfect solution to this problem. Grid View gives your staff an hourly overview of your restaurant, allowing them to make better decisions when it comes to seating customers based on what capacity of guests your restaurant can handle. This prevents overbooking, underbooking, or even asking too much of your kitchen staff.
With these tips in mind, you are now ready to start doubling the reservations at your restaurant!