June 6, 2023
Lauren Platero

Group Reservation Platform: Why Every Restaurant Needs One

A group reservation system can take restaurant operations to the next level. Group-friendly restaurants can generate high profits, as long as the business owner puts the right systems in place. Not only can this restaurant tech solution save time for both parties, but it can boost efficiency at the time of the reservation. 

Do you offer restaurant group reservations? Or, are you striving to be one of the best restaurants for large groups? If so, you’re in the right place! Keep reading for everything you need to know.

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Group Reservation: Definition 

A group reservation refers to a booking for a large group of people, generally more than seven. Each group reservation falls within one of the following two categories: personal or corporate. Now, let’s define the key differences between them.

A personal group reservation is for events of a more intimate nature. Birthday celebrations, weddings, and family reunions are just three examples from this category. When such reservations take place, the guest of honor typically has a lot of involvement in the planning and execution of the event. 

The other category pertains to events for corporate environments. Company retreats, conferences, and networking events are a handful of occasions that fall into the corporate category. And as you can see, the two groups are very different. 

No matter who a group reservation is for, it’s safe to say that event management processes will follow. Many innovative restaurant technology tools help businesses manage such tasks. Unsure of which one to onboard? We recommend starting with a group reservation platform! Now, let’s learn all about them in the next section.

Group Reservation Platform: What Is It?

A group reservation platform is a digital system where large parties can make reservations. Such systems operate with cloud technology, as software makes up its infrastructure. Party hosts and event organizers can quickly book tables or back rooms for their next event.

Now that you know what a group reservation platform is, let's talk about the nine reasons why every restaurant needs one. You won't want to miss this--see below for details:

9 Reasons Why Every Restaurant Needs a Group Reservation Platform 

Reservations are valuable to restaurant staff in numerous ways. As an example, knowing how many customers to expect can result in more accurate inventory forecasting metrics. Or, it can offer insight about restaurant seating arrangements. No matter what enhancements you’re aiming to make, automating reservations with a digital platform can do the trick. 

See below for nine reasons why you need it in your restaurant:

1. Online Reservation Systems Are More Convenient

What’s more convenient than booking reservations in the comfort of your own home? With digital platforms, restaurants for large groups can maximize profits by making standard processes even simpler for the customer. Instead of calling the restaurant, guests just need access to a smartphone or computer to book their next reservation. Keep it simple, and consumers will have a positive first impression.

2. Guests Can Quickly View Available Dates and Times 

The larger the party, the more thought that will be necessary before booking restaurant reservations. With online ordering apps or eCommerce sites, future guests can see all available dates and time. This feature may not seem like a huge game-changer. However, it allows each party to settle on a date and time that works for everyone. And for a restaurant that caters to large groups, this is exactly what you need to secure more sales.

3. Restaurants Can Send Automated Booking Confirmations

Confirmations are great for keeping both the guest and restaurant accountable. Send an automatic confirmation email or text minutes after booking the reservation. This way, the guests can save it to their calendar. Then, the restaurant staff can plan accordingly.

4. Reservation Reminders Can Be Sent to Everyone

One of the more convenient factors of using a digital restaurant reservation system is that it can send automatic reminders. This feature will help prevent no-shows from people who forget about their reservation or confuse the time. In turn, it’ll help the restaurant avoid losing out on larger sales. As for a timeline, send out reminders via text or email one week and one day before.

5. Group Reservation Tools Can Split the Bill

When a customer books a group reservation, it can land right in the POS system. When the dinner is near the end and comes time to pay the bill, it can be split up accordingly. This feature makes it super easy for the staff. Plus, it allows the guests to evenly distribute the cost, if that’s their intent. 

Group Dining eBook

6. Restaurants Can Keep a Credit Card On File 

A huge risk that group dinner restaurants face is large parties not showing up or canceling at the last minute. Large group reservations limit the seating for other guests, require more inventory, and are stressful for the staff. It’s unfair for restaurants good for groups to prepare, just to be let down with little to no notice. 

One of the simplest ways to combat this issue is to keep a credit card on file. Require the customer to input this information upon booking a group reservation. Then, make it clear that if there's a no-show or cancellation within 24 hours of the reservation, there will be a fee.

7. Digital Systems Can Sync With Other Software

Connectivity functions are ideal for seamless operations. In fact, digital reservation platforms can sync with many solutions that make jobs easier across the whole restaurant. For instance, the POS system will assign a table to each party. Or, each order can enter the kitchen display system right when it's added to the POS software. Regardless of which integrations you use, know that they all work together to create a simpler workplace.

8. Guests Can Easily Add Allergies and Dietary Restrictions

Keeping a digital record of special requests and notes is essential for health and safety. When guests use restaurant reservation software for bookings, provide them with a field to add notes. Above the text box, it can list examples of what they can add for the sous chef and other staff members to know in advance. Not only will this information help in providing great customer service, but it will also keep everyone safe and comfortable. 

9. Digital Tools Offer Customer Data Tracking 

The number of people in a party and the menu items each person orders are some of the most important metrics. These numbers will allow the staff to prioritize some dishes over others. It’ll also help determine which items the restaurant manager can remove entirely. Other data points that a group reservation platform can offer include cart values, busy seasons, and total revenue per shift. 

Frequently Asked Questions About a Group Reservation

A group reservation platform can make restaurants for big groups much more successful. It’s the kind of tech solution where once you begin using it, you won’t believe you went so long without it. So, want to dive into more details on the subject? Read below:

How Do I Make a Group Reservation? 

Customers can make a group reservation by calling the business or using an online platform. Once you select a date and time, provide the number of people in the party. Then, be sure to notify the business of any important details, such as food allergies or restrictions. 

What Does Group Reservation Mean In a Hotel?

In the hotel industry, group reservations refer to room blocks or many people per room. In some cases, a deluxe suite will be necessary. On the other hand, events like corporate conferences or weddings might require a room block. For reference, a room block is a set number of rooms available to guests of that event only.

What Are the Different Types of Group Bookings?

Group reservation bookings are either personal or corporate. Personal booking are most likely couples, friend groups, or families. On the other hand, corporate bookings are often work teams or business partners. 

How Do Restaurants Handle Group Reservations?

Group dining restaurants can swiftly handle group reservations by keeping operations simple and efficient.  Need assistance? Some popular ways of doing so include the following steps:

  • Automate standard processes 
  • Prepare meals or ingredients ahead of time
  • Ensure that enough members of the wait staff are available
  • Keep the table off limits an hour before the reservation time

What Are Three Types of Reservations?

The three main types of reservations are:

  1. Confirmed reservation
  2. Waitlisted reservation 
  3. Tentative reservation
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Table for How Many?

The adoption of a group reservation platform will take your food service business to the next level. With automated features joined by simpler processes, it’s a foolproof way to make life easier for a restaurant’s staff. Want to discover how such a platform can integrate with your current systems? Book a demo with Revolution Ordering to learn all about it!