Two of the biggest changes to the hospitality sector since the beginning of 2020 have been: restaurant reservation systems and paying at the table.
It’s no secret that the hospitality industry has been massively affected by Covid-19. Restaurants, hotels, and bars have been closed in Ireland for a large majority of 2020 and 2021. Since the pandemic first struck, the hospitality industry has been constantly fighting an uphill battle in their attempt to keep business afloat. Restrictions and regulations have dramatically changed every few months.
In Ireland, some of the hospitality regulations we’ve seen in the past 2 years include outdoor-only seating, no walk-in service, and maximum 6 people to a table. We’ve also been exposed to socially distant tables, vaccine certificates shown upon entry, and reduced capacity in hotels and restaurants.
Here, we are going to discuss 2 of the biggest differences that the hospitality sector in Ireland has seen since the pandemic. The reason we’ve chosen these 2 in particular, is because these changes are very relevant in shaping the future of the hospitality industry and are most definitely here to stay.
1) Restaurant Reservations:
Booking ahead for tables has quickly become the new norm. This is a result of restaurants minimizing the number of walk-ins available. Whether it’s online bookings, phone reservations, or email reservations, the surge of restaurant bookings in the hospitality industry has been accompanied by an increase of no-shows.
With restaurants not being able to maximize seating availability over the past year or so, many people have been booking more than one restaurant a night and choosing on the day which one to attend. Another reason for the increase in no-shows is a result of reservations coming in weeks before the reserved date as the restaurants must display less seating than usual, thus increasing demand.
Restaurants can tackle no-shows by applying a booking fee or deposit to their reservation system. An intuitive restaurant reservation system makes the reservation process more personal. This will reduce the number of no-shows to your restaurant. The system will take personal details as well as credit card details or a booking deposit. It will also send friendly reminders, so the customer doesn’t forget about their booking. Access Collins is a restaurant reservation system that provides all these features and more.
2) Ordering & Paying at the Table:
The continuous innovation in technology has been nothing short of remarkable in recent years. It has given hospitality operators many options when it comes to digitally ordering and paying at the table in restaurants. Some of the more familiar methods of ordering and paying from the table include QR code scanning, iPads/tablets, and mobile apps, such as Preoday. The hospitality sector has seen a dramatic increase in digital payments in response to Covid-19. This trend is likely to stay for the long run.
How does ordering and paying at the table affect business for the restaurant?
- It minimizes the contact between staff and customers. This creates a safer restaurant experience in these uncertain times. It also eliminates the need for customers to touch a shared menu.
- Allows the restaurant to gather information on the customer for marketing purposes.
- Eliminates any potential miscommunications between the customer and staff, resulting in wrong orders being placed.