As restrictions continue to ease and tighten at an unpredictable pace, the hospitality industry has been under tumultuous times. With increased uncertainty comes the need for greater efficiencies and insight into your operations. Online bookings platforms are the new norm, but are venues getting everything they can out of these systems?

Pre-pandemic, online booking systems mostly helped restaurant owners manage reservations. But as the pandemic continues and dining in can be restricted, restaurant bookings have evolved from table reservations to pre-orders, curbside pick-ups, and deliveries.

As operations continue to be volatile, restaurants must have a system that will optimise their rosters according to changing demand. And the best way to do that is to use restaurant booking data to optimise schedules.

Benefits of staff scheduling using table booking data

It’s all about accuracy and making better and informed decisions. When a restaurant’s online booking system is tied to its rostering process, it becomes a game-changer. Here’s how:

  • Accurate staffing forecasts and scheduling – Staffing forecasts will be based on actual demand, which also paves the way for schedule automation or a faster way for managers to build efficient rosters. Based on data derived from the booking system, restaurants can easily fill shifts with the optimal number of employees to meet booking requirements.

 

  • Labour cost savings Over- and understaffing can be avoided, which leads to savings in labour costs.  Using information from your online booking systems can also enable you to make adjustments quickly as the day goes and as demand changes. As a result, you can prevent unnecessary costs such as overtime.  Depending on the scheduling platform you use, you can even see demand changes in real-time, adapt quickly, and decide on the fly.

 

  • Data and reporting Your online booking platform offers a wealth of information that can help you gain more insights into your operations. You can use this to identify trends, address gaps and build useful reports. Reports and analytics can help in long-term planning and strategy.

 

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Data and analytics remain to be a challenge for some businesses. The first hurdle is access to data, and the second is generating reports from data that make sense for decision-makers and frontline teams. When a restaurant booking system is used hand in hand with scheduling platforms, managers are getting equipped with vital data points that can aid in decision-making. How to schedule restaurant staff using online booking data

When running a restaurant, no two days are exactly the same. That’s why scheduling based on booking data is essential for an efficient operation.

Restaurant bookings are typically made in advance, which already gives you an idea of how many team members you need to meet demand on a particular day. You can cross-check confirmed bookings with the number of staff who can work on that day. From there, you can determine the optimal number of employees you need per day or shift. 

Leveraging booking data and insights from reservation and table management solutions such as ResDiary can be used to help forecast future bookings, which can provide critical context for rostering. Kathryn Breeze, Head of Sales for ANZ mentions “Our inbuilt reporting tools can help to work out busy times of the day, and busy days of the week. Knowing how many bookings and covers you have scheduled for the day/week/month ahead allows you to know how many staff members to have rostered for those given days.”

It also pays to dive deep into notable booking data points such as times with the most number of customers, walk-ins to reservations ratio, typical number of people per group, average dining time, etc. These details along with upcoming bookings can help you optimise your rosters not just to meet anticipated booking demand, but also to stay agile in case there are last-minute changes.

The business landscape for restaurants is ever-changing, but there are ways to stay ahead. Online booking systems are efficient for taking in customer orders and reservations, but it can do so much more when booking data is used to optimise operations, spot potential issues, and identify trends.