To be successful in the restaurant business, you need to get guests in the door — ideally as many as you possibly can. Especially in a small space, maximising capacity is critical to make sure you do enough turns and covers to make the numbers work out in your favor.
With the new Table Categories feature on OpenTable’s GuestCenter, diners can book non-standard seating options like bar and high-tops so that you can make the most of all of your space. Because diners using the OpenTable app can choose their preferred seating, they know exactly what to expect when they come in. And if you’re a small, busy restaurant, you can actually show more availability than you could otherwise.
For example, bar seating is about a third of the total capacity at Los Angeles hotspot Here’s Looking at You, and early on, co-owner Lien Ta felt like she was missing out. “People didn’t know that you could sit and eat at the bar,” she says. Table Categories allowed her to book reservations at the bar so that more people could enjoy the full dining experience at the restaurant.
“We noticed a change in our revenue immediately; we noticed a change also in the spirits of the bartenders,” says Lien. “It’s nice that we know for sure certain seats will always be full every single night.”
Watch the video below to see how Lien made Table Categories work for her.
Last week we were excited and honored to welcome Dana Cowin, long-time Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine magazine and general food-world legend, to OpenTable HQ for a fireside chat with our CEO, Christa Quarles.
After 20+ years at Food & Wine Dana became the Creative Director at Chefs Club, a New York- and Aspen-based restaurant concept that curates menus of dishes from chefs around the world. She’s also the author of a cookbook, Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen. These days she’s pursuing some of her own projects, including a new radio show Speaking Broadly. But what we really love and admire about Dana’s career is that she has been a constant and unfailing advocate of up-and-coming chefs and has helped introduce people to new culinary talent all over the world.
Here, we’re sharing highlights from Christa and Dana’s conversation from our San Francisco offices — read on and get inspired. [Read more…]
In service, it’s not just a single host who needs to see what’s happening at the host stand — it’s also servers and managers who may stop by to check in on whether a table is empty and ready to be seated. Especially in a large restaurant, where you may have multiple hosts and many rooms or distinct spaces. You all need to be able to understand what’s happening at a single glance.
We’re excited to announce that with our latest GuestCenter app update, our flagship product is now optimised for the bigger screen of the iPad Pro. That means it’s easier than ever for you and your staff to see more information during service, including a larger floor plan, longer reservation list, and more shift notes.