I want to start off by stating that managing table inventory can be a daunting task! However, if setup correctly, it can serve as a great tool to optimize traffic in the restaurant, fill more seats, and more efficiently run your front of house. Grab a cup of coffee and take a seat, this may take a few minutes :)
There are two models for managing reservation capacity:
- Slot based (a bit archaic)
- Flex based (a bit more modern)
The 'Slot' based model was the first of its kind, allowing restaurateurs to very simply choose how many parties they wanted to accept at any given 15 minute increment. While this model worked just fine, it wasn't very efficient in that the restaurant was restricted to only the pre determined # of bookings, rather than allowing any available table to be booked.
The 'Flex' model, on the other hand, takes average table turnover times into account, allowing for a maximum # of bookings (without overbooking the restaurant). For example, if the average turnover time on a party of 4 was set to 60 minutes, and a reservation came in at 2pm, that table wouldn't be available for another booking before 3pm. In this model, you can have all of your tables always available, letting the system do the math and fit parties in based on actual availability.
Zomato Book allows you to easily create daily 'capacity control templates'. And by default, the system will follow these templates. In some instances, however, you may need to 'override' these templates. Perhaps there is a day when the restaurant will be closed for a private event, or perhaps, your hours of operations will be unique on an upcoming holiday. Overriding your daily templates can easily be done by creating an exception.
Once these templates are created, you'll most likely never have to revisit this :)
- Via Settings on the iPad, select 'Capacity Control Template' (option 4).
- The vertical (or y) axis represents table inventory.
- An individual 'capacity row' will need to be created for each table that can be reserved. This can be done by clicking 'Add Row' at the top right. Instead of creating individual rows manually, you also have the option to quickly mimic your floor plan by clicking on the 'Assistant' at the top right and choosing the 4th option - 'Reset Capacity Template from Seating Chart').
- The min/max party size that can fit on that table is represented by the 2 numbers at the beginning of the row. For example, a row labeled 1-2 represents a table that can accept a minimum of 1 guest and a maximum of 2. Likewise, a row labeled 6-6 represents a table that can accept a minimum of 6 guests and a maximum of 6 guests.
- By clicking on the party size, you'll have the option to modify the min/max party size that can fit on a particular row. You'll also have the option to 'block' the entire row' or delete it.
- Finally, you'll be able to assign a specific table to a capacity row (optional).
- The horizontal (or x) axis represents your daily timeline, in 15 minute intervals. At every 15 minute interval, there are three types of limiters that can be set to help control and manage your inbound reservations.
- Reservation Capacity Limits
- Reservation capacity limits control the maximum amount of covers and/or parties at any given 15 minute interval. Enter a number in the box and toggle the button to the right on (so it turns green). Then hit 'Done' at the top right. If both limiters are set, reservations will turn off when the first one is hit.
- If you'd like to completely turn reservations off at a given 15 minute interval, please insert '0' into the box and toggle it on.
- If you'd like to set the same number across the entire day, please use the 'Assistant' at the top right and choose the 5th option -'Set Reservation Limits for <day of week>'.
- Kitchen Capacity Limits
- Kitchen capacity limits follow the same logic as reservation capacity limiters (above), however, they also take into account walk in (and wait) traffic. This is used for restaurants that need to control their tables from a kitchen capacity perspective (ie - perhaps the kitchen is short staffed and can only hand a certain amount of guests).
- When the kitchen capacity limit has been hit, the iPad will show a flashing red bar across the top of the screen. This will notify the host/hostess that they should not seat any parties, but instead, add any incoming guest to the waitlist.
- If you'd like to set the same number across the entire day, please use the 'Assistant' at the top right and choose the 6th option -'Set Kitchen Limits for <day of week>'.
- Restaurant Capacity Limits
- Restaurant capacity limits are your safety net, and will ensure that the restaurant is never physically overbooked.
- By default, we set the maximum cover and party count based on your actual floor layout (again, ensuring that you never physically overbook yourself).
- If you'd like to modify your maximum cover and/or party counts, please click on the white table icon to the right of of the box.
- If you'd like to set the same number across the entire day, please use the 'Assistant' at the top right and choose the 7th option -'Set Kitchen Limits for <day of week>'.
- Reservation Capacity Limits