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How to Increase Restaurant Reservations: 13+ Revenue-Boosting Tips

How to Increase Restaurant Reservations: 13+ Revenue-Boosting Tips



November 1, 2023

November 1, 2023

For many restaurants, reservations make up the bulk of their weekly and monthly revenue, be it high-end or hotel restaurants, special cuisine eateries, or boutique restaurants.

However, managing and consistently securing a solid stream of reservations can sometimes be quite challenging.

So, what strategies can you, as a restaurateur or operator, employ to amplify the frequency of restaurant reservations? Which approaches and avenues can be explored to encourage guests to make table bookings more regularly?

In this article, we’re looking at 15 ways restaurants can increase their reservations. We’ll also look at how you can speed up operations and increase retention using reservation management software. 

To make reservations or not to make reservations?

To make reservations or not to make reservations?

Not all restaurants need to offer reservations. It depends on the restaurant, their location, and the type of food they offer.

For example, many new restaurants don’t need reservations. But many fine-dining concepts and popular hotel restaurants need to manage reservations or they’d have unnecessarily long waitlists and many disgruntled guests.

The exception to this is when booking for larger groups. For example, a group of 10 or more people needs to make a reservation. Why? Because you can’t be sure you can accommodate a large number on the spot.

In addition, you need to see how and where in your restaurant’s floor plan you can move tables to accommodate this group.

Similarly, many new restaurants don’t need to offer reservations because they need to create hype for their eatery.

Meanwhile, some restaurant chains need to manage reservations for new locations where seating is limited. The same applies to restaurants that offer multiple seating areas in the same restaurant.

Why are reservations important for a restaurant?

Why are reservations important for a restaurant?

Getting guests to book tables in-advance offers several benefits for restaurants and chains.

Here are a few of those benefits:

–    More efficient operations 

Reservations show you when guests are coming in, reducing the strain on your staff and resources, especially during peak times.

By reviewing your upcoming reservations, you can see if you’ll need to accommodate large groups, special events, or something else. Doing so allows you to manage and plan your staff shifts to accommodate your guests.

If your reservation management software shows a peak on a specific weekday or at a certain time, you can prepare for the rush and bring in more servers.

–    Improved guest experience

Reservations help reduce wait times for customers and help staff better prepare for the influx of guests. All of this translates to a better dining experience. 

In addition, when making reservations online, guests can mention their special requirements, which staff can accommodate upon their arrival. 

Similarly, during special events, staff can be well-prepared to meet and accommodate guests’ needs.

–   Revenue predictability

By having a clear idea about the number of expected guests, restaurants can better predict their revenue for a given night.

This financial predictability is crucial for budgeting and financial planning.

In addition, using reservation management software like SerVme, you can collect reservation fees with zero commissions, ensures maximum revenues and profits.

Moreover, some restaurants require full in-advance payments to confirm reservations. For these restaurants, it’s even easier to forecast revenues.

–   Reducing food waste

Reservations help restaurants prepare their inventory and can help reduce food waste. By predicting customer demand, they can order suitable amounts of ingredients to reduce spoilage.

This is even better for restaurants that require guests to put in their order with their reservation.

How to increase restaurant reservations

How to increase restaurant reservations

So, how can you increase reservations at your restaurants? Here are 15 strategies to try.

Not all strategies will work for everyone. But as you grow your restaurant business, you can add more strategies from this list to your growth plans.

1. Create seasonal menus

Creating seasonal dishes and menus is a great way to increase restaurant reservations. Seasonal indicates limited quantities and a limited-time.

One recurring seasonal event in the Middle East is the month of Ramadan, which often comes with seasonal beverages, desserts, and menus. Many restaurants offer reservations specifically during Ramadan because dining out during the holy month is an experience.

Similarly, creating winter dishes and desserts means guests have a month or two to try dishes they won’t see again for the rest of the year.

2. Let guests make reservations via social media 

A unique way to increase restaurant reservations is to let guests book tables via social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Managing social media reservations may be hard, especially when it’s time to confirm bookings.

Restaurants using SerVme’s reservation management software automate the entire process by adding a link to their reservation widget.

From there guests make reservations, pay reservation fees (if needed), and you can see their booking details from your SerVme dashboard. 

3. Create partnerships with third-party websites 

One of the top ways restaurants can get more walk-in traffic and increase reservations is by partnering with third-party websites. These include sites like Tripadvisor,, Zomato, Zagat, Yelp, and others.

Similarly, partnering with restaurant review sites helps you get more eyes on your restaurant and increase reservations.

It’s worth mentioning that many of these websites require a monthly or annual fee to list your restaurant. So, be sure to track how many reservations, or even walk-ins, are coming from these sites. This will help you see if they’re worth the investment or not.

4. Create special corporate offers 

Creating partnerships with large companies and corporations offers unique opportunities to increase restaurant reservations.

Whether it’s for business lunches or dinners, team gatherings, or just work colleagues getting together after work.

Moreover, it’s an opportunity to host annual company gatherings like the annual Ramadan iftar, a New-Year get-together or something else.

Corporate reservations can be for small groups of 2-4 people, or large groups of 10 or more. It depends on the occasion.

5.    Add your restaurant to Google My Business

Create a profile and list your restaurant on Google My Business and Google Maps.

Having a Google My Business page listing means you can add all your restaurant details such as address, phone number, among other details. You can also feature positive reviews along with mouth-watering pictures of your dishes.

Although both options may increase walk-ins, mentioning that your restaurant takes reservations, can translate to future bookings.

6. Get more booking via your website 

Having a website comes with its own set of benefits. But when reservation is involved, having a website means people are more confident making bookings.

Using SerVme’s widget, guests can see which days and times are available to make reservations.

By the way, reservations with SerVme are always commission free!

7. Train your servers to handle peak times 

Training your waiters and servers is essential not only to improve guest experiences, but also to increase table turnover.

A faster table turnover means more guests are in-and-out of your restaurant, which means more revenue and profits.

Your servers’ abilities to be attentive to guests and make them feel special and pampered, whether it’s weekday or a peak time makes a difference whether this guest comes back or not.

Many guests often worry about dining out on weekends because of the rush. But ensuring your servers are fast, efficient, while maintaining cleanliness and order, improves the guest experience and the chance of them coming back. Regardless of the day of the week.

8. Create personalized experiences with guest profiles 

Customers, including restaurant guests, today crave personalization. Creating personalized in-person and digital guest experience is a great way to increase restaurant reservations and overall retention.

If you’re using guest experience management software like SerVme, you can create guest profiles with all of their details. You can add all their information like name, email, phone number, allergies, food preferences, among other details.

You can also review their most recent visits, orders, their comments, ratings, and reviews, and more.

9. Make guest surveys and reviews work for you

When do new guests feel confident visiting a restaurant? When they see other guests write raving reviews, praise your dishes, your servers, and more. 

Get guests to rate and review each visit by sending automated email or SMS surveys. Use those 5-star reviews and guest reviews and testimonials across your website and social media. 

Happy guests can translate to more traffic and reservations. 

10.  Create monthly limited-seating events 

Creating special events at your restaurant can be a great and fun opportunity to increase restaurant reservations. Not only will special events and meals get more eyes on your website, it can also increase table bookings.

Whether it’s a weekly Monday-through Wednesday Brunch, special cuisine nights, or something else, the opportunities are endless.

This option is more commonly-used among hotel restaurants where events form a major part of the hotel’s overall revenues.

11. Increase reservations with email marketing 

Creating an email list of your guests offers tons of opportunities. From customer engagement, to higher retention, to improved analytics, to more reservations, among others.

Are you opening a new branch soon? Let guests know so they can book tables on opening night.

Did you make a new partnership? Email guests so they can benefit from it.

Planning ‘Happy Hour Wednesdays?’ Let guests know so they can book a table and bring their friends.

Are reservations open for New Year’s Eve Dinner? Let guests know when they can start making reservations.

Don’t forget to add your reservation widget after your announcements or at the end of your newsletter so guests can book tables at events they’re excited about.

Make sure your guests open your emails by crafting enticing email subject lines for your newsletters and campaigns.

Make the most of email lists. Read our Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing for Restaurants

12. Use marketing automation to boost reservations

There are many tools you can use in automating marketing processes in your restaurant. These include SMS and email marketing. Both of which you can directly manage from SerVme’s dashboard without having to use a third-party email or SMS platform.

Depending on your guests’ preferences you may use email or SMS or both. For example, guests in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia prefer to receive restaurant confirmations and other automated messages via SMS.

You can use SMS marketing to notify guests of upcoming special events, confirm bookings and cancellations, among other messages.

Got last-minute cancellations? Notify frequent guests about available tables at your restaurant.

Similarly, if you have guests’ details about their birthdays or anniversaries, you can send an SMS with an offer to make a reservation for their special day.

13. Entice guests with a free birthday dessert 

We’ve mentioned the importance of creating personalized guest experiences. Take it a step further and send guests an email or SMS, or both, ahead of their birthday. Invite them to book a table at your restaurant on their special day or during their birthday week and offer them a free birthday dessert.

14.  Enable split checks 

Sometimes guests come in groups but the check becomes a hassle when people want to leave earlier, or later than others. Similarly, guests hate it when they have to do advanced math when it’s time to pay the check, but they’re part of a group.

Speed up the process, make it easier for guests and servers alike with automated split checks. It’s a great way to improve guest experiences in your restaurant and increase reservations at the same time.

No more worrying about splitting the check! This feature is available for restaurants using SerVme.

15. Consider an in-house only promotion 

Want to increase reservations during weekdays? Create an in-house promotion for specific meals or times during the day.

This is a sure-fire way to increase walk-ins and reservations.

Increase restaurant reservations & retention with SerVme’s reservation management software

Increase restaurant reservations & retention with SerVme’s reservation management software

We’ve discussed 15 ways restaurants can increase restaurant reservations. But how can you improve your restaurant and reservation management process as a whole?

It’s using restaurant management software like SerVme. Here’s what you will be able to achieve with SerVme. 

1. Real-time reservations

SerVme is essentially a reservation and table management software. But it’s not just about logging reservations on specific days or dates and calling it a day.

SerVme helps restaurants manage various aspects of the reservation process. These include:

  • Booking and managing reservations in real-time

  • A phone integration for guests who prefer to book over the phone

  • Manage guest reservations and waitlists

  • Confirm bookings using SMS and email

  • No commissions or commission fees. Ever!

  • A super-customizable reservation widget to use across your platforms, whether it’s social media, your website, or third-party sites.  


Restaurant widget of a SerVme customer showing upcoming events and how guests can make reservations

2. Manage reservations from multiple sources

Restaurants using SerVme can easily get and manage reservations from multiple sources. These include but aren’t limited to your website, Instagram and Facebook accounts, and Google. 

3. Create personalization using segmentation and a complete guest CRM

Create and manage guest profiles in SerVme’s customer relationship management (CRM) software. Then create personalized guest experiences that keep customers coming back.

With a restaurant CRM software, you can add guest details such as name, date of birth, gender, phone number, email, among other details. Add food and restaurant-related notes such as dietary restrictions, food preferences, and special requirements.

You can add and fill information by asking guests directly or by gathering information based on previous orders.

For example, if a guest regularly orders vegan dishes, you can highlight new vegan dishes and desserts during their next visit. Planning a vegan menu? Ask vegan guests about their opinions, ask for their recommendations, and more.

With guest profiles and guest segmentation, there’s no limit to how you can make the most of the opportunities available.

Got a special event coming up that you think women guests between ages 30 and 40 will enjoy? Segment your guests and send them an email or SMS inviting them to that specific event!

4. Collect reservation fees and reduce no-shows

Many restaurants today are turning to reservations fees to reduce the number of cancellations and no-show guests.

How can you collect these reservation fees? Guests can book and pay reservation fees directly from the SerVme widget. When these guests arrive at your restaurant, you can easily deduct the reservation fees from their final bill.

Further reading:How to Create a Restaurant No-Show Policy [Templates Included]

5. Manage cover flow

 Manage your servers and their shifts based on your restaurant’s capacity. 

Are you fully-booked for the weekend? Then make sure you bring in your team of servers to cater to your guests and their needs, and maintain a smooth dining experience. 

With SerVme’s cover flow management feature, you can see how booked your restaurant is, manage reservations and walk-in guests accordingly, and manage your servers to meet demand.

6. Email features

You can manage your restaurant’s entire email marketing campaigns directly from SerVme.

Whether you’re creating a weekly or monthly newsletter, segmenting guests based on interest in an upcoming event, or something else, SerVme’s restaurant email marketing software has you covered. 

Further reading: 10+ Types of Email Marketing Campaign Ideas to Try for Your Restaurant 

7. SMS features

SMS remains one of the most popular ways restaurants can engage and interact with guests.

Whether you want to confirm reservations, invite guests to a special event, or ask guests to rate and review their experiences, you can create and manage SMS messaging directly from SerVme.

8. Measure restaurant analytics  

Restaurants today need to keep track of many analytics to see if their marketing efforts and in-house operations are driving guest satisfaction and increasing revenues or not.

Whether it’s average check per table, revenue per available seat hour (REVPASH), or something else, there are many restaurant analytics to track.

Using restaurant and reservation management software like SerVme lets you track many analytics. You can choose to review them across venues and branches.

You can easily create and share your regular restaurant management system reports with your F&B director or restaurant owner.

Want to see how SerVme’s reservation management software can help you increase restaurant reservations and reduce no-shows? Book a free 15-minute demo and our team will show you how to boost your revenues in no time!  

Posted by :

Posted by:

Mohammed Rafy