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Booking a table is now easier!

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With new online pre-ordering system, UK restaurants in trial reported 44 per cent YOY increase in covers; roll out of system to take place in second half of 2016

Bookatable.co.uk revealed a significant boost in sales to its restaurants that trialled the restaurant booking platform’s exclusive partnership with EasyPreOrders – ahead of a wider roll out of the system set for this year. The online prebooking system removes wasted time and hassle from the group booking process, allowing restaurant teams and group organisers alike to arrange their bookings via a clear and simple platform.

The trial, which took place during one of the busiest periods of the year for the restaurant industry in November and December 2015, saw four of Bookatable’s major chain restaurant partners – Busaba Eathai, TGI Fridays, Las Iguanas and Belgos – test the technology to assess its impact on efficiency across 120 sites. The findings of the trial reveal  success with venues that took part reporting a 44 per cent increase in covers across the board when compared to the same period in 2014.

Benefit to business

One of Bookatable’s key restaurant partners, Las Iguanas, is a particular success story following the trial with the average venue reporting more guests, increased bookings and higher conversion rates.  The uptake of the EasyPreOrders system was very high with 89 per cent of bookings over eight covers pre-ordering at their Royal Festival Hall branch. On average, pre-orders were submitted 19 days ahead of the booking giving venues around 2.5 weeks to prepare for larger groups.

Gemma Holmes, Brand Communications Coordinator of Las Iguanas, explains, “We found the EasyPreOrders technology easy to use and it was a great benefit to our business, particularly in the run up to the festive season when we experience a huge increase in group bookings which can be challenging to manage for the kitchens and front of house staff. Having more time to plan ahead for larger group orders meant we reduced food wastage and also significantly cut down the amount of time our restaurant staff had to spend servicing tables, meaning that we reduced cover times during a very busy period.”

EasyPreOrders estimate that restaurants that utilise the technology save on average two hours of administration time on group bookings with the system reducing phone calls, email correspondence and food wastage as well as reducing table time by approximately 30 minutes allowing restaurants to capture an additional 80 covers a month on average. Venues using the EasyPreOrders technology also benefit from upselling with 75 per cent of diners purchasing ‘add ons’.

The benefits of the technology do not just boost the restaurant’s takings and efficiency but also enhance the guest’s experience – particularly the organiser of group bookings. Using Bookatable and EasyPreOrders’ integrated system, organisers are able to email all group members and request individuals pre-order their menu choices saving them time, something that 89 per cent of existing EasyPreOrders organisers say is a benefit to using the system.

According to EasyPreOrders research data, 98 per cent of organisers also find the technology easy to use and 90 per cent would prefer to dine in a restaurant which uses EasyPreOrders.

Joe Steele, CEO, Bookatable.co.uk, comments, “We’re really pleased to see that the trial of EasyPreOrders has been an overwhelming success.  Our priority has always been on innovating our technology to ensure we offer the best possible system and service to our restaurant partners and beyond that, our diners. The thing that is abundantly clear from our trial of this technology is how much the group booking system benefits the restaurant but also the overall guest experience, by making the process of organising and ordering for a group simple and smooth. Given the positive news following our trial, we will be rolling this technology out to several hundred of our restaurant partners this year.”

Mark Roberts, CEO, EasyPreOrders, says, “With people now leading increasingly hectic lives, making the process of pre-ordering as simple as possible is key and the main priority of our business. It’s great to see the results of this trial with Bookatable which has revolutionised the group bookings process for those taking part. We have had positive feedback since introducing the new booking system from both restaurant partners and diners alike. We have taken onboard feedback from all those involved and plan to continue to improve the system as well as training restaurants in how to further maximise the technology for their business. We are looking forward to rolling this out to many more of Bookatable’s restaurant partners in the coming months.”

The online preordering system is available now and can be accessed via PC, tablet or mobile 24 hours a day.

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