How Appointment Scheduling Software Has Revolutionised the Hospitality Industry

How Appointment Scheduling Software Has Revolutionised the Hospitality Industry

In a previous article about using appointment scheduling software in retail, we outlined the benefits of adopting this kind of software for both consumers and businesses.

Appointment scheduling software is designed to allow customers to book appointments online, via a mobile application or a website. It’s a quick and simple procedure that greatly diminishes the need for personnel to intervene. The software can also incorporate a virtual queuing system that prevents walk-in consumers from having to wait in line in front of a store or restaurant.

In this regard, the hospitality industry has made visible progress as well, with many online reservation systems emerging to aid in providing a greater customer experience and to better organise the personnel.

Because the industry is so vast, we will focus on how restaurants, takeout, cafés, and bars have adapted to a climate dominated by technological innovation.

Reinventing the Traditional Food Experience with Appointment Scheduling Software

Consumers' most important expectations have always been convenience and a positive experience. That is why, even before the COVID-19 outbreak prompted restaurants and food delivery firms to find creative ways to operate, companies were already focusing on using technological solutions to provide a better customer experience.

According to a study by HOTREC in Europe, demand for home delivery has increased significantly in the past few years and the sector that ensures this type of delivery might grow to roughly 20 billion euros by 2023.

Furthermore, global hospitality industry trends reveal three major factors that influence booking and food delivery:

  • Restaurants need to expand their service options to compete with supermarkets that sell ready-to-eat meals in designated dining areas;
  • Food and beverage companies are focusing more on Gen Z customers in order to meet their needs and preferred mode of engagement;
  • Companies are embracing technology to broaden ordering and payment alternatives through user-friendly applications or platforms.

One solution that offers multiple features is the restaurant scheduling software, and we will look at how exactly it can help.

Benefits of Restaurant Scheduling Software for Business Owners, Staff, and Customers

When you think about appointment scheduling software, you most likely imagine filling out a form to reserve a table at your favourite venue. Even though online bookings can help employees and customers save time and effort in that manner, we will discover that the software can perform far more functions than that.

Here is how business owners, employees, and customers can all benefit from powerful tools like restaurant scheduling apps or platforms:

1. No More Crowds or Confusion, with the Help of Virtual Queues

Cafés and other businesses can utilise restaurant scheduling apps to streamline the experience of dining by appointment, as well as create virtual queues to avoid long lines outside the venue.

Imagine how helpful this can be on particularly busy holidays such as Valentine’s Day. Those are the ideal times for people to escape their routines and spend quality time with their loved ones. But what if the days leading up to such events are so hectic and stressful that clients forget to make reservations? Well, instead of arriving at the restaurant to find it completely booked, customers can scan a QR code to secure their position in a virtual queue and go for a stroll while they wait.

2. Customers Want to Support Restaurants Directly Instead of Using Third-Party Services

Here is something you probably didn’t expect: most clients are willing to give up a little convenience in order to support their favourite restaurant.

While there are numerous popular food delivery apps like Uber Eats and Menulog, a 2019 survey found that 70 per cent of consumers prefer to order straight from the restaurant.

Well, by using scheduling software like Storeplay IQ, your business can incorporate the service into its website, fostering direct restaurant-client relationships—without sacrificing convenience.

It’s not the same as building your own booking infrastructure from the ground up, but it allows you to tailor it to your needs—and those of your customers—and make the software your own. Not only that, but you gain control over consumer data which would otherwise be difficult to acquire from another third-party food delivery service application.

3. Increase Marketing Visibility and Attract New Clients with Restaurant Scheduling Software

Personalisation is essential in providing a positive client experience. As such, you can use your online booking system to collect relevant consumer data in order to offer various perks and bonuses.

You may, for example, save their birthday date and offer them a discount or a free drink if they come to your restaurant on their anniversary.

Customers want to be able to share their opinions, so small and midsize businesses, especially, can take advantage of the opportunity by creating surveys that their customers can complete through the online booking system—which is easy to manage through Storeplay IQ.

4. Appointment Scheduling Software Helps Reduce Expenses and Generate Additional Revenue

While implementing software for online bookings requires additional financial investment, it has the potential to pay for itself.

Surveys have shown that about half of the consumers are likely to use online ordering services more often if restaurants provide mobile ordering or loyalty programs.

When it comes to reducing expenses, one way that scheduling platforms can help is by providing more information to your clients online, such as updated menus.

Menus change with the seasons, depending on suppliers, rent, and other considerations. Rather than printing new menus or patching up old ones, you can place a little QR code ticket on the table. Consumers may scan it to find the latest version of the menu online.

It may look like a minor detail, but it can be useful to small and midsize businesses where every resource matters. Aside from the practical side, it’s also a better way to connect with the tech-savvy youth that visits your venue.

5. Incorporate Click-and-Collect to Allow Customers to Grab a Healthy Lunch for Work

People are becoming more mindful about the nutritional value of their food as well as its environmental impact. This is a significant shift in thinking and behaviour that calls for matching solutions from food businesses.

Most individuals indeed order meals from home rather than the workplace. However, at least 16 per cent of people buy food for their office, which presents you with a chance to provide more environmentally responsible options in a simple manner.

After all, we have coffee to go, so why not pair it with a nutritious meal?

More specifically, customers could use the click-and-collect feature of your appointment scheduling software to order carefully cooked food ahead of time rather than relying on supermarket snacks. Therefore, they can simply pick up their healthier meal during a break or on their way to work, minimising the need for the restaurant to hire delivery personnel and, as a result, lowering the company's carbon footprint. Every little bit counts toward that goal, and your customers will certainly appreciate it.

Join the Revolution with Storeplay IQ’s Online Booking System

All in all, many new solutions are being developed to address the growing interest for delivery services and online bookings, in line with the global industry trends.

We have covered the essential benefits of appointment scheduling software which provide a positive experience for everyone involved in the food and beverage industry.

What is your vision when it comes to reinventing your business? Contact us and let’s talk about how our appointment booking and queue management platform can help you in that regard.