1. Simplicity vs. exaggerative features
Think about what you need and if you can operate it. Your staff will work with the booking software too. Are they comfortable working on a computer? The new system should replace the old reservation book and simplify the work rather than outdo it with unnecessary features. A reservation should be created in a few seconds without stopping the operation of your restaurant – even on a busy Saturday night.
2. Free trial period
Is it possible to test the booking software in advance for free entering no commitments? You should definitely take advantage of such an offer! Familiarize yourself with the system. What do you like and what bothers you? Can you imagine to work with it every day?
3. Fair terms and conditions
Many providers want to bind their clients for several months or even years to their reservation systems. Your wishes and expectations regarding the software might change but you have to pay for an – at least for you – useless system for another year. Therefore, always check how the contract duration is regulated. Some providers even offer a monthly termination of the contract.
Quite a few software companies charge additionally to the monthly price commissions per reservation and earn twice. Something that many restaurant owners do not realize, but that is relevant, is who holds the rights on the use of customer data according to the contract. Hidden in some conditions of use, the providers secure the contact details of the guests and use them to write advertising emails and draw the customer's attention to similar restaurants in the area.
4. Good customer service
If a problem concerning the reservation system occurs, it is very important that you get help quickly. Is the team behind the software easy to reach or do you get the answer two weeks later? Have a look at the FAQ on the website. They should be written comprehensible and should not leave critical topics aside.
5. Runs on smartphone, tablet and laptop
Working mobile is convenient – Why shouldn't you have the next day's reservations at hand while on the go? If you want to use the reservation software on other devices such as your smartphone, be sure it is device independent. Thus, the reservation book is not only at the bar but also always in your pocket...