What Is A Guest Fulfillment System And How Can It Help Your Restaurant
February 5, 2024
There’s no better feeling than checking your restaurant’s reservation list and seeing you’ll have a packed house from open to close.
This ideal scenario doesn’t happen by accident—it takes a lot of hard work to craft a customer experience that has people talking—but often, operators skip focusing on that important first step in the customer journey…
Making their reservation.
In this article, I’m going show how you can elevate your customer’s critical first step by introducing a guest fulfillment system to your restaurant and how it can help by:
Crafting unforgettable customer experiences starting at the reservation process.
Streamlining your current operations.
Making you more money with no cost of goods.
Making important decisions backed by data, not gut feelings.
Let’s dive in.
What is a Guest Fulfillment System?
A guest fulfillment system (GFS) is advanced software designed to connect with your existing reservation platform to give diners an exceptionally detailed and personalized dining experience.
A GFS is designed to handle a multitude of guest requests and preferences, ensuring that each visit is tailored to the individual's needs and desires.
With a GFS, you're not just booking a table—you're creating a custom dining experience.
In contrast to a traditional reservation system, which only collects customer information and the time they’d like to dine, a GFS gives guests the opportunity to communicate more nuanced and personalized information about their reservation.
Yes, a traditional reservation platform has a “notes” section, but there’s no guarantee that customer requests will be fulfilled, leaving many details to chance with what could be a very special occasion with friends, family, or colleagues.
Let’s take a closer look at how a guest fulfillment system can forever change the way customers think about going out to eat.
Crafting Unforgettable Customer Experiences
You want customers thinking about your restaurant before arriving, but you only want feelings of anticipation and excitement, not anxiety or distress.
The typical customer reservation experience looks something like this:
Make the reservation online (or call the store when it’s open).
Leave special details in the “notes” section if they have a request.
Click confirm and hope for the best.
It’s not difficult to see a few problems here.
For starters, if a customer prefers making a reservation over the phone, they have to wait for open hours, which can be a small window of time for many businesses.
If guests call outside of regular hours, they can leave a voicemail, but there’s no guarantee it was delivered.
Voicemail can malfunction or get lost in the queue.
When making a reservation online, guests can make special requests in the notes section, but without a firm confirmation, they just have to cross their fingers that the request will be fulfilled.
Customers should never have to “hope for the best” when going out to eat.
As frustrating as these issues are, it creates a fantastic opportunity for restaurants willing to eliminate the “chance” element of dining, and the only way to do that is with a guest fulfillment system.
Giving guests a 100% guarantee that they’ll get exactly what they ask every time they visit your restaurant will quickly create a reputation as a business that cares and has impeccable service.
Here’s what a guest fulfillment system can do that traditional reservation systems can’t:
Seating is #1: It all starts with selecting their ideal table. Whether it's a window seat, a quiet corner, or a table by the fireplace, a GFS ensures guests are seated precisely where they prefer.
Pre-order Drinks: Customers can request drinks, like wine or champagne, ahead of time. Imagine how amazing guests would feel to see their favorite bottle of champagne already on ice waiting for them.
Special Touches for Celebrations: Got a birthday or an anniversary dinner? The GFS can help set up balloons, cards, cakes, or anything to make the day special.
Floral and Table Arrangements for Dates/Anniversaries: Set the perfect romantic scene with flowers, customized table settings, or thoughtful gifts, all arranged beforehand.
Meet the Chef: For guests who love food and want to know more, the GFS can set up a meet and greet with the chef.
Using a GFS allows guests to turn a special occasion into something extraordinary that they will remember for years.
It’s these types of experiences that keep customers coming back again and again.
They know it’s not a fluke—that they some how got lucky once when going out to eat.
Instead of it being a “remember that one-time” kind of story, it’s an experience they can live over and over.
Why would customers choose to go anywhere else when they know, for a fact, they can get:
The exact table they want.
Favorite hot or cold beverages waiting for them.
Special requests like balloons and cards
Any detail fulfilled to make a meal memorable.
And it’s not just customers who benefit from a GFS—let’s look at how it can help your restaurant, starting with a new, simple, affordable revenue stream.
Increasing Revenue Without Cost Of Goods
Inflation and rising labor costs have a stranglehold on the restaurant industry right now, and everyone is feeling the effects of it.
Traditionally, the only way to quickly increase profits is to raise menu prices, but with everyone getting kicked in the pants by higher prices, sticker shock could scare away customers.
The perfect solution is a guest fulfillment system.
A GFS enables restaurant operators to use dynamic pricing to charge a premium for their most popular tables or any table during peak hours.
Restaurants that use a GFS, like Tablz, can see an additional $65,000 - $90,000 a year in sales with no extra cost of goods.
The GFS connects to your existing reservation platform, and using a 3D map of your dining room, guests can take a virtual tour of your restaurant and see what’s available and at what price.
How much each table costs is entirely up to you—you also have the option to not charge for reservations at all but still offer guests a unique experience without the additional costs of inventory or resources.
Because the GFS is synced directly to the existing reservation system, it does all the heavy lifting for you, so when staff comes in, every reservation is set to go.
Let’s look at more ways a GFS, like Tablz, can simplify your operations.
Streamlining Restaurant Operations
Tablz’s guest fulfillment system makes seating guests and preparing for service a much easier process for your staff.
For example, many restaurant operators use multiple reservation platforms to capture as many bookings as possible, resulting in FOH staff having to manually transfer every reservation from secondary platforms to the platform they prefer using for table management through service.
Using a GFS eliminates this task, meaning all reservations, including those with special requests or premium table bookings, are automatically transferred into the restaurant's system.
Staff no longer need to manually input reservation details, saving time and reducing the headaches and potential errors associated with manual data entry.
Each table request is tagged as a "premium diner" and placed directly on the seat requested. So when FOH staff arrive for their shift, everything is already pre-populated and assigned directly to the correct seat.
This also eliminates the hassle of organizing where all the reservations will sit in the dining room. Guests have already chosen the table they like, so when guests arrive, FOH simply searches their names and guides them to their preselected table.
The GFS uses its magic to ensure a smoother operation, allowing staff to focus more on guest service and less on administrative tasks.
Data-Driven Decision Making
Every decision within your business should be backed by data, not a guess and cross-your-fingers strategy.
Efficient Staffing: Using a GFS gives you customer traffic insights so you know how much staff to schedule and even what parts of the dining room need the most attention.
Strategic Pricing On Tables: The GFS can give you very clear data on your most popular tables, along with their peak hours of popularity, allowing you to competitively adjust the table fee. A motivated guest gets the exact table they want, and your business makes a higher ticket sale without the cost of additional goods.
Understand Popular Requests: Identify and analyze the most common customer requests and preferences, enabling you to anticipate needs and tailor your services accordingly. You can upsell with personalized request packages to further bump the cover value and impress customers.
Using data from your GFS means you're proactively shaping the guest experience to meet and exceed their expectations, ultimately driving growth and success.
A guest fulfillment system is more than just a tool—it's a partner in your restaurant's journey towards excellence.
By providing a superior dining experience, optimizing your operations, and tapping into new revenue opportunities, a GFS is an investment that pays dividends in customer satisfaction and business growth.
Consider the integration of a GFS not as an expense but as a pivotal decision in shaping the future of your restaurant.
And have everyone in your city talking about your restaurant
Reach out to Tablz right now to see how much of an impact a guest fulfillment system can have on your business.
It takes roughly an hour to scan your dining room for the 3D map, and your new GFS will be operating in less than a week.
If you're concerned about the investment, Tablz offers a FREE option to get started, so there’s no risk to your business, but once you see it in action, you’ll immediately understand the tremendous value it provides.