06.18.2014

SM3 Top Three: Keys to Driving Reservations

AshleyDo you offer reservations? If so, you need to think strategically about your processes to be as effective as possible at garnering them.  For example, every time you communicate with your guests, you have an opportunity to solicit their reservation.  What should savvy restaurant marketers do?  SM3 Specialist Ashley Taylor offers these tips to her clients to help them book more guests more often.

  1. Offer multiple routes. While online reservation systems are both convenient and helpful for guests and restaurants both, some guests just prefer to ring you up. Make sure your website, social media, and email messages always prominently display a link to your online process AND your phone number. The easier it is for guests to find their desired avenue, the more likely they are to make the next move and reserve that table.
  2. Put reservation information in many of your social media posts. Glowing review in the local newspaper? Gorgeous shot of your new desserts to share with the world? Of course you’ll post these kinds of things to Facebook, but you can go the extra step and provide a link to your online reservations in the same post.  A call to action is a great way to encourage interaction from your guests, and the constant reminder of how easy it is to make a reservation may help push guests from “I’ll think about it” to “now!”
  3. Encourage guests to make reservations in every communication you send out. Make your email and social media messages even more rewarding by driving guests towards online reservations every step of the way. As examples, you should include information about how to make a reservation every time:
  • A guest enters a sweepstakes.
  • A guest joins your mailing list.
  • A guest has a birthday, a member anniversary, or any other trigger message coming to his/her inbox.
  • You share an offer through email or social media.

It’s easy to keep the reservation information in your emails by assigning it a prominent location in the footer – always a key piece of advice Ashley Taylor gives her email marketing clients.

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