Region's restaurants in tech trouble

Charlie Lyon on the shocking tech-phobe findings of Head Chef Survey

Restaurants, Head chef survey 2012, Technology

The results of our Caterer Head Chef Survey 2012 make for an interesting read, says Caterer editor Charlie Lyon. 

We analyse the results in depth on page 26 of this month's magazine, but there was one finding I need to bring to your attention here: 24.2% of you admitted that none of your restaurant reservations come through e-booking channels; and 29.3% of you admitted that none of your reservations come through third-party websites. Why?


I’m no online expert, but I know these days there are people who will not call a restaurant to book a table. They risk being met with a frustrating engaged tone (do they bother to call back later, or do they call another restaurant?); not being answered at all; or being answered by someone in a noisy place who can barely hear them and who ultimately writes down ‘table for four in the name of Mr Loin’ (no joke – this has happened to me).

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It’s pretty safe to say that this portion of survey respondents are not getting online bookings because they don’t have reservation sites. Not only these days should all restaurants offer this service, they should have mobile sites with booking options too.

Phones are no longer for calling on: they are for apps and instant results at the touch of a button; they’re for booking tables online while you’re killing time on a bus; and for picking up confirmation emails that guarantee the table for the birthday party of 10 you want is booked for 10, and not two.

If your customers aren’t booking tables through online channels, be assured, they’re booking elsewhere.

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