The Rise of Reservation Systems in the Wake of COVID-19

July 23, 2020
07:59 AM

The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brought about drastic changes to people from all over the world. Staying at home has become the new normal, and it has caused a ripple effect upon various businesses and establishments. Due to it, the use of online business transactions has become more extensive. Restaurants have started integrating restaurant booking plugins for a reservation system to their WordPress sites to aid in their business transactions.


Three people social distancing and following a reservation system in an establishment
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How does the restaurant booking plugin help for a reservation system?

Before the pandemic, diners booked tables or paid in advance for an exclusive chef’s table experience. However, due to COVID-19, restaurants are forced to make adjustments to comply with physical distancing requirements imposed by the government. Because of this, restaurant booking systems have changed.

Online restaurant reservation service companies are introducing new booking systems that help restaurants adjust to the new normal of dining out. These restaurant booking systems are expanding to include reserved seating for bars and wineries. They also feature virtual waitlists and other capacity monitoring tools that prevent restaurants from overcrowding and violating distancing requirements.


Waitlist Feature

Through the new waitlist feature, guests can add themselves virtually to the waitlist. However, they should be close enough to the restaurant. The new feature prevents the host stand and bar area from crowding. Guests are also able to physically distance from each other while waiting for a table.

Reservation platforms are also starting to implement the virtual waitlist despite it not being new to the industry. OpenTable has been using a similar platform since 2017 while Yelp has had it in their system since 2018. In the following days, more dining rooms will open up for business. These businesses are seen to start implementing a waiting list type of service rather than the traditional reservation system. It is easier to manage, it cuts costs and utilizes tables better, and it leads to increased revenue.


Capacity Monitor

With the capacity monitor, restaurants can individually set their capacity following their local state or city government’s maximum seating limits (25% or 50%). Once they reach the cap, the monitor automatically disables the reservation button. The software reflects the capacity and social distancing guidelines that are all part of the COVID-19 reality.

Reservation systems have also come up with a solution for people who are still afraid to dine out. Through curbside pickup, customers can order food from restaurants through a reservation widget with no additional cost to the restaurant. Despite the pandemic, people can still enjoy their favorite meals through innovations presented by restaurants and other food sector industries.


How can you add Restaurant Reservation System to Your WordPress Site?

One of the best ways to help facilitate your restaurant booking system is by integrating it to your WordPress website. In doing so, your customers can check up on your products and services, location, and menu. Now, they can also make a reservation on the spot.

Here’s how to set this up:

Apply a Restaurant WordPress Theme

WordPress offers a variety of ready-to-use restaurant themes for your website. Pick one, and you will see how most of the work is already done for you.


Install a Restaurant Reservation System Plugin

As soon as you have built, customized, and finalized your restaurant website, you can add a reservation system by installing the restaurant booking plugin. They are easy to use, free, and can help you manage all of your bookings from within WordPress.

Configure the Restaurant Reservations Schedule

When configuring your WP restaurant booking plugin, pay attention to the restaurant reservations schedule setting. Here, you can define which page will be the Reservations page. You can also set a minimum and maximum party size, and include a phone number. The schedule setting also allows you to customize the date, time, and language of the form. It is also where you can customize the success message that guests will receive upon finishing their reservations. The booking schedule also allows you to set the days of the week and time frames when people can make reservations. It can also arrange special rules for holidays and place restrictions on how guests can make last-minute reservations. Lastly, you can write a personalized notification to make your guests feel even more excited about their reservation.


Add the Reservation System to the Website

In this step, you have to add the reservations system to your WordPress site. The WP restaurant booking plugin will generate a form on the page you previously designated. It also presents the form fields that you have earlier configured. To add this page to the site, you can connect the form to the “Book Now” button. You can also choose to add a Reservations button on the top menu instead.


Restaurant interior Free Photo Restaurant Booking systems

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All in all, this new reservations system is not a requirement for restaurants and customers to strictly follow. However, upon seeing its implementation and the positive impact that it brings, people should be more encouraged to use it. Not only is it convenient for both parties, but it also ensures that you are complying with necessary health regulations.

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