Maximising every possible avenue of revenue is important for every business, and bars and pubs are no exception; when you factor in capacity restrictions and recovery from lockdown it is even more critical.

As politicians talk about us learning to live with COVID-19 and vaccination rates getting high, there is cautious optimism that we can start to put the era of lockdowns behind us. Operators can start looking forward with some degree of confidence that they will be allowed to remain open.

But that then presents the next major challenge facing venues around the country – capacity restrictions.

Managing capacity restrictions whilst not compromising on revenue

How do you manage capacity restrictions in a way that enables your venue to bring in as much revenue as possible? One method a number of venues are adopting is time-limited bookings. By allowing only 90-minute or two hour bookings, you can ensure you have a high rotation of tables and so bring in spending customers more frequently.

This brings with it a whole new set of challenges, because the last thing you need is double-bookings or confusion over which table has been seated for how long, where the next guests will sit or are they socially distanced. When customers go out now, they want great service with few friction points, if they get that they will return to your venue, if they don’t, they won’t.

Giving customers a seamless booking experience

The first step to encouraging customers to your venue is to ensure they can book easily! Recent research from Think by Google said 87 per cent of customers use search engines to find where they would like to eat or drink, so an online booking system which enables them to book direct from your website or social channels will help increase the number of bookings you receive.

The Access Collins system does this and more! It even helps make your guests feel welcome before they have even walked in the door, with online-only offers like arrival drinks to be served as soon as they’ve sat down. The system also helps those guests stay in touch while in the venue through a connected CRM system and gives them a positive experience after they have left with alerts for upcoming events and offers.

Tackling the no-shows

Another area that hits venues hard, at any time, but especially during the reopening times is no-shows. Whether it’s a case of customers making multiple bookings hoping that one sticks or waiting until the day to decide where they want to go, or simply forgetting they have made the booking, people failing to turn up is a massive headache for hospitality businesses.

With Access Collins you can help reduce the number of no-shows using one simple tool – communication. You can send a text or email ahead of reservations to confirm, reminding guests they have made the booking and that you’re looking forward to seeing them. This also provides them with an opportunity to cancel the booking and free-up the table if they no longer require it.

The difference a comprehensive booking system can make

The switch to Access Collins has made a huge difference to Ravi Sharma, Director of Reload Bar & Games in Canberra. As the venue grew in popularity his booking system, comprising a variety of different systems from google forms, emails and word documents, all required manual inputting of information. This was both challenging and time-consuming but also didn’t match the in-venue experience the whole team was working hard to deliver.

Switching to Access Collins has made a huge difference, as Ravi explains: “We previously had a difficult and unclear booking process for customers, whilst utilising multiple disjointed and time-consuming systems. With Access we are simply seeing more bookings, processed quicker and with increased efficiencies.” Ravi continued

“Essentially, we are bringing in more revenue for the business with less admin time needed. It’s a win all round. We have been able to take more large private events, with a huge boost in revenues coming from us being able to offer pre-orders at the point of booking.”

The difference Access Collins can make to your venue could prove crucial as we roadmap out of lockdown. The all-in-one booking system removes the problems caused by having multiple systems that don’t talk to each other. It provides a seamless booking and ordering process and helps keep your guests safe and socially distanced, all of which add up to a positive customer experience, making the decision to return to your venue an easy one.

Find out what Access Collins can do for your venue and your revenue, head to the Access Collins website to find out more.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.