19 mei 2020 Marketing 8 min

7 Tips for using time slots in the catering industry

Andy Greenwood

Given the oncoming easing of regulations regarding the coronavirus in the Netherlands, Eventix has added a function which allows restaurants, bars and cafés to manage the stream of their guests: Time slots. By using time slots, these establishments can easily meet the requirements set by the new regulations. In this blog, you’ll read seven tips about how you get the most out of the use of time slots.

1. Guaranteed turnover

Obviously, you want to get the most out of your guests in these times. However, given the limit on the number of guests that can be present in an establishment at any given time, it can be incredibly frustrating if someone lingers while sipping on a single coffee. By using time slots through Eventix, you can determine a reservation price which acts as a deposit. By setting a deposit, you’re guaranteeing a certain amount of turnover per guest, as well as considerably reducing the chance of a ‘no-show’. At the end of the time slot, you subtract the deposit from the guest’s bill.

2. Leave enough time between time slots

You don’t want to rush your guests, as it’s important for them to have a pleasant experience. You can imagine how unpleasant it would be if one group of guests is seated still at the table when the next group arrives. You’ll want to leave time to sort out the bill and clean and wipe the tables between time slots. Be aware of this when planning your time slots and leave 15 minutes between each set. If you set time slot A from 13:00 to 14:45, then set time slot B between 15:00 and 16:45. That way, your employees have some time to get everything in order before the next batch of guests arrives and you can avoid overlapping altogether.

3. Scanning tickets for administration and inspection

Since you’re using Eventix’ ticketing system to manage your reservations and time slots, each guest will receive a digital ticket beforehand. How does that benefit you? You can scan these tickets when a guest (or group of guests) arrives, and thereby verify that they have a reservation. You can find all the information about scanned tickets in the Eventix Dashboard. If there is an inspection, you can use this to show exactly how many people were present within any given time slot. You also get an overview of the flow of your visitors, spread throughout the day. How do you scan tickets? Eventix has it’s own Scan App which can easily be downloaded for iOS and Android. You can read how to set-up your scanner here and how to use it here.

4. Better management of resources

Since you know how many guests you’ll be entertaining at any given time, you’ll have a better idea of how many employees you’ll need to be able to serve everyone. On top of that, you’ll be able to make a better estimation of how many beverages and how much produce to buy. You can take this one step further by asking your guests to make a selection of a (beer) menu beforehand. By asking your guests questions, you can ensure that you’ll know exactly what products to buy and save loads of money. You can read how to ask custom questions during the ordering process here.

5. Show where to make reservations, on location

It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think that there will be a lot more people on the street, once the easing of measures is put in motion. Simply walking into a bar isn’t in line with the so-called ‘new normal’, so you’ll want to make it clear to passers-by where they can make reservations. Besides general instructions on how to enter or exit your terrace, it’s a good idea to explain where passers-by can go to reserve a time slot online. You could put down a sign with a link to your website or Facebook page, for instance (e.g. “Would you also like an ice-cold beer? Go to www.thedrunkpillow.com/reservations”). By doing this, you can avoid losing potential guests.

6. Ads and targeting

By using Eventix’ ticketing system, you gain access to all the tools that are available to event organisers. That means that you can use tracking in your ads, ticket shop and social media posts. How does that help you? You gain an incredible amount of insight into who your guests are, as well as who left during what phase of the ordering process. By using this information you can retarget the same target audience with new ads on Facebook. In this way, you can still attract guests who had already dropped out somewhere in the ordering process.

7. Guest data for the future

You can also make smart use of (anonymous) data that you collect about the audience in your ticket shop, which will give you better insight into what your target group looks like and determine which comparable target groups are worth focusing on. Knowing where your current customers come from and how old they are, for example, is very valuable information to have in order to effectively run new advertising campaigns. This way you can generate a lot more turnover and save on the advertising budget. You can read how you can use all this information in a smart way here.

Based on your target group, you can also create lookalike groups and target them to increase the reach of your ads. This is incredibly useful when you want to run an action or promotion to attract a wider audience (e.g. for a themed evening). To learn more about ads on Facebook, read our 'Grow Faster with Facebook' blog series.

Want to know more about the advantages of time slots for you and your guests?

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Andy Greenwood

Content Marketeer

Once took a peek behind the scenes at events and never wanted to leave again. Has a serious passion for music and plays guitar in his band.