December 21

How to offer the ultimate dining experience with a restaurant table management system


A restaurant table management system is software that helps track, monitor, and optimise restaurant processes. This can aid in running a restaurant, prioritising service quality, increasing table turnover, improving the dining experience, and smoothening the back-end and front-end processes in a restaurant. 

80% of restaurants are turning to technology for online ordering, reservations, inventory and stock control, and restaurant metrics, all of which an EPOS system that works as a restaurant table management system can facilitate. 

What creates the ultimate dining experience? 

What consumers expect from a restaurant experience certainly varies depending on the type of restaurant, the menu offered, and the ambience and setting.

EPOS systems in restaurants are nothing new to diners and 73% of diners agree that restaurant technology improves the guest experience, loyalty, and repeated restaurant patronage. 

The ultimate dining experience typically lies in: 

  • Personalised and diner-friendly service: Customers love personalisation and customisation when it comes to the dining experience. 60% of diners prefer receiving a personalised service, and restaurants have seen this as a competitive advantage and unique selling point with 85% of restaurants delivering a personalised experience
  • Quality and consistency: The food is the highlight and what keeps diners coming back for more. This can be achieved through the digitalisation of services that prompt better service quality, fewer errors, and less miscommunication 
  • Memorable atmosphere: The setting, the environment, and the energy the restaurant fosters play a massive role in the dining experience. 35% of diners are influenced by online reviews when choosing a restaurant
  • Efficient customer service: How a restaurant handles diners plays an important role in retaining and attracting customers. 95% of guests report that good customer service is vital to brand loyalty

What are the benefits that a restaurant table management system can offer? 

A table management system like an EPOS system allows a restaurant to allocate resources and aids in decision-making, and ensuring quality of service. 

  • Forecasts diner demand: The number of diners in a restaurant fluctuates depending on the time and location of the restaurant. Table management software allows a restaurant to analyse this number and forecasts and finalises levels of demand. This can help in resource allocation and reduce wastage
  • Aids resource allocation: Knowing the levels of demand will help a restaurant allocate chefs, waiters, and delivery drivers to meet and elevate the level of demand. This way, the restaurant can not only meet diners’ expectations but also satisfy them
  • Widens consumer base: Since table management is a centralised and integrated software, it allows a widening of the consumer base, which can result in the achievement of a competitive edge and unique selling point because diners have the freedom to choose their seating within the restaurant. In fact, 65% of diners say seating preferences would go far in increasing customer loyalty 
  • Offers flexibility: With a table management system, a diner has the ability and freedom to cancel or change their reservation at any time. This offers them convenience and can result in an increase in service quality and customer satisfaction 
  • Reduces risk of errors: Reservations can be made and managed on time, which also results in fewer errors and prevents miscommunications. This will increase the scope of the restaurant and result in better feedback from customers. There has been a 71% decrease in guest complaints, while there has been an increase of 19% in customer service ratings
  • Increases efficiency: With table management, a restaurant can schedule shifts and allocate staff which can help with better time management. In addition, 95% of restaurateurs agree that restaurant technology improves their restaurant efficiency and accuracy 
  • Facilitates better communication: A table management system allows employees to view their schedules and deduce how busy the restaurant is likely to be, allowing better lines of communication with managers, waiters, chefs, and delivery drivers. This connectivity reduces the number of errors and miscommunications and increases overall clarity
  • Improves transparency: Having demand and supply, inventory, and resource allocation data in one centralised and integrated location results in smoother operations and more synchronisation within a restaurant, which facilitates a better environment for both employees and customers

What are the challenges in table management? 

Assessing a restaurant’s needs in terms of table management is a critical step to ensure the successful implementation of a system tailored to its unique requirements. 

By carefully analysing current challenges and identifying specific requirements, a restaurant can lay the groundwork for a seamless and efficient dining experience. Additionally, considering scalability and future growth is paramount for long-term success. 

  • Inefficient seating arrangements: Analyse the current seating arrangements and identify if inefficiencies are leading to longer wait times or underutilised space. Look into the frequency of overbooking or underbooking tables, which can impact customer satisfaction and revenue
  • Manual reservation processes: Evaluate the effectiveness of the current reservation system. If it relies heavily on manual processes, it may result in errors, overbooking, or missed opportunities for customer engagement. Understand the pain points in the existing reservation workflow
  • Limited visibility into operations: Assess how well the management team can track real-time table occupancy, turnover rates, and customer preferences. Limited visibility can lead to suboptimal decision-making, affecting the overall dining experience

How can businesses tackle these challenges with a table management system?

With a well-implemented table management system, restaurants can optimise their operations, enhance customer satisfaction, and position themselves for sustainable growth. Regularly evaluating the system’s performance and seeking feedback from both staff and customers can further refine and improve the table management process.

Inefficient seating arrangements

  • Dynamic seating algorithms: Implement intelligent seating algorithms that consider factors like party size, server workload, and optimal table turnover. Dynamic seating can help maximise the use of available space and reduce wait times
  • Table layout optimisation: Use the data collected by the system to optimise the restaurant’s table layout. Make adjustments based on peak hours, popular reservation times, and customer preferences

Manual reservation processes

  • Online reservation system: Shift to an online reservation system that allows customers to book tables easily. This reduces the chances of errors, overbooking, and missed reservations
  • Automated confirmations and reminders: Implement automated confirmation messages and reminders to minimise no-shows and ensure that customers are aware of their reservations

Limited visibility into operations

  • Real-time reporting: Integrate real-time reporting features into the table management system. This allows the management to track key metrics such as table occupancy, turnover rates, and customer preferences instantly
  • Customer relationship management (CRM): Utilise CRM functionalities to keep track of customer preferences, special occasions, and dining history. This information can be used to personalise the dining experience and enhance customer satisfaction

Scalability and future growth

  • Cloud-based solutions: Opt for cloud-based table management systems that can scale with the growing needs of the restaurant. Cloud solutions are often more flexible and easier to expand compared to on-premise systems
  • Integration capabilities: Ensure that the table management system can seamlessly integrate with other restaurant management systems such as POS (point of sale) and inventory management. This promotes a holistic approach to restaurant operations

Training and support

  • Staff training: Provide comprehensive training for restaurant staff to effectively use the table management system. Well-trained staff can make the most out of the system, leading to increased efficiency
  • Customer support: Choose a table management system with reliable customer support. The restaurant placing the diner first with quick resolution of any issues or glitches is crucial to maintaining a smooth operation

Why should the ultimate dining experience consider scalability and future growth?

The importance of scalability and future growth in the context of restaurant operations cannot be overstated. In an industry known for its dynamic nature, evolving consumer preferences, and unpredictable market trends, restaurants must position themselves strategically to not only meet current demands but also to adapt and thrive in the face of future challenges. The ability to scale operations efficiently and plan for sustained growth is a cornerstone of long-term success in the restaurant business.

In the highly competitive landscape of the restaurant industry, success is not only measured by the quality of cuisine but also by the establishment’s ability to adapt, expand, and consistently provide an exceptional dining experience. Scalability, the capacity to handle an increasing workload or demand, and planning for future growth are critical considerations that can make the difference between a thriving restaurant and one struggling to keep pace with market dynamics.

As such, you’d want to make sure your management system offers the following:

Scalable infrastructure: Ensure that the chosen table management system can scale alongside the restaurant’s growth. This includes accommodating an increasing number of tables, reservations, and data points without compromising performance

Multi-location support: If the restaurant has plans for expansion to multiple locations, assess whether the table management system can support centralised control and coordination across different sites. Consistency in operations is crucial for maintaining a cohesive brand experience

Adaptability to technological advances: Consider the system’s ability to adapt to emerging technologies. This ensures that the restaurant remains at the forefront of innovation, providing a future-proof solution that can integrate with upcoming trends in the hospitality industry

Scalability and future growth are not just considerations for large restaurant chains; they are fundamental to the success and longevity of any dining establishment. By investing in scalable systems, staying attuned to evolving consumer preferences, and planning for growth proactively, restaurants can navigate the challenges of the industry and position themselves as resilient and adaptable players in the dynamic world of hospitality.

What is the return on investment from a table management system? 

Cost considerations and return on investment (ROI) play a pivotal role in selecting the right table management system. 

It’s crucial to balance upfront costs with long-term value, emphasising the overall benefits the system brings to your establishment. Additionally, understanding the pricing structure, including subscription and maintenance fees, is essential for transparent budget planning and avoiding unexpected costs. 

To ensure a sound investment, conduct a thorough ROI analysis, estimating time and labour savings, improvements in customer experience, and contributions to increased table turnover and revenue. By aligning research, selection criteria, and cost analysis, you can confidently choose a table management system that meets your needs and propels the success of your business.

The ROI in a table management system can manifest in various ways, contributing to the overall efficiency, customer satisfaction, and financial success of a restaurant. While the specific ROI will vary based on factors such as restaurant size, type, and implementation, a table management system, when effectively utilised, can yield a considerable return by improving efficiency, customer satisfaction, and financial performance.

Invest in a restaurant table management system for the ultimate dining experience 

91% of restaurateurs said they want to invest in kitchen automation because of the benefits it offers for improved dining experiences and streamlined front-end and back-end operations in a restaurant. 

A table management system in a restaurant, or an EPOS system, is a software that helps track, monitor, and optimise restaurant processes, which results in a competitive advantage, lower costs, better stakeholder feedback, employee motivation, and increased revenue through the implementation of a restaurant table management system