I’m not sure about some of the functions on this one. Whilst I can see the merits of a few I can see the at least one of them causing some confusion amongst restaurant staff as well as diners. As a reservation management system and customer reporting tool it looks to have all of the bases covered to enable business owners to monitor diner volumes and cancellations. It could also be a useful marketing tool.
With mobile phone numbers plus the dates of special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries it is possible to send targeted text messages to coincide with these dates reminding customers that they might like to book a table and informing them of special offers and discounts available for their celebration.
All of these features are useful but the guys behind the app seem to be pushing the benefits it can bring to the ˈwalk in tradeˈ rather than business coming from reservations. This is where it slightly loses it for me.
I’ve never been to a restaurant where the maître d has informed me that there are no tables available and given me a pager to take away and wait for an alert when it’s ok to come back. This may well be common in some parts of the world but it seems a bit over the top and expensive.
Based on this theory however texteat.com has come up with the idea of using the customer’s mobile phone to alert them when a table becomes free. According to the site this will "eliminate the loss of costly paging equipment".
And there we have it. My take on it is that you’re treading on dangerous ground by sending customers away who will then walk by any number of competing restaurants with tables to spare. Looking at the costs of this service I think it would be cheaper in the long run to offer them a free drink and let them peruse the menu while the staff try and get the slow eaters to chew faster!