For restaurant owners, an empty table is not free. Plenty of fixed costs go into operating a restaurant — rent, food, labor, utilities — and you’re losing money every minute a table is sitting unoccupied when it could otherwise be bringing in revenue.
That’s what we at OpenTable call “perishable inventory,” an idea often used to talk about hotel rooms and airplane seats. Simply put, if you don’t fill a table, you’re still paying for the lights to be on and for the staff to be on site.
So what can you do to fill perishable inventory during slow times?