Last week we at OpenTable announced the release of Guest Center 3.0.0, the latest version of our flagship table and reservation management product. Led by Jon Morin, our Guest Center product team combines deep primary research with data-driven insights to make enhancements that help restaurants deliver better guest experiences — especially during busy service.
“We are extremely lucky to leverage the knowledge and feedback of our restaurant partners,” says Jon. “We’ve spent endless hours with our customers — listening to their feedback, observing them and their service, and even working shifts — all with the aim of gaining a better understanding of how to build products that meet their needs. Now, we’re seeing the results!”
“We’ve heard that anything and everything we can do to help restaurateurs streamline work in-shift allows them pay more attention to customers,” adds Guest Center Product Marketing Manager Ed Bondoc. “These features do just that, and we have more coming.”
Here are seven ways the latest updates make it faster and easier to serve guests all over the world.
1. Know everything you want to know about guests immediately. Previous versions of Guest Center have included a set list of guest and visit tags to choose from (i.e. vegetarian, anniversary) but since every restaurant is unique, each requires its own system for classifying diners and visits. Now you can create your own tags, such as specific dietary restrictions, to personalize service. Plus, the tags are more visible: you can spot them quickly, right on the reservation card, and give guests exactly what they’re looking for.
2. See capacity and understand turn times at a glance. In the past, Guest Center showed tables with dots to represent turns. In the new version we’ve made it easier to see critical information like reservation times right on the floor plan, along with blank rectangles where tables have availability. That means staff can make informed decisions quickly when assigning and seating parties, and also gauge opportunities for walk-ins.
3. Seat walk-ins and incomplete parties faster. Our system used to suggest tables for you when new parties walked in, but we’ve updated the workflow to move faster and require fewer steps. Now, if you don’t need guidance from the system you can click on a table and seat a walk-in immediately with just a couple of taps.
4. View actionable table details for the whole shift. The new Guest Center shows more information about tables at a glance to help you understand table status quickly. A table schedule section shows all reservations for that table in the current shift, so you easily understand what’s coming up and when there’s availability. Then, you can drill down for more information about the individual reservations.
5. Deliver walk-in information to your servers automatically. The latest product automatically prints chits for walk-ins, saving precious time in communicating important information to the front of house staff.
6. Share information between iPads in real time. We’ve made back-end improvements to sync data between iPads faster so that everyone has the real-time information they need to serve guests.
7. Text message guests with updates. In the U.S., for restaurants using our waitlist texting feature, we’ve added to the functionality so you can share more status updates with diners. You can set customized messages such as “Your table is ready!” and give guests who are waiting access to a countdown timer that works on every mobile device. Plus, guests will be able to cancel the reservation or call the restaurant with a single touch, so you’ll know if their plans change.