Build Relationships on the Cloud

Courtesy of Supple Restaurant Group

Restaurants lower costs with online-reservation systems on their websites.

Adam Christopher was working as a waiter more than a decade ago when the restaurant’s owners openly wished they could run their own computer-based reservation system.

He took it as a challenge.

As a side project, Christopher, who advanced into other positions with the business, wrote and tested software codes for a reservation-management program. Two years ago, he launched Restaurant Connect.

Today, the Austin, Texas-based enterprise gives restaurants the option of having their own electronic-reservation services.

“What restaurateurs appreciate is if you can help them build their brand,” Christopher says. “The idea is to connect the guest to the restaurant—on the website, through Facebook, by phone—to build their relationship, and not inject a third party into it.”

It’s that kind of thinking—plus a lower cost—that restaurant owners appreciate.

“People use our website to make a reservation,” says Scott Roekle, director of operations for the Supple Group, which operates eight full-service restaurants—both company-owned and franchised—in Wisconsin.

Controlling the reservation process gives a restaurant the opportunity to communicate with a potential customer, including when a desired reservation time is unavailable.

“If you go through big, online-reservation companies, they tell the guest the time he wants [for a reservation] is not available and encourage him to go elsewhere,” Roekle says. “We want the chance to say, ‘Give us a call. Maybe we can work something out.’”

Restaurant Connect, which has an upfront charge and monthly fee, also offers applications that handle table management, including wait lists.

Most of these companies maintain the restaurants’ information using Internet-based “cloud” technology. Multiple computers, tablets, or other devices at a restaurant can access the data at no additional cost.

That means real-time reservation and table-management information can be viewed at the host desk, in the general manager’s office, and anywhere with Internet access.

“That is the way the industry is moving,” notes Dave Matthews, the National Restaurant Association’s vice president of innovation and membership advancement. “Software applications based in the cloud will tie in with all kinds of other programs.”

For instance, a cloud-based guest database can tell anyone connected to the reservation system about a customer’s table preferences, allergies, and much more. The technology also can send the guest a text or email reminder of the reservation.

All this helps improve the guest experience—the primary justification for any restaurant’s use of technology.



This is great for the food and beverage industry and looking forward in seeing this grow. This is a win-win for owners and customers.

Interesting, keep us posted


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