by Jen Cheney
Hostme can help restaurants adapt to new rules and regulations as they return to business following the Covid19 shutdown. Taking the time to make the right choices early is vital in maintaining the health and safety of staff and guests, and to continuing the forward momentum through the reopening process. The Hostme app has taken on the tasks of creating tools and systems to help restaurants navigate front of house operations during this critical period. This is how Hostme addresses the regulations requiring adjustments and new procedures.
If your area requires a limited capacity — usually 25-50% — you simply calculate the maximum number of guests you may have at one time. In the admin settings, you can adjust the restaurant’s maximum capacity setting. This feature will limit the total number of guests at any given time, allowing adherence to the current regulations while maximizing the number of parties seated. This will be crucial when trying to make the most of the tables you are able to seat, while tracking occupancy to make sure you remain compliant.
Many states have limited parties to groups of 6 or less. This is easily managed when taking reservations or adding to your online waitlist in Hostme. Under the Reservations tab on settings, use the Online Reservations tab to modify the maximum number of guests in a reserved party.
While not required in all states, temporarily managing the dining room as “Reservation Only” will reinforce all the steps the restaurant is already taking to be as safe as possible. Hostme has a simple online widget that can be copied directly into the restaurant’s website. Hostme has also partnered with Google Reserve and can help to create an easy reservation link you can place on your Facebook page and Instagram profile. The links will immediately communicate with the Hostme account to check if there is availability and will create the reservations seamlessly. This is convenient for guests, as they do not need to download their own Hostme app.
The Reservation system will communicate with guests via customized, automated SMS messages. This is a great way to inform your guests about your safety precautions and the new process for welcoming guests into your restaurant. Direct SMS communication is also available within the guest’s reservation, when specific messages are required.
As your dine-in guests move through the flow of service, the Custom Table Statuses can help track and communicate with your staff. This feature can be applied successfully to also track that a table needs to be cleaned after a guest or party has left. Once it has been cleaned, your staff can once again mark it as available. This adds an easy step to keep staff accountable and on track.
A common issue for restaurants is maintaining social distancing in waiting areas. Some states also recommend a mobile texting solution to inform guests that their table is ready. By using Hostme’s online waitlist and reservation features, you can create a greeting process that will request guests to stay in their vehicles until they are alerted via SMS message that their table is ready. This will reduce person-to-person interaction and remove all congestion at the host stand.
The Hostme subscription comes with an unlimited number of device connections. Additionally, the app can easily be accessed from any device. As a result, each staff member can use their personal device to check reservations and table statuses, eliminating the need to share one device among the entire staff.
Finally, Hostme has a free trial month available to try out the system, allowing you to fine-tune your settings and train staff before making a decision. There is no contract, which means no setup or cancelation fee — just the up-front flat monthly rate. Hostme is partnered with Google Reserve and never charges a cover fee, making online reservations seamless and affordable. Please contact Hostme for a free one-on-one demo today.