Automated Messages, your (not so) silent hero

May 01, 2017

Automated messages are a blessing in disguise. They give restaurateurs the ability to schedule and send out information regarding the customer’s bookings without having to lift a finger.

How much is your time worth? Because every moment that you spend on a booking is time that you could be using on something more important. You’ll also never miss a customer, keep your messages consistent, attractive, and have the ability to notify them whenever you want to without having to actually do it!

Use both emails and texts to fully gain the most out of the product, and truly connect with your customers

When combined with the BooKBooK widget, you’ll collect all the data you need to implement automated messages - and better yet the data will be accurate and quick with the customer inputting it themselves. Using the widget is the easiest way to collect information from a booking process.

BooKBooK text messages are particularly special, gone are the days where if the customer replies with anything other than “Y” or “N” the message is lost in the void. But if they do reply correctly for the system, the booking will seamlessly be marked as confirmed. You can actually read the replies your customers send, and more importantly you won’t be chasing around a phone or trying to figure out which staff sent what message. With BooKBooK 2.0 you can actually see all this correspondence on your POS so there is no need to go searching, or wondering who sent what last message and when.

Another three vital aspects of automated messaging are the timing, frequency, and the sender.


It is very important to note when your automated messages are going out relative to the customer’s booking. The aim of the game is to reduce the propensity for a no show, and we’ve really perfected that game.
We recommend sending out an email or text message immediately after their booking to confirm the diner. This message will contain a link for the customer to confirm their booking without the need for you to contact them directly. If this link is not confirmed you may still need to call the customer, however this process will significantly reduce your need to do so as most people will use the link.
The next message we recommend is to send a reminder. Approximately 12 hours before the booking we have found is the optimal time. Not so soon that they may cancel, but not too far away from the booking time that they could forget after the reminder. Don’t send out a reminder if they have booked within about 18 hours of booking, they probably won’t need one.
The final message we recommend is to send one out after their meal, thanking them for dining with you, and if you’re feeling generous a discount for future bookings will almost always entice them back through your door. In the age of social media it’s a great idea to send out a follow up message like this so that you don’t have any keyboard warriors out there dragging your name. One Facebook post is enough to deter a surprising number of people, so directing that feedback through to the venue directly can cut out the social media middleman who can be pretty detrimental at times.


In terms of frequency, unless you believe you have direct reason for more, 3 contact points prior to their dining experience is usually enough. After their time spent with you, make sure that you have access to their email address and set up an easy mailing service with someone like MailChimp to send your customers news. Just be very wary about appearing like spam, find the perfect middle ground of “enough but not too many”.


One thing you as a venue may not be aware of is your booking provider sending their own correspondence to your customer - on top of yours. Your provider should not be contacting clients in their own right at all, ever. They are your customers, not theirs. We recommend making a test booking with your own contact details to become aware of any correspondence that you may not have known about. If there is anything coming through, contact your booking provider. And what’s more, if they try to charge you a fee to remove these messages then think about changing providers.

Automated messages are a fantastic time saver, just be sure that you know exactly how to implement them in the best possible way. Don’t let customers slip through the crack, and know exactly when, where, and who should be sending correspondence.

If you need a way to cut your costs and increase your bottom line, contact BooKBooK. The most advanced restaurant reservation software available.

You Might Also Like