Worried about missed bookings? Find out how TGI Fridays minimised missed sales

As the hospitality industry fights to recover £115 billion of lost revenue, businesses need to make the most of every customer. Missed bookings are one of their worst fears; although online booking is now the preferred way to make a reservation, one in five diners will still call ahead to book a table.

Missing these calls is all too easy, especially during busy periods. Colleagues are often forced to choose between serving the customers in the restaurant and answering external calls. This is a no-win situation, and one that can prove very expensive. A US study found that every time a restaurant misses a call, they lose an average of $20 (£16).

This was exactly the problem facing TGI Fridays. Colleagues were struggling to juggle customer service with other responsibilities. They were also finding it difficult to communicate effectively within the restaurant. The company asked VoCoVo for help, and they were happy to oblige. Here’s what happened.

 

Helping a global icon

TGI Fridays is one of the world’s most recognisable restaurant brands. From a single restaurant in New York, it has grown to become one of the leading players in the casual dining sector. Today, the company operates 870 restaurants in more than 60 countries, and serves over 12 million customers a year in the UK alone.

VoCoVo were excited to work with TGI Fridays for two reasons. It was an opportunity to team up with one of the best in the business, but also a chance to show what VoCoVo could do in a busy hospitality environment. TGI Fridays wanted to increase efficiency, so VoCoVo’s first job was to find out what was slowing them down.

VoCoVo’s headset communication system is a plug-and-play solution, yet can be scaled to users exact requirements. Whether they need simple and discreen push-to-talk communication between team mates or integrate customer call points and telephony, VoCoVo can make it happen.

 

Together, VoCoVo and the TGI Fridays team identified three main problems:

  • Colleagues were unable to take external phone calls during busy periods, leading to missed bookings and lost revenue.
  • Colleagues were walking huge distances every shift, often having to leave their dedicated zones to speak to one another. This led to long waiting times for customers and damaging online reviews.
  • The front of house team was cut off from the rest of the restaurant. Hosts were unable to check table availability without leaving customers waiting at the door, and there were costly miscommunications between the kitchen and the waiters.

All of these problems came down to a lack of communication. Luckily, this is where VoCoVo shines.

 

The solution to missed bookings – and more

VoCoVo were sure that their headsets would be the perfect addition to TGI Fridays. They began with one of the company’s flagship restaurants, giving a headset to every host, server and member of the kitchen team. Sure enough, this has proved to be a huge success:

  • Headsets are linked to TGI Friday’s phone system. Colleagues can take external calls from the restaurant floor, confirming bookings without abandoning their customers and eradicating missed bookings altogether.
  • Colleagues can contact each other from anywhere in store. This lets them find information for customers without having to leave their zone. Hosts can check availability from the door, allowing them to seat customers more efficiently.
  • The kitchen can communicate with front of house at all times. This makes it easier to give special requests and check dietary requirements. There are also opportunities for upselling, as servers can be updated on specials throughout the day.

This has made a huge difference to both customer experience and colleague morale. Store Manager Elizabeth Scott explains why:

We no longer have to run around looking for free tables, the team and door-host can now communicate and coordinate wherever they are in the restaurant.

Elizabeth Scott | Store Manager

 

Get started with VoCoVo today

Although VoCoVo is most popular among retailers, the solution is equally at home in the hospitality sector. VoCoVo recently partnered with Greene King, leading to a 94% increase in customer satisfaction and a 63% increase in service speed.

We’d love to help you do the same, so contact Kane Brewer on 01489 287 287 or kane.brewer@syndico.net to get started.

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