A rant about pubs and that incessant phone call noise.
The customers in your venue should be your focus - and not accepting bookings online damages that.
Today, I chanced upon a pub whilst driving about, looking for a pleasant venue. You might find it curious that someone who owns a bookings software didn't reserve a spot. However, I'm well aware of the real world and know that walk-ins will forever be a cornerstone of many businesses. Venues ought to warmly welcome both those who've pre-booked and those who turn up on a whim.
Within a mere five minutes of settling down, I noted a scenario all too familiar in many independent pubs: the incessant ringing of the telephone. Whilst I’m usually quite patient, the repetitive drone of a constantly ringing phone became a tad irksome amidst my pursuit of a peaceful pub outing.
Predictably, most of these calls were either to make or cancel reservations. Despite the pub not being particularly bustling, the overall service was slowed due to the dedicated staff being constantly tethered to these calls. It’s rather vexing for a patron, pint in hand but waiting at the bar, while the staff are sifting through available dates over the phone.
Regrettably, like many pubs, this venue lacked an online booking facility. If even half of those who rang during my stay had the option to book online, staff could've easily saved 30 minutes of their time. From a sheer economic standpoint, it makes sense for venues to adopt online reservations. Even if we optimistically assume staff are paid £10 an hour, that’s a daily outlay of £5 just attending to calls – adding up to £150 a month. What's the real gain here?
Booking platforms like BookingNinja cost less than a third of that each month. Embracing online bookings not only curtails the constant phone ringing but also propels a business into the digital age, likely augmenting their overall footfall.
If this post comes across as a bit of a moan, well, it is. It genuinely frustrates me to see numerous hospitality establishments wrestling with inefficiencies when straightforward solutions could improve their workflow, customer experience, and, in the end, their bottom line.