Should You Take Reservations In Your Restaurant on Thanksgiving?

As you plan your restaurant’s Thanksgiving Dinner, there are quite a few things you will want to consider. Aside from the holiday menu, special staffing arrangements, and serving style, you will also want to decide whether or not to take reservations. For many businesses the answer may be simple, but for others it will take some consideration. There are several options that you can choose from when trying to decide: 1) take reservations and walk-ins; 2) take reservations only ; or 3) take walk-ins only. The following are some tips to help you solve this holiday conundrum.

Do You Usually Take Reservations

One consideration is whether or not you typically take reservations in your restaurant. If you usually require reservations then your customers will expect to have to makeShould You Take Reservations In Your Restaurant on Thanksgiving? one. If you never require reservations then it is likely that your customers will not expect to make one. This may mean that, by requiring reservations, you will end up passing up your regular clientele. Or, you can offer a combination of reservations and walk-ins. This way you can accommodate the regular walk-in customers that help drive your business, while accepting reservations from newer clientele.

Seating Capacity

You will also want to consider the seating capacity of your restaurant. If you can seat a lot of people, then reservations may not be necessary. If your capacity is limited, then reservations are probably a good idea. It will also help you organize the seating better if you require reservations for at least a segment of your target customers.

Hours Open

The hours that you plan on being open will also have an effect on whether or not you should consider reservations. The more time that food will be served, the easier it will be for people to walk in and have a meal. If your hours will be limited, then making sure that your customers make reservations will ensure that they have a place to dine over Thanksgiving.

Large Group Accommodation

Another determination for requiring reservations is if you expect your restaurant to receive large groups. Thanksgiving in particular means families dining out and this will probably mean hosting larger groups than you usually host. Requiring reservations for large groups will make it much easier for you to accommodate them, and help you prepare an ample number of portions as well.

Food Planning

Taking reservations for Thanksgiving dinner in particular is especially useful because it helps you plan the amount of food you will need for one of the busiest restaurant days of the year. By having an approximate number of expected guests, food planning and preparation will be easier and more efficient. For example, turkey preparation and cooking requires a few days, so having a head count can help you to more easily prepare your finest menu offerings. 

The Customer Always Comes First

Choosing whether or not to take reservations is something that you have to decide upon based on your  restaurant client base, seating capacity, opening hours, and food planning strategies. On this busy day of the year,  a lot of people want to dine out. 

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