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Promoting last-minute tables? Here's how to ensure a full service

Resengo - Promote last-minute tables in your restaurant online

We all recognise it by now: customers are less likely to make reservations, often cancel a table, or turn out to be a no-show. In a series of blog posts, we will explain how you can prevent these things from happening, but also how you can maximise your table capacity by making proper use of the Resengo tools designed for this purpose.

It happens to every business from time to time: a table is left empty, or it was reserved but for some reason it becomes vacant at the last minute. 
The perfect way to fill such tables is to offer them as exclusive last-minute offers.

So in this article, we talk about managing last-minutes: more popular than ever, but how do we manage them smartly?


Offering last minutes, yet remaining exclusive

As a hospitality manager, if you offer several last-minute tables every day, your guests will quickly get the idea that you are not selling your tables or that you are desperate. 

Therefore, it is best not to offer all your free tables at the last minute, but rather go for more exclusivity. For example, you can enhance the pleasant guest experience of your last-minute tables with special rules and perks, such as: a free drink or a discount.


Keep your booking channel open as long as possible

Not every free table is a last-minute table. Keep the bulk of your free tables available through various booking channels, a table that wasn't booked in the morning can still be filled throughout the day.

Many of your guests only decide in the course of the day that they want to go out for dinner and come in spontaneously.

So don't close your booking channels too early and let your guests book during the day itself!


Automatically generate and promote last-minute tables

Manually designating and promoting every free table as last-minute? Nobody has time for that!

Fortunately, within your Resengo admin you can pick and choose lots of settings so you don't have to spend time on this action yourself.

For example, you easily set rules such as:

  1. If this table is not booked 24 hours before the service
  2. Generate a last minute offer for this table
  3. The system automatically adds a free aperitif to the table
  4. And posts the offer on Yeat and Facebook

Without you having to perform these actions yourself every time, your table appears with an appropriate promotion on various online channels. This way, marketing works simply for you instead of you having to do a lot of marketing!


Promoting last minutes: these are the top channels

Offering a last-minute table at your restaurant is one thing. But how do you make sure that as many people as possible see your offer? 

Well, when you use Resengo's last-minute feature, you can post your offer on different channels for free and automatically. 

For example, your table will appear in our separate last-minutes section on, where your free table will be nicely advertised to last-minute foodies!

Where should I post my last-minutes?

Last-minutes generated in Resengo, or that you set up manually, can be posted for FREE to:

  • Your restaurant's Facebook page
  • Your own website
  • The Resengo booking widget on your own website
  • The 'Last minutes' section of the Resengo website
  • Automatically send an e-mail to your contacts
  • Yeat (this is a paid and external service)

You choose the channels and promotional tools that you want to make use of in your Resengo Admin!


Watch out for discount hunters

As a hospitality operator, it is tempting to slap a discount on your last-minute tables. That way, you do end up having a better chance of getting that table sold after all. 

Unfortunately, in the long run, this is not such a good idea. For instance, there are a lot of sales hunters when it comes to discounts at a dinner party. By doing so, you attract the attention of sleuths who are constantly looking for restaurants where they can get a last-minute discount, because that's an audience you don't have much use for.

A better solution to still cater to your guests? Give them an aperitif drink or dessert as a gift with a last-minute reservation.


Digitisation is key

We know that a printed guest list is native to the hospitality industry. You cross out the names when they have stopped by and everyone consults the list when needed.

But that same printed list in turn makes you less flexible to schedule last-minute events. Don't receive your guests with a cross on your list, but indicate their presence in your Resengo reservation system.

This is the only way to keep all data up to date and automate processes such as last-minutes, promotions, deposits and other marketing actions.

Moreover, with a smart reservation system like Resengo, you immediately have a visual overview of your table planning.

Discover all our solutions for no-shows.

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