Blog: 5 forgotten areas in your booking system

As crucial technology in the first stage in the customer journey, we understand the importance of keeping your booking system up- to- date to ensure every cover is maximised, guest experience is seamless and business booms!

It’s easy to forget a task  when it only needs to be completed once a year, but this can lead to  important updates being overlooked, and will ultimately result in you not getting the most out of your booking system.

We’ve listed five areas within your booking system that we believe should be regularly checked and maintained to help you maximise capacity:

1. Make sure your email templates are polished and optimised

Your correspondence with guests matters, and with changes frequently being made by different users, it’s worth taking the time to regularly make sure your email templates are not only visually appealing, but also accurately reflect your brand. After making any changes, such as key date closures, adding special instructions or opening up additional seating for the summer, we’d recommend creating a test booking as if you were a guest making a reservation. This helps you to make sure guests are receiving the right information.

2. Monitor turn times

Monitoring and updating turn times is crucial for smooth operations. With accurate data, you can maintain optimal table turnovers and minimise wait times for customers, helping you manage your bookings effectively, improve guest experiences, and maximise revenue from every cover.

Zonal’s Table Management solution allows users to export turn times based on several factors, to build an accurate picture of current performance. You can then adjust booking durations accordingly, for example if your dwell time is set to be extremely high, reducing it down to a more realistic value can open up additional availability and increase yield.

3. Stay on top of opening/holiday hours and table layouts

Updating layouts or creating new ones for key dates in your booking system is essential for optimising seating arrangements. Tailoring layouts to accommodate increased demand during special occasions or holidays helps maximise capacity, reduce wait times and enhance overall dining experience for customers.

4. Consider additional booking channels…

Don’t overlook the various additional channels available to drive online bookings. An online offering reduces in house costs and having an easy journey can deliver a great journey for the end user.

Reserve with Google, Facebook and Instagram from Mozrest enables you to convert Google searches, Facebook and Instagram followers into bookings, by adding a simple ‘book now’ button to your business listing, allowing you tap in to more potential bookings and provide a more streamlined experience for guests.

In addition to online booking channels, there is also the ability to implement automated telephony systems. So that when a customer does wish to pick up the phone – the system can do it all for you. It’s not for everyone, but definitely worth looking into.

These come with an additional cost, however you’ll be picking up missed bookings that may otherwise have gone elsewhere and of course the time your team don’t have to spend on the phone completing what could have been achieved online is of great benefit.

5. Stay up-to-date with what’s new!

Zonal Bookings is constantly evolving with new features and functionality. Stay ahead by keeping track of these updates through our Product Portal. Planning is key when implementing changes, review your timelines – you probably don’t want to implement changes to ways of working at peak times or when support levels are low. To obtain good adoption, get buy in through testing. To see satisfaction, follow up and make the required tweaks and changes.

We’re here to help you make the most of your booking system. If you have any questions or need assistance with implementing new features, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

If you have any further questions on any of the above functionality, or any of your other Zonal solutions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Related resources

research icon

research

Bookings best bits: Top 7 new Bookings features in 2023

In this article, Zonal’s Customer Success team share their top 7 new features released for Zonal Bookings in 2023, and how they can help you make the most out of your capacity.
Read blog
webinar icon

webinar

How can hospitality businesses combat no-shows in 2023?

In this webinar, industry experts from Zonal, Mitchells & Butlers, and Bums on Seats, explore the current bookings landscape, the impact of consumer loyalty on no-shows, the importance of real-time booking availability, and share their advice on processes and procedures operators can start implementing today to start tackling no-shows in their business.

Watch now (34 mins)

Get in touch

Chat with our sales team to learn about how Zonal products could benefit you.

    Blog: 5 simple steps to configure delivery exceptions in Acquire

    With Easter and the first bank holidays of the year just around the corner, it’s crucial to plan ahead to avoid any disruptions caused by limited supplier hours. To help you navigate this period smoothly, we’ve outlined five easy steps for Acquire users to create exception rules for delivery schedules, and set up reminders:

    1. Log into Acquire Head Office and navigate to Admin Functions from the toolbar at the top of your screen, then select Delivery Schedules.

    2. Once in Delivery Schedules, click on the Exceptions tab. From there, select the supplier you wish to add an exception for, followed by the green Create Exception button.

    3. Give your Exception a descriptive name, we recommend including the supplier’s name and the exception day within the name of your Exception.

    4. Next, you’ll need to enter date information for your Exception. Click the Green plus icon twice to add two date fields. In the top field, enter the date that you want the Exception to apply to, this is the only information you need to fill out on this date field. Make sure that you leave the “Delivers” box unticked. In the bottom date field, enter the new delivery date allocated for this period, ensuring the “Delivers” box is ticked, this will allow you to add an additional day outside of your normal schedule. Specify how many days in advance orders need to be placed and the cut-off time. If your Supplier will only allow one order to be placed per site prior to cut off time you will also need to select Limit Ordering, if the Supplier will allow multiple orders prior to cut off time, you will not need to select this.

    5. Finally, click the green Assign Schedules button to open the Assign Delivery Schedules to an Exception page. Choose the delivery schedule for the exception by ticking the box and pressing ok. Your exception is now added to the chosen schedule.

    You can view the changes to the schedule by selecting Preview Schedules. This will then display the delivery schedule calendar indicating the actual delivery date for the Exception.

    By following these steps, you can configure delivery exceptions to ensure smooth operations during Easter and beyond. We hope these guidelines prove helpful in managing your Acquire solution effectively.

    If you have any questions or need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. We’re here to help you make the most of your Acquire system and ensure a seamless experience for your business.

    If you have any further questions on any of the above functionality, or any of your other Zonal solutions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

    Related resources

    blog icon

    blog

    Serving Success: 8 Ways to boost revenue using Zonal technology

    Tech doesn’t just save you time and make admin easier. It can have a direct, beneficial impact on your bottom line. From generating incremental sales and tapping in to additional revenue channels, to optimising ordering journeys and increasing upselling opportunities, discover 8 ways Zonal’s technology can help you boost revenue in your business.
    Read more
    blog icon

    blog

    Serving Success: 10 Ways to reduce admin time using Zonal technology

    No one gets into the hospitality business to fill out spreadsheets, but admin is a vital part of running any successful business. Zonal technology can help automate admin tasks, increasing overall efficiency, reducing human error, and saving you, and your teams, valuable time – here are 10 ways how.
    Read more

    Get in touch

    Chat with our sales team to learn about how Zonal products could benefit you.

      Meet your Zonal Innovation Team

      With more than 40 years’ experience under our belts, and a team packed with industry natives, we pride ourselves on our employees’ expertise around what hospitality all is about. Meet some of our dedicated innovation team, responsible for the delivery of products across our connected ecosystem of technology solutions.

      Glenn Tait

      Product Director

      Glenn, our Product Director, has been at Zonal for 12-years. Glenn started his journey as a Business Analyst and has had a hand in building most of Zonal’s vast ecosystem. Glenn’s wealth of experience is underpinned by understanding the customer needs, fuelling his dedication to crafting feature rich solutions that drive our customer’s business forward. Glenn fosters a hands-on, customer-centric approach, ensuring that Zonal’s versatile solutions align seamlessly with various operating models in the hospitality industry.

      Claire Bartsch

      Product Manager

      Claire Bartsch, Product Manager at Zonal has been with the company for 15 years. Her extensive hospitality background enables her to craft solutions, prioritising customer needs and profitability. With an open-door policy, Claire ensures continuous improvement by listening to customer feedback and collaborating internally for optimal solutions. Her dedication to understanding individual customer requirements, fosters strong relationships and drives Zonal’s commitment to excellence.

      Jordan Moffat

      Tech Lead

      Jordan Moffatt, Tech Lead at Zonal, brings eight years of customer-centric expertise. With a keen focus on understanding and meeting customer needs, Jordan and the team deliver tailored solutions and exceptional support. Jordan’s commitment to understanding customer requirements ensures customisable, powerful products for businesses in the hospitality sector.

      Daniel Cook

      Supply Chain Manager

      Daniel Cook, Supply Chain Manager at Zonal embodies a customer-first approach, ensuring seamless operations behind the scenes. Converting customer requirements into actionable information for suppliers and overseeing the smooth deployment of hardware is Daniel’s main focus.

        Related resources

        blog icon

        blog

        Serving Success: 8 Ways to boost revenue using Zonal technology

        Tech doesn’t just save you time and make admin easier. It can have a direct, beneficial impact on your bottom line. From generating incremental sales and tapping in to additional revenue channels, to optimising ordering journeys and increasing upselling opportunities, discover 8 ways Zonal’s technology can help you boost revenue in your business.
        Read more
        tools icon

        tools

        Calculate your return on investment (ROI)

        Switching to a new technology partner is a big commitment, so to help demonstrate the value Zonal’s EPoS could provide to your business compared to your current provider, we’ve created a handy ROI calculator. Simply input your current numbers and we’ll show you how much extra profit you can expect to uncover with the increased efficiencies and automated processes our customers benefit from every day.
        Calculate your ROI

        Get in touch

        Chat with our sales team to learn about how Zonal products could benefit you.

          Meet your Zonal Support Team

          With more than 40 years’ experience under our belts, and a team packed with industry natives, we pride ourselves on our employees’ expertise around what hospitality all is about. Meet some of our dedicated support team who focus on closely collaborating with our valued customers, to understand their individual challenges, identify their objectives, and provide tailored assistance to ensure they’re getting the most out of their Zonal technology.

          Jay Desai

          Senior Account Services Coordinator

          Jay Desai is a Senior Support Coordinator at Zonal, seamlessly blending her IT background with hospitality expertise. With two years of experience, Jay effectively collaborates with various teams, ensuring smooth operations and customer satisfaction.

          Charlie Field

          Account Services Director

          Charlie Field, Account Services Director has worked at Zonal for over 13 years, brings a wealth of first hand hospitality experience to his role. With a background ranging from kitchen work to bar service. Charlie empathises with customers’ challenges and frustrations, fostering a deep understanding of their business needs, and offering tailored support to help them succeed.

          Katie Bryant

          Customer Success Consultant

          Katie Bryant, draws from her extensive background in hospitality to personalise solutions for each customer’s unique needs. Her passion for both the industry and her customers drives her to go above and beyond, ensuring complete satisfaction and fostering strong relationships. Through personalised approaches and tailored onboarding processes, Katie delivers exceptional customer service, reflecting her commitment to the hospitality sector.

          Kieran White

          Field Engineer

          Kieran White, a Field Service Engineer at Zonal since April 2023, brings valuable experience from the hospitality sector. Kieran’s familiarity with pubs and restaurants, intricate attention to detail and commitment to exceptional service enables him to provide tailored support to customers.

            Related resources

            blog icon

            blog

            Serving Success: 8 Ways to boost revenue using Zonal technology

            Tech doesn’t just save you time and make admin easier. It can have a direct, beneficial impact on your bottom line. From generating incremental sales and tapping in to additional revenue channels, to optimising ordering journeys and increasing upselling opportunities, discover 8 ways Zonal’s technology can help you boost revenue in your business.
            Read more
            tools icon

            tools

            Calculate your return on investment (ROI)

            Switching to a new technology partner is a big commitment, so to help demonstrate the value Zonal’s EPoS could provide to your business compared to your current provider, we’ve created a handy ROI calculator. Simply input your current numbers and we’ll show you how much extra profit you can expect to uncover with the increased efficiencies and automated processes our customers benefit from every day.
            Calculate your ROI

            Get in touch

            Chat with our sales team to learn about how Zonal products could benefit you.

              Serving Success: 10 Ways you can maximise your margins with Zonal's tech

              The current economic headwinds have made protecting margins more essential to hospitality businesses than ever before, but the right technology, in the right place, can help operators both maintain profitability and create a more sustainable business for the future.

              Zonal technology can be a vital tool in this drive. From better, more granular reporting, to digital stock checks, to recipe management, waste reduction and more, our systems can help maximise margins and deliver more revenue.

              Here are 10 ways Zonal systems can help you be as profitable as possible:

              1. Use real-time product sales and stock data to inform decisions

              In today’s economic climate, no business can afford to have cash tied up in too much stock or to have items on the menu that just aren’t shifting. Integrated tech systems enable you to monitor the performance of the items you are selling right down to a product level, in real-time. This data will give you all the information you need to make informed decisions around pricing and ordering to boost margins and make potential savings on recipes or suppliers.

              2. Analyse consumer spending patterns to plan more effectively

              Fully integrated tech that can collate customer spend data from across all your different ordering channels makes reporting much easier, and allows you to more effectively plan staff and inventory requirements. This valuable data provides a view, not just of how your products are performing, but also insights such as what dates and times spend per head is at its highest, via which ordering channels, or the promotions that drive the most spending increases.

              3. Reduce strain on staff and help them to be more productive

              With recruitment, retention and the cost of staffing an ongoing challenge, any technology that eases the strain on teams whilst helping them achieve more will be an invaluable tool. Order and pay-at-table technology is already a preferred option for many customers and can do just that – taking part of the task performed by front-of-house teams and transferring it to customers.  At the same time, mobile order and pay technology can actually increase consumer spend which means it can deliver increased yield from available capacity and a better bottom line.

              4. Drive sales during quiet periods

              Times when there are few bookings and little walk-in trade, can be turned into an opportunity for operators with the right technology. With systems that integrate your delivery and click & collect channels, you can increase order capacity on the fly during quieter periods – and decrease it at times when tables are full. This ensures you aren’t leaving any potential revenue on the table or in the takeaway bag, as well as maintaining productivity for the staff you have working.

              5. Identify where wastage is happening

              Waste of some kind is inevitable, but minimising it is key to maximising margins. One area to look for improvements is in order fulfilment – minimising how much of your stock is going to waste during this stage can provide sizeable savings. Technology that has been designed specifically for use in pubs, bars and restaurants can help here. Such tech enables you to identify exactly where wastage is happening during food preparation, so you can take action before the costs start to add up.

              6. Eradicate common errors

              Everybody makes mistakes and, while it’s impossible to completely eliminate the potential for errors (no matter how well designed the processes are), the right tech can help. Systems like ours enable you to track staff activity at all points, right down to a button-press level. This insight will help you identify common errors and any patterns of behaviour that may be causing issues, giving you the information you need to make improvements or to offer training to eliminate the issues.

              7. Identify cost saving opportunities in the kitchen

              By implementing a recipe management system that is integrated with your EPoS, you’ll have oversight of both sales and wastage data in one place. This will make it much simpler to spot cost-saving opportunities and make smarter, more informed decisions about menu options and pricing. This insight will also enable you to see sales trends as they emerge and to identify changing consumer patterns, helping you stay ahead of the market – and the competition.

              8. Change pricing and promotions in real time across the business

              A fully integrated tech stack draws product and pricing information from one central database. This means that any changes you make can be pushed out across the entire business in one go and with immediate effect. This ability to react in real-time, capitalising on any opportunities as they arise and addressing any challenges, will result in a more streamlined and agile business, and help you ensure you’re maintaining profitability as costs continue to fluctuate.

              9. Automatically calculate real-time stock usage

              Operators often have large amounts of cash tied up in stock, so making sure you’re on top of stock levels is vital. Technology that automatically updates stock usage in real-time, allows you to identify which items see lots of usage and which don’t, and keep stock levels optimised. Smart systems can even give you estimates of how many days your current stock will last based on current usage data, helping you streamline your ordering and ensuring you don’t run out of anything important or leave cash tied up in stock that might go to waste.

              10. Ensure stock is always being ordered from the right suppliers, at the right price

              Ordering stock from a number of suppliers, cross checking prices and delivery times is a huge drain on staff time and resources. Zonal’s end-to-end purchasing solution will allow your teams to manage approved suppliers within the system, including what products or ingredients they provide and at what price. This ensures staff are always ordering from the right supplier, at the right price and eliminating the possibility of incorrect ordering.

              With our integrated technology working in the background to streamline processes, maximise efficiencies and minimise wastage, operators can be confident they have the systems in place to drive revenues and boost profits, even if the costs of doing business continue to rise.

              Click here to take a quick 5-minute self-assessment to see how your current tech stacks up in the above areas!

                Related resources

                tools icon

                tools

                Hospitality Tech Assessment: Maximising margins

                Answer a few short questions to identify whether your tech helps you squeeze every percentage of profit from your operations. At the end you’ll get personalised guidance to help you maximise your margins.
                Start the assessment
                blog icon

                blog

                Serving Success: 10 Ways to reduce admin time using Zonal technology

                No one gets into the hospitality business to fill out spreadsheets, but admin is a vital part of running any successful business. Zonal technology can help automate admin tasks, increasing overall efficiency, reducing human error, and saving you, and your teams, valuable time – here are 10 ways how.
                Read more
                blog icon

                blog

                Serving Success: 8 Ways to boost revenue using Zonal technology

                Tech doesn’t just save you time and make admin easier. It can have a direct, beneficial impact on your bottom line. From generating incremental sales and tapping in to additional revenue channels, to optimising ordering journeys and increasing upselling opportunities, discover 8 ways Zonal’s technology can help you boost revenue in your business.
                Read more

                Get in touch

                Chat with our sales team to learn about how Zonal products could benefit you.

                  What does onboarding new tech with Zonal look like?

                  Working with a new technology partner can be a daunting process, and with mounting external pressures we know how important it is that any new changes go as smoothly and quickly as possible with minimal disruption.

                  At Zonal, we don’t believe in sending you the kit and leaving you to get on with it, it’s just not who we are. We care about our customers’ success and want to make sure you’re in the best position you can be, to use your tech to its full potential, from day one.

                  This blog takes you through the seven stages of implementing Zonal’s tech in your business, and we’ll be there with you – every step of the way:

                  Stage 1: Kick off meeting with your dedicated Zonal Onboarding Partner

                  Once you’ve chosen to work with us, the first step will be a kick-off meeting with your dedicated Onboarding Partner. This meeting will involve discussing the key stages, milestones and requirements of the project as well as providing you with a chance to get answers to any initial questions.

                  Stage 2: Data collection with our specialist Data Team

                  This next stage is all about data. We’ll work with you to build out your product set and menus so that when you’re ready to go live, all your products and menus are set up, ready for service.

                  Stage 3: Zonal loads your menus into your new EPoS

                  Now that we have all the data required, we can progress with building your menus and till design ahead of your go-live date. Once complete, your Onboarding Partner will be in touch with the initial product build and till design for your feedback, so we can make sure everything is set up exactly how you want.

                  Stage 4: Team training

                  Once your system build is complete and approved, your Onboarding Partner will arrange a date for our dedicated training team to get your team up to speed with your new system. This is usually no longer than a week in advance of your go-live date.

                  Stage 5: Go-live! Zonal on-site to ensure everything goes smoothly

                  With your new system built and training complete, you’ll be ready for your installation and go-live date! Our team will arrive on-site ahead of your planned opening time to ensure that your system is up and running and you have everything you need to start trading with your Zonal system straight away.

                  Stage 6: Advanced training for head office functionality and technical teams

                  Once you’re live and trading, we’ll arrange additional advanced training for your back office or technical teams to make sure you’re getting the most from your new system and can update and maintain the system yourselves – but this doesn’t mean our support for your system stops here!

                  Stage 7: Hand over to dedicated Support and Account Management team

                  Once you’ve reached the end of your onboarding journey, your Onboarding Partner will introduce you to your Account Management team who will be on-hand to provide help and advice on an ongoing basis and our dedicated, UK-based support teams will be available to help you 8am – 12am, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

                  Click here to find out more about how we work with our customers to support their long-term goals.

                    Related resources

                    blog icon

                    blog

                    Serving Success: 10 Ways to reduce admin time using Zonal technology

                    No one gets into the hospitality business to fill out spreadsheets, but admin is a vital part of running any successful business. Zonal technology can help automate admin tasks, increasing overall efficiency, reducing human error, and saving you, and your teams, valuable time – here are 10 ways how.
                    Read more
                    research icon

                    research

                    GO Technology: The value of hospitality

                    Discover why consumers choose to go out to pubs, bars and restaurants over staying in; why hospitality matters to them; and what keeps them coming back for more.
                    Download research

                    Get in touch

                    Chat with our sales team to learn about how Zonal products could benefit you.

                      Decoding Hotel Technology Jargon: A Comprehensive Guide

                      In the ever-evolving landscape of the hospitality industry, technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing guest experiences and streamlining hotel operations. However, navigating through the myriad of technical terms and jargon can be a daunting task.

                      Our Hotel Technology Jargon Buster is here to unravel the mysteries behind the buzzwords and acronyms commonly used in the world of hotel tech.

                      Channel Manager

                      Software that enables hotels to update room availability and rates in real-time across multiple online distribution channels, ensuring consistency and avoiding overbooking.

                      CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

                      Strategies, technologies, and practices that hotels use to manage and analyze customer interactions throughout the guest lifecycle, with the goal of improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

                      CRMS (Customer Relationship Management System)

                      Definition: Software that helps hotels manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the guest lifecycle to improve customer relationships and drive loyalty.

                      CRS (Central Reservation System)

                      A system that allows hotels to manage and distribute room inventory and rates across various distribution channels, including online travel agencies (OTAs) and the hotel’s website.

                      IBE (Internet Booking Engine)

                      A tool integrated into a hotel’s website to facilitate direct online bookings by guests.

                      IoT (Internet of Things)

                      The interconnection of devices (such as thermostats, lighting, and sensors) embedded with software, enabling them to collect and exchange data, enhancing guest comfort and operational efficiency.

                      Kitchen Display System (KDS)

                      KDS streamlines communication between the kitchen and the front of the house, improving order accuracy and kitchen efficiency, enabling operators to do away with paper tickets.

                      Mobile Room Keys

                      Mobile apps that allow guests to use their smartphones as room keys, streamlining the check-in and check-out process.

                      OTA (Online Travel Agency)

                      Websites and platforms that allow users to book hotel rooms online. Examples include Booking.com, Expedia, and Hotels.com.

                      PMS (Property Management System)

                      A centralised software platform that helps hotels manage their daily operations, including reservations, check-ins, check-outs, billing, and room assignments.

                      POS (Point of Sale) System

                      Systems that handle transactions between the hotel and guests, including food and beverage purchases, spa services, and other on-site expenses.

                      Smart Room Technology

                      Integrating IoT devices and automation to enhance in-room experiences, such as smart lighting, temperature control, and entertainment systems. Immerse guests in a tech-savvy environment with cutting-edge smart room technology.

                      Table Management System

                      This system helps hotel restaurants manage reservations, table assignments, and waitlists, optimise seating arrangements and reduce guest waiting times with an intuitive table management system.

                       

                      Other specialised terms and phrases utilised by professionals in the hotel industry to evaluate hotel performance and effectiveness can sometimes be bewildering. These often revolve around key performance indicators (KPIs) which serve as benchmarks for success. Some of the most common include:

                      ADR (Average Daily Rate)

                      The average rate charged per occupied room in a hotel over a specific period, calculated by dividing total room revenue by the total number of occupied rooms.

                      CPOR (Cost per Occupied Room)

                      Used in the hotel industry to evaluate operational efficiency and cost management, CPOR represents the total operating costs associated with each room that is occupied by a guest during a specific period.

                      GOPPAR (Gross Operating Profit per Available Room)

                      performance metric that evaluates a hotel’s profitability by measuring the gross operating profit generated per available room, calculated by subtracting total operating expenses from total revenue and dividing by the total number of available rooms.

                      Occupancy Rate

                      The percentage of available rooms that are occupied during a specific period, calculated by dividing the number of occupied rooms by the total number of available rooms and multiplying by 100.

                      RevPAR (Revenue per Available Room)

                      RevPAR is calculated by dividing the total revenue generated by room sales by the total number of available rooms in a given period. It is a crucial indicator of a hotel’s revenue-generating efficiency and helps managers assess pricing strategies, demand trends, and overall performance in comparison to competitors.

                      Armed with this Hotel Technology Jargon Buster, you’re now equipped to navigate the complexities of the technological landscape within the hospitality industry. As technology continues to advance, staying informed about these terms is crucial for hoteliers looking to provide top-notch guest experiences and optimise their operations.

                      Embrace the tech revolution and make your hotel a beacon of innovation in the competitive world of hospitality!

                        Related Resources

                        insight icon

                        insight

                        The Hotelier's Guide to Increasing Revenue and Direct Bookings

                        Discover opportunities to grow profits and improve your guest experience by driving direct bookings, and strategies to help you succeed.
                        Download guide
                        blog icon

                        blog

                        Loyalty schemes in hospitality: What top CEOs think

                        Loyalty is currently a hot topic in the hospitality industry but there remains a lot of confusion. What do consumers mean when they say they are loyal to on-trade brands? Is it the same as for other retail brands? How can the sector create and maintain customer loyalty? Does it genuinely add value to the bottom line – or  does it really just boil down to discounting? To answer these – and more – questions, we gathered eight of the industry’s top operators for a chat about all things loyalty.
                        Read more

                        Serving Success: 8 Ways to boost revenue using Zonal technology

                        Tech doesn’t just save you time and make admin easier. It can have a direct, beneficial impact on your bottom line. Having a range of ordering channels available to maximise capacity and orders, automating bookings processes and promotions, as well as collecting the right data from customers, are all quick-fire ways to pick up vital additional revenue for your business.

                        Discover eight ways that Zonal’s technology can ensure you’re not leaving any potential revenue on the table:

                        1. Generate incremental revenue with mobile order and pay technology

                        Not only do long waits in a queue or at the table to get a servers’ attention result in customer dissatisfaction or even complaints, but they can also result in lost sales. Enabling customers to order and pay through an app, or online by scanning a QR code, speeds up the process for guests and has also been proven to increase basket size, generating incremental revenue.

                        2. Tap into additional revenue channels

                        The appetite for click and collect and delivery food shows no sign of disappearing and operators that include this in their channel mix will be able to drive profit through these additional revenue streams, enabling guests to engage with you from the comfort of their own home, as well as providing supplemental revenue on quieter days in-venue. Zonal technology offers click and collect and can be fully integrated with third party delivery channels, enabling operators to manage them easily from one central location with minimal demand on staff or operational overhead.

                        3. Create specific order journeys per-product

                        Analysing data from menu and drinks sales is useful for operations of all sizes. Operators can analyse individual product performance to identify what is selling well and what is not so popular. Using this up-to-date data, operators can then take an informed view on which products to keep and which to remove, in order to minimise waste and maximise profits. The information can also be used to drive more effective upselling journeys, pinpointing opportunities for customer offers based on insights around their genuine preferences and purchasing habits. For example, offering deals on IPAs and your most popular pie dish.

                        4. Automate and personalise promotions for exact times, days and products

                        Personalised deals, offers and promotions are highly effective in driving extra revenue and footfall, however operators need data to facilitate them. Having fully integrated technology enables you to get information from all parts of the business and make decisions on which promotions to run based on genuine insight. For example, why not offer a discount on a customer’s favourite meal for their birthday?

                        With the right tech, the process can also be automated, meaning promotions can go live on specific days, specific times, and on specific products without the need for manual input every time. This will minimise the time needed to create and run deals and promotions and increase the chances of success.

                        5. Reduce no-shows by sending automated email and SMS reminders to bookers

                        We know just how costly no-shows can be. Our research shows that it costs the hospitality industry a combined £17.59bn a year – and the total number of no-shows doubled between September 2022 and September 2023. One of the main reasons people don’t honour their reservations is because they simply forget about the booking. However, automatic reminders sent to customers at predefined intervals leading up to a reservation can help to ensure people don’t forget to turn up when the time comes and enable customers to simply and easily cancel or amend bookings, giving operators advance warning. These reminders can also be used to drive more revenue by offering additional extras via pre-orders such as champagne or nibbles on arrival.

                        6. Personalise the booking journey and increase upsells

                        Zonal’s online reservation platform enables operators to set up different bookable areas within their venue, allowing for example, a customer to secure a favoured table. Offering this level of personalisation helps contribute to creating a great customer experience. It also helps operators better manage bookings – ensuring the best tables are always filled.  During the booking process, customers can also be given the option to customise their experience by pre-ordering food and drink or add-ons, encouraging customers to spend when they are in ‘buying mode’.

                        7. Enable guests to make a reservation directly through your social media accounts and Google business listings

                        Customers are no longer looking at social media accounts for research purposes only (although this continues to be a factor), these platforms are being increasingly used to facilitate bookings as well. In fact, over a third of consumers use social media to book tables, rising to more than half (53%) of 18 to 24-year-olds. Operators would benefit from ensuring their businesses are listed on Google and that they are active on social media, with their profiles including a link to a digital booking platform to convert more browsers into bookers.

                        8. Facilitate the redemption and reconciliation of gift cards and vouchers at any point of sale

                        Gift cards and vouchers can be a fantastic way for loyal customers to introduce friends and family to your brand, or to encourage repeat visits and increase revenue. Zonal’s gift card solution, Toggle, and voucher platform, Voucher Manager, are seamlessly integrated with our EPoS and wider suite of technology, enabling customers to redeem their vouchers and gift cards easily – whether it’s at the bar, on an app, or at the table with your waiting staff – ensuring a smooth, frictionless experience that leaves a great lasting impression once they’ve left the venue.

                        Click here to take a quick 5-minute self-assessment to see how your current tech stacks up in the above areas!

                          Related resources

                          tools icon

                          tools

                          Hospitality Tech Assessment: Driving revenue

                          Answer a few short questions to identify whether your tech helps you increase upsell opportunities and open up new revenue streams. At the end you’ll get personalised guidance to help you boost customer spend, both in-venue and at their homes.
                          Start the assessment
                          blog icon

                          blog

                          Serving Success: 10 Ways to reduce admin time using Zonal technology

                          No one gets into the hospitality business to fill out spreadsheets, but admin is a vital part of running any successful business. Zonal technology can help automate admin tasks, increasing overall efficiency, reducing human error, and saving you, and your teams, valuable time – here are 10 ways how.
                          Read more
                          blog icon

                          blog

                          Serving Success: 10 Ways you can maximise your margins with Zonal's tech

                          Zonal technology can be a vital tool in this drive. From better, more granular reporting, to digital stock checks, to recipe management, waste reduction and more, our systems can help maximise margins and deliver more revenue. Here’s 10 ways Zonal systems can help you be as profitable as possible.
                          Read more

                          Get in touch

                          Chat with our sales team to learn about how Zonal products could benefit you.

                            Serving Success: 10 Ways to reduce admin time using Zonal technology

                            No one gets into the hospitality business to fill out spreadsheets, but admin is a vital part of running any successful business. And, with staff in short supply and rising costs making every minute more precious than ever, finding ways to reduce time spent on admin has even more benefits.

                            Zonal technology can help automate admin tasks, which increases overall efficiency, reduces human error, and saves operators, and their teams, valuable time – and here are 10 ways how…

                            1. Export sales and revenue figures from your EPoS directly into your accounting system

                            Manually inputting sales figures from an EPoS into a separate accounting system is a laborious task. With Zonal’s smart, integrated EPoS solution, you can import this data directly into your accounting software, eliminating the need for a staff member to manually complete this task. Not only does this save valuable hours that could be better spent elsewhere, but it reduces the risk of human error too.

                            2. Keep track of employee start/finish times

                            Zonal’s technology can remove the headache of keeping on top of employee start and finish times by tracking exactly when your staff clock in and out directly in the POS. This means no more managing multiple timesheets and reconciling against rotas. Plus, staff hours can be easily accessed from one central location for easy reporting.

                            3. Manage stock ordering from one central platform

                            Maintaining stock counts and ordering new stock is a major time commitment for operators. However, having a digital stock management system provides tighter controls, as the entire ordering process can be managed end-to-end from one system and real-time reports mean operators can react quickly to low or surplus stock levels. This eliminates time spent checking discrepancies between systems, speeds up the whole ordering process with managed supplier lists and order templates, and results in less wastage and less cash tied up in stock.

                            4. Gain access to a comprehensive reporting suite to monitor business performance and metrics

                            Analysing your business’s performance is vital to maintaining a successful operation but collecting and collating all that data can be time-consuming. Operators that have a fully integrated suite of tech with powerful analytics and a digestible reporting solution can go a long way to making business evaluation a much simpler task. Zonal’s technology has the ability to generate reports on different areas of the business and automatically send these out to key members of staff. Not only can this be done quickly, but the real-time reporting means better and faster decision making, and seamless integration between our entire ecosystem of tech provides 100% data accuracy, meaning you’ll always be working with one version of the truth.

                            5. Auto-reconcile matching orders and invoices

                            A powerful stock ordering system like the one included as standard in Zonal’s EPoS, will automatically reconcile matching orders and invoices, helping to cut down time spent on manual checks each week, reducing mistakes and freeing up staff from what would previously have been a time-consuming task. This leaves everyone on the team with more time to focus on delivering great experiences for customers.

                            In addition, having the right tech in place can simplify managing approved suppliers. Being able to automatically reconcile matching orders and invoices or set up order templates can help to save a significant amount of time each week.

                            6. Get direct control over digital ordering channels to limit or increase your capacity

                            With a fully integrated tech stack, you have full control over which channels send orders through to the kitchen from one central location. Technology such as Zonal’s enables operators to turn off online ordering during busy periods to allow your staff to keep up with order fulfilment and focus on providing great customer service to those in-venue. This means less stress on the kitchen team and fewer customer complaints. What’s more, with full integration between our digital ordering channels and EPoS, product availability will automatically be updated as sales are made and stock is depleted, meaning your staff won’t need to spend time updating multiple channels if items go out of stock.

                            7. Remove the need for staff to re-key orders

                            Integrated hospitality technology like Zonal’s can help speed up service and save staff time. Integrating ordering and payment channels across the business with the main EPoS means staff don’t need to repeat the same task for each ordering channel. In addition, pushing live product availability from your stock management system to your tills and staff handheld ordering devices, means the team will have up-to-the-minute information on stock availability. This results in no wasted time going to the EPoS with orders only to then find out certain menu items are not available and fewer complaints from customers who tell us that one of their biggest bugbears in hospitality is ordering a dish, only to then find out it isn’t available.

                            8. Remove the headache of finance auditing (and save money) with clear and concise cash and finance workflows

                            Finance auditing can be time consuming and laborious, however our tech provides complete oversight of how cash is moving through your business. From being able to define by venue whether floats are being used, allowing you to allocate a value and track it through trade; to approval workflows, allowing senior staff to check all expenses are valid and approved, Zonal technology can provide you with the control and oversight you need to effectively manage your business’s finances.

                            9. Facilitate bookings easily with EPoS-integrated booking and deposit ledger management

                            Access all the information you need to manage reservations or orders from other channels in one central location, removing the need for staff to check multiple systems and reducing the potential for mistakes. When it comes to bookings, operators can better manage staff rotas with real-time oversight of reservations. A digital booking system also enables customers to edit, manage or cancel their bookings easily, removing the need for staff to update information manually and reducing the chances of no-shows. We know that no-shows are costly for the industry –  £17.59bn a year, in fact, with figures having doubled between September 2022 and September 2023.

                            10. Manage products and pricing from one central location

                            Keeping on top on products and pricing is a key factor for maintaining a successful business especially when margins are tight, but it’s a task that can be time-consuming, and costly if not done properly. Implementing Zonal’s integrated set of tech solutions allows operators to manage and update product and price information in one central location. What’s more, native integration between Zonal’s EPoS and wider suite of technology means all systems are updated in real-time, including across all consumer-facing channels, which saves operators and their teams time from having to replicate this task across multiple systems.

                            Technology should do the heavy lifting for staff and operators, freeing up their time to focus on delivering great customer experiences, and providing operators with the tools as well as the headspace to think strategically about how to further improve businesses.

                            Click here to take a quick 5-minute self-assessment to see how your current tech stacks up in the above areas!

                              Related resources

                              tools icon

                              tools

                              Assessment 1: Reducing administration tasks

                              Answer a few short questions to identify whether your tech helps you combat any admin time-sinks or manual tasks that could be automated. At the end you’ll get personalised guidance to help you maximise your staffing resources and remove the manual grind.
                              Start the assessment
                              blog icon

                              blog

                              All you need to know about digital loyalty schemes

                              Dan Brookman, CEO of Airship, part of the Zonal family, shares his thoughts on how digital loyalty schemes can help operators boost business and increase revenue.
                              Read blog
                              blog icon

                              blog

                              Serving Success: 10 Ways you can maximise your margins with Zonal's tech

                              Zonal technology can be a vital tool in this drive. From better, more granular reporting, to digital stock checks, to recipe management, waste reduction and more, our systems can help maximise margins and deliver more revenue. Here’s 10 ways Zonal systems can help you be as profitable as possible.
                              Read more

                              Get in touch

                              Chat with our sales team to learn about how Zonal products could benefit you.

                                Blog: 5 Quick and easy steps to create set menus in your Zonal EPoS

                                Whether it’s Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or even Christmas, an occasion where a set menu is required is never too far around the corner.

                                Getting your set menus up and running in plenty of time ahead of these occasions will ensure a positive experience for your customers and relieve any last-minute operational headaches, allowing you to spend more time focussing on the big day.

                                With Mother’s Day just around the corner, why not take this opportunity to get ahead of the madness? This guide will walk you through the 5 easy steps you need to create your set menus, so that everything in-venue runs as smoothly as possible on any occasion.

                                 1. Creating a new sub-category

                                Before creating the products for the set menu in product modelling, deciding what sub-category the new products are to be placed in is essential. Creating a new a new sub-category can be a great way of improving reporting.

                                Here’s how you can create new sub-categories in the Aztec platform: Base Data > Product Configuration > Product Structure > Drill down the category > Add 

                                Tip* When creating a new sub-category, it’s important assign the new sub-category to a price band relevant to the site. Even if the products are priced in the price matrix (more on that later), if this step is missed this will prevent the product from having a standard price.

                                2. Creating Products

                                Now it’s time to create the products for the set menu in product modelling for your set menu. When creating products, we’d recommend finding  products
                                with similar characteristics and select “new” if you’ve created a new sub-category.

                                Tip* When creating items for a set menu, using the description field can save time when designing the shared panels. For example, when designing a Mother’s Day menu in the description field in the description field you could use ‘Mother’s Day 2024’.

                                Tip* If you have multiple sites within your estate you don’t need to create a new product for each site. You can create a group of products for each course. Products can be given multiple records in iOrder to make them appear more site specific.

                                3. Setting the pricing correctly

                                When it comes to pricing items that are part of a set menu, you will need to
                                know whether the products will be available only on the set menu or if they will be available as part of an ‘A la Carte’ menu. If the products will only be part of the set menu, you can price these items at zero (don’t worry, your customers won’t see the price of the products as they can be hidden in iOrder). If the product can be purchased individually on-site, it should be priced as you would normally.

                                4. Set up any necessary promotions

                                When creating a promotion for the set menu – setting up a “Multi Buy” function allows you to create a roll up price for the full amount of the set menu and display this on the receipt to the customer.

                                5. Ensure you’re using a compatible layout in Theme Modelling

                                Often products on a set menu are available day to day to be sold as individual
                                items. If this is the case, the products will need to be on a theme that is accessible to till users as well as the theme in use by the virtual terminal.

                                However, if the products are only available on the set menu and the products are priced at £0.00, these products can be hidden so the till user cannot sell products at a zero price.

                                Tip* A hidden panel can be created. This will ensure that the products can be pre ordered whilst not being visible to the till user.

                                Theme Modelling > Themes > Design > Create the new panel > Design the panel  

                                We hope these 5 steps have been a helpful reminder of the key areas to take in to account when building set menus!

                                If you have any further questions on any of the above functionality, or any of your other Zonal solutions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

                                Related resources

                                research icon

                                research

                                Bookings best bits: Top 7 new Bookings features in 2023

                                In this article, Zonal’s Customer Success team share their top 7 new features released for Zonal Bookings in 2023, and how they can help you make the most out of your capacity.
                                Read blog
                                blog icon

                                blog

                                8 ways pub technology can help cut costs and boost the bottom line

                                In our latest blog, we explore eight ways hospitality technology can reduce your costs, from more effective stock management to together cash control.
                                Read more
                                webinar icon

                                webinar

                                How can hospitality businesses combat no-shows in 2023?

                                In this webinar, industry experts from Zonal, Mitchells & Butlers, and Bums on Seats, explore the current bookings landscape, the impact of consumer loyalty on no-shows, the importance of real-time booking availability, and share their advice on processes and procedures operators can start implementing today to start tackling no-shows in their business.

                                Watch now (34 mins)

                                Get in touch

                                Chat with our sales team to learn about how Zonal products could benefit you.