Report on Customer’s View of Online Reservations
Table of Contents
In this report, the results obtained from a survey on the perceptions that customers have regarding the use of online reservations in restaurants are presented. The study focused on the views that customers have regarding the use of telephone, phone apps, and online reservation system to determine if the respondents frequently used these technologies and how they value them. The survey also sought to determine how a customer’s decision when selecting a reservation system is influenced by factors such as the ease with which the reservation can be obtained, the availability of live updates, the simplicity to book the tickets, and the value of the service delivered. The three main target groups were individual aged between 18 and 50 years that don’t use a reservation system despite the fact that they frequent restaurants for at least four times in a month.
The study revealed that most restaurant customers seek convenience when making their reservations. Consequently, methods such using online systems and phone apps are preferred. It was also found that a considerable number of them prefer telephone reservations since they give them a sense of personal touch. On the other hand, those that used online apps and the internet indicated that this was because they viewed it to be a more convenient means of making bookings compared to the use of the phone. Additionally, they argued that by using the website, it became easier for them to gather more information and details about a specific restaurant.
In conclusion, it was evident that irrespective of the reservation service that an operator uses, the process should be simple and straightforward. It was evident that there is a need for restaurant operators to encourage the use of online reservation among their customers. It is the responsibility of managers to ensure that their customers access only ordering with a lot of ease. Customers should not be forced to waste a lot of their time on a given website trying to identify how to make their reservation. Restaurant operators could make use of adverting and multiple distribution systems. It is also essential for restaurants that use several channels for distribution to provide updates to customers on the spaces available.
It is recommended that managers employ a strategy that utilizes both telephone call and online systems to make reservations. Restaurants could emphasis the ease of use of online reservations to encourage increased use of websites by the customers. Such an approach, if implemented, would enable various restaurant uses to collect more useful information that pertains to their customers. The report has analyzed online reservations based on customers’ views. It is recommended that an additional survey is conducted to determine the influence of demographic factors such as gender and work experience on their perception regarding online reservations.
According to Kimes (2009), the traditional means of making restaurant reservations has been the use of telephone calls. Consequently, some cafes refuse to accept any bookings until now. However, Andersson and Mossberg (2004), point out that the introduction of the Internet has enabled many operators in this industry to expand their online distribution channels. According to the authors, thousands of people in different nations make reservations in restaurants through online systems, telephone calls, and phone apps these days. However, there are other operators that have been reluctant in embracing this technology. They cite the cost and the possibility of loss of control and touch with the customers as their primary concerns (Enz, 2009). It is necessary for restaurants that want to adopt these innovations to evaluate the cost involved and the resulting benefits. More importantly, operators of restaurants have to consider how customers react to changes brought about by the innovation. A technology that negatively impacts customer satisfaction is not worth investing. In this report, the results obtained from a survey on the perceptions that customers have regarding the use of online reservations in restaurants are presented. The study focused on the views that customers have regarding the use of telephone, phone apps, and online reservation system to determine if the respondents frequently use these technologies and how they value them. The survey also sought to determine how a customer’s decision when selecting a reservation system is influenced by factors such as the ease with which the reservation can be obtained, the availability of live updates, the simplicity to book the tickets, and the value of the service delivered. The report aims at presenting findings on the perception that restaurant customers have regarding telephone and online reservation system. Furthermore, it seeks to highlight variables that influence their views to enable managers to make better marketing decisions.
Qualitative as well as quantitative research methods facilitated the collection of accurate data about customers’ perceptions toward online reservations. To a less extent, qualitative approaches were utilized since they made it easier to gather more information when compared to quantitative ones. The methods used included participant observation that involved counting and in-depth interviewing of the respondents. Moreover, secondary sources were also used. The quantitative approach depended hugely on statistical evidence. Consequently, a large number of people were sampled and surveyed to ensure that the information gathered is reliable. Computers were used to analyze data that was collected using questionnaire. The questionnaire used to receive data from the respondents contained close-ended questions in which individuals were given a chance to select an answer from several alternatives. Moreover, several open-ended questions were included to allow respondents give their opinions. Originally, the survey targeted individuals between 18 and 50 years that do not use a reservation system yet they eat in a restaurant at least four times in a month.
The first three questions in the survey required respondents to provide information about their habit to dine in the restaurant and if any reservations are made. This way, it became easier to determine whether the individuals that had been sampled eat in restaurants. It also became easier to identify whether any reservations are made, or people just walk in. In the end, it could be determined whether those that dine at the restaurant frequently do so because it is easier to reserve a table using online systems or phone calls.
Questions 4 and 5 focused on the respondents’ views concerning the usefulness of online applications in aiding the process of making reservations. Additionally, they sought to determine how respondents frequently use online reservation systems. This way, the level of satisfaction among the respondents could be established. Question seven required the respondents to specify how their decision to use a given reservation system is influenced by four factors namely the ease with which the reservation can be obtained, the availability of live updates, the simplicity to book the reservations, and the value of the services delivered. This way, it became easier to identify the area that needs to be fixed. Moreover, managers would be better positioned to focus more on those areas that are deemed to be extremely important to their customers and thereby achieve efficiency.
A best-worst analysis technique was used to scale the reactions and views of the respondents regarding the use of various reservation systems such only and telephone. The approach relied heavily on analysis of customer choices and exhibited a high degree of accuracy when used for this purpose (Kimes, 2009). The variables that influence customer decisions were classified into two: the independent and the dependent variables. The dependent variables consisted of individuals aged between 18 and 50 years, individuals that do not use online reservations and dine in the restaurant as frequent as four times in a month. On the other hand, the independent variables included adverting, use of points or coupons to encourage online advertising, quality of service, and the use of Open Table. Consequently, the last question sought to determine how easy it is to use the Open Table for making reservations by clicking the “Book Now” button on Yelp. The question assisted in establishing if the respondents are willing to use Open Table that is associated with Yelp. Moreover, it became possible to determine if linking it to Yelp can increase the number of online reservations. On the other hand, only one question was developed to serve as the dependent variable. It focused on the likelihood of respondents using Open Table. This way, it became possible to determine the level of awareness among them regarding the availability of the online system.
The independent variables were then assessed and ranked based on their significance. The most important variable was identified as advertising. By marketing themselves on various social media platforms, restaurants could serve an increased number of customers. Moreover, it was found that it is necessary for managers to ensure that OpenTable in the Restaurant apps “ Yelp” can be accessed with comfort and ease. This would make it easier for people to visit the link and access the “Book Now” icon. It was also found that there is need to initiate a program that gives points. Moreover, awards and promotions should be based on the number of points that an individual has. Those with more points should receive more discounts or promotional bonus. Finally, it was established that there is need to improve the service delivered to the customers. The restaurant environment should also be improved.
The results obtained from the survey indicate that there is a need for various restaurant operators to strive to increase the number of online reservations that customers make. The primary question that arises is how this can be achieved. Based on the results from the study, it was evident that the main factors that influence the use of online ordering system for both non-users and users are the ease with which the reservation can be obtained, the availability of live updates, the simplicity to book the tickets, and the value of the service delivered. Convenience in finding reservations and ease of booking them creates customer satisfaction. Moreover, it increases the likelihood that a given user will recommend only ordering. For a restaurant to succeed in encouraging online ordering among the non-users, it must provide more attention their needs especially those that pertain interaction. Such a move would have a positive impact on the level of customer satisfaction. This idea is supported by Dixon and Verma (2009), who argue that customers that exhibit high technology anxiety or those that have high needs when interacting with a system tend to use it less often.
The findings obtained indicate that managers that run restaurants should focus more on the quality of service they deliver to their customers and provision of support services such as live updates since such efforts will increase the intent of their customers to use online ordering. Several approaches could be adopted. First, they could market themselves more using social media platforms. This move could help to increase the number of online users. Secondly, managers should ensure that OpenTable in the Restaurant apps “ Yelp” can be accessed with comfort and ease. People could visit the link and access the “Book Now” icon with a lot of ease. A program that rewards online users based on the number of points they have could be started. According to Choi and Mattila (2004), online ordering can be enhanced by offering more choices. This way, restaurants would give their guests an opportunity to customize their order. Additionally, they should be free to select the method of payment that they are comfortable with. Moreover, the use of online ordering can be encouraged by ensuring that customers that use websites or apps are given an ample to select what they desire. Consequently, the online system being used should be available throughout to accept and process customers’ orders at any time.
The study conducted exhibited several limitations. First, all respondents were from the university and the surrounding areas. Consequently, the findings obtained cannot be generalized to represent the situation in other parts of the country and the rest of the world. Second, the research was conducted online. Therefore, the results obtained could contain systematic errors as a result of differences that may exist between individuals who use the internet and those who do not. Moreover, the findings derived from the survey indicated an intriguing compromise between personal connection and convenience. Unfortunately, the study failed to determine what is more important between the two.
The report has analyzed online reservations based on customers’ views. It is recommended that an additional survey is conducted to determine the influence of demographic factors such as gender and work experience on their perception regarding online reservations. Based on the findings from the study, however, there is a need for restaurant operators to encourage the use of online booking among their customers. However, it is the responsibility of managers to ensure that their customers access only ordering with a lot of ease. Customers should not be forced to waste a lot of their time on a given website trying to identify how to make their reservation. Restaurant operators could make use of adverting and multiple distribution systems. A restaurant that can be seen by customers through third-party websites in addition to its official site can generate increased profits. On the other hand, managers should ensure that their businesses continue to give their customers an opportunity to make reservations through the phone. It is also essential for restaurants that use several channels for distribution provide updates on to customers on the spaces available.
Andersson, T. D., & Mossberg, L. (2004). The dining experience: do restaurants satisfy customer needs?. Food Service Technology, 4(4), 171-177.
Choi, S., & Mattila, A. S. (2004). Hotel revenue management and its impact on customers’ perceptions of fairness. Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, 2(4), 303-314.
Dixon, M., & Verma Ph D, R. (2009). Customer preferences for restaurant technology innovations.
Enz, C. A. (2009). Key issues of concern in the lodging industry: What worries managers. Cornell Hospitality Report, 9(4), 1-17.
Kimes, S. E. (2009). How restaurant customers view on-line reservations. Cornell Hospitality Report, 9(5), 5-15.