Avg. bookings per year
As a rapidly growing business, the way Fat Hippo was handling their bookings was overly complex and out-dated. Using pens and pads soon got messy and hard to understand in the heat of the restaurant shop floor. Whether it was different people's handwriting or having to move tables around, a strike-through a booking didn’t really cut it anymore. It was getting increasingly difficult to manage what tables were available in the restaurants and which diners were due in.
Accommodating for bookings at busy times or walk-ins required comprehensive knowledge of all table combinations, which was stressful and un-productive. The challenge was to create a system that controlled the bookings side of all restaurants in the Fat Hippo family. Automating a time-consuming task would heavily alleviate staff members, allowing them to concentrate on catering for their customers and providing a more efficient service.
We needed to create an intelligent system that truly understood each Fat Hippo restaurant, which would be easy-to-use and allow any member of staff to easily re-assign bookings to different tables, cancel bookings, modify bookings, take bookings and manage walk-ins. Our bespoke booking system needed to understand the table combinations for different party sizes and maximise covers by ensuring that available tables opened up for bookings.
We created a timeline view of the day's bookings for ease of use during busy schedules. Staff could see a clear overview of which tables were currently in use, when they were expected to become free, which customers were due in and how big the parties were.
Because each restaurant has its own individual brand identity, it was imperative that this was reflecting through the booking system as it would be the customer's initial greeting point when they came through the door. We wanted to create a user experience that was consistent at every touchpoint. Therefore, third-party plugins just weren't an option. Instead, we created a bespoke booking system for online table reservations through the website, which was straight-forward, on-brand and seamlessly connected to each Fat Hippo restaurant.
We also created a queue management section of the system to manage restaurant walk-ins. Users are placed in a queue to receive an e-mail or text to let them know when their table was ready. Now that's a notification worth getting!