For many businesses, answering the phone is vital. Restaurants are no exception, as many call to make reservations, ask general questions and get directions. However, this gets overlooked by many restaurants.
When a restaurant trusts a young hostess to handle the phones, it’s not always done in the most professional way. Often, calls go unanswered, get answered after 4 or 5 rings or the caller doesn’t receive accurate information. Here’s how hiring a virtual receptionist can benefit a restaurant.
No More Paying Employees to Sit Around
Many restaurants cut staff as soon as business declines after lunch and dinner. However, if the restaurant counts on reservations via telephones, they either have to keep somebody on the clock to answer the phone or turn these duties over to someone else.
Either way, they have to have the phone answered. Somebody is either getting paid just to sit there and wait or is being taken away from their other job each time the phone rings. Instead, hire a virtual receptionist and turn the incoming calls over to them once you cut unnecessary staff.
Multiple Locations Answered by the Same Virtual Receptionist Service
If you have multiple restaurant locations, you have to pay multiple people to answer the phone. However, with a virtual receptionist service, you can have all the incoming calls for all locations answered in one central location. This allows you to use staff in the restaurant for other tasks as reservations are made and questions are answered by your virtual receptionist.
A Virtual Receptionist Has the Time
When a hostess, manager or other employees answer the phone, they may have another task they need to get to very quickly. This may cause them to give quick answers on the phone and not take the time to give the caller what they really need.
A virtual receptionist has no other job than to actually answer the phone and take care of the caller. They can take the time to give the right answers and go the extra mile.
Ability to Better Serve Your Restaurant Guests
You may require hostesses and others answering the phone to ask if the guests will be celebrating a special occasion. However, this may get skipped when they are in a hurry or simply forget.
A virtual receptionist will make sure to not only ask the questions you desire, but also give you the answers. This will allow you to provide special treatment for those celebrating birthdays, anniversaries or other important milestones.
Streamline To-Go Orders
Many restaurants have to dedicate an employee to handle to-go orders for an entire shift. This can cause many issues as they have to take the calls, get the orders to the kitchen and get everything ready for the customer before they arrive.
Instead, have all your to-go orders go through a virtual receptionist. They can send the order through your system to the kitchen. All your to-go team will have to do is put the order together and deliver it. This will ensure that the customer does not have to wait for their order when they come in for pick-up. The cashier can check the customer out very quickly without other distractions.
Handle Customer Feedback and Follow Ups
If you want to really boost your restaurant business and pack the house, you can use a virtual receptionist to make follow up calls and gain customer feedback. They can call recent reservations to find out how the service and food were, and they can even offer a special discount for any reservations made during the phone call.
Better Staffing from Call Data
With all your calls going through a virtual receptionist service you will receive raw data on the call volume at specific times of the day, week, month and year. This can help you plan your staffing better and can save you money from over staffing.
There are many benefits to a restaurant when it comes to hiring a virtual receptionist. No longer will you need to spend money on an employee just to sit and wait for the phone to ring. In addition, you will be turning your phones over to customer service professionals ready to help you grow your business.