Keep it simple: navigating changing restrictions
Days in advance
Reduce how far in advance guests can book in for. Consider only taking bookings for 7, 14 or 21 days in advance. If restrictions hit your area, it will reduce the administration you need to do in contacting, cancelling and moving future bookings. Let guests know your booking schedule on your website and socials. You can use this as a marketing technique too by regularly sending marketing emails and posting on your socials ahead of each booking window release.
Plan for now
Set up your account to be based on what you can do now. Don't over-manage your settings for the future, as government restrictions and rules can change at any time creating unnecessary work for your venue. Be prepared for what you know is coming, and how to make the changes at a suitable time.
Simplify booking times
Whilst your capacity is limited and demand exceeds supply, consider the best booking setup for your needs and plan for that. Sitting times allow you to manage cleaning times, reduce guest overlap, and meet patron limits without needing to consider every combination when staggering bookings.
Create an FAQ section or page
Build an FAQ page on your website with answers to common questions you receive and then direct your guests to it. This will save you time answering the same questions again and again. Add a link to your FAQ page to an automated email response (like an out of office message) so guests can help themselves when you're busy.
Keep in mind that anything you communicate with your guest now could change in the future. Ensure you're communicating only the essential information related to their booking (the information that is not likely to change) in your confirmation and reminder emails. For everything else, direct them to your website or social media pages, where you can update the information as it evolves.
Simplify your menu
Consider removing any à la carte options and only offering set menus. Your kitchen can plan ahead, reduce waste and manage stock levels with more efficiency. Set menus also allow you to offer prepayment, simplify ordering and speeding up your service so you can turn tables faster.
Focus on your ideal guest
What does your ideal guest look like? Tailor your simplified offering to meet their needs.