Burger & Lobster banks on bookings in Cardiff
The Burger & Lobster restaurant in Cardiff has introduced new seating technology to help it manage pre-booked tables and walk-ins more efficiently.
The Cardiff restaurant is the group's only site outside of London, and the only one to accept advance reservations.
The system, from hospitality technology supplier Call Systems Technology (CST), is a front-of-house software package that allows staff to balance reservations from in-advance telephone bookings with the needs of walk-ins.
The software uses the restaurant's floor plan to help it allocate the best seating for each party, and it also delivers more accurate wait times for those who do not have a prior reservation. It also collects data on the efficiency of the system and can create reports on reservation versus walk-in statistics, table turns, and waitlists. The system claims to maximise labour costs more effectively.
Simon King, operations director for Burger & Lobster, admitted that the brand had become known for its long queues, and said that it was the Cardiff's location's size that had required a different approach.
He said: "We know that having staff manage waitlists on the door is a hugely labour intensive exercise, so with Cardiff being our largest and first site out of London to take reservations, we needed to partner with a savvy supplier like CST, to provide a solution."
He added that the software had allowed Cardiff to discover, for example, that on 14 February it had hosted 566 parties across 1,674 covers, with a wait time of 11 minutes on average.
Burger & Lobster was first launched in 2011 by the steak group Goodman, and now runs to seven sites across London, such as Farringdon, Oxford Circus, and Soho. It also has a location in New York, and plans to open sites in Manchester, Bath, and Liverpool before the end of this year.
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