A table and capacity management system marketed in the UK by http://www.giraffe.net/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">Call Systems Technology ](http://www.call-systems.com)has helped the [Giraffe chain of family-orientated restaurants boost sales by up to 10% in its busiest sites at peak times.
The http://www.qsrautomations.co.uk/products/tablemanagement/cshostess.asp" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">QSRConnectSmart Hostess system provides staff with a screen at reception that shows the status of each table and accurately estimates how long newly-arrived guests will have to wait.
The system is a boon at multi-levelled sites where staff cannot see all the tables, and it can also come up with quick table combinations to seat unexpected large parties.
Giraffe found that manual queue management at its site in London's Westfield shopping mall was losing the group one party in three - often to nearby rivals - owing to long waits and inaccurate wait times.
Giraffe business development manager Jerry Marks said the system had paid for itself in the first two weeks of summer by keeping its restaurants fuller for longer and minimising losses.
It worked even better when teamed with a CST CustomerCall pager, which was handed to guests who could then go window shopping or have a drink in the bar while waiting for notice that their table was ready.
"The pager totally eliminates walkaways - it's like a binding contract with the customer," said Marks. "Because you've handed them the pager, they feel duty bound to give you their business.
"It's one thing to bring in extra business when a site is quiet," commented Ashley Sheppard, commercial director at CST. "QSR's ConnectSmart Hostess has helped increase business in Giraffe's busiest sites, at their busiest times, and that's a huge achievement."
By Angela Frewin
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