A Complete Guide to Table Management Systems

A Complete Guide to Table Management Systems

As a restaurant owner, there's nothing more important than your tables. Maximising the value of your venue requires you to have a strong understanding of how to get the most out of every seat in your business.

That's where table management systems can help. Tools like ResDiary enable you to handle tables and reservations in your venue with ease. ResDiary can also help you take care of other elements of your venue including data analytics, customer communication and more.

Read on to build your understanding of table management systems and the critical role they can play in your restaurant.

What is a restaurant table management system?

A table management system is a digital solution hospitality venues use to handle table assignments in their venue with respect to both reservations and walk-ins.

During a ResDiary webinar on the topic of table management, ResDiary Head of Customer Success and Support Stefan Overzier summarised the role of table management systems perfectly:

"You want to make sure you... manage your customers in a way that you fill your restaurant as [well] as possible so that your occupancy is as high as possible." You can access the complete webinar with Stefan's insights for free here.

Some of the key features of table management systems are:

  • Booking diary: With a table management system, you can ditch your pen-and-paper booking diary and easily assign reservations to tables. This prevents over-booking and allows your team to have a clearer picture of service each night in your venue.
  • Table visualisation and editing: Tools like ResDiary enable you to visualise tables in your venue and alter them as you need. You can change your table arrangements for special occasions such as Valentine's Day.
  • Walk-in management: The other key element to managing occupancy in your venue is walk-ins. With ResDiary, your team can easily see which tables are available and at which times, making walk-in management a breeze. ResDiary also offers W8List, a tool that automates and streamlines waitlist management.
  • Additional features: Table management systems like ResDiary also offer a bevy of extra features to make running your restaurant easier. This includes everything from analytics based on your booking data to marketing solutions.

What are the benefits of table management systems?

Digitising and automating table management in your venue offers plenty of benefits for restaurant owners and managers.

Avoid over-rostering

Over-rostering can be a major bugbear for restaurants. With inflation continuing to impact hospitality, having staff standing around with nothing to do is a cost your restaurant cannot afford.

Restaurant table management systems help you to understand more precisely how busy your venue will be during a given service. While you must account for walk-ins, a clear understanding of your reservations makes it much easier to roster on the right staff every day.

You can even draw on historical booking data to predict how many staff you will need when creating longer-term rosters.

Customisation and flexibility

Table management software adds layers of customisation and flexibility you will never achieve with analogue methods.

ResDiary's restaurant reservation system allows you to set rules and conditions for smooth restaurant operations. For example, you can use table rankings to control the order in which tables are booked out.

Don't want your rules to be in action on a particular day? You can easily set your rules to be inactive on particular times or dates.

For best results with a table management system, Stefan recommends leaning all the way into its functionality. "You’re automating your management. All your rules, all your regulations, all your terms and conditions, everything you normally do with your reservations should be in that system."

ResDiary also has a range of views for your team to use. You can see tables and reservations represented in grid view, table plan view and running order. Each view presents its own advantages and deepens your understanding of what is happening in your venue.

Yield management

Yield management in table management systems goes well beyond the creation of rules. It's the perfect way to get the most out of your tables while reducing the strain on your team.

Many of the customisable rules ResDiary offers relate to yield management. This includes:

  • Short-selling prevention: This rule enables you to control how many diners can be booked into a table.
  • Time controls: You can also vary how much time is given to bookings at particular times. It's important both for customers and your team to be aware of how much time is assigned for a particular booking to manage expectations and keep things running smoothly. Thanks to ResDiary, "everyone also knows when they come, when they have to leave, and how long they can sit at the table for".
  • Covers per time slot: Additionally, you can create broader rules that control how many covers are accepted in particular time slots.

These yield management functions are critical for maximising revenue in your business while also ensuring your staff are not overworked. In difficult times where inflation pressures and staff shortages are an issue, effective yield management is essential for your business.

Data collection

Using a robust table management system means that you get to collect an incredible amount of data about your customers and your business. ResDiary offers a comprehensive analytics suite that enables you to make full use of all this information.

With this data, you can get a clear picture of booking trends in your restaurant. This helps you to create rosters and make strategic decisions in your business.

You can identify if you are likely to enter a low period of foot traffic. This might be your signal to hold a special event or start a marketing push. This information is important because as Stefan reminds us, "If you don’t fill your seats, you don’t make money".

With ResDiary, data collected during the booking process can also be put to use in its wide array of integrations. With integrations like TalkBox by Impact Data and Connect by me&u, you can automatically capture booking information like names, email addresses and birthdays.

You can then use guest data in your customer communications and marketing efforts.

Automated communication

Building a relationship with your customers is critical to securing repeat business. One way table management systems help is with automated communications.

ResDiary can send automated SMS messages and emails to your customers confirming and reminding them about their bookings. This reduces the risk of the dreaded no-show.

With ResDiary's marketing integrations, you can send further automated messages to entice customers to return to your venue.

It's all part of the process of cultivating the perfect customer experience. These simple tools found in table management systems show customers that you're always thinking about them. They also ensure your customers continue to keep your venue in mind.


Table management systems like ResDiary boast a remarkable range of integrations to streamline restaurant operations.

This includes EPOS integrations to help you easily, reliably and securely process sales. They also help you collect even more guest data.

ResDiary also integrates with marketing solutions to help spread the word about your venue, as well as customer journey management software to manage your business' digital presence.

According to Stefan, with a table management system and associated integrations, "Your service will be easier because you can focus on your customers".

Elevate your table management with ResDiary

Table management systems are powerful tools for restaurants. They offer an impressive array of tools to streamline restaurant operations and keep staff and customers thriving.

ResDiary has a long history of reducing headaches for restaurant owners. Here is what Michael Pyrgos, of the Imperial Hotel, Gold Coast says about ResDiary.

“ResDiary is the best reservation system... very intuitive and easy to use... and so user-friendly for customers.  They have made it so simple for customers to book."

 Michael Pyrgos, the Food and Beverage Director of the Imperial Hotel, Gold Coast (formerly Palazzo Versace) 

Book a demo today and uncover all the benefits ResDiary can bring to your venue.

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