Bank Holiday Weekends: Boost Your Table Bookings and Revenue

Bank Holiday Weekends: Boost Your Table Bookings and Revenue

Make the most of bank holiday weekends 

Bank holidays are bustling periods in the hospitality industry, offering lucrative opportunities to attract more diners and boost revenue significantly. In our comprehensive guide, we'll lead you through ten essential steps to stand out from your competition, increase table bookings, and ensure smooth service during (hopefully longer) busy periods. 

Why Bank Holidays so important - group of diners enjoying lunch in restaurant

Why bank holidays matter to hospitality venues 

It may mean a quiet weekend for many businesses, especially banks! But the extended weekends can see customers come flocking to restaurants, bars, and hotels, bringing valuable revenue with them. Here are some of the key stats that tell the story. 

  • The UK has 8 bank holidays in 2024, apart from Scotland which has 9, while Ireland has 10. That’s a lot of extra hours that your potential diners aren’t worrying about work! 

  • Research shows that during the May bank holiday holiday in 2023, spending at restaurants was up more than 15% from 2022. (Source)

  • Data from Charles & Dean showed the August bank holiday weekend could contribute a whopping £5.8bn in sales, with an average spend per head of £138.55 in bars, restaurants, and hotels!


Top tips to a busy bank holiday weekend

The ultimate checklist for a successful bank holiday weekend

Bank holiday weekends hold immense significance for businesses in the hospitality sector, as they represent prime opportunities to capitalise on increased spending and foot traffic from diners. These long weekends are synonymous with leisure and social gatherings, prompting people to dine out and enjoy themselves with friends and family. By strategically leveraging these peak periods, businesses can maximise their profitability and create customer loyalty, setting the stage for long-term success in a competitive market. 

We’ve got great tips to help you stand out from the crowd to attract more of the right reservations and prepare your bar, restaurant, or hotel for a bumper bank holiday the next time around. 


Setup for Bank Holiday Bookings - Operations

Get ready for a bumper weekend 

Think ‘space’ and ‘service’ 

Preparation can be key if you’re planning to take as much revenue as possible over the next bank holiday weekend. You’ll need to consider your space and how you’ll set up to maximise your table bookings without compromising on your operations, and ultimately, delivering a great experience for your customers. Do you need to focus on higher turnovers of tables, or do you tend to attract larger groups who are likely to stay for longer and maybe spend more on drinks and desserts? Is your table plan flexible enough to easily cater for walk-ins? Will you operate a waiting list? If so, how will you manage it? 

"Having the right set-up can be so important to a successful bank holiday weekend, whether you’re fine dining restaurant, a gastropub with a large garden, or a seaside bistro. Thankfully, ResDiary can help to take away a lot of the stress and heavy lifting whilst helping you to maximise your space. You can simply set the rules once and switch them on again whenever you need to."

- Jill Massey, Sales Manager for ResDiary


  • Take a look at the trends from previous bank holiday weekends to get a clear picture of what to expect next time. Booking data from your reservation system and spend data from your EPoS will be most important - it's even better if you can integrate these two systems to make your  even more powerful. 

  • Use our Table Management tools to create new segments and maximise your space. Our system also makes table allocation more efficient, automating table joins and selling your priority tables first. 

  • Use our smart booking rules and Yield Management to control the flow of reservations, especially in spreading out bookings on Saturday nights or Sunday afternoons, for example. ResDiary does the rest in managing booking availability and new reservations as they come in.  

  • Avoid being stood up by your customers and missing out on vital revenue by taking deposits via card details or full payments up front for fixed menus. All of this can be seamlessly slipped into the booking journey making life easier for your diners. This can be especially important if you’re expecting more larger groups on the weekend. 

  • Save your segments and your booking rules from this bank holiday and simply switch them on again next year! 

Find out how a restaurant group in the UK used ResDiary to streamline its booking process and plan for promotions and big occasions up to a year in advance.


Setup for Bank Holiday Bookings - Attract

Bank those early table bookings 

Make your venue the place to be for diners this weekend 

If preparation is key to success, then getting early bookings is the key to preparation. It’s time to attract customers with the right offers, special menus, and/or events, and the best place to start could be your existing customer base. Data and trends from previous bank holiday weekends can play a vital role here too, in helping you to come up with an enticing offer for people who’ve enjoyed your venue before, as well as new diners. 

"The competition can be fierce for bank holiday trade. So the right special offer or set menu can really help your venue stand out from the crowd. Thankfully, you can create, promote, and manage your unique offerings directly in ResDiary."

- Laurence Small, Sales Manager for ResDiary


  • Look at the data from previous bank holidays. What promotional offer or set menu could you create that suits what your previous diners enjoyed before or fresh offers to entice newcomers?  

  • Think about the whole weekend. Perhaps you could benefit from multiple offers to suit different audiences at different times of day. While a set menu may work well for lunch, an offer on cocktails could create more buzz (and spending) among late-night diners – just like ABOE, an independent restaurant in the UK found out. 

  • Promote your offers in your booking widget and switch-on prepayments for set-menus to lock in your revenue before your customers arrive. This will also guard against them failing to show! 

  • Share your offers with your existing customer base. With ResDiary, you can send marketing emails directly to your opted-in lists to give them priority on promotional offers. 

  • Promote your offers to new customers by posting about them on social media and even investing in boosting your adverts in the build-up to bank holiday weekends. 

See how special offers, set menus, events, and upsells can all be create and managed in one place with ResDiary. We'll be happy to walk you through it!


Top tips to a busy bank holiday weekend - Countdown

Are you weekend ready? 

Hopefully your restaurant or bar is set up and your tables are filling up nicely 

As the countdown to the bank holiday weekend creeps ever closer, it’s time to take stock of how well prepared you are and how many table bookings you have so far. If this is, say, two or three weeks prior to a bank holiday, you’ll have plenty of time to make any changes if you need to. Even if you’re only a week away, you can still see to any urgent matters to help you run a smooth service or catch some last-minute reservations 

  • Take a look at your restaurant booking system to see how full your diary is currently. Is the space being fully maximised throughout the whole weekend and are there any booking notes your staff need to be made aware of. With ResDiary, you can even add notifications to the diary to inform your staff on certain matters, especially in the build-up to big occasions, like bank holidays. 

  • Acquaint yourself and your staff with the running order for each day, so you can identify when you’re likely to be most busy and if there are any VIPs or special celebrations that should know about. 

  • Ensure you have a plan to handle walk-ins and late enquiries. Our W8List feature ensures you’ll never lose an opportunity to re-fill a cancellation or seat walk-in customers. All of which, helps your team to stay organised and improve your customer service by seating guests efficiently. 

  • You can also use ResPhone, to take care of your telephone enquiries too – which can be a godsend in the run-up to a bumper weekend! In a recent study, we found that 40% of diners do prefer to call a restaurant directly to make a reservation. It doesn’t matter if your staff are too busy to answer a call or even if you’re closed; ResPhone can take the call and handle the booking for you. 

  • If there are still some tables left to sell, then a last-minute social post or paid ad promoting your offer can certainly do no harm. Our own research shows that over a third of people (36%) will book a dinner reservation two to three days in advance, so there’s still time! 

Looking for more of the latest hospitality trends from venues and diners in the UK? Download the full report for 2024 here.


Top tips to a busy bank holiday weekend - Grow

Create loyal customers 

Every new booking can grow your customer base 

Hopefully you’ve won a tonne of new customers. Now, how can you ensure they become more than bank holiday bookers? This is where every new restaurant booking (and your restaurant booking system) can add serious value to your business by bringing repeat customers back to your venue again in the future - all you need are the tools and the data to help you do it. 

  • ResDiary captures your booking information and stores it for you automatically, and you can optimise your booking widget to get vital information and learn more about your diners. Dates of birth, dietary preferences, and the number of covers are all great for personalising your future offers and marketing messages for them.  

  • Run reports to measure the success of any promotions and booking trends for big occasions, like previous bank holiday weekends. ResDiary has a comprehensive analytics suite for booking data, and integrates with the world’s leading EPOS and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to give you greater visibility of your customers’ dining habits and preferences. 
  • Use that data to optimise your offerings or come up with new highly targeted ideas for future bank holidays, celebrations, and other special occasions. 

We've got a great article featuring 10 ways you can do more with your booking data to help grow your customer base and your business.

Why not ensure that your venue is front-of-mind when previous customers feel the urge to treat themselves to another table booking

ResDiary Features

We’ve got the tools you can bank on for busy weekends 

Now you know what it will take to make the most of bank holiday weekends in your venue, it’s time to discover why ResDiary might just be the perfect partner for your business.

Yield Management 

Every popular venue experiences bouts of slow times and super busy times. With Yield Management, we can help you balance it out. 





Create compelling offers to attract new diners, especially for big occasions, and bring your existing customers back for more. 



If you'd like to learn more about our features, you can also check out our Features page, download our brochure, or compare ResDiary to alternative restaurant booking systems.


Book a Demo to See ResDiary in Action! 

Each demo is personalised so you see ResDiary addressing your specific needs so you can learn how our smart and intuitive booking management system can help you: 

  • Increase your bookings and revenue with ResDiary  
  • Manage reservations and reduce no-shows  
  • Take reservations from your website, social media, Google, and Dish Cult at 0% booking commission