Customizing Your Reservation Site
Seatout enables customization of your public-facing reservation site, policies, and scheduling practices. Once your restaurant or business has been created, click on the gear icon to configure and customize.
The Reservation Form page allows for customization of your public reservation site.
|Address||The address fields (including city, state, and zip code) are displayed on your reservation form for guests. A map from Google Maps is displayed based on this address.|
|Email Address||Optional. Allow guests to contact you via email.|
|Web Site Address||Optional. When provided, a link to your website is shown.|
|Menu URL||Optional. When provided, a link to your menu is shown.|
|Logo||Optional. When provided, your logo image (GIF, JPEG, or PNG) is displayed in the banner of your public reservation site.|
|Cover Image||Optional and highly recommended. This is the background image for the top banner of your reservation site. Provide your own image URL, select a default grey background, or use a Google Maps-provided image.|
|Facebook URL||Optional. The URL to your Facebook page.|
|Twitter URL||Optional. The URL to your Twitter page.|
|Description||The publicly-visible description of your business. Introduce your business to your guests, tell your story, and make them aware of special instructions (e.g. parking instructions, policies).|
The Policies page allows you to define how guests interact with the reservation system and what you will permit.
|Age Restriction||Defines the minimum guest age policy. This is generally useful for bars and fine-dining restaurants. If you don’t have a minimum age restriction, set this to Not Applicable.|
|Attire||Defines the expected dress code.|
|Minimum Party Size||Defines the minimum party size. Use this setting if your business only takes reservations for larger groups, or if you want to prevent solo diners from making a reservation.|
|Reservation Duration||For scheduling purposes, Seatout need to know how long it takes a table (or seat) to turn. This setting is also used to prevent reservations from being made just before closing time. This value is not shown to guests.|
|Booking Window||The booking window allows you to control how far in advance reservations can be made.|
|Same Day Reservation Cutoff||To prevent last minute reservations from being created, you can define a time of the day after which same-day reservations can not be made. This can be useful for food preparation and staff planning.|
Seatout can optionally require guests to make a deposit to make a reservation. The deposit will be transferred to your bank account in about two business days, minus Seatout’s fee. To enable deposits, our payments processor requires details like your name, address, and bank account number. After you submit, your application will be reviewed and you will receive an automated confirmation email in about 2 minutes.
Once successfully enabled, you are free to modify the deposit amount. (This includes reverting back to free reservations.) The deposit amount can be changed on the Policies page.
Seating and Table Configuration
In order to reserve a seat or table, Seatout has to know what tables are available. The Seating and Table Configuration page allows you to define which tables are allocated for incoming reservations. When a guest makes a reservation, Seatout automatically chooses the smallest available table which can accommodate the party.
For most restaurants, we recommend that you select a subset of tables for reservations and leave the remaining tables available for walk-in guests. Seatout only needs to know about the tables you allocate to reservations.
For some businesses (e.g. barber shops, masseuses, dentists), reservations are made a per-seat basis instead of a per-table basis. In this case, create one “table” in Seatout which corresponds to a seat and set the table size to 1.
Seatout allows reservations to be scheduled one of two ways:
Anytime Scheduling When selected, guests may make a reservation at any time during your open hours, subject to the booking rules. This option gives guests the most flexibility when booking, but does not maximize table utilization. (There is no guarantee that reservations will be made back-to-back, which might cause a table to sit idle between reservations.)
Fixed Scheduling When selected, guests may only make a reservations at specific times that you define. This is useful for businesses that have fixed seatings (e.g. dinner theater, events). This can also be used to increase demand during traditionally slow times during service.
For most businesses, we recommend Anytime Scheduling.
Blackout dates allow you define specific days that your business is closed, like buyouts, holidays, or emergencies. Guests will be prevented from creating a reservation on the selected day.
To add a blackout date, click the Select a Date button, choose a date on the calendar, and click the “Add Blackout” button. To remove a blackout date, click the red “X” icon next to the date.
Note that reservations made before the day was blacked out will remain on your reservation calendar. It is your responsibility to contact the guest and cancel or reschedule.
Hours of Operation
In order to make a reservation, Seatout needs to know the days of the week and hours that your business is open.
Seatout will not allow reservations to be made just before your closing time. For example, if your closing time is 10pm and your Reservation Duration setting is 1 hour, the latest reservation a guest may make will be 9pm.
Unfortunately, Seatout does not currently support having multiple, discontiguous services in the same day (e.g. lunch service and dinner service).
Seatout allow owners and general managers to invite other staff members to view and modify the reservation book. Once invited, staff will receive an email prompting them to create a Seatout account. Learn more about staff permissions.