Sometimes you want to regulate the number of guests that can make a reservation. For example, because you don't want everyone to come in at 7 PM, or because you only want 50 guests on your terrace at the same time, or maybe because you only want to sell 10 High Teas per day.
There are four different ways to regulate or limit the number of guests:
Via Pacing Limits
Via Seating Limits
Via Area Limits
When you start regulating the number of guests or reservations, make sure to also think about the timeslot size you utilize. Do you want guests to be able to make a reservation every 15 minutes, every 30 minutes, or only every 60 minutes? You can set a timeslot under Settings > Setup.
💡 Of course, online availability is not only based on the limits you set, but also on available tables. These two naturally go hand in hand. So make sure your table capacity matches the limits you set. In other words; you can never cater to 100 guests at the same time if your tables are limited to 75 guests.
1. Pacing limits: smear out the peaks and streamline incoming guests per timeslot
Via Pacing Limits, you can smear out the peaks and streamline the number of incoming guests per timeslot. This helps you, for example, to make sure not all guests will come in at 7 PM. When everyone comes in at the same time it doesn't only affect the pressure on your staff, it also decreases your chances at doubling tables.
Set up Pacing Limits:
Click on the blue '+' at the top right
Adjust the number of guests in one or more timeslots or close some timeslots completely by clicking on 'Capped'
Repeat your Pacing Plan daily, weekly, or monthly by clicking on the date at the top and selecting how you want to repeat your plan. This gives you the flexibility to create a different plan for, for example, weekends and weekdays.
For example, do you want to have the same pacing limits every day? Then, set it to daily. Do you want to have a specific plan for weekends? Then set it to weekly and select Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You can then create another plan for weekdays.
📌 Read this article to learn more about Pacing Limits.
2. Seating limits: set a maximum number of guests or reservations for an entire Shift
Via Seating Limits, you can set a maximum number of guests or reservations for an entire Shift. This can be useful when, for example, you only want to accept a maximum of 10 High Tea reservations per day. Or when you want to limit the number of group reservations. Or if you host an event for which you want to sell a maximum of 100 Tickets.
Set up Seating Limits:
You can set different Seating Limits for each Shift.
Go to Settings > Shifts
Open the Shift for which you want to adjust the Seating Limits or create a new Shift by clicking on the blue '+' at the top right
Go to Seating in the left bar
Scroll down to Seating Limits and set a maximum number of guests or reservations. A combination of these is also possible. For example, never more than 10 lunch deals or 40 guests for the lunch deal. If one of the set limits is reached, the ticket for this Shift is no longer available that day.
💡 If you use Seating limits to keep control over the availability of specific Tickets, also link Tickets to the reservations you manually place in the system.
❗Note that by setting a maximum via Seating Limits, the number of guests or reservations will never exceed the maximum during the entire Shift. For example, if you set the First Reservation of your Shift to 11:00 AM and the Last Reservation to 18:00 PM, and you set a Seating Limit of max 30 guests, no more than 30 guests can make a reservation between 11:00 and 18:00.
📌 Read this article to learn more about setting up Shifts.
3. Area limits: set a maximum number of guests that can be present at the same time in one area
Via Area Limits, you can set a maximum number of guests that can be present at the same time in one area of your restaurant. This helps you, for example, to make sure you will never have more than 50 guests on your terrace at the same time.
Set up Area Limits:
Click on the blue '+' at the top right
Set a period in which the Area Limits apply by selecting a start- and end date
Scroll down to Area Limits and set a limit per area.
Your Area Limits are naturally linked to the standard duration of your shift. If, for example, you want to have a maximum of 50 guests on your terrace at the same time and your standard duration is set to 120 minutes, at 19.00 PM Formitable will take all reservations between 17:15 PM and 19.00 PM into account.
💡 If you never want to have more than 100 guests present in your entire restaurant (in all areas together) at any given moment during the day, you have to divide 100 guests over your different areas and make sure the total sum is 100.
📌 Read this article to learn more about Area limits.
4. General Setup: set a maximum number of reservations per timeslot and a maximum number of guests per timeslot
Via Setup, you can set a maximum number of reservations and/or a maximum number of guests per timeslot. By default, this is set to maximum availability. Adjusting the default setting is only recommended when, for example, you have a very specific wish to never accept more than 10 reservations per 30 minutes. When you adjust this via Setup, this will apply to your entire restaurant, always.
Set up a maximum via Setup:
Go to Settings > Setup
Under 'Max No of reservations per timeslot', set a maximum number of reservations you want to accept per timeslot.
Under 'Max No Guests per timeslot, set a maximum number of guests you want to accept per timeslot.
A combination of these is also possible. For example, never more than 10 reservations or 40 guests per timeslot. If one of the set limits is reached, guests can no longer make an online reservation for that day.
You can have general limits in place (via Setup) while also using, for example, Pacing Limits for a specific day or period.
❗In practice, the lowest setup will be applied. For example, if you set limits via Setup to a maximum of 10 guests per timeslot, and you set Pacing Limits to a maximum of 15 per timeslot; your general Setup limits will be leading. If, on the other hand, you set limits via Setup to a maximum of 15 guests per timeslot, and you set Pacing Limits to a maximum of 10; your Pacing Limits will be leading.
Adjust Area and Pacing limits on the day itself
Area and Pacing Limits can always be adjusted on the day itself via the Overview. This gives you the flexibility to respond instantly to everything that happens in your restaurant.
Adjust Area Limits via the Overview
Click on 'Open' at the right bottom
Set new Area Limits for the day itself
Adjust Pacing Limits via the Overview
Click the Pacing icon at the top right
Set new Pacing Limits for the day itself