How restaurant websites are changing

From the Co-Founders

We’re sharing anything from important milestones, key developments, and sometimes simply our angle on what’s happening. 

Primarily we have two types of catering establishments in Malta, those focused on a longer and finer dine-in experience and others focused on the quick-service and takeaway. The way that they user their websites to connect with their clients is different, however the bottom line is always becoming the same : e-commerce. Today we want to talk about how for each type the necessity of processing online payments via their website exists.

Quick Service / Take Out:

The need to connect with the client directly and sell takeaway orders directly has become a matter of survival and autonomy. Catering outlets in Malta have been put at serious challenge by sales commissions based Apps typically used for food delivery service. However, as always Whale is always to the rescue. We enabled countless restaurants to connect and sell directly to their audience via their website. For some, this has been the greatest cost cutting tool during the Covid lockdown as it was their only means to sell direct and cut down on commission costs. We not only helped our clients increase sales and cut costs, but many could feel once again autonomous by being able to simply conclude a transaction directly with their client, with no middlemen.

The Dine-In Experience:

Securing table bookings through means of a deposit has become an increasingly sought after feature. Cancellations of table bookings is a major loss of revenue for any restaurant focused on Dine-In Experience. Last minute cancellations are a harsh reality that a lot of restaurant owners deal with however this will be no longer the case in near future, because a simple solution does exist after all! It is becoming increasingly common for restaurant website to request a deposit against a table booking. Requesting a simple non-refundable deposit such as €10 per head will considerably reduce the likelihood of a cancellation. If a cancellation does anyhow happen the restaurant owner has at least some form of compensation which typically is pro-rata according to the size of the table, so if for instance a group of 6 people cancel and the booking fee is €10 per head, then there is a €60 compensation for the restaurant owner. After all, we all like to get paid for our time and accepting bookings and keeping an eye on double bookings and monitoring all your booking channels can take it’s toll… the last thing a restaurant owner wishes for is to loose money due to a cancellation. Luckily for any restaurant owner – Whale always has the solution! We recommend the deposit fee per head to be 20% of the average spend per person.
Here’s how it works:
  1. Booking Request This is the initial request made by the client, the part where we fill in the booking form with info such as our name, surname, number of guests, date, and time.
  2. Confirmation of Availability This is the reply from the restaurant confirming availability. If the availability is confirmed the website will request the deposit payment to the guest, if there is no availability then a deposit will naturally not be requested.
  3. Online Deposit Payment This is the part where the guest enters his credit card details on the website, and sends the deposit thereby securing his table. At this stage, we have a restaurant owner confident that his table is truly secured!
We recommend our restaurant clients to always channel booking requests through their website if they have the feature of online payments, so that they always benefit from such automatons. After reading this article, we bet that you can hardly imagine a case where a restaurant can exist without accepting any form of online payments through his website. This is the feeling we have!
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