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Maximize Efficiency with a Top-notch Restaurant Reservation System

Cover Image for Headshots of Joe Frillman, Lacey Irby, and Melissa Maciejewski.
By Morgan Carter

In our increasingly digitized world, building and maintaining guest relationships begins from the moment a guest makes an online booking. And yet, one of the less-personalized touchpoints for diners is often a restaurant’s online reservation system.


The latest installment in our monthly webinar series features proprietor and executive chef Joe Frillman of Daisies and restaurant owner Lacey Irby of Dear Margaret. Together, they discuss how best to leverage Tock’s guest data and personalization capabilities to customize your online restaurant reservation system.


  1. Personalize your online platform.

    Just like when guests interact with your staff during a reservation, your online reservation platform should provide a similar level of engagement and information. Create opportunities for guests to ask questions and familiarize themselves with your restaurant’s policies.

    Frillman uses Tock’s personalization features to communicate his restaurant’s service charge policy on his website, making it the first thing guests see when they go online. “When we first opened in [our] new space, we got a lot of attention towards the service charge [even though] we’ve been doing a service charge for the past three years,” he says. “We now use [Tock] to be very upfront about everything that we do.”

    By clearly communicating policies such as no substitutions and table time limits, you empower your guests to make well-informed decisions before making a reservation. “We do everything we can to set that expectation upfront,” states Frillman.

    Interior of Dear Margaret in Chicago
    Dear Margaret, Chicago
  2. Personalize each guest experience with pre-visit questionnaires.

    From determining dietary restrictions or allergies to making arrangements for special occasions, pre-visit questions can equip your staff to deliver top-notch service.

    Irby uses Tock’s pre-visit functionality as a regular part of her pre-shift routine. “Tock offers the option to send pre-visit questions. We ask the obvious ones—‘Are you celebrating an anniversary or birthday?’—but we also ask for dietary restrictions or allergies,” she says. “It makes our lives easier if we know that someone is gluten-free or they don’t do dairy. We can give them a great meal and keep them safe.”

  3. Foster lasting connections with relationship management tools to provide VIP treatment.

    With a plethora of choices for diners, building relationships is the key to establishing regulars. Tock’s platform includes an all-encompassing relationship management tool, enabling restaurants to create guest profiles that include details of their previous visits and allows for tagging guests for future visits. For instance: do you have a guest that always orders a glass of chardonnay? Tell your sommelier to present them with your latest selections. For those with a sweet tooth, surprise your guests with a complimentary treat for an added touch of hospitality.

    Relying on guest notes, Irby keeps a solid record on her regulars, from their preferred seat in the house down to their favorite server. And, as a part of her service prep, she communicates this information to her staff to get ready for the day ahead. “We talk about it in pre-shift. A lot of thought goes into it, ” she says.

    Frillman believes leaning on this type of information is something that only adds to the hospitality experience. “When you really start to compile this data and look back over the number of times a guest has come in [and] what they’ve eaten, you can really start to see patterns. Then we can really tailor their experience.”

Various dishes from Daisies Chicago sit on a wooden table
Daisies, Chicago

Curious about how you can continue to enhance experiences even after your guests have left the restaurant?
Frillman and Irby shared valuable insights on how they use Tock’s guest review offerings to keep improving the guest experience.

  1. Set up an automated and proactive feedback process to positively manage your reputation.

    Rather than waiting for reviews to surface, reach out to patrons for their direct feedback. Irby finds this is often the best approach to addressing negative customer feedback before they turn to Yelp or Google. With Tock, your team can proactively reach out to patrons for direct feedback via email as soon as they’ve dined.

  2. Approach online reviews as if they were in-person feedback to proactively address concerns and provide an exceptional dining experience.

    Just as you value and address feedback from diners in your restaurant, it’s important to treat online reviews with the same level of attentiveness. By delving into your guest reviews, you can uncover valuable insights to enhance your restaurant’s customer service and offerings.

    “Sometimes we start to see trends,” says Irby. “It is so useful to be able to recognize that maybe there’s something wrong with this dish because it’s come up three times this week. So let’s take a look and see [why] it’s not performing to our standards.”

Ready to join customers like Daisies and Dear Margaret and personalize your restaurant reservation software? We’re here to chat!

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