Christmas, birthdays, weddings: How to automate group reservations in aleno

Liza Cahiz / Klaus Haberkern
September 1, 2022

Christmas time. Dinner for One on TV. Dinner for Groups in the restaurant. Guests come in crowds and at the same time. 
Learn more how to automate the group request and group reservations in aleno to meet high expectations of your guests even in time of high occupancy (find more background information on group request here).


Use case: aleno Reservation Management

In order to be able to process and automate group requests efficiently, a written, standardised offer for groups with all important information such as menu variants, prices, deadlines and contractual conditions is mandatory. This offer should be made available to guests online as a PDF or form, e.g. on the webpage, via Dropbox or GoogleDrive.

The setting for automated group requests can be found in aleno under the following path: Menu -> Settings -> E-mail -> Group requests. As soon as group requests are activated in aleno, the displayed e-mail is automatically sent to the guest when a request is made. The e-mail template can be individually adapted to the needs and style of the restaurant. The text should contain the link to the standardised offer for groups, instructions on how to proceed and deadlines.


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The settings for group requests can be made separately in aleno for each shift, e.g. if groups are only received in the evening shift. The group requests can be edited, activated and deactivated via Menu -> Settings -> Shifts -> Specific shift -> Group requests.


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Group requests can be adapted to the general conditions via many parameters. First select the minimum number of guests for a banquet offer, then the maximum number of guests for a group. Make sure that there are no gaps between individual à la carte bookings and group reservations.


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aleno customers often accept standard reservations for up to 10 people, group requests for 11-30 people. In the example, reservations with fewer than 11 guests are processed as standard reservations in aleno.

Online reservation requests for more than 30 guests, on the other hand, are then not accepted, whereby the guest automatically receives the corresponding notice whem they plaxe their reservation request.

Depending on the restaurant, the kitchen and service quickly reach their limits with several simultaneous banquets. In aleno, the maximum number of groups per shift can therefore also be defined. If a 3 is entered here, then no more group requests will be accepted in aleno if 3 banquets are already planned for that evening.

Although banquets offer the prospect of high turnover, they require some advance planning and also involve the risk of cancellations at short notice or a lack of commitments. The places that become free can hardly be filled. In aleno, you can therefore specify up to how many days before the desired banquet date group requests will be accepted. If a 5 is entered, then a group request will only be accepted online if it is made 5 days or more in advance.

Now you can enter a term, e.g. "banquet", in the "Category for group requests" field. Using the search function and this term, all past and future group requests can then be quickly and easily displayed in aleno or the reports. In this way, all staff members have a better overview and can select the contact persons of the group requests, write to them specifically and (re-)win them for the restaurant early, e.g. to promote a special Christmas banquet in the following year.

For automated pre-orders and, if necessary, pre-payment, go to Menu -> Settings -> Shifts > select the appropriate shift -> Queries--> Edit Queries.  


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Here you can define which additional information should be requested during the reservation, e.g. how many meat, fish or vegetarian menus are ordered, as well as credit card data for payment or to protect against no-shows


When making a reservation, the guest can then select the number of menus - and if aleno Payments is activated - also pay immediately. 


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This ensures a smooth process of the banquet requests and the event itself. The advance payment also protects against the financial risk of no-shows. However, no-show fees must be clearly communicated in advance in the general terms and conditions for banquets.


And then nothing stands in the way of a beautiful, relaxed celebration with smooth proceedings and no financial surprises. 



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