Thank you very much for your feedback.
The special requests box has always been a standard part of our widget for customers to add any notes about their reservation that they cannot input elsewhere in the booking process.
Although this is a fairly standard part of most online reservation processes, I can appreciate that our prompt goes a little further than suggesting to the customer that they add notes about special requests / allergies.
The reasoning behind showing the customer some examples of the type of special request that they might want to mention is partly to avoid a problem whereby requests were including requests for different times or party sizes than those selected for the booking.
We are aware that through several request for amendments, variable customisations or optional removal of the comments box that we need to provide a solution that will work for all our customers.
If there is any changes planned or the suggestion you had for a simple amendment gets put forward for development then I will let you know via this forum thread.
Thanks Ewan, Can I just invoice res diary for the drinks that you're suggesting our customers will receive if they notify us of their birthday, graduation or anniversary?!!
Hi, is it possible to change the wording of this in the booking process: Please let us know if you have any special requests such as Birthday, anniversary, graduation or serious food allergy
This implies that they're going to get something which isn't always the case and it's causing problems. It can simply read: Please let us know if you have any special requests or serious food allergies.
It's not for Res diary to make this suggestion to our customers.
A message from your guests to let you know that they will be celebrating a special occasion may imply that they would like some complimentary drinks but this was in no way our intention.
The issue we had in mind when providing examples of 'Special Requests' was to help avoid, for example, a later table or additional 3 covers being requested. The expectation of this request being fulfilled was causing serious issues where guests were arriving at the later time or with 3 more guests than expected.
I do know that for some restaurants, knowing that a birthday is being celebrated is good information to have and they can use the opportunity to provide a memorable experience, but in suggesting this, we may well have replaced one expectation to change booking details with another to receive a free glass of Champagne or even a candle in the dessert!
If you can leave this one with me and we can hopefully find a way to solve this more effectively.
An update on the widget comments box which now has the placeholder text as follows;
"Let us know if you have any special requests and we will do our best to assist. Please note that special requests cannot be guaranteed."
I hope this message will help avoid the problems you identified with customer expectations.