WATCH: Booking the Bar with GuestCenter’s Table Categories

To be successful in the restaurant business, you need to get guests in the door — ideally as many as you possibly can. Especially in a small space, maximising capacity is critical to make sure you do enough turns and covers to make the numbers work out in your favor.

With the new Table Categories feature on OpenTable’s GuestCenter, diners can book non-standard seating options like bar and high-tops so that you can make the most of all of your space. Because diners using the OpenTable app can choose their preferred seating, they know exactly what to expect when they come in. And if you’re a small, busy restaurant, you can actually show more availability than you could otherwise.

For example, bar seating is about a third of the total capacity at Los Angeles hotspot Here’s Looking at You, and early on, co-owner Lien Ta felt like she was missing out. “People didn’t know that you could sit and eat at the bar,” she says. Table Categories allowed her to book reservations at the bar so that more people could enjoy the full dining experience at the restaurant.

“We noticed a change in our revenue immediately; we noticed a change also in the spirits of the bartenders,” says Lien. “It’s nice that we know for sure certain seats will always be full every single night.”

Watch the video below to see how Lien made Table Categories work for her.