Entrance to BoccaLupo in Atlanta


How to Fill Empty Seats and Create a Dream Guest List with Notify


For restaurants, having a loyal following of repeat guests isn’t just a nice to have – it’s a necessity for survival in a notoriously volatile industry. That’s why we’re excited to bring you stories of restaurants using Resy OS to build deeper Reservationships with their guests, turning first-time diners into passionate regulars. From before the aperitif to after the affogato, learn how Resy restaurants are blending old school hospitality with new school data and technology to provide incredible dining experiences and take their Reservationships to the next level.

The feeding frenzy for dining experiences across the country has made restaurant reservations more valuable than ever for diners. With the ability to automatically alert guests of last-minute openings, Resy’s Notify feature also helps restaurant operators helps fill their dining rooms and minimize lost revenue from late cancellations. For Atlanta’s BoccaLupo, it also helps create an environment where talented people want to work. General manager Jason Furst says, “[Notify] allows me to manage the night the way we want.”

Furst has been with the in-demand Atlanta restaurant for the last 18 months, and has seen the toll surging demand has taken on hospitality workers, particularly during the industry-wide staffing crunch. BoccaLupo takes advantage of their Notify list to fill their space with known diners, providing a positive experience for their employees as well.

Here are some of the other ways Notify helps BoccaLuppo optimize the restaurant experience for both guests and staff.

1. Create your dream guest list, nightly.

At BoccaLupo, Furst keeps a significant portion of reservations offline to accommodate VIPs or friends and family. Given that a Saturday night can yield a Notify list of 200 people or more, Furst can go through the list and manually send out invitations to fill in the tables to the staffs’ benefit.

“It gives me a ton of flexibility,” he says, proving that Notify can be useful not just to surprise and delight guests, but employees as well. The key for him is to maximize operations in a way that is sustainable, without compromising guest experience or staff well-being.

2. A Notify reservation benefits everyone (in real time).

BoccaLupo utilizes the practice of pooled tips to ensure that both the front of house and back of house staff are compensated equally. When there’s a late cancellation resulting in an empty table, Furst puts it bluntly: “Every single person in the building just lost money.” Sending out a Notify alert to a robust list of eager diners ensures that table is filled and the livelihood of the staff isn’t negatively impacted. Have a cancellation at 6:15 p.m. for a 7:15 p.m. slot? Notify helps you get a new party on the books within minutes.

iPad with Notify feature displayed
iPad with Notify feature displayed

3. Paired with guest note data, Notify can up your hospitality game.

If your restaurant is diligent about keeping guest notes in diners’ Resy profiles, you’ll be able to see them when they set a Notify in the future. Furst prides himself on taking detailed guest notes, especially when the feedback is positive. If there’s an off-line table to fill, Furst can scan the Notify list and offer a table up to someone who’s been kind and thoughtful in the past.

“I’m not big on punishing people. I’m more interested in rewarding people for being really good guests.” It’s not just about filling empty seats; it’s about rewarding guests that see hospitality as a two-way street.

4. Notify pays for itself.

Within the tight margins the restaurant operates, many third-party services don’t make sense financially, and aren’t worth the time for staff to implement. “[With Resy], we get so much value out of it. Just the Notify list alone, we get hundreds of times the value for what we’re paying,” Furst emphasized.

Learn more about how to use Notify here.

This post was first published October 7, 2022.

*Opinions and views in articles shared on Resy OS are presented for the purpose of discussion and commentary on topics of interest in the restaurant industry; they should not be viewed as substitutes for advice given by professionally engaged business consultants and advisors.