Got questions about using The Parable? Check out these FAQs below to find out more.
Does the Parable work offline?
Yes, The Parable works completely offline. All your bookings are stored locally on your ipad as well as The Parable Server. You will be able to view, add and edit all your bookings with no internet connection. When an internet connect becomes available The Parable will sync any new bookings that you may have taken, or any changes that you have made to existing bookings to the secure Parable server so your bookings are always current and secure. You won’t however be able to send sms and email confirmations or receive any new online bookings, or sync multiple ipads without an internet connection.
The home screen has The Parable status indicated at the bottom of the screen, so you are never guessing. The status bar will show if you are connected (a green light) or in offline mode (a red light) or connecting (a yellow light).
How much does The Parable cost?
The Parable can only be accessed from the Apple Appstore and is available as a free download.
Once your register you will receive a 1 month free trial and the App will ask you to select a subscription. All prices are clearly listed within the App and subscription is charged through your existing itunes account. No contracts, cancel at anytime.
Subscriptions can be monthly or annually (with a discount). There are no hidden per person booking fees.
All subscription levels include unlimited bookings and unlimited email booking reminders.
SMS Booking Reminders can be activated within the app.
The Parable is the most affordable full featured electronic Reservation Book on the market.
How to add a booking?
A booking can be added 3 different ways.
1. By pressing the add booking button from the Home Screen
2. By pressing the add booking button form the View All Bookings Page also known as Diary view.
3. Through the link on your website, booking received through your website will be marked as tentative until you confirm the booking.
Online Bookings: The Parable can integrate into your website to take online bookings. If you receive a booking online, a notification will appear in The Parable App and the booking will be saved as ‘tentative’ allowing you to review the booking (always check the booking notes for any special requests) and decide if you can accept the booking. You need to action the booking by selecting it and then press the ‘tentative’ status which will then ask you to either accept or reject the booking. If you accept the booking the status of the booking will change to ‘unconfirmed’ and then ‘allocate a table’ and press ‘save’. An email will be sent to the booking confirming the date and time. If you decide that you can’t accept the booking, simply press ‘reject’ and then save, this will send the customer an email that the booking cant be fulfilled.
(None of the following steps apply for online bookings)
Enter all the details of the booking: (name, phone, email) Entering a phone number or email isn’t required, but it is recommended. If you have a ‘walk-in’ simply type ‘w’ into the name field and select ‘walk-in’ from the database. The Parable will check the database to see if the customer already exists in the database, speeding up booking speed.
TIP: The Parable creates a database of all your customers, as you receive more and more bookings it is suggested to ask for a phone number first when taking a booking in person or over the phone. Phone numbers are more likely to be a unique identifier than the name itself, as names sometimes may be misspelt or misheard, having an accurate database allows for true customer profiling. The Parable will track how many bookings a customer has made, when they were made, their booking preferences, if they cancelled, if they arrived or if they no showed.
Select the date: press on the date field and change the date, or if the booking is for ‘today’ simply press ‘Book for today’. TIP: The Parable will automatically show the date of whatever date you were looking at in the ‘View all bookings’ page (if you pressed add booking from this page), so if you need to make a booking for ‘today’ use the ‘book for today’ button. If you pressed ‘add booking’ from the ‘Home Screen’ the date shown will be the current date.
Enter the number of people for the booking and then select a table.
Allocating a table now or later or to a waitlist:
The Parable understands that sometimes you need to take a booking without allocating to a table. Sometimes you are in a rush, sometimes it depends on weather and sometimes you want to organise your tables on the day depending on the time of year, whatever the reason you can always take a booking, just be careful if you allocate later The Parable will not be able to table track so that you don’t over book.
To select a table or area click on ‘allocate table/area’ your available tables will appear (tables which are in use or unavailable at that time will not be shown). You can select multiple tables in a row or select different tables. (The Parable understands the dynamics of a busy restaurant allowing tables to be joined together any which way to take a booking, no restrictive floorplans here). If you need to book out the whole restaurant or a whole area, simply select all the tables and The Parable will not let you allocate any more bookings to that time slot.
To select a waitlist because you have a full house, simply select the ‘waitlist’ table.
Event type and special requirements: select or enter an extra useful information here, it will be displayed in the ‘view all bookings’ page by pressing on the booking.
Payment Details: Make a note of any payments, and it will be displayed in the ‘view all bookings’ page.
Notes: Any additional noted can be made here, such as menu choices and setup requirements.
Add Attachment: Sometimes nothing replaces words like a photo, attach whatever you need here. It could be a screen shot of an email, a photo of a receipt or a photo of how a bride wants her wedding cake set.
Tentative Bookings: The Parable defaults to ‘add booking’ every time you add a booking, so most of the time you won’t need to use this button. However sometimes you may get an enquiry which would like to place a ‘tentative booking’ on a date. By pressing this button the booking will be clearly labelled ‘tentative’ indicating to you that this booking is not confirmed, and that should you get another enquiry for this date and time slot that you may be able to take that booking after contacting the person who has the tentative.
Save the booking: Click save on the top right of the screen and you’re done!
How do I view all my bookings for any date?
From the Home screen press view all bookings. The current days bookings will be displayed in time order. To change the date either scroll using the arrow buttons or click on the date in the title bar to activate the calendar and then select a date to view.
How to change and sort the view of my bookings?
From the view all bookings page click the settings icon button (top right of the date display). Bookings can be sorted by the following:
Waitlist bookings can be also filtered to display amongst all allocated bookings or on their own.
How to search for a booking?
This can be done two ways.
If you are in the middle of service and you are using the ‘view all bookings’ page and the reservation is for that day simply click the search icon (top left of the date display) then type. The Parable can search for a name, phone number or email so that you can find your reservation quickly.
If you are trying to find a booking made for a different day, or the customer is not sure when they made the reservation, no problem. From the ‘home’ screen press ‘view all customers’, then type. The Parable can search for a name, phone number or email. Once your customer has been found, click on the customer and view the ‘booking history’ at the bottom of the page. All the customer reservations are listed and then click on the booking that you want.
How to edit a booking?
Click on the booking that you would like to change from the view all bookings page an then press view/edit booking. Change anything and everything. Change any field of information than needs changing. You can even change the status. The click ‘Save’ and you’re done.
How to add and view reminders?
Adding a reminder: From the ‘home’ screen press ‘add reminder’, select a date for you reminder and then enter your reminder. You can also label it as important so it stands out, then click save.
TIP: The reminder is a valuable tool. An example would be to call ‘Lucy RE function on 28th March’, or ‘John can’t work Monday’ – never miss a thing.
Viewing a reminder: To manually view a reminder, from the ‘home’ screen press ‘view all reminders’. Any reminders for that day will be shown or you can scroll through the dates or calendar. You can also add booking from this page.
However a reminder set in The Parable finds you. From the ‘view all bookings page’ (this is the most used page in The Parable) a reminder notification appears so you know reminders exist for the day you are viewing. Reminders can also be viewed from the ‘Today’ screen which gives you a snapshot of the day.
How to add and view daily notes?
A note differs from a reminder in the way that what ever is entered into a note will display on top of the diary page.
ie you may have a New Year’s Eve event so you might write a note similar which gives information to your staff. ‘New Year’s Eve set menu 3 courses $150pp’ a useful tool.
Daily notes can only be added from the diary screen.
Simply select the day that needs the note added and press the notes icon, type and save. That’s it.
How to add ‘closed’ times.
Closed times will effectively stop The Parable from accepting a booking on days or times that you are closed. Please note that the closed times added will also be active on your online form for your website so you don’t have to worry about bookings being sent for days or times that you are closed.
Simply press settings the booking settings, scroll down and press add new closed time.
What is the ‘Today’ Screen?
The Today screen give you a snapshot of the day.
It let’s you know at a glance how many bookings and guests you have booked in per sitting.
It tracks how many guests and table are arriving per hour so you can manage your staffing and peaks.
Assists in table setup by telling you which tables are booked, when and for how many.
Weather can be a crucial variable when setting up a restaurant, the ‘today’ screen conveniently shows the weather so you can be fully prepared.
What is the ‘Dates’ Screen?
The Dates screen gives you a snaphot of the month as well as other handy statistics so can prepare ahead and track your progress at a glance.
From the home screen press Dates to access.
How to add a customer to the database without making a booking?
From the today screen press add customer enter the details and press save.
How do I setup my tables or areas?
From the home screen press the setting button (top right of the screen), then press setup your restaurant. If your restaurant has regular tables with no sections click on the ‘no, we don’t have different sections/areas’ button, otherwise select the other option.
How do I setup my operating hours, sitting times and table turnover?
From the home screen press the setting button (top right of the screen), then press Booking Settings and Options.
Please note that The Parable uses these times to determine how long a table will be occupied for before taking another booking.
Operating hours will also be live on you website should you take online bookings so bookings are only accepted in times that you are trading.
How to change my restaurant’s details (change of address, phone number, capacity, etc)
From the home screen press the setting button (top right of the screen), then press your restaurant / café details.
How do I add sms booking reminders or extra screens to my subscription?
From the home screen press the setting button (top right of the screen), then view the account and subscription section.
How do I change the status of a booking?
Select the booking you would like to edit by tapping on it then press view edit/booking. The top of the screen shows the status of the booking and when it was last edited. Click on the status on the right of the screen and change the status then press save.
Can I print my reservations for the day?
Yes, from the today screen press print bookings.
How to action your bookings and what do all the symbols mean?
It’s your first service and you are using The Parable. All your bookings have been entered and you are ready to go for the day. Now what?
The display should be left on ‘the view all bookings page’ so you can see all your bookings, bookings by default are shown in order of time, you can change this view by pressing the settings icon (top right next to the date)
Your first booking comes in and you click on their name, all you need to do is press ‘seated’. This updates the booking and clearly indicates that your booking has arrived. When the booking is leaving the restaurant simply press ‘finish’ on the booking name.
Then you receive a phone call and your next booking cancels, tap on their name and press cancel booking (the cancel status will be saved to the database record of this customer). This updates the booking and clearly indicates that your booking has cancelled and that their table is now available.
You then notice that your third booking is running extremely late, you try to contact them and they are not getting back to you. Click on the booking name and press no show (the no show status will be saved to the database record of this customer). This updates the booking, and clearly indicates that your booking is a no show and that their table is now available.
TIPS: If you have a lot of bookings for the day the quickest way to find a booking is to use the search tool (top left next to the date).
If click on a booking and select confirm booking The Parable will sent an automatic reminder to the email held against that booking, a ‘tick’ will then appear next to the booking name.
Pressing the ‘phone’ icon will quickly display the contact number held against the booking selected.
Pressing the ‘mail’ icon next to a booking will give you up to 3 options. You can either send an custom email to your customer or you can action an automatic reminder to be sent by either email or sms (depending on subscription ) if the appropriate contact details are held for the booking.
Pressing the ‘i’ button next to a booking will quickly display any extra notes for the booking.
What if I lose my iPad, it gets stolen, or it breaks?
Simply download The Parable on another iPad and login using your email and password. Your new iPad will be a replica of your old iPad within a couple of minutes. Although The Parable App has another layer of security before you can get into the app itself by way of a user code, it is recommended to change your password on the new iPad.
Do I have to set up each iPad individually?
No, once you have set up the first iPad all you need to do is download The Parable to another IPad and login using your password and username. Your secondary, third, fourth, etc iPad will now automatically be set up and synced with all your bookings and database.
If I enter a booking on one iPad will it automatically appear on another iPad?
Yes, all bookings, details, statuses, reminders and database are all synced. Provided all iPads on the account have an internet connection they will all by identical.