In a digital age of endless streams of information, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. In fact, looking at the data stored across all your technology platforms, and figuring out how to execute on it, can make you second guess how to show above and beyond hospitality to your guests. But did you know that 51% of Americans say that a waiter simply remembering them from a previous visit would make their dining experience stand out?
With a focus on simple, small gestures and experiences in your restaurant, you can really make your property shine. Here are 3 ways to build guest loyalty with remarkable experiences to keep your guests coming back.
1. Surprise and delight your guests on special occasions
You love helping your guests celebrate their major life moments — from anniversaries and engagements to birthdays and graduations — so why not offer them a sweet surprise? With 50% of Americans saying that a complimentary birthday dessert with their meal would make their dining experience stand out, a small gesture can have a large impact on a guest coming back year after year to your property. Plus, by offering a free dessert or round of champagne, you’re setting yourself apart from other restaurants in your neighborhood, and creating an experience that is sure to be remembered by your guest as they plan future dinners or events.
2. Revamp your social media presence
22% of Americans have gone to a restaurant based on what the food and atmosphere looks like on social media. Are you setting your restaurant up for success with these ‘grammable moments? 20 years ago, word of mouth and locals were the primary ways to keep your restaurant full every night. With the rise of Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, and more, your guests are likely researching across all these channels before even walking through the front door.
By creating experiences that your guests can’t help but share, and using these posts to create authentic content on your pages, you’ll reach a wider audience to help you get butts in seats. Plus, with Instagram and Facebook now offering Reserve buttons on business pages, you can capture this audience when they’re already thinking about booking a reservation at your restaurant.
3. Track guest preferences
There’s nothing worse for a server than walking up to a table of regulars, listing off all the daily specials, and then being reminded there is a peanut allergy in the party. The guest might be upset because those fried empanadas sounded delicious until they realized they are cooked in peanut oil. The server has now missed an opportunity to provide exceptional service to a high-valued regular. In fact, a recent SevenRooms study showed that one in five people would not return to a restaurant if a server didn’t take their food allergy into account when providing food recommendations.
Now imagine a different scenario: one of your corporate clients, who spends upwards of $20,000 a year on events at your restaurant, decides they want to come in for their wedding anniversary. You want to send out their favorite bottle of wine on the house, so they’ll walk away with a memorable experience, and your restaurant will continue to be top of mind when they are picking their next event space. But there’s a catch — you haven’t kept track of this information anywhere.
You need the tools and technology in place to be able to capture and access important guest data in real-time, and share that data across all locations in your group. That’s where your reservation and CRM system comes into play. Some of the industry’s leading reservation platforms build their business by withholding guest data, like email addresses. They want guests to return to them directly to book, and don’t help you build direct relationships with guests. So when deciding what reservation system to use, it’s important to understand if and how that platform helps you build direct relationships with guests, and maintain guest data over time. Plus, it’s critical to know if it will integrate with your other technology systems, like Tripleseat, to help you streamline your guest experience overall.
At SevenRooms, we believe that when insight and instinct combine, your restaurant can truly stand out in this competitive dining landscape.
Interested in learning more about how SevenRooms’ reservation, seat and guest management solutions, together with Tripleseat, can help you own your guest data, improve guest experience, and positively impact your bottom line? Reach out today.
Tripleseat is pleased to bring you this valuable information from our partner, SevenRooms. SevenRooms is an intuitive reservation, seating and guest management platform that boosts your bottom line.
About the Author
Bianca McLaren is the Senior Manager, Brand Marketing at SevenRooms, where she heads up brand awareness, communications and event programming. Based at SevenRooms’ New York HQ, she’s always on the hunt for the best sushi in the city.