Restaurants’ peak season isn’t just around the corner — as far as holiday events are concerned, it’s already here. We looked at data from 2015 to see the trends and patterns around holiday events: when diners (and party planners) start shopping, where there’s the highest demand, and more. We found that inquiries around private dining and events actually peak in October, so now’s the time to start driving event leads! Get started with OpenTable Private Dining here, and read on for a deeper dive on the data. [Read more…]
You know you have the best burger in town. Do diners?
Today, we at OpenTable are excited to announce that we’re piloting a new feature in Baltimore called Specials, the best way to promote a signature dish or an entire meal. Baltimore restaurants can now list special menus, dishes, and pairings on OpenTable at a great price point so diners can easily discover their dishes. It’s a great way to fill more tables and wow guests with what you do best.
“Of course I signed up for OpenTable specials — it seemed a straightforward way to get strong ROI for my business,” said Alan Hirsch, General Manager at Cosima, one of the restaurants in our pilot. “Promoting our unique specials and signature dishes to diners right at the time when they’re deciding where and what to eat is a powerful marketing lever.”
Restaurant owners are busy — really busy. You’re constantly getting calls from VIPs requesting reservations, and you need a quick, easy way to update your books no matter where you are. You also need to let your staff know exactly who’s coming in and when.
The latest Guest Center update is all about our iPhone app, which allows owners and operators to access the host stand when they’re on the go. Now, app users can make and edit reservations from their iPhones — anytime, anywhere.
“We talked to many chefs and owners who already scan the reservation list to identify VIPs and prepare the staff for who is coming in,” says Product Manager Jon Morin. “Some of them would write notes on a paper reservation list on what to send specific guests, and others would make these notes on a separate pre-shift report.
“One maitre d’ in New York would diligently scrutinize the guest list for every shift, regardless of whether it was his day off. With the capability to edit the guest details from his iPhone, Guest Center is making this process much more efficient.”
Here’s a familiar scenario: One of your best regulars calls looking for a reservation tonight, and you’re out of the restaurant taking a meeting. Once you hang up you have to call the restaurant, talk to the host, and ask him to add the reservation to the books.
This is exactly the extra step that technology can help eliminate. With the iPhone app you can create a reservation from any view in the app, so the capability is literally at your fingertips. Just select the reservation icon and follow the booking path to choose a date and party size. (Another great feature: you can see shift notes in the booking flow, so you’ll know if there’s a buyout or special event going on.)
Finally, if you’ve activated alerts and notifications in Guest Center your host will see the new reservation and any related notes immediately and be able to respond quickly.
As you’re making a reservation on your iPhone, you can also search for your guests and add new guests to your database. Know your friend is coming in with a high-profile business contact? You can add her into the system, too.
Additionally, you can click into guest profiles to see contact information, guest notes, and tags, along with their dining history — and you can also add and edit notes. So when that VIP calls and tells you it’s his wife’s birthday, your whole staff will be prepared with glasses of bubbly.
Download the latest version of the iPhone app here. Learn more about the latest Guest Center update here.
During service, things are constantly changing at the host stand — things that have a big impact on your flow and operations. Maybe a large party books last minute, or another party cancels. Noticing and adapting on the fly is critical to running smoothly.
This week we launched updates to our Guest Center app that make it easy to see what changes are happening within a given shift, day, or timeframe. That means more accurate wait quote times for your guests and ensuring service stays on track.
“We look at the feedback we gather directly in-product from our customers — it paints a clear picture of what they need most from our products,” says Product Manager Jon Morin. “In this case they helped us understand how we needed to do more to help alert them to the changes in their reservation books and to help them operate better in service. By improving our channels for direct feedback, we can build better products in partnership with our restaurants.” [Read more…]
Today, we are thrilled to announce we’re piloting OpenTable Tab, a new payment experience that gives restaurants a unique way to deliver classic hospitality. Now, OpenTable diners can “put it on their tab” at restaurants in Los Angeles and get the true VIP treatment. OpenTable Tab is currently available at more than 75 restaurants in L.A. and will be introduced in more U.S. cities later this year.
“Restaurant goers in L.A. love to be treated like regulars and truly value a VIP experience,” said Catherine Porter, SVP of Strategy and Business Development at OpenTable.
“OpenTable Tab is designed to reinvent and simplify the way diners pay at restaurants and enhance the overall dining experience. By removing the cumbersome and time-consuming credit card swap, diners who use OpenTable Tab can focus on enjoying their fantastic meal and our restaurant partners can focus on delivering amazing hospitality.”