What do you try to find out about diners before they walk in the door? Once they’re seated, what do you learn about them? How do you document and keep track of that information? And, in the end — does it all pay off?
In a word, yes. Our data shows that restaurants using OpenTable Guest Notes — our hospitality-driven guest management feature — have higher review ratings than those who don’t, at an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars. By adding customized notes and tags in your private guest details, you can better understand their behaviors, tastes, and tendencies.
What do diners really want?
We also surveyed our diners* to find out what really counts when it comes to personalized experiences, and which touches are most likely to bring them back to a restaurant again and again. Diners responded that complimentary extras (69%) and seating preferences (65%) would go far in increasing customer loyalty. But it’s worth noting that 53% of diners looking for those custom experiences have not made requests around seating or dietary preferences before their arrival.
The “Cheers Effect” was also alive and well. The next most important things diners said they wanted restaurants to know (and remember!) were their names (65%) and favorite drink (50%). Plus, people are overwhelmingly looking for a more tailored dining experience — a whopping 95% said they’d be more likely to go back to a restaurant if the staff catered specifically to their personal preferences. [Read more…]