The pencil and pad at the bar. The phone by the register. The printed spreadsheet before every service. The names of regular guests safely stored inside the heads of managers, lead servers and bartenders. These things have worked for years.
Switching to a Guest Experience Management (GXM) platform — where guest data is the heart of your business — isn’t cheap. And having to learn a completely new way of running your business? Who has time for that?!
The truth is this… yes, switching to GXM costs more than a box of pencils and a stack of notebooks. But the benefits of creating personalised guest experiences and running your restaurant from one platform loaded with guest insights are worth it.
Guest data costs. But the benefits are worth it.
To understand the economics of using an all-in-one Guest Experience Management platform at your restaurant, you need to look past the startup expenses and think about what you’re losing by not making the most of guest data.
Let's look at an example:
Picture a restaurant that operates with multiple systems from different providers.
- Two guests walk in. They’re greeted and seated.
- A server takes their order and asks about allergies and dietary restrictions.
- The order is sent to the kitchen.
- The kitchen calls the server back and says they’re out of the dish that one of the guests ordered.
- The server goes back to the customer and explains what happened. The order is changed.
- Later, when the guests finish eating, the server asks if everything was fine and if they’re missing anything. You know, normal tableside banter. The guests say no and pull out their phones to pay digitally.
- The server says they can only pay with card or cash and directs them to the register.
- At the end of the night, as the restaurant is closing, the manager looks over the books and worries about the growing number of no-shows. They need to find a way to stop those from happening.
What would happen if that same restaurant used Superb’s Guest Experience Management platform to run their business? How would that same day look if the restaurant had guest data at its fingertips and all operating systems in one platform?
- Two guests walk in. They are recognised as regulars (even by new servers). They’re greeted by name and taken to their favourite table on the terrace.
- A server takes their order without asking about dietary restrictions or allergies. This information is already stored in the guest profile and shared across to the POS. Instead of spending time asking about allergies, the server has time to upsell new menu items. Knowing that these guests never order alcohol, he introduces them to a new non-alcoholic drink pairing menu.
- The food order is sent to the kitchen and the drink order to the bar.
- The kitchen knew that these guests were coming. They’re prepared and have everything in stock, and they know exactly how these VIP guests like their meal cooked.
- At the end of the meal, the guests pull out their phones to pay digitally.
- The server uses Superb’s POS and can accept any payment method in the world — even digital and contactless payments. It’s a seamless experience for the guest.
- As the guest leaves, the server updates the guest notes with their upcoming anniversary. The restaurant will be sure to send an email and offer a complimentary bottle of champagne to celebrate.
- At the end of the night, as the restaurant is closing, the manager looks over upcoming reservations and realises that since they started requiring a credit card guarantee on all bookings, they haven't had a no-show in months.
In this version, the server wastes less time running back and forth with messages to the kitchen and the guest gets the experience that they expect as a regular. Fewer mistakes are made and there are more opportunities to upsell an extra drink or dessert.
In short: Having more guest insights means you have more time to provide personalised guest experiences and earn additional sales.
The numbers speak for themselves
Focusing on creating personalised guest experiences should never be a matter of spending, but of savings, increased earnings and customer loyalty.
Let’s look back at the examples above. If that restaurant is open 4 evenings a week, it would look something like this:
- Because the waiter knows that these customers do not drink alcohol, they suggest a new non-alcoholic drink menu. That’s €105 added for each guest. With guest data, your team can upsell to every guest that comes in. With just 5 people a week ordering the new drink menu, you’re looking at €2,100 a month.
- Because the kitchen knew of dietary restrictions in advance, they were able to order and prepare in advance. Overstock and food waste are reduced.
- Because of no-show protection, missed reservations have decreased from 4 per month to 0. Saving €1,075 a month in revenue.
- An average of 1 server hour per shift is saved because the processes are shorter and easier. That’s a savings of €15 per hour = €1,920 a month. With labour shortages not ending anytime soon, that’s great news for restaurants worldwide.
- Because guests receive the experiences they want and are targeted by an email marketing strategy, they book more often at a rate of 1 extra table with 2 people every week. = €1,075 extra a month.
In total, savings and increased income in this example equal €6,170 a month. That’s based solely on the limited examples above. That doesn’t even include the convenience and benefits of automated waiting lists, inventory management, takeaway, gift cards, prepaid tickets and events.
Improving the guest experience isn’t free. But the savings you’ll experience will more than pay for the solution. And the improved guest relationships and customer loyalty? Priceless.