Top-notch cuisine isn’t always the reason guests return. This is because the guest experience is not just the food. It’s about the environment, the employees and the attention to detail that the restaurant maintains.
How can you ensure a memorable experience for each guest? That answer lies in data.
Restaurant guest data is part of the digital future of restaurants.
Taking steps to make your guest experience more data-driven begins with collecting data in every way you can – like with Superb’s Guest Experience Management platform (GXM). Then, use this information to make changes where necessary, whether that is marketing on different online platforms or changing menus to satisfy customers’ preferences.
We know the idea of using data and analytics in an industry built on face-to-face connections can seem out of place. But by collecting and analysing guest data, your restaurant can recognise loyal customers, find a target audience, and understand and retain guests – resulting in a guest experience that rivals the competition and turns diners into regulars.
With guest data, you can see trends in the age profiles of your visitors.
If your restaurant or bistro sees a trend in guests over the age of 50 but you want to see more diversity and a younger crowd, you could re-target your marketing efforts towards a different audience. Set up a social media campaign or create ads to target a younger demographic.
Whatever your target market may be (families, young professionals, business diners), use data to help target your marketing efforts effectively.
A guest profile is a collection of data that includes notes about the wine they prefer, dietary requests, food allergies, favourite dish, etc. And you may ask yourself, "why is it important?".
Well, revenue drops about 25% each night the manager is not working.
This happens because the restaurant manager is usually the one who knows the guests better, sometimes even by name. If you gather guest data and create profiles for each guest, the experience your restaurant provides won't depend on the manager... or which members of the staff are working.
Everyone in your team will have access to the information they need to create a memorable experience for each diner. Consistency is key, and guests return if they continuously get a fantastic experience.
“We are constantly improving hospitality. We know if a guest has already been here before or if the guests go through the door for the very first time. We already know if he or she drinks still or sparkling water, and we can cater in advance for his/her dietary restrictions. In this way, we create a unique and bespoke experience for every single guest trying to put every single table in the limelight.” — Lorenzo Costa, Owner of Oltre in Italy
Let’s say that your restaurant has a young couple who consistently dines on different nights over several weeks. Unfortunately, they have not had the same server or hostess every time that they’ve been in. That means that when they come, they do not feel as welcome as if they were recognised as loyal guests.
It’s not a matter of having the same staff for every service. Instead, using guest data to record when they come in and that are loyal customers will help every staff member know how to react.
Having the data on these guests would let you tailor their experience to match their tastes and preferences.
There are many ways to express gratitude to loyal guests – having their favourite dish on the menu or greeting them by name when they arrive – but there aren’t many ways to see who truly is a loyal guest without data.
Once your guests sit down at the table, your staff should have the necessary knowledge (data) to make their experience as genuine and comfortable as possible.
With guest data, restaurants and bistros have access to information that can help make sure guests return. This is done by tailoring their experience to their needs and desires.
How do you know what they actually want? Look at the data you’ve collected. Favourite beer pairing? Food allergies? Special events? All of these are part of the data you can collect about each guest.
For example, if a certain customer orders the same expensive red wine every time they dine, then there’s no reason for servers to offer lower-priced wines.
You could also share information about new wines on the list with this particular guest via email to encourage another visit to your restaurant… or offer a complimentary glass of their favourite wine during their next visit.
You know that guest who comes by once or twice a month? The one who loves to interact with the team and try new dishes? You probably even know their name.
Every time they make a reservation, you already know it’ll be an amazing experience for the guest (and the team) because there's a connection. Now imagine that connection with all of your guests.
By collecting guest data, you don't have to know guests' preferences by memory. You'll be able to create records and guest profiles, allowing you to adapt the service each time they make a reservation. You'll know the guests' birthdays, anniversaries and the special occasions they celebrate.
With this information, you can activate your guest book and use it to your benefit. Send them a celebratory email on special occasions, text them when you’ve created a new dish or send a special offer on their favourite dessert.
The options are endless with access to the correct data. You’ll finally treat every guest as a regular, and they’ll feel it.
"With GXM, the guest experience starts before our guest enters our restaurant. GXM enables us to improve our operations together with the services we offer to our guests when making a reservation. Using GXM, we have reduced no-shows drastically, and we are always in control of our complete restaurant situation. GXM is certainly practical, functional, and fast." — Thomas Piras, Restaurant Manager at Contraste in Milano
The overall key to a memorable guest experience is making the guest feel valued.
There is something special about feeling welcome and valued. To enjoy that feeling with a fantastic meal in a welcoming environment is an unparalleled delight, and it’s something that all restaurants should aim to give their guests.
Today, it’s easy to collect data. But it wasn’t always the case. When restaurants first moved online, they used different systems to support daily operations and attract new customers. This meant that restaurants were saving guests’ information on several platforms and eventually losing sight of the information they had.
Restaurants now have the opportunity to collect data by gathering everything in a simple all-in-one platform with Superb’s Guest Experience Management. With its integrated, cloud-based point-of-sale system, guest data is accessed quickly and securely.
This platform lets you provide the perfect guest experience (based on real data) while also managing the business efficiently. Having all information in one single platform lets you keep track of your business performance and set more clear goals for yourself and your team.
“We’ve already seen restaurants worldwide transition into becoming more and more focused on collecting actionable insights about both the guests and business. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated that need for restaurants to become more data-driven. Restaurants need to have a complete overview to cut down on necessary costs and optimise performance everywhere possible. That’s why we created a new category: Guest Experience Management.” — Zaedo Musa, CEO & Founder of Superb.