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May 5, 2022

What guests want from a restaurant dining experience

Ever wondered what guests really want from their dining experience? Discover the top 4 requests and how your restaurant can provide them.
May 5, 2022

Thanks to the great brands of the world, guests’ expectations have been raised. They know what good service and great restaurant experiences look like. And they’re demanding them.

Today’s guests won’t just compare you to another restaurant or cafe, they’ll compare their dining experience to a recent online shopping spree or a stay at a hotel. They’ll remember how easy it was to get same-day delivery of a new laptop and free returns on a pair of shoes,  and they’ll want their dining experience to be just as easy, personalised and seamless.

Keep reading to discover practical suggestions, real-world examples and tips on how to make your restaurant even more appealing to those who dine with you. 

1. Guests want to be known and remembered. 

Delicious food and drink are table stakes for the restaurant industry. Today’s guests expect more. They want great service and memorable dining experiences. 

They want to be recognised, remembered from previous visits and greeted by name. They want to be seated according to their table preferences and offered recommendations based on their profile – with allergies and dietary restrictions already considered. 

Guests expect restaurants to know...

  • What they ordered to drink last time.
  • Their favourite dish.
  • What allergies and dietary requests they have.  
  • Their preferred table. 
  • When they visited last. 

Many restaurants are only offering these personal touches to the most loyal customers because this knowledge is either written down on paper or inside the head of key employees. 

But what happens when the restaurant manager or maître d' isn’t there? Or when that piece of paper gets tossed? 

As the restaurant industry grows more competitive and sales slow down, restaurants need new ways to remain seen. Tracking data to figure out what diners want is a major player in that.

It’s no longer enough to collect demographic information (age, gender, marital status, income, education, etc).

To offer personalised dining experiences to your guests, you have to know what Thomas wants versus what Michael wants – not simply what millennials like versus boomers. 

Superb’s Guest Experience Management (GXM) platform makes it possible to deliver personal touches to every guest in your restaurant – even across different restaurants – through guest data. 

You can view guest preferences, as well as access order history, average spend and contact information. The best part is that this data doesn’t only apply to previous customers. Your guests want to be known from their very first visit, and Superb can make that happen with guest profiles created during the reservation process.  

Use these profiles to personalise guest communication (like text messages and emails) that builds relationships and turns customers into regulars. 


Successful bistros give guests personalised experiences with Superb.


2. Guests want experiences.

Great food and friendly, authentic service are basic expectations of restaurant guests. Diners expect memorable and seamless experiences when they dine out, and they want restaurants to anticipate their ever-evolving needs with personalisation and creativity. 

The call for experiences is one that’s felt across all industries – from hospitality to retail. 

  • 73% of people claim experience as an important factor in purchasing decisions
  • 43% will pay more for greater convenience 
  • 42% will pay more for friendly, welcoming experiences 
  • 65% say a positive experience is more influential than advertising

The dining experience at your restaurant isn’t just the food. The setting and atmosphere of the restaurant also play a major role.

A meal served in a restaurant with gentle colours, good lighting and soft background noise is a different experience than eating the same meal in a loudly decorated and noisy environment. 

The guest experience is also more than what happens when someone enters your restaurant or bar. From the first interaction with your reservations to paying the bill, today’s restaurant guests want a seamless process.  

Think about the guest experience like this: People aren’t just eating with you, they’re staying with you. 

This is where personalisation comes in.

Use the data that you’ve collected to tailor each restaurant experience specifically for each guest. You know what they prefer, so provide them with what they want. 

At the end of the day, it’s your staff that ultimately drives the overall restaurant experience. Having all of the data in the world is useless if your staff is too busy to use it to your restaurant’s advantage. 

With Superb’s GXM platform, you provide your staff with a new way of working and reduce the time spent dealing with administrative tasks. Reducing the time spent away from guests means you and your team will finally have the time (and resources) needed to focus on the dining experience and guest satisfaction. 

Plus, every team member will have access to the same information. That makes it easier to schedule staff, and it gives guests a consistent experience every night of the week.


42% of guests will pay more for a welcoming experience at your restaurant, bistro or bar.


3. Guests want new technology.

Your guests expect technology to work and probably won’t notice your operating systems unless they’re malfunctioning. 

Thanks to the prevalence and ease of online shopping, restaurant patrons expect websites and mobile apps to be elegant and user-friendly, and they expect automation to ease the reservation process. 

From online reservations to digital gift cards, since the pandemic, restaurant guests are even more welcoming to technology. Over 50% of your customers use social media to research and compare options before making a reservation. 

Technology is becoming a key component in how restaurants attract, interact and keep guests.  

But to meet the expectations of today’s guests, restaurants need to modernise the technology they use to run and market their business. Accepting new payment methods, advanced ordering and payment processing, inventory control and kitchen management are just some of the features that impact the operating costs of your restaurant and ultimately the satisfaction level of your guests. 

To deliver personalised, seamless dining experiences that restaurant guests want, your team needs to be equipped with real-time data and analytics. 

On the customer side, the right reservations management system enables guests to dictate their journey and sets up their experience before they even step foot inside your restaurant. 

4. Guests want real, human connection. 

While groundbreaking software and robust tech enhance guest data and make it easy for customers to book a table, there’s no substitute for real, human interaction. 

It all goes back to restaurant guests wanting to be known. A friendly conversation from your staff or a hello from the restaurant manager can go a long way and add to the experience that every guest is after. 

Gaining new customers isn’t easy. That’s why it’s even more important to focus on what guests want. Doing that is a guaranteed way to turn current customers into regulars. 

When guests get what they want, they tell others about their dining experiences. According to market measurement firm Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising. That makes word-of-mouth marketing the best way for restaurants to gain new customers and build a loyal base. 

It’s all about knowing what your guests want and having the right partner to help you provide it. 

Superb is that partner. 

Want to get started? Book a free demo to see how easy it is to give guests what they want and give your team the time to make it happen. 

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