After 20 months of challenges and uncertainty following a global pandemic, restaurants are in recovery mode. Yet despite this continued recovery, the omicron variant threw operators into a loop as they entered what was expected to be a busy and profitable holiday season, resulting in canceled bookings and lost revenue. With Valentine’s Day and other major food and beverage holidays on the horizon, today’s operators need to prioritize a direct strategy, giving them more flexibility in how they connect and interact with clients. To do this, they must rely on the technology platforms that allow them to deepen their relationships with their customers through access to customer data.
Similarly, consumers rallied around restaurants to order directly at the start of the pandemic; now, more than ever, restaurants need consumers to do the same when making a reservation. Restaurants don’t need the added stress (and cost) of not being able to create deeper relationships with their customers due to a lack of access to customer data. Third-party online reservation and ordering marketplaces that no longer give restaurants their customer data offer a viable business model for restaurants.
Plus, consumer benefits translate directly to better customer experiences every time. When consumers book or order directly, they can be assured of a more personalized customer experience and tailored marketing for future experiences. This can extend to on-site or off-site perks which could include free prosecco on their birthday, preferred seating on arrival, a special dessert in a take-out order, or a whole host of other perks.
Since 2011, SevenRooms has offered restaurateurs the opportunity to build closer relationships with their customers, which generate more revenue and customer loyalty. As CEO and co-founder of SevenRooms, Joel Montaniel led the company’s business strategy for more than 10 years, expanding to more than 250 cities worldwide, helping operators accommodate more than 500 million customers. ‘guests. With an eye to the future, restaurants that implement a direct reservation and ordering strategy, in conjunction with a technology platform like SevenRooms, can deliver better customer experiences that turn casual diners into loyal regulars.
Unlocking better customer experiences with data
According to Montaniel, the pandemic has shown the value and importance of establishing and building direct relationships with customers. A direct customer relationship is crucial to the success of a restaurant. This creates a better way for restaurants to reconnect with their most loyal customers to drive recurring business instead of relying solely on third-party marketplaces.
Studies have shown that acquiring a new customer costs seven times more than retaining an existing customer. In fact, keeping 5% can increase profits by at least 25%. When a customer books a reservation or places an order online directly, rather than using third-party marketplaces, it helps restaurateurs collect more data, which can ultimately be used to provide a better customer experience. Not only does a direct strategy allow operators to collect more data, but customers also prefer it, with 67% of diners preferring to order direct and 40% of consumers are more likely to spend more than they intended when experiences are highly personalized for them.
The SevenRooms platform helps hotel operators build direct guest relationships that help them increase profitability, build guest loyalty, capture critical guest data, and regain control of the entire experience customer, both onsite and offsite.
“SevenRooms was initially born out of a consumer problem that my co-founder and I encountered while working in banking. With very little free time outside of work, we struggled to make reservations in the best restaurants in New York. We either had to book a month in advance or visit enough times to strike up a relationship with someone who had the power to fit us in at the last minute. We never knew when we would We were going to have a free evening to book in advance, and we also couldn’t go often enough to become regulars,” says Montaniel.
“When we founded SevenRooms, it was more common for a master to keep customer notes stored in his head, and this database would come out with him if he decided to leave the restaurant. So we decided to create a system which would help operators capture data about their guests to personalize the experience regardless of the booth being hosted. This, in turn, also helped them increase revenue and profitability, build more relationships, deliver exceptional experiences and increase repeat visits and orders.This has helped make better service easier.
Restaurant Marketing and Operations Upgrade
SevenRooms helps small independent operators improve their operations with tools that automate many of the most time-consuming processes while helping large multi-site groups gain more accurate data to deliver personalized hospitality experiences to customers. This is especially relevant today in light of the labor shortages facing operators globally. Onsite and offsite customer data stored in SevenRooms also helps automate one-to-one marketing that drives customer retention without additional work, effort, or marketing expertise. These tools help streamline in-room operations to make it easier for restaurateurs to focus on what they do best: providing the best hospitality to their customers.
In the coming year, data will be crucial in helping hotel operators scale up their marketing efforts to reach guests with the right messages at the right time to drive onsite and offsite revenue. With onsite and offsite data available in a single CRM database, operators can unlock more personalized experiences for their customers that will drive revenue and loyalty. Key to this is ownership of customer data and enrolling customers in restaurant marketing programs. When operators own their data, they can build deeper, longer-lasting relationships with customers, resulting in more profitable businesses.
Adopting the right restaurant technology for now
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a monumental shift in how operators think about new technologies and in their willingness to adopt new technologies for their businesses. In March 2020, SevenRooms saw restaurants rush to technology as a solution to many of the issues they were feeling as their businesses were forced to shut down overnight. While beneficial to their restaurants in the short term, this rapid adoption has allowed them to learn many lessons as they realize the importance of working with law types of technology providers.
The most important lesson learned over the past 20 months has been the importance of prioritizing ownership of customer data to enable a direct relationship with their customers. Before the pandemic, many restaurants relied solely on third-party reservation process and online ordering marketplaces to do business. However, when the pandemic hit, many of these same restaurants realized they had no access (or ownership) to their customer data. At the start of COVID, most didn’t even have customers to email to let them know they were no longer open for in-house dining but were offering take-out. They started to really understand the negative impact on their businesses of outsourcing their customer relationships.
Today, carriers understand that the best vendors are those that facilitate deeper relationships with their customers. They also now understand the importance of working with technology providers that integrate with their entire technology stack, allowing them to do more with less as they operate with fewer people, high costs and higher margins. tighter. That’s where SevenRooms comes in, providing a solution that focuses exclusively on their success as we help them generate more revenue and deeper, long-term customer relationships for their restaurants.
Waiting for 2022
Over the next 12 months, SevenRooms will continue to innovate its platform with the needs and wants of hotel operators at the forefront.
“Our industry-leading platform gives hotel operators a better path forward as we look to the future to create a more sustainable future for the hospitality industry,” says Montaniel. “With an open and connected business philosophy, we will continue to integrate with other technology providers and demand channels around the world while improving our product to offer the most comprehensive system on the market today. Our goal is to continue to facilitate the daily operations of hotel operators with a focus on providing the best experiences for their guests.
SevenRooms is transforming the industry, from neighborhood restaurants and bars to multi-concept international hotel groups, by empowering operators to take back control of their businesses. The full suite of products includes reservations, waitlist and table management, online ordering, mobile ordering and payment, review aggregation, and marketing automation. These solutions create a 360-degree view of customers in onsite and offsite restaurants while giving operators full control and ownership over their brand, customer relationships, and data.
SevenRooms has hotel customers in over 250 cities around the world, partnering with many of the world’s leading hotel brands. Founded in 2011 and backed by Amazon, Comcast Ventures, Highgate Ventures and Providence Strategic Growth, clients include MGM Resorts International, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Jumeirah Group, Wolfgang Puck, Michael Mina, Bloomin’ Brands, sbe , LDV Hospitality, Zuma, Australian Venue Company, Altamarea Group, AELTC, D&D London, Corbin & King, Live Nation and Topgolf. For more information, visit www.sevenrooms.com.