Reservations by customers are indeed a valuable tool for businesses to gather valuable customer data.
Let’s say you and your family make an online reservation at your favorite restaurant. You’re ready and about to leave your house, when you get a sms from the restaurant, containing a personalized offer for your family if you were to spend over $100 or more. You probably had no plans to spend that much but then you see it is a good deal and worth trying. So you and your family end up spending over $100 and are later presented with a wonderful dessert plate. Isn’t it worth it?
The reason this was possible is because the restaurant had valuable data on you, based on your previous buying habits. As you can see, reservation data was valuable and platforms like Wefee1 allows marketers and owners of businesses to surprise their customers by providing them with extravagant offers, sent at the right place and time. This, in turn, increases the money spent by customers and boosts customer loyalty.
Restaurants need to make sure that they’re selecting the adequate tools that allow them to collect such data and own it.
So, what kind of reservation tools are available?
Using online reservation tools are helpful as they have applications that go far beyond just allowing a customer to make a reservation through an application. They can be used to assign tables, recognize frequent customers (along with customer preferences and dietary restrictions), allow customers to prepay for meals online, or require a deposit to reduce costly no-shows.
Reservation tools are generally divided into two categories:
1. Booking only
1. Discovery paired with booking
These can help diners find new restaurants to visit. Reservation tools can be standalone, web-only, or integrated with other tools like the POS system.
For those tools that integrate with POS systems, the degree of integration can vary. Some services offer tight integration with the POS and allow the business to access data like average guest spend, order history, and personalized guest notes. Others may offer less integration with the POS but still allow you to streamline your service with features like table status to help with in-house operations.
Services native to the POS solution are also available, like QReservations from UK EPOS provider Cunninghams. QReservations allows restaurants to take reservations months in advance, with secure bookings made directly from the restaurant website. QReservations automates the reservations process while gathering data on customer location, habits, and preferences to provide valuable insights that can be used to improve operational efficiency, customer service, and sales and marketing efforts.
Restaurants operate on a notoriously low-profit margin, with limited service restaurants at an average of around 6%, and fine dining at around 2%.
In order to be successful, it is crucial that restaurants make use of these tools which are at their disposal to improve operational efficiencies: keeping costs low, sales high, and ensuring that all tables are working at maximum potential.
With so many different options for reservation tools, it can be a little tricky to know which is the best match for your business requirements, however, any tool restaurants choose should allow them to maintain ownership and control of valuable customer data – rather than allowing that data to be used only by 3rd parties.
Having access to another source of data through reservation tools provides restaurant owners with additional insights, given that the tool allows you to own the data or integrate it with your POS system. To gain the most value from this data, businesses should use reservations and POS data with customer engagement tools like Wefee1 in order to transform this data into insights and to highly targeted offers that boost customer loyalty and spend.
For more information on how to unleash your business potential by using your own data or schedule a demo, contact Wefee1 today!