iStock_000003942317Medium_rgbWith the industry focused on money-making promotions, price discounts, and 2-for-1 meal deals, it’s easy to overlook the common sense approach to building repeat business that yields long-term, recurring revenue. In addition to an enticing menu and alluring atmosphere, creating a unique and personalized dining experience that makes each guest feel like a VIP can help garner a repeat customer base that consistently contributes to your bottom line.

Exceptional guest service and personalized treatment creates a connection that makes guests want to return for a similar experience. In addition, these same guests are more likely to refer you to others, resulting in a new pool of patrons that can benefit from your exceptional service and become repeat guests themselves.

The trick is getting to know your guests by strategically gathering the right information about their dining preferences and purchase histories, so you can treat them well from the moment they book a reservation or walk through the door. With the right tools in place, you can capture, filter and share the information with your staff, making them fully prepared to create a superior dining experience.

What information is critical to improving guest service? From the obvious contact and reservation information to dining and seating preferences, you can find out what guests like and dislike so you can address requests, recommend specific items or upsell during their next visit. For instance, by identifying that a guest likes a martini as soon as they are seated, the waiter can greet the table with a martini in hand. Capturing special dates, such as anniversaries and birthdays, gives your staff the information they need to make an event memorable by offering a complimentary bottle of the guest’s favorite wine or dessert. To keep guests coming back, know what they want before they walk through the door. Anticipate their needs and exceed their expectations.

It sounds like a lot of work, but with the right software, you can enhance your guest service offering so everyone receives superior treatment every time they visit your establishment. There are software programs available today that allow you to easily capture and store guest information, track referrals, interface with POS system data, and let you readily share that information with your staff.

Managers and front-of-house staff shouldn’t have to search through multiple screens and databases for the information they need at a moment’s notice. Easily accessible data makes superior guest service effortless and allows staff to focus on the guest throughout the entire dining experience.

When choosing software, think ‘easy to implement, easy to train and easy to use’. Managers and front-of-house staff don’t have endless hours to wrangle with complicated software. Select technology that quickly integrates with your existing processes and lets your staff take reservations, capture guest information, and manage dining room activities the right way, right away.

Most importantly, you must find technology that improves rather them detracts from the bottom line. There’s no need to invest in additional hardware, special services or pay expensive transaction fees when there are software options available that can be accessed online. The right software will also allow you to market to your guests and pull reports from your data without paying access fees.

With the right software in place, you can easily enhance your guest service offering, improve the dining experience and build a solid, repeat customer base that consistently contributes to your bottom line.

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