Manage the Total Customer Experience – Part 1: Before They Dine

Check logo

We at Resy believe the ultimate indicator of restaurant success is a repeat guest, and that your table management system should provide you smarter hospitality tools to help you enhance the guest experience. To us, it’s not just about taking a reservation or seating guests at a table, it’s about helping restaurant operators delight their guests before, during and after their visit to get them back in the door.

Why is a repeat guest valuable? Repeat guests come back, are likely to tell others, and the more times they dine with you the lower your original first-time cost to acquire them becomes.

How can technology help you earn a repeat guest? Smart, innovative restaurant hospitality tools like those Resy offers can help operators elevate guest experience from search to seat.

In this case study we’ll take you through tips and tools to help you manage the guest experience before, during and after they dine. Read on to learn more about Part 1: Before They Dine.

Before They Dine

Have you ever planned a lunch with your elderly grandmother, only to be seated at a high top adjacent to the bar? Or hoped for an intimate patio seat on a date – only to be seated in the main dining room? And in your restaurant, how often have your hosts had to defuse missed customer expectations like these before the guest has even been seated?

Guests know there are limited quantities of table type inventory yet there’s guest disappointment if the table you present them doesn’t meet their expectations. So the problem, and therefore the biggest opportunity, is to allow guests to express what they’re looking for at the time of booking, that’s more effective than just passively adding “special request.”

We believe that the guest experience starts from the time of discovery and booking, so we pioneered the ability to better set guest expectations on table or seating area requests at the time of booking to solve this problem. For example, communal tables make up a majority of the seating at Two Ten Jack in Nashville, adding to its neighborhood izakaya feel. Large parties can easily be accommodated at their own table, but smaller parties of four to five, or fewer, are typically seated in a communal setting.

Most guests booking online reservations are not expecting to share a table with other diners. The previous system used by Two Ten Jack didn’t allow designation of seating types or seating areas, and because they didn’t want to disappoint their guests booking for smaller parties, they decided to simply not offer reservations for five or fewer and encourage those guests to walk in.

manage-the-total-customer-experience-part1-1
Two Ten Jack’s online reservations site with Resy
Two Ten Jack’s online reservations site with Resy

Relying heavily on walk-in traffic can be a challenge for staffing, for managing inventory and for predicting revenue. Because Resy offers the ability to create seating types or seating areas and showcase these to guests to book, Two Ten Jack was able to start taking reservations for all guests for either “Dining Room” or “Communal” at the time of booking, thereby better setting guest expectations before they walked in the door and bringing more people in the door.

As a result, Two Ten Jack can now offer reservations for all party sizes, still keep plenty of space for walk-ins to keep the neighborhood feel and has seen an increase in reservations, covers and strong guest feedback.

We’re happy to have pioneered an innovative way to help our restaurant partners deliver a better guest experience before they dine. We recently heard from Alaina Dyne, Opening General Manager of Ellē in Washington, DC, “On the service side, [Resy] truly understands what we do, which really allows us to provide that positive first impression to the guest. Thanks for having a hand in shaping that experience.”

Next, in Part 2 of this series, we will dig in to how to best manage your guests’ experiences while they are dining at your restaurant. 

About Resy: Resy powers online reservations as part of CHECK® Business Tools. Resy helps your customers reserve tables or join a reservation waiting list easily and quickly online – improving your guests’ experiences, allowing you to share information across all of your restaurants and track your marketing efforts. Learn more about Resy, by visiting Online Reservations in CHECK Business Tools.