Now that the festive season is in full swing, we caught up with three restaurateurs; Rowena Romulo the Owner of Romulo Cafe, Tom McNeile the Owner of Arlo, and Fred Miller the Deputy Manager of Cattle & Co, to find out the different ways they use OpenTable’s GuestCenter solution to help them manage their day-to-day operations during peak periods.
OpenTable’s GuestCenter product is designed to help restaurateurs get the most out of their operations by easing the reservations process, floor management and data collection, among a host of other features. During one of the busiest times of year for a restaurant, these features are more valuable than ever, whether it’s being used on a desktop, iPad or iPhone.
Jon Morin, GuestCenter Product Manager, and his team have one overarching aim in mind: allow restaurant managers and owners to feel that this part of business operations is in hand. “We want restaurateurs to say: This tool has created time for me to do what I love” says Morin.
Reach more diners
Everyone wants to invite more diners to the table—sometimes just at shoulder times, sometimes all the time. OpenTable puts you in the pocket of 21M diners each month, making it easy for them to discover you and get a table. Our tools give you an edge in marketing, attracting first-time guests and make it easier to bring them back again and again. Only OpenTable helps you increase your exposure, spark deeper loyalty and set your restaurant apart from the competition.
Fred Miller shares, “The best thing we use GuestCenter for is directing people onto the OpenTable website to view our menus and allowing them to book through the website. If you’re just sitting and responding to emails it gets a bit tiresome. With email reservations there’s always the back and forth with the customer, which takes time on our side as well as on the diner’s side, making the experience clunky. So GuestCenter does free up time. It’s a pretty simple platform and does what it needs.”
Stay in the flow
If you’re not running like clockwork, your guests will feel it and so will your bottom line. We’ve taken 18 years of serving the best and brightest in the restaurant industry and put that knowledge to work in our products. Our technology knows your guests and thinks on its feet—putting you back in control of a smoother running, faster turning house.
Rowena Romulo shares, “My staff and I use GuestCenter a lot, it’s like our life line. All our bookings are consolidated in GuestCenter. Whether guests are booking through OpenTable or through our website, calling in or booking over email, we put everything in our GuestCenter. A large percentage of our guests are walk-in and we input that information too so that it is always at hand as it means that at any point in time we know the capacity of the restaurant.”
Act with insight
Tom McNeile shares, “I use it as a comparison tool and check it throughout the day to see where we are with bookings and to try and ascertain our levels of trade during the day. I look at bookings versus walk-ins and calls, and I’m able to look at the same day in the previous week and the week before that, to get an accurate running picture of our growth.”
Hospitality is all about knowledge. It’s about knowing your guests and anticipating their needs. It’s about knowing your operation and fine-tuning the details. With over 40K restaurants on our network, we can help you see and act on hidden patterns. Whether it’s knowing how you stack up against the competition, how you’re doing year-over-year, or specific ways you can improve your guest satisfaction; we can help you turn data into action—helping you serve your guests and grow your business more effectively.
Enhance your relationships
The better you know your guests, the better you can serve them. Our guest management features have been helping restaurants and their clientele get closer for years. We’ll help you turn first timers into loyalists like never before — by helping you understand their behaviors, tastes and tendencies.
Rowena Romulo shares, “We also use the Guest Notes feature because we get a lot of big bookings of 10 more, which means we tend to agree a set menu with a guest. Once that menu is agreed on, all of the details relating to it are written in those notes along with any other special requirements. Sometimes guests want us to make a birthday cake or they want to sit in a particular place if it’s within our private dining area, or they want us to buy balloons for an anniversary party. When we’re helping the guest plan, all of those details are stored in GuestCenter.”
Monitor your business from anywhere
Tom McNeile shares, “I quite often work remotely from the site so it’s good to get pure data through the iPhone app on bookings and to see how long each table is sitting, how quickly we should be turning our tables, and how we can maximise and use the space better.”
Take the worry out of being away. Stay on top of things from anywhere with our management app for mobile. See who’s coming and how things are going in real-time from afar.
Photos courtesy of Arlo’s and Romulo Cafe