At OpenTable, we strive to make finding and booking the perfect table as easy as possible. So, we’re very pleased to announce new features optimised for iOS 11, giving diners across the globe new ways to discover and share restaurants using the latest OpenTable apps for iPhone and iPad.
Saddle up for the Melbourne Cup
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OpenTable customers can sign up our upcoming Melbourne cup promotional campaign to highlight your OpenTable offers, hours and other sweet stuff at no extra cost.
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For years, I’ve heard restaurants complain about diners all wanting to be seated at the same time on the same day, smack-dab in the middle of the dinner hour on a weekend. It’s impossible to accommodate every would-be guest, especially if the venue is busy and able to get two or more turns during the shift.
While the OpenTable platform has assisted its restaurant partners in smoothing demand, including via online reservations (“choose an available time” vs “phone diplomacy”, trying to coax a potential guest into a 6pm slot), there is additional good news for all. OpenTable’s recent research on Dining Trends, which surveyed over 1,000 people aged from 18-60, revealed a change in diner behaviour when eating out – highlighting that diner preferences are moving towards mid-week dining.
The rise of mid-week dining
This survey interestingly revealed that 70% of diners surveyed are choosing mid-week dining over weekends – Why? There are more value based meal and drinks deals on offer (27%), it adds some fun into the weekly routine (26%) and there is more availability when dining at “off-peak” times (17%).
This trend is likely fueled by the way we work in the modern world. I personally work remotely most days, thus after a 7am start at my kitchen bench, by 8pm I’m hungry for more than dinner but also for human interaction and a change of scenery.
It appears I’m not alone in this sentiment with 78% of Gen Ys and 71% of the X-ers loving mid-week dining, perhaps since modern work routines look different than the standard office, where we were surrounded by others and looked forward to the peace of a night at home.
To take advantage of the mid-week dining trend, OpenTable restaurants around the globe have created innovative offers that can be featured as an option for diners during their booking experience. This not only inspires diners to choose restaurants for mid-week, but also provides an opportunity for the venue to reinforce their brand and connect with their audience in new and meaningful ways.
Ensuring a restaurant has a nimble, easy-to-drive platform will enhance your efficiency in satisfying the ever-evolving consumer. Here are just a few successful strategies I have seen during my time in the industry, to capitalise on diners searching for options mid-week:
- Collaboration – A local Darlinghurst venue has neighbouring chefs take over the burners to shake up the mid-week.; In L.A., the craft cocktail craze brings guest bartenders and cocktails to amp up a Tuesday night meal.
- Current events – one Potts Point restaurant followed the Tour De France, highlighting specials each night from the regions where cyclists were on that day.
- Accessible Luxury – In Chicago, a financial district restaurant raffles off a pair of luxury shoes every Wednesday night, whilst a Toronto fine dining venue offers a break on their “Sommeliers Wine List” each Thursday.
In the end, mid-week dining is becoming a hit amongst Australian diners. Dinner on Tuesday, anyone?
This column was first published in the September 2017 edition of FoodService News
Your POS has a new BFF
We’re excited to announce the POS integration between Impos to GuestCenter.
By bringing your POS data into GuestCenter, you get valuable insights and a smoother-running, faster-turning house.
Stay in the Flow
With the integration between your POS system and GuestCenter, you can connect the dots between reservations and revenue. See how your average spend per cover is trending, through POS data directly in the GuestCenter Manager app, and streamline ‘paid’ table status updates in the heat of the moment.
Act with Insight
With real-time revenue reports, you can evaluate how your restaurant is performing week-over-week, day-to-day , or even shift by shift. Get a clearer, crisper picture of your average spend per guest.
To get started:
- Contact Impos to ensure you are on the right version, and
- Email email@example.com or get in touch with your OpenTable account manager to organise the set up.
Hospitality has always been in my blood. After many years in kitchens and restaurants across America, I found myself at OpenTable – a company that believes in fantastic dining experiences no matter what corner of the globe you’re in.
Recently I went on an Italian holiday which included four nights in Rome. Hotel-hopping in the inner-city neighbourhoods of Pinciano and Rione I Monti, I tried my best to dine as a local. Away from the tourist municipios, it was a fantastic opportunity to order hard-to-get-where-I-live menu items, such as Burrata cheese handmade by the owner’s cousin.
Like many travellers, my motivation centered on experiences that could potentially last me a lifetime, if not a few weeks of wispy hunger-nostalgia. Admittedly, food tends to dictate my travel these days, partially because of the role I work in but mostly because the culinary fare on offer is too exciting (and mouth-watering) to ignore.
Travellers all over the world are feeling the same way. Our latest research, OpenTable’s Will Fly For Food Report, found that experiencing a destination through its food is now the number one consideration for travellers when holidaying. Influencing agents of culture, history and climate that were previously top priorities nowadays yield less persuasive power.
Indeed, our research shows travellers make wonderful customers. They’re more adventurous with their tastebuds than they are at home and are prepared to hunt down hidden gems and local favourites instead of bee-lining to tourist hubs.
The quest for quality dining experiences whilst abroad is truly taking over. OpenTable customers globally are increasingly dining out abroad with almost half travelling overseas between two and four times per year.
These trends represent a significant opportunity for restaurateurs, especially in Australia where international travellers spent approximately $40 billion in the past 12 months. That’s a lot of Kingfish crudo!
International diners are arriving on Australian shores in droves and our research shows they prefer to book a table prior to departure. The internet and social media platforms empower the modern diner-traveller, enabling them to research the best places to dine ahead of time. With limited time, they cannot risk having a meal that fails to enhance their travel experience!
So how do you reap the benefits? Take a look at where you’re discoverable and what information about your venue and offering surfaces. Increasing your presence on global platforms and in international media certainly helps, but sometimes simply enhancing your visual and written assets can make all the difference when attracting eager, sophisticated diners from abroad.
My tip? Focus on what makes your venue special.
Do you showcase uniquely Australian items or produce on your menu, like Balmain Bugs? Does your venue boast an unbeatable boutique Aussie wine list? Ensure your online presence speaks loudly to this – these elements are great selling points and aren’t always immediately obvious to visitors.
With all this in place, they may just leave with a memory that lasts a lifetime.
This column was first published in the August 2017 edition of FoodService News