Pro­vid­ing guests with un­matched hos­pi­tal­ity and a great ex­pe­ri­ence ex­pands to more than just good food and ser­vice, Karl Atiyeh, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer at servme tells Cater­ing News Mid­dle East in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view dur­ing the Global Restau­rant Inves

CateringNews Middle East - - Grif 2018 -

The hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try is a very com­pet­i­tive sec­tor where many suc­cess fac­tors may be out­side the con­trol of the restau­ra­teur, how­ever with a lit­tle bit of ex­tra ef­fort, op­er­a­tors can en­sure a per­son­alised ex­pe­ri­ence for ev­ery guest, ac­cord­ing to Karl Atiyeh, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer at servme.

“While great taste, am­biance and a cen­tral lo­ca­tion will help at­tract cus­tomers, it is the over­all ser­vice and ex­pe­ri­ence that cus­tomer’s rate as the high­est rea­son for re­turn­ing to the restau­rant,” Atiyeh ex­plains.

“Pro­vid­ing ex­cel­lent ser­vice is ex­cep­tion­ally dif­fi­cult and goes be­yond hav­ing a mo­ti­vated staff that re­sponds to each guest’s re­quests. Recog­nis­ing guests when they re­turn, pay­ing at­ten­tion to their spe­cial needs, es­pe­cially al­ler­gies or di­etary re­stric­tions and cater­ing to their pref­er­ences, in­clud­ing seat­ing, drinks, and meal pref­er­ences are as­pects that dis­tin­guish restau­rants with top-notch ser­vice,” he adds.

How­ever, at­tain­ing the needed data for this has been be­yond the reach of most restau­rants and as such they turn to other meth­ods Atiyeh says, “Many restau­ra­teurs are turn­ing to loy­alty pro­grams to aid in en­hanc­ing their ser­vice and ex­pand­ing the restau­rant’s con­sumer base but un­for­tu­nately, loy­alty pro­grams ex­cel in col­lect­ing guest’s con­tact de­tails, thereby al­low­ing the restau­ra­teur to send mass emails or SMS, but are un­able to pro­vide the rel­e­vant data that im­proves ser­vice. Very lit­tle thought is given to how to re­ward the guest in a mean­ing­ful man­ner, re­sult­ing in 50% to 70% of re­ward pro­grams go­ing un­used by the guest. More­over, there is very lit­tle ev­i­dence that these pro­grams in­crease guest spend­ing and re­ten­tion.

“A suc­cess­ful loy­alty pro­gram is not about the num­ber of guests that sign up but rather the abil­ity to use real-time, or­gan­ised, and rel­e­vant data to seg­ment and reach spe­cific cus­tomers based upon their pref­er­ences and habits. Us­ing this data to per­son­alise the guest’s ex­pe­ri­ence and com­mu­ni­cat­ing with them through their pre­ferred chan­nel will make the guest feel spe­cial and drive loy­alty,” he ex­plains.

So how can loy­alty pro­grams col­lect data and use it to their full po­ten­tial? This is where com­pa­nies like servme step in, “In or­der to be ef­fec­tive, loy­alty pro­grams needs to in­te­grate with cur­rent and fu­ture sys­tems to truly of­fer a 360 view of the guest,” says Atiyeh.

“Servme is a data fo­cused CRM soft­ware that in­te­grates with cur­rently iso­lated plat­forms like tele­phone net­works, POS sys­tems, loy­alty pro­grams and more through a ro­bust ta­ble man­age­ment sys­tem.

“The plat­form gen­er­ates and ag­gre­gates real-time data about din­ers to pro­vide restau­ra­teurs with new and un­bi­ased in­sights al­low­ing them to cater to dif­fer­ent cus­tomer seg­ments and es­tab­lish long-last­ing guest re­la­tion­ships,” he adds.

“The use of rel­e­vant and or­gan­ised data is a key driver in en­hanc­ing ser­vice and cre­at­ing loy­alty cus­tomers. Only through integration can restau­rants col­lect the rel­e­vant data to truly make an im­pact in ways that stand­alone loy­alty pro­grams are un­able to achieve.”

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