Part 2 - How to Get More Guests at Your Restaurant: Understanding the Guest Lifecycle

Mar 15, 2018

In part one of this short series, we established that the guest’s dining experience begins well before he or she ever enters a restaurant. It begins when they’re perusing options online. Dining is an event; an experience that’s deeply rooted in culture. With the advent of technology, it’s become an opportunity for restaurants to offer a higher caliber of guest service. An understanding of the guest’s decision lifecycle enables operators to provide personalized service to enhance the overall experience, This, in turn, profoundly influences the guest’s probability of returning.

In the last blog we established how the guest ends up becoming your guest in the first place. Today’s post explains the next two decision points of the guest’s overall dining journey. Ultimately, we’ll explore the complete guest decision lifecycle and how you can leverage this knowledge to attract and keep more business.

  1. Personalized Service is Provided

Let’s face it, guests like to feel special. They want to be recognized when they patronized your venue the day before, or a couple of days ago. Making the guest feel remembered is one way to set your venue apart from all the others. Studies show that guests select dining options based on how they are treated. The level of service might increase the likelihood that the guest will return.  For example:

  • High-value guests are recognized immediately by host and wait staff
  • Servers greet guests by their name
  • Servers know a guest’s personal preferences, allergies, important dates, etc.

Guest loyalty grows when servers know the guest’s wine and other preferences. They begin to feel a deeper connection to the venue and staff. Building this connection through personalized service affects the guest’s decision to return. And with location-based or facial-recognition technologies, some venues are beginning to experiment with new ways to augment the guest experience.

  1. Guests Happily Spend More

This increased connection and higher caliber service translates to guests spending more than they might otherwise. An enhanced service experience offers the opportunity to delight guests and develop a connection, and ultimately influencing them to spend more on a second beverage, or dessert perhaps. Servers also reap the rewards of delivering a great experience in their total tips. And venues see the benefit with an increase to the bottom line.

Understanding and leveraging these F&B guest lifecycle insights can have a transformative outcome in gaining guest confidence. In our next blog, we’ll uncover more decision points that operators can leverage to help influence guest confidence and loyalty.

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