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Tips to grow your business in 2017

The Aussie restaurant industry enjoyed a strong 2016; the market rose by by 4.4%. Whether or not 2016 was a good year for you, reflection, planning and goal setting for the coming year is always a good thing. A new year, a new you! The restaurant world is changing and here are some handy tips to help grow your biz in 2017…

It’s all about the product.
Don’t forget about the thing that matters most. A friendly smile, a killer product and competitive prices are your bread and butter. Nail the basics and you’ll always be on the front foot. Test yourself and eat at one of your competitors to see how you measure up.

Embracing double sittings.
Two sittings are now common practice in many restaurants. Say goodbye to the 7.30pm time slot, guests are now accustomed to select dining times. To get more people through the door and boost profit, consider offering double sittings, it’s now commonly accepted.

Introduce yield management.
Most people dine between Thursday and Sunday, so it’s important that your restaurant doesn’t bleed money during off peak periods. Offering discounts on slower nights is an easy way to entice people through your doors (think a free bottle of wine). Consider developing a dynamic pricing structure, one that’s unique and going to bring the masses.

Preventing no-shows.
Many restaurants are now imposing stricter booking policies to try and address the issue of no-shows: 4% of bookings end in a no show! Venues are now taking credit card details at the time of booking – and it’s working! Look at implementing a guarantees system like Dimmi Payments that requires credit card details to secure reservations. You don’t even need to charge anything, it’s just a deterrent.

Connect with key distribution channels.
To increase exposure and put more bums on seats consider connecting your restaurant with broader booking networks such as Dimmi, Qantas, TripAdvisor & GoodFood. You can generate bookings directly from them, filling tables that would otherwise be empty.

Take advantage of the mobile boom.
Mobile is continuing to be the preferred platform when it comes to deciding where to eat. 65%of online bookings are made from a mobile device and we’re booking on-the-go more than ever before, with 34 per cent of bookings now made within 24 hours of dining. This means leaving your online diary open to capture last minute bookers.

Get to know your customers.
Guest recognition and tailored service are key to delivering a memorable dining experience. Think about integrating POS systems with your reservation system to store customer information and grow your database. Greeting customers by name and knowing their regular order can take your service to new heights. The integration between Dimmi & ResDiary allows you to create tailored customer profiles; drawing on booking details and LinkedIn accounts to create a solid picture of your customer base. Know your guests better than anyone and turn a one-time diner into a repeat customer.

Accommodating the solo diner.
In the last year, the number of solo Aussie diners has increased by 47%. You can cater for these customers by offering communal tables, bar seating, wifi, half bottles of wine and speedy service. What’s more solo diners are often corporates with expense accounts – they are ideal to upsell to.

Learn more about Dimmi here.