Guest Experience Management for Restaurants: 8 Ways to Make It Better

Guest Experience Management for Restaurants: 8 Ways to Make It Better

Guest CRM

Guest CRM

August 21, 2023

August 21, 2023

Have you ever wondered what makes customers come back to a restaurant over and over? It’s the guest experience. They love it. So, they keep coming back for it.

But how can you as a restaurant manager create and improve these experiences for your guests? How do you know what they like about your restaurant the most?

The answer is using guest experience management software.

In this article, we’ll be covering the basics of guest experience management, why it matters, and what makes a ‘wow’ experience for your guests.

What is guest experience management?

Guest experience management involves managing operations, quality, service, and interactions, among other elements in your restaurant to provide memorable guest experiences.

To understand your guests and customers better, you need to create guest profiles and continuously update them. Guest profiles should include essential information like the guest’s name and number, along with behaviors and patterns.

With guest experience management, you can create these profiles and use them to see

  • how often guests visit your restaurants

  • which branches they frequent

  • their food and beverage preferences

  • their food allergies

  • what time of day and which day of the week do they usually come to your restaurant

  • their ratings and reviews of your venue or venues

  • their birthdays, anniversaries, special events (if provided by the customer)

  • other behaviors and patterns

The best way to manage and improve guest experience is using guest management software like SerVme.

To create better experiences for your restaurant guests, you need to understand what they care about. What qualifies as a great experience for them? Which elements can make it – or break it – for your guests?

By figuring out what matters to your customers, you can focus on improving your guest experiences, making them more memorable, and prompting guests to return.

It’s worth mentioning that there are two types or areas of guest experiences. These are online guest experiences, sometimes referred to as digital guest experiences and offline or dine-in guest experiences.

Why guest experiences matter

The main benefit of creating memorable guest experiences and constantly improving them is to increase retention, loyalty, and repeat visits.

A widely-quoted statistic about loyalty shows that a 5% increase in retention can boost your profits by 25% to as much as 95%.

But that’s not all. There are many reasons why you should not only care about creating dine-in experiences guests will love but also constantly improve those experiences.

So, besides getting happy, repeat guests, why else should you care about improving the guest experience?

What makes a great guest experience in a restaurant

Guests come back because they enjoy various elements in your restaurant. These elements include:

  • Setting and atmosphere

  • Food quality

  • Menu variety

  • Ease of payment

  • Ease of getting to your location(s)

  • Music (if applicable)

  • Your service

  • Your friendly, attentive servers

  • The lighting

  • Your restaurant decor

There could be more elements. If so, uncover them using guest experience software.

As a guest experience management software provider, we can tell you that of all the above elements, your service is what guests care about the most. Put simply, offering great service where guests feel welcomed, engaged, and pampered can take your restaurant to new highs.

When guests come to your restaurant, they’re your priority. And you should make them feel this way. Whether it’s from the moment they enter your restaurant or long before that when they’re still researching high-end dining concepts.

Combine restaurant marketing automation software with your restaurant marketing strategy to begin the guest experience long before the guest sets foot in your restaurant.

That’s how you create the wow factor.

How to improve guest experience in your restaurant

Whether you’re a single restaurant, a chain, or a hotel restaurant, here are several tips to help you create ‘wow’ experiences that increase repeat customers.

1. Train your staff

Your servers are the face of your restaurant. So, make sure you train your staff to deliver the service guests expect. Better yet, train them to exceed expectations.

Having trained staff is essential in managing your guest experiences, ensuring they’re consistent regardless of location or time of day.

2. Manage customer profiles

Guest profiles are your ticket to creating personalized experiences in your restaurants. Unify your customer profiles across your locations and avoid duplicates. 

3. Use robust reservation software

Make sure it’s easy for guests to reach you directly, whether by making a reservation via your website, other channels, or if you prefer directly calling you.

Combine your reservation data and guest profiles so servers know

  • who they’re serving

  • their preferred seating arrangements

  • their needs and other preferences

  • what food and beverage options they can recommend based on guests’ previous orders

Further reading: How to Increase Restaurant Reservations: 13+ Revenue-Boosting Tips

4. Measure restaurant analytics

The secret to making sure your various efforts are working is to use KPIs and metrics. By measuring customer analytics in your restaurant, you can keep an eye on 

  • The total number of reservations 

  • Walk-in and waitlists

  • Table turnover per shift 

Among other metrics. This will help you plan the total seats still available for booking and how you can move around tables based on party size bookings. 

If you’re using SerVme, you can auto-assign reservations to tables based on time, duration of booking, and party size.

Tracking analytics gives you a clear understanding of your guests and how their positive experiences can mean higher revenues and profits for you. 

5. Offer various payment methods

Different customers have different preferences when it comes to settling the check. Make sure you offer multiple ways customers can pay you. The best way to do so is to use point-of-sale or POS integrations for restaurants.

6. Let guests review each visit

Stay on top of your guest experience game by nudging guests to rate and review their experience each time they visit. This not only ensures you maintain consistent levels of service across your branches but also highlights potential weaknesses you may have in newly-opened branches.

You can also use these ratings and reviews as social proof to entice more first-time customers to come try your restaurant.

If you’re using SerVme’s guest experience management software, you can benefit from the automated guest survey feedback and rating feature. Guests receive an email or SMS with a link to leave feedback and rate their latest dining experience at your restaurant. 

One of the main benefits of the rate-and-review feature is it not only allows you to collect more online reviews, but also lets you stay on top of all your guest feedback and comments. These reviews are also automatically added to a report in your SerVme dashboard and in the guest profile. 

Once this guest makes a future reservation, your staff will immediately know their last feedback. Incentivize guests who leave great ratings and reviews by offering them a dessert on the house. 

You can also do this with guests who did not have a satisfactory experience. 

By acknowledging and addressing their last unsatisfactory experience, you can show you care about your guests, listen to their feedback, and how you’re trying to improve their experience.

7. Reduce your wait time

Nothing annoys a customer more than having to wait for a table. You’ll see them constantly looking at their watch and at seated guests, wondering who will get up next.

Reduce wait time by managing your reservations, speeding up operations in the kitchen, and using restaurant technology.

8. Create personalized experiences

Use restaurant customer relationship management (CRM) software like SerVme to personalize guest experiences and increase footfall in your restaurant.

For example, you can use your customer profiles and data to send an automated email or SMS message to guests ahead of their birthday. Invite them to celebrate their birthday or special event at your restaurant. Make it an even more memorable experience by adding a surprise on that special day.

This is another perk you can do using serVme.


Guest experience management is the heart of any hospitality and food business. In the restaurant industry, your food and your service are what make up the guest experience.

Guests keep coming back to get more of that great experience you create for them. So, make every experience count. 

Use ratings, reviews, guest data, and more to continuously create experiences that customers will keep coming back for. 

Want to see how guest experience management software helps you take your business to the next level? Then sign up to SerVme and get a dedicated account manager to help you every step of the way. 

Posted by :

Mohammed Rafy

Guest CRM