Business Tips Archives - Dimmi

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News, tips and industry insights to help run a better restaurant

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR RATING ON DIMMI

A high restaurant rating has a positive effect on the number of reservations. It can be a deciding factor for customers when they are choosing to book a table in a restaurant. 

Where does your restaurant stand?

All the reviews left on Dimmi are from customers who have booked and dined at your restaurant. These reviews are subject to moderation rules.

Customers receive an email the day after they have dined, inviting them to leave a review and a rating based on these four criteria: food, drinks, atmosphere and value.

How to get a good customer rating.

Below are some of the best practices to keep in mind to improve your rating and receive more reservations:

  • Treat all your customers the same way whether they have booked through Dimmi or not. If you don’t and some customers get preferential treatment this can cause dissatisfaction.
  • The photos on your site must be good quality and reflect the reality of your restaurant. This avoids the customer being disappointed on arrival.
  • Don’t let your customers leave on a negative note.  If you feel that your customers are disappointed, don’t take the risk of them going home unhappy, talk to them before they leave your restaurant.
  • At the end of the meal, ask your customers to leave a review and rate your restaurant on the Dimmi website. This will encourage your satisfied customers to leave a positive review and a good rating!
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  • If the customer has booked with a special offer, remind him/her on arrival of the conditions of this special offer.
  • Train your staff to be welcoming, to be attentive to your customers and to recognise regular diners.
  • Check-in with your customers during their meal to make sure everything is ok.
  • Remember the preferences of your regular customers (favourite table, usual wine etc.) to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.
  • Tell your customers in advance if a dish isn’t available and if possible take it off the menu.
  • Make sure your customer waiting time is reasonable.
  • If customers arrive and their table is not ready, give them an aperitif while they wait so that they enjoy waiting.
  • When you seat your customers if possible avoid putting them at a table in the passageway, near back of house or near the toilets.
  • Remember that you have the right to respond to all reviews posted on your restaurant listing. By responding to a negative review you maintain your credibility and limit the impact this review might have. In addition, these reviews help you to identify your restaurant’s strengths as well as areas for improvement.

To learn more about your restaurant rating on Dimmi, please click here to contact your local Dimmi account manager.

KEYS TO A GOOD RESTAURANT DIGITAL IMAGE

the-fork-keys-to-a-good-restaurant-digital-image-3

One of the most important areas to help you attract customers is your restaurant’s digital image, whose purpose is to enchant customers through online strategies and ensure your tables are continuously booked. It is a complex process that covers everything that identifies your restaurant and its reputation in the digital world.

In this article, we summarise the essential steps you need to take to ensure you have the best brand image, so you can stand out in these very competitive times. If you are opening a restaurant, making changes to attract more customers or simply want to improve your business image, this information is for you:

The basic ingredient is authenticity

Make your brand image one that transmits your restaurant’s true personality. Not only to differentiate yourself from the competition, but to deeply impact the customer, and become part of their lifestyle and daily life.

To do this, you need to take 3 steps:

  • Define your restaurant’s essence and describe it simply, for example:

“a place where you can feel at home, we use our grandmothers’ traditional recipes” or,

“a creative culinary space where you can discover new flavours and experience a different adventure each time you visit”

  • Define the restaurant’s language, for example:
    • Casual, easy-going, friendly
    • Fun, playful, cheeky
    • Sophisticated, sober, elegant
  • What tone and style best describes your business?

Using other restaurant digital images as a reference, you can make a list of characteristics that do not identify your restaurant, this can help clarify what you want to transmit and make your digital communication work easier.

Remember to develop a strong story, one that is coherent and makes sense. This requires consistency in all your brand’s elements: graphic designs, logo, images, videos, texts and interaction with users, influencers and digital media.

In the digital age, customers are no longer attracted through self-glorification. In fact, doing so is a mistake and its consequences are quickly noticed. Exaggerating your restaurants characteristics to get attention is no longer viable, today customers want to establish an emotional connection with the restaurant’s personality and values.

Avoid phrases such as “we are the best” or “only in our restaurant can you…”, and instead go for a simple and positive discourse such as “come and share…” or “we are proud to offer…”.

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√ An updated restaurant digital image

Any restaurant should currently cover three basic online visibility areas:

  • a complete profile on specialised platforms such as Dimmi and TripAdvisor
  • a presence in social networks
  • a responsive website that works smoothly on mobiles

Continuously interacting with users is also essential. If your restaurant’s potential customers are millennials for example, you should be very active on Instagram: post attractive stories and videos on Instagram TV. The good news is that restaurants and food guarantees loads of stories to tell!

What would happen if I stopped posting updated content regularly, even if I still had a digital presence? Customers would think you don’t have anything interesting to offer them in real life either. The consequence? Empty tables.

√ Get good ratings and reviews

Yes, users love high scores because they generate trust when choosing the restaurant. So, if your customers are satisfied with your service, make sure they tell everyone about it, because that will increase your restaurant’s brand image quality.

You can send your customers messages through Dimmi after they leave your restaurant, and ask them to rate their experience and leave a review on our platform. If you have good ratings and excellent reviews, your brand reputation will spread like wildfire.

√ Ensure you have good online customer service

Another important part of the restaurant digital image is to properly communicate with customers who use digital channels. This is especially important on social networks and specialised platforms because anyone can read comments left by users and the replies they have received from the restaurant.

It is also ideal that your Facebook profile reads “Normally responds in a few minutes”, as this shows that your response level to private messages is high. This also goes for any messages received by email: questions, queries, changes to the reservations, special requests, etc. Replying to both positive and negative opinions received on platforms such as Dimmi and Tripadvisor is also recommended as this shows that the restaurant is interested in its customers’ feedback.

In these times of information overload, continuous interaction and a plethora of tools, attracting customers is an art, so we encourage you to actively work on your restaurant’s brand image, the results will speak for themselves. Remember that if your speciality is offering excellent service, your digital branding should transmit that to your customers.

To learn more about managing your restaurant’s digital image, please click here to contact your local Dimmi account manager.

How to Stand out on TripAdvisor

Every month, TripAdvisor advises more than 415 million travelers in their choice of restaurant. This is a great opportunity to give international visibility to your restaurant. If you have a restaurant and you’re reading this article, you probably have a presence on TripAdvisor or at least want one.

What’s certain is that there are a few key steps to make your business stand out on the largest travel website in the world. Take note of the following ways to succeed on this platform, and put getting clients to the ultimate test.

First: request or register your profile

Have you checked whether your business has a page on TripAdvisor? Sometimes clients create pages for restaurants by uploading images or posting their reviews. The first step is to access the management center (https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Owners), type in the restaurant’s name, and request the profile if one already exists, or register a new page if one does not.

To protect ownership, you’ll be asked for your credit card information, but this is only to verify your identity, as creating a profile is completely free.

trip advisor listing

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How to stand out on TripAdvisor – getting clients

Now you can get started!

Update your profile

From your computer, you can edit all of your restaurant’s visible information: name, contact information, location, photos, business hours, kitchen hours, prices, etc. by accessing the management center (https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Owners).

What happens if the restaurant changes owner? You can also change the owner of the account, including deleting photos and reviews from previous management, in order to start getting clients from scratch. To do this, you’ll need to provide official proof of the change in ownership and complete some other steps. If this is your situation, you can access TripAdvisor’s Help Center.

Increase your popularity on your TripAdvisor’s ranking

The popularity ranking uses an algorithm that takes into account these variables:

Dates, quality, and quantity of comments the restaurant receives. The more recent positive comments, the better!

This means that correctly managing comments is very important!

Although replying to comments is not mandatory, and the quality of replies does not affect the algorithms, doing so creates a very positive impression for all users, which makes getting clients easier and thus increases the ranking.

Creating authenticity and confidence

TripAdvisor carefully reviews comments before they are published to ensure that they meet certain standards and to verify their truthfulness. If the system detects something suspicious, it automatically alerts a team of specialists, who determine whether or not the comment follows the standards and avoids fraud.

That means you can be sure that the reviews your business receives are authentic!

Watch the video: “An opinion travels through TripAdvisor”

TripAdvisor also has policies and procedures to help owners deal with potential “extortion” from users. Some users may threaten to write negative comments unless they receive some kind of benefit. Report these cases using the management center (https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Owners) to receive help from TripAdvisor’s staff.

Want to delete a comment you’ve received? Although it’s unusual, there are some cases where this is necessary, whether it’s because the user has left a comment meant for a different restaurant, or because the comment was maliciously written by a competitor, etc. In any case, TripAdvisor’s team of editors will make an evaluation and subsequently delete the comment.

In fact, it is important to remember that the following behaviors are penalized by TripAdvisor:

  • For the owner to write positive comments about the restaurant or to ask family or friends to do so to increase its ranking.
  • For the restaurant to offer discounts, incentives, or special treatment in exchange for positive reviews.
  • Contracting third parties to publish false comments.

Of course, you can invite clients to publish comments on TripAdvisor, using the “Express Opinion” tool, for example, or on social media.  That’s what it’s all about! But no business may force participation, or it will be penalized. This is to guarantee that the reviews are truly useful to users and that the restaurants’ profiles have equal opportunity to compete.

There is one more tool that TripAdvisor automatically adds when a restaurant registers.

The online reservation button!

On TripAdvisor, Dimmi technology is used in the reservation system available to all restaurants with a presence on the website. It’s an amazing advantage, since it allows users to make reservations directly, without leaving the platform. Have you tried it yet? Click here to get yours.

Now, if you already have a profile on TripAdvisor, and you’re generating quality comments and benefiting from the reservations button and promotional tools, we invite you to the next level: Try TripAdvisor Premium, where you’ll have access to more features that will make getting clients easier for you business.

To learn more about managing your profile on TripAdvisor, please click here to contact your local Dimmi account manager.

Ten key learnings from Hospo Game Changers

  1. Optimise your website for mobile users – Google will pick this up and rank mobile optimised websites higher on search results. Visit The Digital Garage and Facebook Blueprint for marketing tools to grow your business.
    Sam Christou – Google
  2. Be willing to try new things – It is important to be open to new opportunities, such as using a delivery service or testing hashtags on Instagram. If it fails, you‘ll learn from it, and if you get it right, you‘ll open up a new revenue stream.
    Jared Chapman – Dimmi
  3. Use your suppliers to train your staff – The cost of training your staff can add up considerably. Take advantage of your suppliers who are experts in their field to train your staff. From your wine supplier to your Dimmi Account Manager – this is a free service you should be utilising.
    Matteo Pignatelli – Matteo’s
  4. Send personalised emails to your customers – Instead of sending a generic email to your entire database, segment your customers and send personalised emails with a strong call to action, e.g. birthdays and anniversaries.
    Damian Janeski – MyGuestlist 
  5. Take the time to reach out to journalists – Journalists will simply delete your Press Release unless it’s unique, different and of interest to them. Use a story that is relevant, then take the time to write an email that is personalised, simple and concise.
    John Lethlean – The Australian
  6. Use your Dimmi reviews to establish KPI’s – Improve your Dimmi Score while motivating your staff by establishing KPI’s and an incentive program. When you receive a negative review, always sit on it for 24 hours before you respond.
    Brendan Keyte – Script Bar & Bistro
  7. Update your TripAdvisor listing – Find your restaurant listing on TripAdvisor and click ‘manage your listing’ to ensure your address and contact information is up to date.
    Melissa Laurie – TripAdvisor
  8. Prevent a negative review before it happens – If you find that a customer has had a negative experience, turn it around by resolving the issue before they leave.
    Graham Kinsey – Ten Minutes By Tractor
  9. Take note of who your customers are – To keep your customers coming back, go that extra step by taking note of the little details, from their birthday to their favourite table. You can add these customer notes in your reservation diary.
    Vanessa Crichton – Rockpool Dining Group
  10. Set yourself up right from the start – Know exactly where your money is going, right down to which dishes are costing you the most.
    David Macintosh – Pei Modern Group

Hospo Game Changers 2017


The restaurant industry is unlike any-other. It touches millions of people everyday and is woven deep into the fabric of our society.
We live in a fast-paced world and restaurants need to keep abreast of these changes in order to stay ahead of the game.
We brought together an incredible panel of speakers; each of which have an impact on the Aussie restaurant industry, with the goal of inspiring Aussie restaurant owners to run a better business.

Agenda and speakers

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Key take aways from Dimmi’s Hospo Game Changers 2017

1. Why we do what we do…
Ramzey Choker – The Grounds of Alexandria
Be passionate about your business and always be looking to take things to the next level. It’s more than hospitality – it’s got to be about joy, beauty and inspiration.

2. How do I get more restaurant bookings?
Judy McMahon – Catalina & Anna Pavoni – Ormeggio Group
Nurture and utilise your customer database – it’s your most valuable asset. Send targeted, thoughtful emails and get your customers engaged!

3. What do Australia’s biggest food critics look for?
Pat Nourse – Gourmet Traveller, Myffy Rigby – The Good Food Guide & Georgia Booth – Broadsheet
Treat every guest like they’re related to the chef. Get the basics right – great food, great drinks, great service – and deliver it in a fun, unique way. And, if you have an off night, critics will always give you a second chance!

4. How can I manage my online reviews better?
Joanna Kershaw – TripAdvisor, Jared Chapman – Dimmi, Anna Pavoni – Ormeggio Group
Ensure you respond to every single review – the good, the bad and the ugly. Respond to online reviews as if EVERYONE is going to read it!

5. How can I get my restaurant ranked higher in Google search results?
Sam Christou – Google
Ensure your website is optimised for mobile users – Google will pick this up! Also, use geo tags to ensure that when people are searching for restaurants in your area that you show up!

Useful links:
Google My Business
Digital Garage (online marketing)
Mobile Design Principles

6. How can I get my restaurant in the media?
Rebecca Gibbs – PR Specialist, George Redmond – Wassamedia, Georgia Booth – Broadsheet, Nedahl Stelio – Fairfax Media
Be creative and think outside the box. Remember why you started your business and be true to that original idea. Know what you’re good at and play to your strengths.

7. I’m emailing top food publications but they’re still not writing about my restaurant – why?
Myffy Rigby – The Good Food Guide, Pat Nourse – Gourmet Traveller & Georgia Booth – Broadsheet
Make sure the content you’re submitting is relevant to the publication. Personalise the message and make it short and concise. A catchy headline and a few good images will grab their attention 100 time more than a press release!

8. Do I need a PR agency to help market my restaurant?
Myffy Rigby – The Good Food Guide, Jason Juma-Ross, Facebook
Use the social channels to market yourself. Take advantage of social media platforms like Facebook & Instagram to target your customers and create great content. (Hot Tip: make sure your restaurant has good lighting for food gramming).

9. I’m working 12 hour days, my restaurant is busy, but I’m still not making any money – why?
Erez Gordon – Restaurant Consultant, David Wilson – MYOB, Tom Hay – Blue Rock Accounting Group & David Macintosh – Pei Modern Group
Set yourself up right at the start. Sign the right deal –  if the landlord isn’t on your side, it’s going to hamstring your business. Use the technologies available to you to balance your books on a daily/weekly basis to manage spending. Know exactly where your money is going, right down to which dishes are costing you the most!

10. What’s more..
Tom Hay – Blue Rock Accounting Group
Know your three most profitable dishes on the menu and ensure that your team are pushing those whenever they get the chance.

Restaurant & Catering Australia proudly supports the hospitality industry.  For more information on Restaurant Industry Priorities please email restncat@restaurantcater.asn.au or call 1300 722 878 today.

Eliminate no – shows once and for all with Dimmi Payments

It’s here. Dimmi Payments has arrived. In an effort to rid the industry of no-showers forever we have launched a full payments solution that gives you three ways to protect against diners that book a table and don’t show – with no phone call, no pre-warning, nothing.

In a nutshell Dimmi Payments will allow your restaurant to:

Take credit card details to secure bookings (with the ability to charge diners a fee if they don’t show up or cancel last minute)

Take deposits (e.g $20 per person or per booking)

Charge a full payment or ticket when diners book. E.g $150pp for set degustation menu or $110 for Mother’s Day lunch.

With the launch of Dimmi Guarantees in May 2015 (the credit card component of Payments only) participating partner restaurants saw no – show rates reduce from 4% to less than 1% on average.  A full payments system was the natural next step for the industry and will assist at reducing no-show rates for big dining days like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day that are notorious for no-showers.

So far there are 200 restaurants who have signed up for Dimmi Payments including Ripples Chowder BayMatteo’s RestaurantSt Michael 6003 and Casoni. And we expect the participation rate to rise, quickly.

Up until now restaurants haven’t had a way of securing bookings and holding diners accountable for making a reservation. With no money collected up-front restaurants are left vulnerable to customers changing plans, changing their mind or just not showing up.

Other comparable sectors such as airlines, hotels and theatres have been using payments for years. It’s time to restaurant industry caught up. Restaurateurs – say goodbye to no-shows and hello to increased revenue. Here are the top three benefits of using Dimmi Payments:

1. Reduce no-shows

2. Guarantee revenue

3. Better manage cash flow

SIGN UP FOR PAYMENTS

4 things you should know about no – shows

  1. No-shows are accepted as a part of life, but the problem with the current restaurant industry is that they can cause restaurants to bleed money. The restaurant industry is years behind other sectors such as airlines and hotels, and we have no-choice but to catch-up, quickly, if we want to protect profit margins.
  2. The Australian restaurant industry has a no-show rate of approximately 4%. In an industry already on the knife’s edge (trying to survive on profit margins of 3-5%), restaurateurs need to maximise revenues and protect against no-shows. It’s one of the biggest issues facing the restaurant industry today.
  3. You can do something about no-shows! Dimmi Payments is a product that will help eliminate no-shows by:

    – Allowing you to ask diners to provide credit card details when making a booking as a guarantee. If a diner doesn’t show up, or fails to let you know that they can’t make it within the designated time period before their booking, you have the right to charge a no-show fee.

    – Allowing you to ask diners for a pre-payment or deposit when booking. This will be particularly useful for bigger dining days such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day etc. Or if you offer set menus.

  4. Dimmi Restaurants that have adopted a guarantees or payment system have seen no-show rates drop from 4% to less than 1%. Here’s how it has helped Anna Pavoni of Ormeggio at the Spit:

    “We are a ‘destination dining’ venue, meaning we depend on bookings almost 100% exclusively – no walk-ins. We plan, prepare, order and staff for these numbers. Being right on the water means we are also incredibly affected by the weather. The major issue of no-shows (or very last minute cancellations) were having a huge adverse affect on our business. They were financially crippling us (imagine ordering the food and staffing the restaurant on weekend penalty rates, and then having up to 50% of your restaurant NOT TURN UP…and this was happening regularly), as well as leading to many disappointed customers who couldn’t book as we were fully booked at the time. Dimmi Payments has completely solved this issue for us. Completely.”

Keen to learn more about how you can eliminate no-shows? Simply email support@dimmi.com.au and one of our team will be happy to have a chat.