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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.

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

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


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 and one of our team will be happy to have a chat.