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A recipe to abolish no-shows

Dimmi takes a stand against no shows

Imagine the Rolling Stones were playing at The State Theatre. You fork out $1,000 to nab four tickets, but on the day of the big show it’s cold outside so you decide to give it a miss – you no-show. Your four seats go empty and are not resold. It’s too late. The next day the State Theatre calls you up and says, “sorry you couldn’t make it last night, Mick Jagger says you can have your money back”. Sounds nuts right? It is – and it’s never going to happen, but unfortunately that’s exactly what the restaurant industry has been doing for decades.

No-shows are an accepted part of life, but the problem with the current booking methods in the restaurant industry is that they cause restaurants to bleed money. As it stands 3% of all bookings end in a no-show – and a big loss in profit.

No-shows for reservations are an age-old problem for restaurants – and it’s clear that consumers just don’t get it. They don’t understand how much it affects business. Not only does it affect profit margins but chefs put so much time and effort into preparation during the day, based on the night’s bookings. It also means that other diners who are arguably more committed, miss out on dining at a restaurant because of others who are inconsiderate and rude. It’s just not fair.

Although some restaurants are beginning to put payment systems in place as a security measure, the restaurant industry is years behind other sectors. Think about it: when you book a flight, you pay up-front; when you book a hotel, you pay up-front; when you book a show, you pay up-front. Even hairdressers, beauticians and doctors are now asking for pre-payments – or at the very least, a deposit.

No-show at any of the above and it’s just too bad – you pay for it. But book a table at a restaurant, and you only pay if you choose to show-up. It’s not right.

We need to stop operating like a charity and start operating like a business. The industry needs to catch-up with what is now standard practice in most other comparable sectors. We need to evolve to survive and thrive.

 

So, what are the facts?

  • Dimmi has published insights from its annual 2017 No Show Report, stating partner restaurants have blacklisted 38,000 diners since Feb 2016
  • No-shows cost the restaurant industry a staggering $75 million annually.
  • Data shows there’s been a 25% decrease in restaurant no-shows in the last 12 months

 

Dimmi experiences biggest Valentine’s Day on record

Love conquers all with the biggest Valentine’s Dining day on record, tells Dimmi.

Dimmi experienced its largest number of Valentine’s Day bookings to date, with V-Day making an estimated $32 million contribution to the Australian restaurant industry as a whole. This is despite extensive news coverage surrounding housing affordability and rising energy prices – clearly Aussies are willing to spend alot on love!

Valentine’s Day encouraged five times more bookings through Dimmi than any other regular Tuesday. So, as a restaurant owner you were pretty much guaranteed to turn a greater profit on V-Day! Historically, Dimmi sees 30% of bookings made 48 hours before the dining on Valentine’s Day, however this year bookings were even more last minute, with 19% of Valentine’s Day bookings made on the actual day.

So, what else went down on Valentine’s Day 2017…
  • Average spend was up marginally on last year, equating to $72. National average spend normally sits at $64 per head.
  • Ladies were taking charge in 2017, accounting for 37% of bookings as compared with 33% last year
  • Top Cuisines for V-Day were Modern Australian and Italian (for the second year running), however, Japanese overtook Indian and classic romantic French cuisine fell from 5th to 8th place.

Most popular venues across the country for Valentine’s Day

Sydney Melbourne   Brisbane   Perth
Criniti’s Group Criniti’s Southbank   Spaghetti House   3 Sheets
Aqua Dining The Meat & Wine Co Southbank   Peasant   Lalla Rookh
Icebergs Dining Room Criniti’s Carlton   Ecco Bistro   Lulu La Delizia
The Governors Table 400 Gradi – Brunswick   Gerard’s Bistro   Rustico Tapas
Mejico Pitt St CBD Meatmaiden   Jellyfish   Habitue
Bar Machiavelli Le Bon Ton   Verve Cafe   Pappagallo
Criniti’s Parramatta The Meat & Wine Co Hawthorn East   Cha Cha Char  Wine Bar & Grill   Red Cabbage
Bowery Lane Taxi Kitchen   Moda Restaurant   St Michael    6003
The Malaya Pure South   Seascape    Restaurant + Bar The Cray
Riley St Garage Station Hotel   Can Tho Kitchen     Bar Squires Loft Subiaco

How you can take advantage of the mobile evolution

Jason Jurna-Ross (Facebook), Sam Christou (Google), Simon Ross (UberEats)

  • Ensure your website is optimised for mobile users – Of the people that use smartphones – 70% are using them at home so it’s important that they are able to access your website! Google will recognise a mobile optimised website and rank it higher on search results. Mobile use spikes on morning commutes, lunchtime and when you get hom -look to do paid search around those times of day.
  • Who are you targeting? – Make sure you are targeting the correct demographic e.g. people who like a particular cuisine, people in the area of the restaurant. Then go out and engage with them – video works really well.
  • Don’t think about likes and shares – Think about real business results and whether your social media account has had an impact on your business.
  • Mobile payments have become huge in 2017 – the tech industry is looking to replace credit cards with mobile phones and are hoping to gain a lot of data as to how people use their phones from this.
  • “We know where you’re heading, we know your preferences – do you want to order your favourite food on your way home?” – this may be the next big thing, says Simon from UberEats.
  • “Google My Business” – Claim your business to update your opening hours and contact details. This service is free on Google search and you can find out more here.
  • Test and learn all the apps – Start to understand how your customers are engaging with certain products and why they are engaging.
  • Be clear on what your goals are – Do you want more customers or do you want more delivery orders? Once you identify your objectives, you can use the right avenue to accomplish them e.g. buy paid ads, set up an Instagram page.
  • Use geotags in your website – This will ensure that when people are searching for restaurants in your area, that yours show up!
  • Tips and tricks to improve how your restaurant sits on Google
    • It’s not purely based on price
    • Quality score – what you need to focus your time and attention on
    • Having a good mobile optimised site definitely helps
    • The more specific you are, the higher the conversion rate will be. It’s all about talking to the right people

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

Thanks to Tonic PR for these notes.

That’s amore: Italian restaurants rule Valentine’s Day reservations

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore – it turns out Italian is the food of love, according to online booking service Dimmi’s 2016 Valentine’s Day reservations. While you won’t have ol’ Deano serenading you at a gingham-draped table, Italian remains a popular choice for lovers – six of Dimmi’s top 10 most popular Valentine’s Day venues were Italian – Good Food.

Read full article

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

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.

Dimmi Launches Outdoor Campaign in Sydney & Melbourne

 

Dimmi launches its first outdoor campaign in Sydney and Melbourne to showcase the ease of booking restaurants online. In fact, booking a restaurant might be the easiest thing you do. Choosing what to eat, and what to wear on the other hand, can be a very difficult choice!

The campaign includes a 4 piece creative rotation displayed across various large format media including:

  • bus wraps
  • tram wraps
  • double decker buses
  • train station billboards
  • and a radio campaign in Sydney   

Digital versions of the creative will run across popular lifestyle & food sites and social media.

Generate more bookings with Dimmi, Australia’s No.1 Booking Destination with over 4,000+ restaurants, 600,000 monthly visits and partner with Australia’s most searched food & lifestyle websites including Qantas and TripAdvisor.

Amex Offer

Spend $50 at participating Dimmi restaurants, get $20 back

Valid from 28 November to 31 December 2016

Thanks to our new partnership with American Express diners can get a $20 credit on your Card account when they spend $50 or more at participating restaurants booked through dimmi.com.au/amex. And it’s easy – with no coupons or vouchers to worry about:
  1. Sync your Card to your Dimmi account or join as a new member.
  2. Book a participating restaurant on dimmi.com.au/amex.
  3. Spend $50 or more at the restaurant on your synced Card and get a $20 credit.
Offer valid at participating restaurants only. Participating restaurants are badged as ’Amex Offer’ and can be found at dimmi.com.au/amex. Get in quick as this offer is only available to the first 25,000 completed bookings before 31 December 2016.

Discover More

ResDiary Plus iPad app

Designed to support the management of your restaurant during service, the ResDiary Plus iPad app syncs directly to your online reservation diary.

Read More
The app features:

  • Team share – Available offline in up to 8 connected iPads
  • App works offline allowing uninterrupted support to your service – simply sync when back online
  • Table management made easy – get all the information you need at a glance
  • Beautifully intuitive with great drag and drop, pinch and zoom functionality specifically designed for iPad use
  • Save time with the simplified reservation process with less clicks to execute functions.
  • Real-time diary access 24/7 – manage your diary at any time
  • Assign different permissions by user for increased control
  • Group access to multiple restaurants
  • Different layout views for different areas in the business
  • Choose to view in standard day mode, or new night mode

Please note: you must have a floor plan set up in your ResDiary to use the app. You can easily set up your floor plan yourself by following the simple instructions here.

Download this free app here or search for ‘ResDiary Plus’ in the App Store.

 

download ipad app

Dimmi announces major integration with Idealpos

Press Release

Dimmi and Idealpos, a leading hospitality point of sale supplier, have announced the launch of a new product enhancement as part of their partnership. This integration allows restaurants be more efficient and deliver seamless service to customers.

The two companies have joined forces to create an innovative tool that allows restaurants to automatically sync their Idealpos platform to their online restaurant diary (Dimmi Pro powered by ResDiary). This has been designed to allow restaurants to effortlessly seat guests and update table status’ throughout the service. You are also able to collect more data about your customers such as their favourite cocktail, while their total itemized bill will be stored in their ResDiary profile.

Restaurants can also take advantage of the integration’s guest recognition benefits, meaning that staff can take note of customer preferences in order to deliver a better dining experience.

Read More

This partnership is a win for both restaurants and customers. Restaurants can utilise the system to operate more efficiently and customers can expect five star service in any establishment from the moment they walk through the door.

“We are always looking for ways to improve processes within the industry and we’re really excited to share this new feature with our restaurant partners. This technology can optimize the entire dining experience, making it flawless from the moment the customer walks through the door to the moment they sign the bill!” said Stevan Premutico, CEO and Founder of Dimmi.

Top 3 benefits of the Dimmi and Idealpos integration:

  1. Smooth Processes: guests with reservations can be seated quickly through ResDiary which will instantly update table status in Idealpos. Walk-in customers can also be quickly accommodated as free tables can be monitored through Idealpos or ResDiary and instantly capitalised on.
  2. Clear Visibility: when a status changes in either Idealpos or ResDiary the changes are reflected in the alternate system. This means staff have their finger on the pulse throughout service. They can know when the mains have been called, when the bill has been presented, when the guest has paid and the table needs to be cleaned.
  3. Customer Profiling: guest information can be automatically saved into the Idealpos database. This allows the venue to monitor information regarding the customer’s dining preferences and spending habits. Idealpos will send transaction details (bills and transaction total) back to ResDiary and this information is stored in the ResDiary customer profile.

“Idealpos is proud and excited to have the Dimmi, ResDiary interface available for restaurants. It means a seamless reservations experience for customers who use both products and I’m sure we will see an improvement in customer service across the board. Restaurants will be able to deliver a smoother, more professional and more attentive service to their diners and that’s a true win-win for everyone,” said Mark Beeley, Managing Director at Idealpos.

We also integrate with the below POS systems:

  • Ordermate
  • Impos
  • Micros
  • Pixle Point
  • Bepos
  • Vectron

Get in touch today to find out more.

CONTACT US

October updates

Sydney Morning Herald, Analysis Reveals which Sydney diners spend the most, and where they spend it. Read more.

Hospitality MagazineDimmi partners with American Express. Read more.

Food Service Magazine, Dimmi teams up with American Express. Read more.

Sydney Morning HeraldStores are using big data to track their customers. Read more

Collective Hub, The 4 Road Blocks Every Entrepreneur will come up against. Read more.

Style HospitalityDimmi teams up with American Express. Read more.