News & Tips - Dimmi

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

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

 

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

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.

Dimmi launches App 3.0 – the must have app for anyone with an appetite

The new Dimmi iOS app is the go-to place to discover and book hot Aussie restaurants across the country.

Discover and book restaurants on the go – it’s a must have for anyone with an appetite! Use the app to see live availability for over 3,500 Aussie restaurants, compare reviews, browse menus, photos and exclusive offers.

For the first time ever Aussie diners are booking via mobile more than by desktop – with 65% of online bookings made on a mobile device – highlighting the importance of good mobile technology.

“Our mobile phones have changed the way we eat out. These days we don’t rock up to a restaurant and hope for the best, we do our research! That’s why we’ve made it easy for Aussies to access restaurant info, reviews, photos and menus all from the one place – their pockets.” said Stevan Premutico, CEO and Founder of Dimmi.

The Dimmi app has been designed to help match diners on-the-go with nearby restaurants and view available tables right then and there. What’s more, the new version of the app has been tailored specifically for the user. Now you can view recent searches, store your favourite restaurants, view personalised recommendations and keep a super close eye on your booking status.

“At Dimmi, we realise the importance of being accessible 24/7 and our app allows diners to hold some of the country’s hottest restaurants in their hand and make a booking with just a few taps. It’s a tool that is both functional and inspirational,” said Premutico.

To check out the Dimmi app – head to the Apple App Store by clicking here.

— ends —

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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

Dimmi Rewards

The Dimmi Rewards program is designed to increase your exposure on Dimmi and bring you more of the right diners, more often.

 

How does Dimmi Rewards work?

Read More

The Rewards Program allows participating restaurants to increase their exposure and drive more bookings through Dimmi. Diners who book and review 5 times through the Dimmi website or mobile app are incentivised to book an exclusive pool of restaurants through receiving a $20 food voucher.

 

Why join Dimmi Rewards?

1. MORE EXPOSURE

Benefit from Rewards Program marketing on our website, across social media and in our weekly newsletter to 500,000+ foodies.

2. MORE BOOKINGS

Increase your exposure on Dimmi and open your restaurant to bookings from over 385,000 Dimmi Rewards members.

3. BETTER DINERS

Rewards diners eat out a lot are are willing to spend more money on a good experience. We exclude diners who book flash specials so you only receive diners who are prepared to spend more money.

 

How much does it cost?

There’s no extra cost to you! We will automatically credit back the $20 in your next billing cycle.

 

Kick Start Smart Sydney | October 2016

Kick Start Smart Sydney: Stevan Premutico from Collective Hub on Vimeo.

Helmed by the nation’s most innovative brands and biggest names across business, technology, fashion and design, this one day conference will take your dream from start line to start-up and from established to exponential. With keynote speeches, panel discussions and quick-fire presentations, plus the chance to pitch and workshop your own ideas – with Collective Hubfounder and Editor-in-chief, Lisa Messenger, this is the start-up event that you can’t afford to miss.

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.

Dimmi Flash

Our weekly Dimmi Flash promotion is designed to give your restaurant a boost and drive revenue during quieter periods through enticing Dimmi members with 50% off their food bill at your restaurant.

 

Why run a Flash Offer?

  • Marketing exposure: featured in our weekly newsletter
  • Featured on our homepage
  • Expand your customer database: we pass on the contact details of diners that book your promotion and opt in to hear from you
  • Get more Dimmi reviews: more reviews will help to increase your Dimmi Score and in turn increase the number of bookings you receive through Dimmi

How much does it cost?

As well as covering 50% of the food portion of the diner’s bill, the restaurant will be charged the standard Dimmi Network fee for every cover booked.

run a flash offer

Dimmi Off Peak

offpeakflyer_PNG
offpeakflyer_PNG2

The Australian restaurant industry joins airlines & hotels with profitable yield management.

So, what is Dimmi Off Peak? This progressive platform is designed specifically to help restaurants improve their profitability during quieter service times. Operating in line with similar yield management structures used by the airline and hotel industries, Dimmi Off Peak allows restaurants to generate revenue by using a dynamic pricing structure.

The restaurant business model is inherently flawed. We charge the same on a Saturday as we do on a Tuesday, we charge the same at 7:30pm as we do at 5:30pm, and we typically trade at only 35% capacity. Restaurant tables are perishable goods and if they’re not capitalised on their value is gone for good.

Dimmi Off Peak delivers a variable pricing strategy, based on understanding, anticipating and influencing consumer behaviour in order to maximize revenue or profits from a fixed perishable resource.

Whether it’s early sittings, shoulder times or slow lunches that you need to fill, Dimmi Off Peak is the solution. By providing an incentive to Dimmi diners, you’re now able to better direct your customers to quieter times and get more bums on seats.

Register your interest

Dimmi and American Express announce long-term booking partnership

Press Release

Dimmi, Australia’s leading online restaurant reservations website, has announced an exclusive long term partnership with American Express Australia. In an Australian first, American Express will be fully integrated across the Dimmi booking platform enabling its Card Members to easily identify American Express accepting Dimmi restaurants, and make a reservation.
Read More

CEO & Founder of Dimmi Stevan Premutico says the partnership is a significant win for their partner restaurants.

“American Express customers are some of Australia’s most sought after diners. Their Card Members are invariably the most affluent, premium spending diners that all restaurants should want dining at their business. They are true supporters of the industry and drive significant revenues, particularly through corporate dining.

“This partnership will not only benefit Dimmi restaurants by attracting more American Express Card Members but also benefits customers as it will make finding American Express friendly restaurants a breeze, it’s a symbiotic relationship,” Premutico says.

Sian Chadwick, Vice President Global Merchant Services Marketing, American Express Australia says they look forward to driving growth in the Australian dining industry through digital bookings.

“This partnership is a significant opportunity to provide our Merchants with the digital tools to drive more bookings and promote themselves. And it’s a great customer experience for our Card Members who want convenient booking options combined with earning rewards for dining out and paying with their American Express Card. This really is a win-win situation for both our Card Members and our dining Merchants.

Chadwick added, ‘We have some additional exciting Card Member benefits through our partnership with Dimmi that we will be announcing in the near future too.”

Data from American Express shows their customers are spending more than ever at Australian restaurants with:

  • American Express Card Members spent an average of $410 on all restaurant purchases in the month prior, relative to $272 average restaurant spend reported by Australian Non-Card Members*
  • 12.2% growth in American Express transactions across the fine dining sector**
  • 3.8% increase in total American Express spend in the fine dining sector**

The Dimmi Booking Network continues to expand rapidly and now includes major international and domestic brands such as Qantas, TripAdvisor, Google, Good Food and American Express.

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.

Read more

SIGN UP FOR PAYMENTS

Top 10 trends we’re seeing in the Aussie restaurant industry

  1. Market down: overall the market dropped by 2.4% with the ACT, QLD and VIC feeling the pinch the most
  2. Double sittings: two sittings, not one, is now common practice for restaurants. Say goodbye to the much-loved 7:30pm dining slot Australia. Bookings have decreased between 7 – 8pm by 9% on 2013/14, while the time slots either side have both increased
  3. Mobile boom: for the first time in history we are booking restaurants more on-the-go, not behind our computer screens. 52% of online bookings are now being made from a mobile device. 32% of all bookings are now made within 24 hours of dining time
  4. Corporates are back: there has been a 41% increase in online bookings, from the top 10 corporates, over the past twelve months
  5. Fine dining is thriving – but not as we know it: the premium market (more than $85 per head) is up 17% but what defines fine dining is shifting. Restaurants are becoming more accessible and share plates are very in-vogue
  6. Aussies are eating out less frequently but spending more: we are eating out slightly less frequently than last year but we are spending a little more, with an increase of $0.37 on 2013/14
  7. Distribution channels matter: The Dimmi Booking Network generated $71 million in bookings for Dimmi partner restaurants over the past twelve months. It’s key for restaurants to get connected in order to survive and thrive.The top 3 booking channels that matter for restaurants are Dimmi, TripAdvisor, Qantas Restaurants.
  8. Spend concern: worryingly the average spend in restaurants has increased by only $1.00 in three years. Automation is critical to reduce costs and boost profit margins at a time of increasing rent and labour costs
  9. Gender wars: the gender gap is closing but males still spend more than females when eating out – $61 and $53 respectively. Males also make more spur of the moment reservations, with 36% of bookings made by men in the 24 hours prior to dining. This compares to 28% for women in the same period
  10. The telephone is dying: 36% of all bookings for Dimmi Pro restaurants are now being generated online. Still a long way from the 70 – 80% of bookings enjoyed by airlines and hotels online, but the Aussie restaurant industry is catching up quickly

Be your best in 2016

It was a bumpy ride for the restaurant industry this year, with the market dropping by 2.4 per cent on 2013/14, but 2016 is the year to bounce back. Whether or not 2015 was a great year for your business, reflection, planning and goal setting for the next 12 months can help you stay laser-focused on a few priority items. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas to help get your restaurant resolutions rolling:

The 3 P’s
Don’t forget about three things that matter most (the three P’s): product, people and price. Remember that a friendly smile, killer product and competitive price are your bread and butter. Nail the basics and you should always be in good shape. Eat at one of your neighbour restaurants every month and see how they deliver on the three P’s.

Double sittings
Two sittings, not one, is now common practice for restaurants. Say goodbye to the 7.30pm dining slot – bookings have decreased between 7-8pm by eight per cent on 2013/14, while the time slots either side have increased. To get more people through the door and boost profit margins, consider offering double sittings in your restaurant (if you’re not already).

Accommodate the solo diner
In the last year, the number of solo diners in Australia has increased by 59 per cent, with most solo diners eating out between 6-7pm. Make your restaurant appealing to lone diners by offering bar seating, communal tables, seats with window views, wifi access and quick service.

Yield management
With most bookings taking place between Thursday and Sunday, it’s important that your restaurant doesn’t bleed money early in the week. Offering specials and deals on quieter days is one way to entice customers to dine out on Mondays and Tuesdays. Also, consider introducing dynamic pricing, charging more on busy days and less on quiet ones.

Kill the no-shows
The industry no-show rate is approximately four per cent, and with the industry already on the knife’s edge, we need to maximise revenues and protect against no-shows. Look at implementing a guarantees system that requires credit card details to secure the booking – restaurants doing this see no-show rates drop to less than one per cent.

Get intimate with your customers
Guest recognition and tailored service are key to delivering a ‘wow’ dining experience that will keep customers coming back. Think about integrating POS systems with your reservation system to store information about your customers. Greeting customers by their first name and asking them if they want “the usual?” can go a long way.

Connect to key distribution channels
To increase exposure and put more bums on seats consider connecting your restaurant to broader booking networks like Dimmi, Qantas, TripAdvisor, Zomato and Yelp. You can generate bookings directly from them, filling tables that would otherwise go empty.

New website
More tables are booked on-the-go than ever before, with 52 per cent of bookings made from a mobile device. It’s critical that restaurants have a responsive website that works well on mobile. If your website is dated and not Google-optimised, consider a re-vamp. This leads to a better user experience and helps your restaurant rank higher in Google, making it easier for diners to find you online.

Embrace reviews
Whether you receive a positive or negative review, you should reply, both online and on social media. If a diner has a poor experience, ignoring them won’t fix it.

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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.