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Customer data is the game-changer for hospitality

Customer data is the game-changer for hospitality

Customer data is the game-changer for hospitality

There’s a revolution taking place in the hospitality sector. As restaurants, pubs, hotels, and catering retailers react to the consumer-driven use of technology- savvy operators have come to recognise that the true value of their customers lies far beyond the transaction point of a meal experience – it lies in the customer data.


Capturing the customer data is the first step in the process of engaging with them, and the long path to generating loyalty and repeat business. Previously, it was sufficient to simply capture basic information about a customer’s profile such as name, address and possibly date of birth. This enabled restaurants, for example, to send customers greeting cards with a generic birthday meal discount offer. Nowadays this low-level marketing – symptomatic of unsolicited spam mail containing non-specific offers – is a major turn-off for millennials.


For businesses wanting to attract the millennial generation, the use of technology plays a vital part of the decision-making process on where and what to eat. In OpenTable’s 2015 report Technology and Dining Out it was reported that 85% of customers said they used the internet to find a restaurant, while 83% said they used it for making a reservation, and 82% to look at a restaurant’s menu. More revealingly, in a recent American Express survey of 1,000 adults, 48% of millennials expect personalisation in their interactions with businesses, while 39% were most likely to go out of their way to use a customised offer.


Restaurant customers provide a trail of evidence that any self-respecting forensic scientist would crave to work on: everything from table reservation information, to menu choices, payment method, and the use of social media for sharing their experience with friends. However, without the ability to leverage technology, the prospect of capturing, analysing and monetising this data is all but lost.


The true commercial value of customer data lies in the customers’ buying behaviour and spending patterns: what they bought; when they bought it and how they paid for it. Rich data like this provides a wealth of detailed and specific information, which can be used to create highly targeted marketing campaigns and personalised offers for individual customers.


According to leading authorities, the future trends in technology in the hospitality sector are all about understanding customer buying behaviour. In the 2016 Restaurant Technology Study, the top emerging technology was Analytics (80% respondents rated “important” and 20% rated “Neutral”). In the same study CRM and Loyalty consistently scored highly, reflecting the importance operators attached to understanding their customers, and providing specific and personalised offers for them.


The Preoday platform not only provides caterers with the opportunity to launch their own online and app ordering service, but also the analytics of all their customer orders, which they can filter down to specific reports of demographics or spending behaviour- allowing them for the first time to create highly targeted and personalised marketing campaigns and give the exact offers they would be interested in.


For further information, contact Dominic Hall   dominic.hall@preoday.com

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