New OpenTable survey shows what Canadian diners want restaurants to know before they arrive

Press release

Sixty-seven per cent of diners wish restaurants remembered their table preferences; Enhanced guest notes feature from OpenTable helps restaurants deliver more personal dining experience

OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), has released diner survey findings that show which personalized touches matter most to guests. OpenTable also announced an enhanced Guest Notes feature for its flagship Guest Center hospitality solution.

Table preferences, such as booth, window and specific table requests, are the most important thing (67 per cent) Canadian diners want restaurants to know about them prior to their arrival, according to the survey results. The “Cheers Effect” is also alive and well with the second and third most important things diners indicated they want restaurants to know and remember being their names (60 per cent) and favourite drinks (48 per cent), respectively. In an overwhelming nod toward wanting a more tailored experience, 93 per cent of diners said they would be more inclined to frequent a restaurant if it provided a more personalized experience that catered to their preferences.

Other survey findings include the following:

  • 63% of Canadian diners have experienced a restaurant staff member remembering helpful/personal preferences; of those diners, 98 per cent said the experience positively affected their dining experience
  • Canadian diners agree that restaurants could do the following to make them a loyal diner:
  1. Send out complimentary “extras” (72 per cent)
  2. Provide preferred seating options (66 per cent)
  3. Share an invitation to a discounted birthday meal; or send out a complimentary dish during a birthday meal (58 per cent)
  4. Call or text with VIP event or menu special details (51 per cent)

In addition, a review of OpenTable ‘special request’ data showed that diners most frequently cite celebratory events such as anniversaries and birthdays and commonly make requests for high chairs, gluten free menus and romantic or quiet tables.

“Restaurant patrons don’t often think about all that goes into making their dining experience special,” said Ziv Schierau, Head of National Accounts, OpenTable Canada. “Technology is helping restaurants and front-of-house staff go above and beyond the traditional experience, making it more personalized and extra special for guests. Whether it’s a local who frequents an establishment every week, or a VIP visiting from another city, stellar customer service is what will ensure guests not only return, but also share that great experience with others through reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations.”

To help restaurateurs serve up top-notch hospitality, OpenTable recently announced the introduction of an enhanced Guest Note Categories feature for its flagship Guest Center for iPad hospitality solution.  The Guest Notes feature helps restaurant staff track diner preferences and requests more easily with four categories: general notes, special relationship, seating preferences and food & drink preferences. By enhancing the Guest Notes feature to structure them into categories, restaurant staff can easily view and understand important information about their guests.

About the OpenTable Survey:

OpenTable’s Diner Survey was conducted online from July 21, 2016 to August 15, 2016. The survey garnered more than 750 responses from across Canada.

Follow OpenTable Canada on Twitter: @OpenTableCanada