How to Upgrade Your Guest Experience & Grow Revenue with Online Payments

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5 min read

Apr 27, 2023

How to Upgrade Your Guest Experience & Grow Revenue with Online Payments

For today’s hospitality operators, the table stakes are higher than ever. Guests expect not just a meal but an experience. In addition to being fed, they want to be engaged, empowered, heard, delighted and known. But with ongoing staffing challenges and the inflated cost of doing business in the current economy, how can you stay in tune with the needs of your clientele?

The answer lies in recognizing that the guest experience begins long before they walk in the door, and working to optimize it every step of the way. This article will illustrate how SevenRooms’ hospitality partners around the world are embracing technology to enhance the pre-arrival portion of the guest journey, building stronger relationships and boosting their bottom line in the process.

Online Payments: Small Investment, Enormous Impact

You have one chance to make a first impression on your guests, and more often than not, the initial interaction happens online. Whether they discover your restaurant(s) via social media, Google, your website or another channel, the experience of booking a reservation needs to be smooth for your guests and your team alike.

A white-labeled reservation solution allows you to maintain consistent branding across every digital touch point and helps you avoid third-party commission fees. Better yet, it provides the opportunity to streamline your booking flow in order to offer all of your unique hospitality experiences in one place.

An open, connected platform also makes it quick and easy to integrate with the most popular online payment providers. In doing so, you provide guests with a frictionless way to purchase prepaid upgrades, event tickets and more — all while avoiding the headaches and inevitable errors associated with taking credit card numbers over the phone.

Better yet, the impact of enabling online payments is both immediate and substantial. Our data shows that reservations with a prepayment attached spend over 35% more per guest than those without it. On average, SevenRooms partners using online payment tools generate over $45K USD of revenue annually.

‘Upgrading’ Guest Spend with Prepaid Add-Ons

One simple way to enhance your guests’ pre-arrival experience is to give them the opportunity to customize their own reservations. SevenRooms Upgrades allow you to incorporate prepaid add-ons and special pre-order items directly into the booking flow, giving guests access to the special little touches to fit any occasion, big or small. Common examples include:

Bucket of beers or a Champagne toast
Flowers or a box of chocolates to take home
Personalized cakes or other confections
Large-format, family style dishes
Branded merchandise

Prepaid reservation add-ons elevate your guest experience and increase average spend at the same time.

Besides significantly boosting your average guest spend, these upsells are an effective means of increasing engagement. Guests with something special to look forward to are much less likely to make a late cancellation or no-show. Plus, guests who have enjoyed a memorable hospitality experience are more likely to leave positive reviews and return to your business in the future.

Success Spotlight: The Pump Room in Bath, England has generated over £827K (~$1M USD) of additional revenue through prepaid food and drink packages for traditional afternoon tea service over two years with SevenRooms.

Showcasing Your Uniqueness

The range of experiences one can have in a restaurant extend far beyond the dinner table, and it’s important to highlight the distinctive offerings that make your restaurant unique. Luckily, with SevenRooms, you can create customizable landing pages that help you do exactly that. By offering detailed descriptions, photos and pricing for each of these experiences in one centralized place, you create the opportunity for your dine-in guests to choose their own adventure. Some of our best client examples include:

Bingo or trivia nights
Wine tastings
Pre-theater dinner
Group dining and private dining options

Australia’s iconic Rockpool Bar & Grill offers guests the ability to choose among several distinct private dining spaces and book them quickly and easily, saving valuable admin for the team.

Ticketing Made Easy

Sometimes, you have a set number of inventory that you want to sell online on a first-come, first-served basis. (Think: cookbooks at a launch party or wristbands for an open bar.) In these cases, it makes sense to lean on event management software to help simplify the process of marketing and pre-selling tickets.

The Garden, a Las Vegas restaurant and entertainment venue, leverages SevenRooms’ Events widget to showcase unique programming all year long, including drag bingo, bottomless brunches and more.

A solution like SevenRooms allows you to set up events like these in minutes. And because it connects directly to your CRM, you can also facilitate ticket distribution to specific customer segments like regulars, VIPs and locals, putting you in full control of your own guest list.

A tiered ticketing system ensures that all of your guests get exactly the experience they’re looking for during special events.

Revving the Engine

With limited resources of time and money, it’s more important than ever for operators to consider how leveraging technology can help them meet and exceed the changing needs of their guests. Setting up online payments provides a solid foundation you can build on to strengthen your business, and fires up a revenue engine that will run for you 24/7/365. By showcasing your unique upgrades, events and experiences — and focusing on optimizing the guest experience before they’ve even set foot in your restaurant — you can boost your bottom line today while cultivating regulars for tomorrow and beyond.

Book a demo today to learn how SevenRooms can help supercharge your online payments, drive meaningful revenue and enhance your guest experience.

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