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Blog / August 17, 2023

5 Australian Diner Profiles Revealed and How to Market to Them

australian restaurant customer profiles

Australia is a melting pot of cuisines, cultures and people, making it a diverse and popular culinary nation. But while Aussies may share a love of food, the way they discover and dine at restaurants varies. 

To help operators better understand their guests’ habits and preferences, we uncovered who Australia’s restaurant customers really are and how they prefer to dine.

According to the findings from our 2023 Direct Discovery & Booking Behaviour Report, Australian diners fall into the following categories: 

australia restaurant customer profiles

In this article, we’re going to do a deep dive into these five restaurant customer profiles giving you actionable strategies to get them in the door and keep them coming back.  

1. Special Occasion Diners

In Australia, more than 1 in 3 restaurant customers identify as “special occasion” diners. This type of customer wants to go big or go home when celebrating a birthday, holiday, anniversary or one of life’s big milestones. 

Since special occasion diners want their meal to be noteworthy and memorable, they take their time researching the venue and menu. Here’s how you can get them to spend their special moments with you, and then wow them into becoming loyal regulars: 

Hone in on Holiday Promotions

Special occasion diners view holidays as the perfect reason to gather. Capitalise on email marketing and social media promotions so you stay top-of-mind as their venue of choice. 

Whether it’s Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day on the horizon, sticking to a marketing calendar and planning adequately is key. Don’t forget lesser-known holidays (King’s Birthday or Global Drink Wine Day in February) as you craft your marketing strategy. To get ahead, be sure to start your holiday promotions at least a month in advance. Check out our marketing calendar below to help you plan!

Leverage Guest Data for Special Occasion Celebrations 

When you collect information like birthdays and anniversaries, you can use marketing automation to invite guests to come back next year with promotions and special offers. We recommend adding these customer fields to your reservation and online ordering process to start collecting guest data

customer segmentation and guest data profile example
optimize Instagram bio

FYI: SevenRooms reservation system allows you to build robust, custom guest profiles that contain all the information you need to tailor your invites and get bookings. From allergens and F&B favourites to table preferences, we put everything you need to know right at your fingertips.

Offer Upsells and Upgrades on Reservations

Offer your guests add-on options like a bottle of Champagne or an upscale tasting menu when they book a table — they’re much more likely to go for it if you make purchasing it easy. These small touches turn a meal into an experience, which is a special occasion diner’s ultimate goal. 

Below is a reservation upgrade example from Ides in Melbourne. They make it easy for guests to upgrade their experience by offering Champagne, chocolates and their signature peanut butter for pre-order. 

reservation widget upsell example

2. Spontaneous Diner

People who consider themselves “spontaneous diners” eat out a lot, but rarely make reservations. They let their mood and instincts guide them, often arriving as walk-ins. There are a few steps you can take to win over this diner and their spur-of-the-moment decision-making tendencies: 

Step Up Your Street Presence

Spontaneous diners often rely on sights, sounds and smells to decide where to eat — appeal to their senses by making your restaurant as enticing as possible. Bold street signage promoting daily specials, good lighting, upbeat music and mouth-watering imagery can help draw people in. A lively outdoor crowd never hurts either. 

outdoor venue example
Image Source Portico Travel

Be Easy to Find

There are 6.2 million Google searches a month related to restaurants. Make sure to optimise your listing on Google Maps and Google’s Near Me feature, so your restaurant shows up when spontaneous diners get a craving and search for places to eat nearby.   

Work with Local Partners

If you’re in a vacation town or near a sports stadium or event venue, use your tourist location to get the word out. Try partnering with other businesses to promote your restaurant or hand out flyers and menus to attract those last-minute eaters. Consider offering a special discount and always include your direct reservation link and phone number in marketing materials.  

Reserve Tables for Walk-Ins

Understanding how much of your business is walk-in versus pre-booked can help you better accommodate the spontaneous diner. For example, if by looking at your average nightly cover counts you see that 70% are from reservations, then you can assume the remainder is from walk-ins. You may want to consider leaving a portion of your table inventory open for non-reservations.

Optimizing your table inventory before every shift will help you drive more revenue by ensuring your tables stay full. Learn more in our Restaurant Revenue Management Guide.

Create an Efficient Waitlist System

Making a reservation isn’t usually part of a spontaneous diner’s MO, but turning away these customers to accommodate your reservations could ruin your chances of making a great first impression. Make waiting for a table as painless as possible with a virtual waitlist to ensure they stick around. Allow them to see their wait time in real-time and add pertinent info like dietary preferences to their profile.

optimize Instagram bio

FYI: Displaying QR codes in your restaurant lobby, on your menus or in check presenters can help you capture guest data from walk-ins. Use QR codes to get people to subscribe to your email list or receive special discounts when booking their next visit. 

3. Less is More Diners

Loyal is the best way to describe “less is more” diners, since they tend to stick to just a handful of restaurants they know and love. This diner persona makes for an ideal regular because they book ahead and keep coming back once you’ve won them over. Here’s how: 

Create Customer Loyalty Programs

Rewarding “less is more diners” for their loyalty is a great way to let them know they’re appreciated. You can build a loyalty program that provides incentives for existing customers to return again and again. For example, offer discounts or freebies when they hit specific milestones based on amount spent or number of visits.

Treat Them Like VIPs

One of the best parts about being a regular at a restaurant is feeling like a VIP. Play up this feeling of exclusivity in your marketing efforts by inviting them to invite-only events, offering sneak peeks at new menu items and awarding access to unique restaurant perks

Extend Extra-Personalised Service

Little things appease less is more diners, like seating them at their favourite table, presenting them with their favourite drink before they have a chance to ask and remembering their family members’ names. 

SevenRooms’ Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system allows you to store individual customer data in one location that’s accessible by all. Should your best customer dine in one of your other locations, they’ll feel right at home among different staff who can deliver a consistently delightful dining experience. 

4. Homebody Diners

You’re more likely to find a “homebody diner” on the couch with their favourite takeaway than out on the town. Even though they don’t dine out frequently, their palate is just as discerning when choosing where to eat. Therefore, it’s important to make it easy for a homebody diner to enjoy your dishes at home. 

Offer Online Ordering Solutions

No one wants to jump through hoops when they want to relax with takeaway from their favourite restaurant, so it’s imperative to make online ordering easy to navigate. When you promote direct ordering,  you’re in control of the takeaway experience, so you should provide easy-to-find links and instructions on how to order through your website. 

Make your online menus easy to read. Don’t miss out on business because your online menu is confusing or hard to find. Spend some time conducting an online menu audit to spot and fix any issues. 

Use Targeted Takeout Email Marketing

Keep your emails relevant to homebody diners’ needs by sending them campaigns that advertise your off-premise options. Use an email marketing template that’s heavy on the imagery to promote deals and encourage online orders. Leverage your guest data (again) to identify target audiences, like “delivery regulars”.

Send Feedback Surveys

Since you can’t directly ask people how their experience was when they order online, it’s essential to gather guest feedback using follow-up surveys. Doing so can let you know if certain items don’t travel well or if anything went wrong with the delivery process.

5. Influencer Diners

Social media is an integral aspect of today’s dining culture — and influencer diners are always seeking out the latest and greatest in today’s dining trends. They love having options, so it’s paramount to make your restaurant stand out from the crowd to attract their business.

Pay Attention to Your Social Media Presence

Don’t miss out on the opportunities creating a robust social media marketing plan can create for your business. Aim to create a strong, consistent brand voice and messaging across all your social media channels like TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. Post regularly and monitor social media trends to stay current and attract influencer diners who often discover restaurants via social platforms. 

Consider Influencer Marketing

You can generate a lot of social media impressions by working with a pro. Influencer diners are more likely to trust recommendations from social media personalities and bloggers, so influencer marketing can help your restaurant go viral and put more eyes on your business. 

social media influencer example
Image source: Brisbanephatfoodies

Monitor and Manage Reviews

Diners who fit this persona will read your restaurant’s online reviews before they book a table, so you should focus on both the quality and quantity of your reviews. To take the headache out of managing multiple review platforms, consider using a review aggregator.

Generate Press

Influencer diners are always on top of what’s happening in the food scene, so getting featured in popular foodie publications like Gourmet Traveller, Concrete Playground, The Urban List and Broadsheet can help you attract potential customers. 

Get Some Buzz Going

Whether you work with a public relations professional or handle it yourself, generating buzz is key to attracting a strong customer base. Getting the word out with pop-up events, viral marketing or unique menu items that up the wow factor is a great way to start.  

A Restaurant Marketing Solution For Every Diner Persona

As you discover your restaurant’s ratio of Australian guest personas, you need a way to capture, store and utilise customer preferences and habits to your advantage. SevenRooms’ integrated restaurant CRM and reservation platform helps leverage customer data to deliver personalised dining experiences. 

Vandal, a vegan restaurant in Sydney, used SevenRooms to capture guest data that informed nearly every aspect of their branding, marketing and business operations. The result? A community-centred restaurant that has successfully differentiated itself by catering to the specific preferences of its customer demographic. 

If you’re ready to leverage SevenRooms’ automated marketing, email campaigns and data-rich solutions to better serve your diner personas, schedule a demo today.

Persona-Specific Marketing FAQs

What Determines the Type of Customers a Restaurant Will Attract? 

Factors like location, price point, cuisine and ambiance all play a role in the type of customer your restaurant will attract. The way you choose to market your restaurant (and who you choose to market to) is also important. Once you define your customer groups, you can create a marketing plan to appeal to that demographic. 

How Can Restaurants Use Different Strategies to Attract More Customers? 

Understanding your target market and their pain points can help you create personalised marketing promotions, attract more customers and boost guest satisfaction. Focusing on providing a holistic customer experience that begins before guests book a table and extends beyond your dining room will keep people coming back. 

How Do You Make a Guest Feel Special in a Restaurant? 

Offering personalised service is the best way to make a guest feel special. When you use a restaurant CRM system, you can build robust guest profiles and send personalised communications to provide guests with tailor-made, white-glove service. 

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