A CLEAN SLATE
Wiping the technology slate clean also meant that the development team at Superb could create a whole new product that addressed some of the specific challenges of launching and managing a successful restaurant in the premium segment.
Seated at the office picnic-bench-slash-meeting-table, Musa says:
“People who open fine dining restaurants most often do so out of a great passion for offering the best of guest experiences. That doesn’t just apply to the food – which goes without saying – but especially to the hospitality. Sustaining such a business is a great challenge and requires business acumen and stamina – not just great cooking skills. Profit margins are often low and the overheads are considerable.”
The first step of the Superb venture was to launch the sleekly designed GXM platform that not only supports table reservations, but which also enables the sale of event tickets and gift cards as well as facilitating hotel room selection at the growing number of high-end restaurants that also offer boutique accommodation. But perhaps the most important tool is the opportunity for restaurants to build guest profiles for each individual diner.
“Fine restaurants have always made an effort to build relations with their guests but very often the information they store is on post-its, which easily get lost, or in the memory of the maître d’. These notes can now be digitalised in the guest profile which can optionally be shared with other users of the GXM platform.
“Knowing the preferences and penchants of a guest – including favourite wines – and other more statistical information, such as the value of their average purchase, will help sustain and grow relations with the customer and boost the all-important upselling.
“Equally, the restaurant gains insight into who their customers really are, allowing them to target their PR spending to where it really matters. Often, PR is aimed at gaining new customers rather than supporting relations with existing guests, which may not always be the most prudent choice. With guest analytics – what we call ‘guestlitics’ – restaurant-owners will gain a better understanding of who their customers are and can make more informed decisions of how to build guest relations,” Musa adds.
Arguably, with a growing market share among premium restaurants in Scandinavia, Superb has reached the critical threshold of offering analytics-driven business insights. As part of the Superb GXM platform, predictive modelling is used to second-guess the number of covers restaurants can expect to sell on a given day. But in a high-end dining segment with few walk-ins and where most in advance, does predictive modelling make sense?
“We have experienced that weather patterns and events have a measurable impact on the number of diners that premium restaurants can expect – and that predictive modelling proves more accurate than gut feeling. That is the feedback we are getting.
“And although high-end restaurants often find it difficult to quickly adjust their staffing – mainly consisting of hard-to-replace top professionals – then predictive information nonetheless does help them fine-tune their operations, reduce overheads and increase profit margins.
“We are not only very focused on assisting ambitious restaurants worldwide in developing their guest relations, we are equally very conscious of offering valuable customer service to our client restaurants – to create a personal relationship with the restaurants.
“One of the great advantages of analytics is that it offers insight into the trajectory of what restaurants can expect from their business in year one, two and three, so they can adjust their expectations and manage their inventories and staff rosters accordingly. Basically, we are offering the business tools necessary for any new premium restaurant to succeed,” Musa says.
One valuable customer service provided by the Superb team – one that has nothing directly to do with analytics – is the reduction of no-shows, which has been a growing issue in the restaurant industry for a number of years.
Not only can restaurants choose to optionally require guests to register their credit card information when making table reservations, the GXM platform even alerts restaurants when diners make multiple coinciding bookings at different restaurants. This way the restaurant staff can call up the person placing the reservations to clarify which of their bookings they will be requiring.