A poll of restaurateurs has revealed the ‘need for technology to manage customer experience and maximise yield’.

The survey from online reservation provider ResDiary, shows that while 40% believe reviews are beneficial, 60% think only ‘validated’ reviews should be posted online.

ResDiary’s CEO, Mike Conyers, insisted operators should embrace social media, saying: “Twitter, Facebook and review sites show no signs of going away. If operators are confident in their offer and make it easy for diners to share their experience, they will benefit from greater exposure and should drive footfall.”

The poll showed that despite recent controversy over diners taking pictures of their food in restaurants, 80% of respondents supported the practice. A further 65% of those polled said that a diner being active on their mobile phone throughout a meal does not bother them, with 80% agreeing that a restaurant should provide its customers with Wi-Fi.

The survey also lifts the lid on restaurateurs’ pet peeves – with over 60% saying they found it frustrating that the majority of customers ask for a table between 7.30pm and 8pm while 20% said it is when customers call who are unsure of the time and sometimes even date, they wish to book for.

When asked what the ‘most frustrating diner behaviour’ was, over 50% agreed that ‘arriving late’ and ‘arriving with more, or less, diners than the reservation was made for’ topped the poll, closely followed by ‘clicking fingers at servers’ - with over 30% citing this as the most frustrating habit.

The poll also asked restaurateurs: how do diners make their wine selection decisions? ‘Choosing lowest to highest’ gained the majority vote with 65%. However 40% stated that a recommendation from the sommelier or waiter is, in their opinion, the main method of choosing.

In summary, Conyers said: “I think these poll results highlight two main points. One, that the modern day restaurateur is accepting of technology and understands that things like Wi-Fi availability do have a place in the dining experience. It’s this growth in food and dining related social media communication that inspired us to create the technology to allow people to book a table at a restaurant through Twitter or Facebook, something that has been enthusiastically embraced by operators and is directing trade to them. Secondly, I think it highlights typical consumer behaviour and the need to have the technology to both help manage the customer experience and in-turn, maximise the yield the business can deliver to the operator.

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