Industry GM says companies risk “missing out” on Valentine’s Day boom

Young woman ordering food in a luxury restaurant. Woman confirming order holding menu card. Young beautiful woman listening to waitress while closing menu card.

As you may have noticed by the flowers on other people’s desks this morning, it’s Valentine’s Day.

A day that is all about romance and love, is also about big money for those in the accommodation and hospitality industry.

But, the man behind one of the leading guest experience platforms says many businesses aren’t taking full advantage of the increased demand for their services associated with Valentine’s Day.

Didn’t get any flowers either? Here’s a cute puppy. (iStock)

Paul Hadida, General Manager APAC at SevenRooms says diners are looking for new and exclusive experiences to celebrate the day with loved ones and friends. They’re searching for the best, most unique experiences to guarantee a best-in-class dining experience. And, if you’re not providing that, then you’re missing out.

“It’s all about collecting that data, leveraging the data, and then actually using it. A lot of businesses collect a ton of data, and it just sits somewhere and doesn’t get used or put back into action.

“I’ll give you an example. I’m a regular customer at Bob’s pizza place. I go there every week. And, every week I go there with my wife. She gets a certain rose and I get a shiraz. That’s my standard go-to.

“So as an operator, I’m able to use that data for a Valentine’s experience and making that night special. So, when I arrived at the restaurant for my Valentine’s Day booking, the shiraz is on the table, as is the rose. They’re complimentary and ready to go,” Hadida explained.

“It’s little things like that that really enhance that guest experience.”

New data from SevenRooms shows 88% of reservations across Australia have been booked as tables for two on the most romantic day of the year. This is a 9% increase from 2021. The most popular booking time across Australia since 2020 is between 6-6:30pm. Perhaps couples are keen to get home in time for MAFS.

Hadida said customer habit information can even be used with regular customers even if there’s no tables available for them to book.

“Maybe send them something. Send them a recipe of one of their favourite dishes, and a good wine to match that dinner,” he said.

So, while it’s new technology that’s being used to achieve the ultimate experience for guests, it comes back to good old fashioned customer service.

“I’m sure there are restaurants where the operators are using something like our product, or doing something that helps them in this area. I always say, if you don’t use
us, use someone else. Use technology in one way or another.

“Those that are doing nothing , they’re missing out,” Hadida said.

SevenRooms is usd by thousands of restaurants, bars, cafes, clubs and hotels since its launch in 2011.

In Australia, its customers include the likes of Merivale, Australian Venue Co., Solotel, Hunter St Hospitality and Pacific Concepts.

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