OpenTable Survey Shows What Canadian Diners Want Restaurants to Know

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TORONTO — OpenTable released diner-survey findings that show which personalized touches matter most to guests.

Table preferences, such as booth, window and specific table requests, are the most important thing (67 per cent). Canadian diners want restaurants to know about them prior to their arrival, according to the survey. The “Cheers Effect” is also alive and well — 60 per cent of diners want restaurant staff to know and remember their names — while 48 per cent want restaurants to remember their favourite drinks.

In an overwhelming nod toward wanting a more tailored experience, 93 per cent of diners said they would be more inclined to frequent a restaurant if it provided a more personalized experience that catered to their preferences.

“Restaurant patrons don’t often think about all that goes into making their dining experience special,” says Ziv Schierau, head of National Accounts, OpenTable Canada. “Technology is helping restaurants and front-of-house staff go above and beyond the traditional experience, making it more personalized and extra special for guests. Whether it’s a local who frequents an establishment every week, or a VIP visiting from another city, stellar customer service is what will ensure guests not only return, but also share that great experience with others through reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations.”

Other survey findings include:

  • 63 per cent of Canadian diners have experienced a restaurant staff member remembering helpful/personal preferences; of those diners, 98 per cent said the experience positively affected their dining experience.
  • Canadian diners agree that restaurants could do the following to make them a loyal diner: send out complimentary “extras” (72 per cent); provide preferred seating options (66 per cent); share an invitation to a discounted birthday meal or send out a complimentary dish during a birthday meal (58 per cent); call or text with VIP event or menu special details (51 per cent).

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