Customer Experience

How to Manage Your Restaurant with GuestCenter Admin

April 29, 2019

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OpenTable’s GuestCenter Admin offers a comprehensive solution for anyone who wants to effectively manage their restaurant. It includes the following features:

  • Restaurant Profile
  • Marketing
  • Reporting
  • Reviews

GuestCenter Admin: Restaurant Profile

This will be your main hub for any vital, public-facing information about the restaurant. You can also use this section to show off a menu or display a reservation widget that easily attracts new customers.

Important Listing Details

Elements of a listing, such as contact information, hours of operation, and social media links are a must-add for any restaurant on OpenTable. Doing so helps consumers make a well-informed decision about where they want to eat.

However, the amount of information you can add doesn’t stop there. You can include even more details such as dress code, payment options, or parking options.

If you have listings on other sites make sure that the information on those pages are corrected and updated as well. This shows consumers that you’re actively managing each listing, but it also helps Google accurately rank your online listings.

Listing Profile Photo

Every listing needs a main photo that will attract customers, and this is the place to add, edit, or delete the listing’s profile picture. Before you add any image, keep OpenTable’s photo requirements in mind:

  • A minimum size of 512 x 512 pixels
  • It must be 10 MB or smaller
  • Photo files must be formatted to JPG or PNG.

Adding a Menu

OpenTable has a partnership with SinglePlatform, which aims to make it easier to upload and share a menu online. However, you can still manually upload a menu through GuestCenter Admin.

You’ll first need to fill out a few details about you and your restaurant. Only then can you upload a menu file (it must in a JPG, PNG, PDF, or DOC format) or add a menu URL. You can add multiple menus as well as replace old versions with updated information.

Reservation Widgets

You can make the reservation process easier for customers by adding a pre-built widget to a restaurant’s website. OpenTable offers four widget formats, which differ in size:

  • Standard (224 x 289 pixels)
  • Tall (280 x 477 pixels)
  • Wide (832 x 154 pixels)
  • Button (210 x 106 pixels)

After you make the appropriate edits to the button, you can copy the code at the bottom of the page and add it to your website’s code. You can also copy the URL below the HTML code to add a direct link to the reservation, which you can use for social media or email marketing.

OpenTable GuestCenter Admin: Marketing

Part of any strategy to increase a restaurant’s online exposure is an effective marketing strategy. You’ll find that a few marketing tactics are available for you within the OpenTable Restaurant Center.

 

opentable guest center

This includes the Guest Campaigns program on OpenTable, which allows you to get more OpenTable reservations by promoting your business in search results, showing off your specials, or even rewarding customers with OpenTable loyalty points.

Featured Lists, Seasonal Promos, and Private Dining

OpenTable has a small collection of ongoing “Featured Lists” pages featuring multiple restaurants under broad categories such as “Vegetarian & Vegan Dining,” “Outdoor Dining,” or “Artisanal Cocktails.” The same promo page exposure is also available for annual holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, or Thanksgiving.

These appear on OpenTable’s website, but the same list of restaurants also appears in marketing emails sent by OpenTable to its users.

You can sign up for one or both options by choosing the “Ongoing Promos” or “Season Promos” section within the “Marketing” tab. From there click on the “Sign up now” button and enter a custom message to potential diners.

Keep in mind that there are special signup windows for seasonal promos. For instance, the signup window for Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Cinco de Mayo promos starts in January, but you can’t sign up for a Christmas or New Year’s Eve promo until August.

Restaurants with private dining features can also take advantage of a similar promo style. In addition to a dedicated landing page on OpenTable – which features multiple restaurants in the area with private dining options – you can also choose to feature the restaurant on seasonal emails, which go out during the holidays as well as graduation and wedding seasons.

GuestCenter Admin: Reporting

The best way to gauge your listing’s impact is with metrics. OpenTable’s reporting dashboard provides a treasure trove of performance data that you can use to find areas of success or improvement.

Every month, you’ll get an email from OpenTable that shows your restaurant’s performance on a year-on-year or month-on-month basis across multiple metrics.

Reservations

An OpenTable listing increases a restaurant’s online footprint, but it also makes it easy for users to book a reservation through your listing. In the “Reporting” section you can view all of the business’s past and future reservations and see if you need to stay on the same course or boost efforts in your OpenTable marketing strategy.

Turn Times

Efficiency is crucial in the restaurant industry. You want to serve and satisfy as many customers as possible during each meal service period, and OpenTable can track that for you. Specifically, you can see reports on average turn times throughout the day that are based on shift group and size of the dining party.

Cover Trends

Use this section to see the growth of your “seated covers,” aka diners who booked a reservation through OpenTable. Cover Trends also breaks down the reservations by source channel, lead times, and party sizes, which gives you better insight into the dining experience for every customer.

Guest Frequency

Repeat customers are a welcome sight for any restaurant, and you can use this reporting tool to spot returning diners at different points of the day. Use this data to create better marketing strategies throughout the year and on select holidays to grow your retaining customer base.

OpenTable GuestCenter Admin: Reviews

Every review of the listing from a verified customer will appear in this section. You’ll see the overall rating of the restaurant, as well as a breakdown of the score based on food, service, ambiance, value, and noise. You can also take note of the ratings distribution, and filter the reviews that you want to see based on rating, date, or whether or not it includes comments.

Responding to Reviews

Research shows that 80 percent of consumers believe that a business cares more about them if someone from management responds to their review. You can send a reply to any piece of customer feedback by clicking the “Send a reply” button underneath the review.

opentable guest center

Before submitting your response, you also have the option of making the response public or private. A public response shows other customers that you’re willing to actively engage with diners even if they submit a negative review. However, there are times when you might want to make the reply private to prevent any further escalation when it comes to an angry customer.

Review Reports

To stay on the pulse of any new OpenTable review you can also set up automated reviews in “Reviews” section. You can set the frequency of the reports, the review type (all reviews or reviews without comments), and the recipients of the report.

Effective Restaurant Management With OpenTable GuestCenter Admin

The data gathered from reservations and turn times can tell you where to properly allocate resources while customer reviews can show hidden pain points or areas of improvement in the customer dining experience.

By utilizing GuestCenter Admin to its full potential, you can discover effective marketing strategies, insights into customer preferences, and ways to improve the front- and back-end restaurant operations.

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