What was the motivation behind the Industry Insider Series Event?
OpenTable has always been very invested in the hospitality industry and when you have a company that is visiting and speaking with hundreds of restaurants a day around the globe there is a tremendous amount of best practice and insights that come out of that. The way that we deliver the best partnership that we can is to contribute to the industry by sharing what we learn across such a broad cross section of restaurants.
Doing these local events gives us a forum to share that knowledge with restaurateurs. I believe it is our duty to do that because a restaurant doesn’t necessarily have the ability to go out and see what’s out there and what challenges are being faced, and new trends.
How does the data you collate assist restaurants?
We can deliver great insights through our data, whether that be understanding the ratio of walk in business compared to bookings, or seeing how many out of town diners you are getting. It gives you the ability to pull those levers based upon the data that you see. It could also be as simple as seeing the flow of dining or the turnaround. If you can use the data to get a few more people through the door it’s significant because the industry margins are so slim that every person that can be serviced is important.
How has technology changed the hospitality sector?
I think there was a time in the industry where things were felt rather than being evaluated empirically. Data is becoming more important in making decisions in a restaurant and you need a system that will deliver that information to you accurately and in a way that makes sense to you in a restaurant. We think of ourselves as business partner of the restaurants and want to support the brand that they want to put forward. It’s about technology, but also it’s about operations, hospitality and marketing.