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It’s that time of year again — with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day just around the corner, families all over the country are planning to treat their loved ones to a special meal. For many, dining out or ordering in has become a tradition to celebrate these occasions.
But while Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebrations can be a treat for families, increased dine-in, takeout, and delivery orders can also put significant pressure on restaurant operators to deliver an exceptional experience. From ensuring timely service to accommodating different dietary needs, restaurants must take every detail into account to make sure these occasions are truly special for their guests. In today’s competitive restaurant industry, providing a seamless and memorable dining experience can mean the difference between a satisfied customer and a loyal one.
Square can help. With a comprehensive solution designed for restaurants, you can streamline operations and plan for these special seasonal moments with ease.
Here are our top six tips for delivering an outstanding experience for families and groups — whether they’re dining in or ordering online.
1. Personalize service and better accommodate large group reservations with the Square for Restaurants and OpenTable Integration
A 2020 survey conducted by SevenRooms, a guest experience management platform, indicated that 63% of respondents prefer to make restaurant reservations online, highlighting the importance of offering reservation management to attract customers.
Square for Restaurants and its advanced integration with OpenTable can help. The integration offers new features that allow staff to view reservation notes — such as special occasions and dietary preferences — within the POS system, and track table seating status including the time customers have been seated. With these capabilities, it becomes easy to provide excellent service to families celebrating special occasions, ensuring a seamless dining experience that will remain memorable for years to come.
2. Use QR code ordering to increase efficiency and enhance the dine-in experience
According to the 2023 Future of Restaurants report, staffing shortages remain one of the biggest challenges for restauranteurs in 2023. Ninety-five percent of surveyed restaurant owners agree that automating key parts of their workflow improves both staff morale and the customer experience. Furthermore, 66% of consumers said they prefer automation in at least one aspect of their experience at their favorite restaurants.
With Square Online’s self-serve ordering, you can map a unique QR code to each table or dining area for buyers to review the menu, order, and pay.
When your staff members don’t have to spend as much time on transactional moments, they have more time to truly connect with groups of diners to create a memorable experience.
3. Enable easy reordering with customer accounts and personalized order screens
When families or large groups place online orders for pickup or delivery, one person is often in charge of wrangling the selections from the group and submitting the order.
With customer accounts, customers can log in via your Square Online ordering page to easily view and reorder their previous orders, making large orders easier on the whole family. You can also enable personalized order screens to further enhance your online ordering experience for repeat customers . Repeat customers receive a personalized landing page displaying their previous orders, personalized offers, loyalty rewards, and more — allowing them to easily reorder in just three taps.
4. Offer incentives for larger online orders
Families and large groups will naturally place larger orders than your average diner, and discounts on large orders can help them decide to order with you over other local options. The National Restaurant Association reports that 41% of diners are expecting special discounts when dining in on Mother’s Day, while 49% are expecting free or discounted delivery.
Using coupons in Square Online or discounts in the Square dashboard, you can offer discounts such as free delivery, percentage, or dollar value and apply them to orders over a certain size. You can even display a status bar on your site to let customers know how close they are to receiving free delivery, further incentivizing larger orders.
5. Let customers schedule orders ahead of time
When families and groups are planning for holidays or large gatherings, they often need to place orders ahead of time to ensure they’ll have enough food. Accepting preorders also helps restaurants staff and plan inventory accurately for special occasions.
6. Attract more customers for special holidays and occasions
Now that you’ve created an outstanding online and in-person experience for families and large groups, it’s time to get the word out to bring more customers into your restaurant and drive more online orders, especially during key holidays and seasonal moments. Follow these steps to get the word out:
- Send an email or text campaign using Square Marketing, which offers a 30-day free trial as well as some free email templates.
- Post about your seasonal offerings on your social media channels, and make sure your Square Online site is linked in your bio for easy online ordering.
- Launch a banner or pop-up on your site to remind visitors of any discounts or special offers you’re running.
From the small touches to the big ones, every detail matters when it comes to making families feel special and creating memories that last a lifetime. Restaurants armed with the right tools can elevate special occasions into unforgettable moments without added operational stress.
We recently asked the Seller Community to share how they create an unforgettable dining experience — weigh in here.
Learn more about Square for Restaurants.