Motivating Lapsed Guests

Restaurants today are challenged with not only getting new diners in, but also keeping them coming back. A recent Harvard study found that increasing repeat visits by 5% increases profits by 25-125%. And yet, on average, 70% of diners never make a return visit. Talk about lost potential revenue!
Missing a Lucrative Opportunity 
Over the course of a month, a restaurant has thousands of diners coming in for a meal. Maybe it’s their first time, maybe they are returning, OR maybe they are coming to one location for the first time, but have been to a different location of the group.

Back in the day, the method of identifying guests according to their visit frequency was a GM’s brain and sounded something like “Hey, you know I haven’t seen Johnny in for a while”. This train of thought might have been followed by a direct call to Johnny inviting him back in, but likely remained a passing thought amongst the chaos.

When Garces opened their first location in 2005, not much had changed in the methodology of identifying guests according to their visit frequency or engaging past guests to generate a repeat visit. We caught up with Rob Esplen, Vice President of Operations at Garces, and he expressed his frustration: “the manual process my team would have to attempt in order to create some semblance of guest visit tracking was simply ineffective. We knew the data existed, but we had no way of getting it or putting it to use.”
Motivating Lapsed Guests
Cut to 2016 and Garces came to Venga with a top-priority goal for improving their business: identify lapsed guests and support us in winning them back.

We took a deep dive into Garces' data to track their guests visit trends. Venga's analysis of OpenTable reservation data identified that frequent Garces diners make their second visit within 90 days of their last visit. This enabled Venga to identify guests who visited within the last 90 days but had yet to return, making them prime targets for Garces reengagement. It also enabled us to identify the perfect timing for sending out a marketing campaign, so as not to send too early and cannibalize potential revenue.

With lapsed guests identified, Garces wanted to implement the right marketing strategy to win them back. The Venga We Miss You campaign was the solution- including messaging that reminded the guest of their last visit, as well as a 20% discount off their meal to motivate a return visit.
Tracking Marketing Success
As we like to say here at Venga, you can’t take click-through rates to the bank. With Venga's unique ability to tie guest check-level data back to individual guest profiles, Garces connected their marketing campaigns back to guests who actually came in for a meal. Now the Garces Group could see the real ROI generated from their launched We Miss You campaign:
reservations made
covers confirmed
revenue generated
Rob Esplen added, “the data Venga provides us is making us a better business... we have a new confidence in our guest engagement strategies.”