pasta dish on a table


Five Ways to Turn First Time Diners Into Loyal Fans


We know providing stellar guest experiences is essential for Resy restaurant operators. Our recent survey found nearly 80% of owners and managers listed “Delivering great guest experiences” as one of their top priorities, ranking higher than other goals like “Saving time” and “Saving money”.

As the forecast grows increasingly optimistic for a springtime return to dining, we’re sure you’re eager to market your restaurant’s offerings and fill your dining room with new guests. But it is just as essential to take a look at your existing customer base and ensure you’re turning one-time visitors into devoted loyal fans.

Why should you invest in retaining existing customers in addition to finding new ones? The stats don’t lie:

Using the term “loyalty program” can conjure up thoughts of point accumulations and prizes. While those may work well for more casual quick-service establishments, the principles of customer loyalty can extend beyond the punch card for brands where traditional tactics don’t fit.

Inspired by your dedication to hospitality, we built Resy to enable you to use technology to easily connect with your diners and generate loyal followers. Check out our top five ways you can use Resy to turn new customers into enthusiastic devotees.

1. Communicate Often

Staying in touch with your customers is important to stay top of mind as they make decisions on where to dine out. Diners that book reservations through Resy automatically give you their email address for future contact.

  • Pull your Monthly Guestbook from the Resy OS Dashboard and upload it to your email client. Directions here.
  • Don’t have an email marketing system? US Resy restaurants get access to Amex Offers for Merchants, a collection of services curated and vetted by American Express. Get 50% off for up to 12 months on Constant Contact here.
  • Australian Resy restaurants can access benefits here.

2. Get To Know Your Customers and Keep Track of Their Preferences

Surprise and delight experiences are at the root of hospitality. Impress a repeat guest by remembering their beverage preferences and surprising them with it upon arrival. Anticipating guest wants and needs is easy when you add Notes and Tags in the Guest Profile.

visits screenshot
visits screenshot
  • The number of times a guest has visited is listed directly on the Guest Profile where your host can see. Encourage front of house staff to thank guests for returning to your restaurant for a special touchpoint.
  • Customize your guest and visit tags to suit your restaurant’s needs. Learn how here.
  • Liberally add guest and visit notes where applicable to document important info not adequately captured by your tags. Learn how here.

3. Create Exclusive Experiences

Once you’ve impressed customers with your food, service, and atmosphere, reward repeat diners by making them VIPs and offering them exclusive access to desirable reservation times and events.

  • Platform 360 customers can use Exclusive Booking Channels to open up spots for reservations and events just for VIPs. Learn how here.
  • Interested in upgrading to Platform 360? Learn more about all Platform 360 has to offer here.

4. Give Them Something New to Come Back For

Keep creativity flowing in the kitchen and update your menu with specials and seasonal dishes. Get your guests excited about the changes in advance of their visit via Resy’s Guest communications.

day-of reminder screenshot
day-of reminder screenshot
  • Update your Day-of Reminder text to include information about your specials. Learn how here.

5. Show What Matters To You

A recent study shows 70% of consumers say they want to know what the brands they support are doing to address environmental and social justice issues. Connect with your customers on social media to show them your values outside of what’s on their plate.

  • Find our best practices for using Instagram to effectively communicate your voice and brand here.
  • Need a little extra help with your social media? US-based venues get 30% off an annual contract with Sprout Social, an all-in-one social media management platform, via Amex Offers here.

*Opinions and views in articles shared on Resy OS are presented for the purpose of discussion and commentary on topics of interest in the restaurant industry; they should not be viewed as substitutes for advice given by professionally engaged business consultants and advisors.