Photo by Aaron Richter

Reservationships

How One of New York’s Hottest Restaurant Groups Builds a Loyal Fan Base

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For restaurants, having a loyal following of repeat guests isn’t just a nice to have – it’s a necessity for survival in a notoriously volatile industry. That’s why we’re excited to bring you stories of restaurants using Resy OS to build deeper Reservationships with their guests, turning first-time diners into passionate regulars. From before the aperitif to after the affogato, learn how Resy restaurants are blending old school hospitality with new school data and technology to provide incredible dining experiences and take their Reservationships to the next level.


On the west side of New York City, three connected restaurant properties are merging human interactions with the backend power of Resy OS to build a loyal following. 85 10th Avenue, the former home of iconic Italian restaurant Del Posto, now houses Al Coro, a two Michelin-starred fine-dining centerpiece; Mel’s, a bustling pizzeria; and Discolo, a subterranean cocktail club. Grant Gardner, general manager of Al Coro, explains how Resy OS helps his team achieve success in the crowded dining landscape.

Pre-Service: Study Up on Notes and Tags

 “I meet with the chefs, the other managers, and the door before service in the afternoon to go over the books,” says Gardner. “And during that meeting, we review every guest’s Notes in Resy OS.” Those notes, which can be added either by guests themselves or by an internal staff member who left a note from a previous visit, might explain that a guest is visiting from North Carolina, or only drinks sparkling water.

For additional guest intel, Al Coro and the other two properties also use the Tags feature. A customized Tag of “Alert Somm,” for example, has the service team inform the sommelier team that a certain table are knowledgeable, dedicated wine drinkers of, for example, Barolos and Champagne. Another example: “If, say, the guests are a two-top and the Notes say it’s their first time with us, we put them with a server who will talk with them about every element of a dish,” Gardner explains.

During Service: Individualize the Experience


Armed with individualized information from the Notes and Tags in Guest Profiles, the staff—from the host stand to the table itself—are able to personalize the guests’ dining experience. The first interaction at the door, says Gardner, is a superb opportunity to accomplish two goals: welcome and read the guests’ demeanor, and verify that the information in Resy OS remains pertinent.

“Resy is incredible for providing information in advance, but we also need to physically look up at the guests at the host stand,” says Gardner. After the guests are welcomed, “then we check in with the Resy Notes and say, ‘Hey, I see you are in for the tasting menu,’” Gardner says. “If that’s wrong or they changed their mind, we correct it in the notes. Or maybe the notes say John doesn’t eat cheese and it turns out John isn’t dining tonight.”

Post Service: Connect Guests with Their Next Visit

In addition to enhancing the diner’s initial visits, Al Coro, Mel’s, and Discolo artfully use customer data to introduce guests to their other brands. Because all properties owned by the same company can share Notes, Tags, and visit history, they are able to amplify guest experiences and create new business opportunities.

Mel’s, the pizzeria, has been consistently busy since it opened in March 2022, notes Gardner. “If a guest has been to Mel’s nine times but never been to Al Coro and we think they might enjoy a meal there, we offer them a promo card for a drink at the lounge at Al Coro.” Likewise, a frequent guest at Mel’s who seems like a good fit for Discolo, the underground bar on-site, might be asked at the end of their meal at Mel’s if they want to experience Discolo and have a free drink. “We then stamp their wrist with a blacklight stamp to gain access to Discolo immediately,” says Gardner. “Then when they get into Discolo that stamp gets them a free drink—on us.”

The prospects for cross-referencing guest data with in-person guest interactions are nearly boundless. Much about knowing how best to do so, in the end, requires those essential hospitality soft skills of reading the guest. Says Gardner: “If, say, a guest at Al Coro only ever comes in for business dinners, and we can tell they’re only ever going to want to go to Al Coro, we don’t force the other properties on them.”

In the end, Gardner and the team at Al Coro and across the other properties at 85 10th Avenue aim to inhabit the best of what hospitality can achieve. Says Gardner: “It’s all about whatever we can do before we even open the doors to make everyone’s night special.”