10 things restaurant groups can do with their OpenTable data

OpenTable has occupied one of the top seats at the restaurant industry tech providers’ table for some time now. And rightly so – the platform is a mainstay of restaurant groups across the world and the go-to place for diners to make their next reservation.

And of course, to data lovers like us here at Distil collaborating with OpenTable means one super exciting thing – more fantastic data insights and analytics for our Restaurant customers. Just imagine the business actions you’re able to unlock if you can connect your booking, diner and operational data sets, with a layer of AI over the top guiding you all the way!

If you know there’s more value in your OpenTable data than you’re currently getting, or you want to spend less time doing manual data downloads and reporting – this is the game changer you’ve been waiting for!

The collaboration between Distil and OpenTable unlocks new potential in your data – a whole new layer of insights, an accurate data source for personalised marketing, and live reports on everything from availability to demand.

If you want to do more with your OpenTable data, here are the top 10 things you can do with it when you connect it to Distil’s business intelligence and analytics platform. 

Unlock faster, more complete and accurate reporting

1. Combine your OpenTable data from all your restaurants

When you have more than one location in your restaurant group on OpenTable – booking, diner and operational data is attached to the individual restaurant ID. This means a customer can have more than one profile in your group, and each location has its own pacing settings and availability management. 

Naturally, multiple customer profiles and segregated venue data add substantial complexity when it comes to reporting.

It leads to hours of manual data downloads, spreadsheet wrangling and report writing – not to mention individual RID management. It’s also a headache for marketers trying to personalise campaigns for individual customers or trying to understand the bigger picture around customer loyalty.

The Distil platform combines OpenTable data from all restaurant IDs (RID) into one central location and this function alone opens up a whole suite of reports in Distil.

2. Report at a Group or Restaurant ID level

Having all your OpenTable data in Distil, means individual restaurant datasets are no longer a barrier to holistic reporting.  In fact, you get to choose if you wish to report on a group or individual restaurant level or indeed both!

This means it’s now possible to compare performance across locations in one single view that requires zero manual data gathering and spreadsheet manipulation. 

Look at anything from covers to availability, revenue to bookings, and marketing successes by channel or promotion.

See at a glance where pacing settings are throttling availability, where turn times can be tweaked to increase availability at peak times, and where your opportunities to optimise revenue can be found.

Get to know your customers better

3. Make use of your customer data that’s isolated in other platforms

Distil was designed to combine data sources from any database including integrations with platforms such as Dotdigital, Klaviyo and many more.

Now you can not only combine your diner data from all OpenTable RIDs together in one place, you can overlay that and add to it with data from any other connected sources, including finance systems, till systems, guest WiFi, CRM etc.

This means you can make the most of the customer data you already have for devising compelling marketing initiatives, incentivising diner loyalty or promoting the newest offer – all in the name of growing your revenue. 

A diagram showing the different types of data sources, including OpenTable, that Distil can connect to.

4. Resolve duplicate customer records

Your customers leave partial data footprints with every engagement and visit. Imagine a customer visits four restaurants in your group on OpenTable – that’s 4 separate customer records, maybe some have phone numbers, first names or not. Or maybe the person booking isn’t part of the group that’s actually attending the booking. How do you distinguish and combine fragments of customer records?

Well, part of Distil’s AI-based platform is our proprietary identity resolution system. It means we can take fragments of customer data from every data source connected to Distil and combine strong signals from each to give you back one single record for each customer. 

Whether a person is a regular at your Knightsbridge location or they’ve been interacting with your email marketing for sometime and this is their first actual visit – now you’ll know. 

Understand and optimise marketing performance

5. Look at marketing performance by outcomes

Until now, you’ve probably created marketing strategies and promotions based on the little bits of data you have about past performance. Maybe you’ve got years’ worth of engagement data, but only in your email platform. Maybe you’re always pulling data exports from different ad channels to try and build a cohesive picture, but mostly it’s gut instinct, right?

Distil can now unlock marketing performance for you across all your customers, channels, promotions and restaurant locations. You can now connect marketing activities with outcomes like seated covers, bookings and that all important revenue bottom line figure. 

Want to delve into how last month’s email newsletter performed for your regular diners vs your new audience? No problem. How about how well the last promotion you ran on social media did at driving bookings? Done. All these answers are now at your fingertips in Distil. 

6. Create personalised marketing using reliable live data

Did you know that by combining all your customer data you now have a single customer view? It’s a living breathing live data source of all your customers, in one place. And it’s a gold mine for marketers. 

It means you can power hyper-personalised marketing without worrying that the data might be inaccurate. It means you can design a customer journey for regular diners at a specific location, safe in the knowledge that if their dining habits change, they’ll automatically drop out of that recipient list. 

It also means the days of moving customer data around manually between platforms are over! 

In Distil, you can group your customers by things that are common between them – such as their preferred restaurant location, how many times they’ve visited and which marketing channel they usually engage with. These are called customer segments – and you have the option of using the automatically generated ones or creating your own manual segments. Either way, these segments can be automatically sent to any of your connected marketing platforms like Dotdigital, Klaviyo, Braze or Mailchimp or others.

Diagram showing data flowing in from multiple sources into a Single Customer View and being sent from Distil into any number of data destinations.

Improve the customer experience for your regular diners

7. Understand what customer loyalty looks like

Regular customers are like gold. You want to keep them coming back for more, but understanding the bigger picture around customer loyalty and what ‘regular’ looks like can be tricky. Being a regular customer for someone could mean coming in once a year on their anniversary, whereas regular to someone else might mean every Friday night after work.

In the past, understanding loyalty and regular dining patterns from your OpenTable data has been limited to customers based on associated restaurant ID. Now, you can see what being a regular means to every customer associated with your brand, regardless of their dining habits. 

8. Put loyalty back in the hands of your venue teams

Imagine your team member greeting a guest as they arrive for their booking equipped with the knowledge about their relationship with your brand, which restaurants they’ve visited before, how many times they’ve been and whether they are eligible for any promotions. 

As humans, we all want to feel seen, so imagine how powerful it would be to acknowledge each guest as the individual they are, in full awareness of how connected they are with your restaurant group. 

Wouldn’t it be great to see performance over time by any of your key metrics such as revenue, bookings, capacity etc? Well, now you can.

Over any period for as long as the data exists, you can review your performance – not just restaurant level but at group level too. 

Use the Distil reporting suite or specify a custom dashboard that includes any of your key performance metrics. For example: 

• Total guest spend over time
• Demand status – trending up or down
• Availability vs bookings or occupied over time

10. Use historical data to create forecasts using AI

One of the biggest benefits of getting your OpenTable data all together in one place is the ability to use it to predict future performance.

Distil’s AI engine can take your historic data, adjust for seasonality, and forecast future performance. Look at tomorrow, next week or next month and see covers, availability, demand and revenue forecasts at a glance. 

Know instantly if you’re on track to meet targets, or if you need to take action to get the bookings you need. 

Instead of spending time in and out of individual RID listings in OpenTable – you can now get all the data together and look at both levels in one place. Make the days of manual data downloads, manipulation and hours of spreadsheet wrangling a thing of the past, and give your team back time in their days to work on growing the business. 

Get the data you need finally working for you and at your fingertips when you need it. We’d love to show you more or read more about what Data Science for Restaurants means with Distil here.