Marketing is commonly narrowed down to the adverts, promotions and discounts a restaurant gives out in return for a little more favourability from current and retained customers. But the truth is that the marketing world is broad, and there are far more marketing activities that contribute to a restaurant’s success than a loyalty card scheme or Taco Tuesday discount.

At Feebi HQ, we have been particularly analysing the effect of the pre-dining experience a customer has with your restaurant. These days, with a very competitive market out there, it is less about what you have to serve and more about the experience you have to offer. This experience includes the period before the customer walks through the door.

After much deliberation, we have knocked it down to three factors that are possibly the most important to consider where the pre-dining experience is concerned.

1. Digital Impression

Social media is a brave new world that most of us are active on, both personally and for our businesses. 91% of restaurants now use Facebook and 28% of customers actually use Facebook as their sole platform for choosing where to eat out.

Your restaurant’s impression on social media will matter a lot when it comes to customers deciding to dine with you. From beautiful images of your food and drink through to keeping customers updated on your daily specials and answering their enquiries, everything about your social media profile is helping customers gain more access to your restaurant. This availability may lead to customers choosing to eat at your restaurant over anyone else’s; if it is easy to find with clear opening times and quick responses to customer messages.

The presence of your restaurant on social media is all part of the pre-dining experience. Then when you connect a chatbot like Feebi to your Facebook page, the experience is amplified further. When potential customers get in touch with your restaurant via Facebook, Feebi ensures that the response is immediate, with helpful answers and the option to book a table all within one friendly conversation. Which leads on to our next key factor…

2. Customer Service

Some people believe that customer service only exists within the restaurant itself. However, the availability of information about your restaurant such as opening times, whether you have a kids menu or even how to book a table is all part of customer service. It is all about giving the customer the best experience by having enough information available about your restaurant for them to make a decision about eating there.

Part of the pre-dining customer service experience is giving them swift answers to questions. This is where a chatbot such as Feebi is useful for giving immediate responses to your customers when they ask questions such as whether you have disabled access. The customer service part really comes into play when customers send a message to your restaurant asking for a menu or to see opening times; questions to which Feebi can respond instantly and without you having to lift a finger.

3. Booking Process

The third and possibly most important area of the pre-dining experience is the part where they actually book a table with you! Tying in with the customer service aspect, if the phone line is crackly or the person on the end of the phone is rude then it is likely to damage the customer’s preconceptions about your restaurant. Ideally, the process needs to be smooth and seamless with little irritation or interruption to the customer.

Feebi is the chatbot changing the face of reservations for restaurants. It lets your customers book into your restaurant seamlessly when working with your online reservation software, they simply select the time and date they would like to visit within the chat interface itself. This is a totally hands-free approach, meaning your staff do not need to spend time answering messages, phone calls and emails to take bookings. It can all be done in one place.

Take some time to evaluate your approach to the pre-dining experience. If you were a potential customer of your own restaurant, would you be tempted to book?

Feebi is offering a free 30-day trial so you can start to realise some of the benefits of using a chatbot to complement your pre-dining experience. Get started by clicking the box below.