Interview: On-premise guest-management tech & honing the basics with SevenRooms GM APAC

February 8, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Drinks Trade sat down with Paul Hadida, General Manager APAC at SevenRooms, to discuss the increasingly relevancy of guest experience and retention technologies, what on-premise venues should be improving upon, and what it is that SevenRooms offers.

Drinks Trade: What is SevenRooms?

Paul Hadida: This is almost like your all in one guest communication tool. There isn’t one specific platform out there that does everything that we do. There’s those point solutions, so there’s some that do online ordering or takeaway, but there was a real lack of a top premium product that could be utilized from everything from your local restaurant to a fine dining restaurant to a group of a hundred or two hundred pubs.

DT: Who’s it designed for? 

PH: Some of our best customers are pub operators, whether that’s the Laundry Group or Australian Venue Co. or Soletel or Tilley and Wills. They apply the software in different ways, whether that’s through the reservation experience for the dining components of their venues through to utilising all the data that’s in integration with their POS so that they know what the customers are ordering. 

DT: What advice would you give to current venue owners? 

PH: It’s about basics at the moment. It’s about really giving the fundamentals and the basics of customer service: that’s from the moment that they think about your venue through to the experience that they’re having in your venue and then also how you connect with them after.

And maybe they’re not dining out as much as they used to… So someone might have gone out three times a week but, you know, the economic environment is not conducive to that at the moment, so when they do go out they want to have the best experience possible. That’s different for people and you need to be able to personalise and give them the experience they want, and with SevenRooms, you’re able to do that.

DT: What does this personalisation look like?

PH: If I come to the venue and I’ve been there, you know, five times in the last twelve months, you can really sort of give me the experience that I should be having based on what I’ve done before– some of the things that I’ve eaten or drunk at the venue, whether it’s a specific Chandon or whatever it is that I’ve had–they can really sort of tailor that experience that next time I come in.

So, collecting the data through the booking process to be able to understand what they’re looking for, you can potentially offer certain upsells, or menu items throughout the booking process, so you’re ready to sort of know what kind of experience they want to have when they’re in there. 

What our data suggests is that they want personalised experiences. If they’re going out and they’re making a reservation and it’s a Friday night and there’s four of them, they want to have a really great experience, and through the use of technology, you can give that extra mile.

DT: What does the platform cover?

PH: From finding your customer (whether it’s on your website or Google or Facebook or instagram or Tic Tok or wherever it is you find your customers), through to the first experience they have with your business, (whether it’s online ordering, whether it’s making that reservation)… those are the first experiences.

Then to your venue with our venue management system and our table management system. All of all of what you’ve done is within that system as an operator you get all the inside from data as to who your customers are, what they like/what they don’t like, where they like to sit, what they like to eat, etcetera… all that data is there on hand for the service and for the host to be able to utilize.

And then to be able to sort of connect with your guest post service/post dining experience. You know, through email marketing, through marketing automation; winning those customers and getting those customers back in and really sort of mining and harvesting the data that you’ve got in your database to give them the full experience

DT: Any thoughts on where the sector is headed?

PH: I don’t like to make predictions, it’s very hard to predict the future, but what we think, building on what I said before is just making it super easy for the customers, right? So being available, being in every medium… It’s like: you need to be on google, on Facebook, on instagram, on Tik Tok, on every medium possible so that the customers can find you, But the key for when the customers find you is you want to get that back: you want them coming back directly to you, you want them to be your customer, and you know through the tools that we have we’re able to facilitate that process for the venues. 

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