For restaurants, figuring out how to get customers in the door during lean periods is quite a challenge. GroupTable offers a perfect solution in this regard, as it helps attract diners for group dining during off-peak hours, even as there is advertisement & improved visibility of the restaurant. GroupTable Platform is offered free to restaurants. The incremental revenues, which are earned in the process, add to the bottom line.
Popular restaurants in most cities are usually packed during the peak hours on the weekends. The rest of the time, tables are either empty or underutilised, with, for example, two diners occupying a table meant for six. GroupTable offers a unique platform for attracting new footfalls, in optimum group sizes, during these lean periods. The registered members of the website are incentivised to avail of restaurant deals, which are structured in such a way as to attract diners in groups, on particular days and times. This is usually done by offering flat rates of discount on fixed table sizes for particular days, times or for particular restaurant menu. This encourages group dining as the savings per table are greater than the usual per coupon per person restaurant deals.
The GroupTable model is also different from the Daily Deal model in another respect. Diners have to confirm in advance the date and time of visit through table reservation. This gives restaurants sufficient time to plan everything from seating to staff allocation. There is no danger of a large number of coupon holders swarming into the restaurant on the same day or time, which has been the experience with daily deals. Restaurants experience spike in visitors during the first week and the last week of validity of coupons in a daily deal promotion. This leads to deterioration in quality of experience for both diners & restaurants.
One other reason restaurants do not get real value in a daily deal promotion is, as the experience of last few years suggests, the chances of repeat business & customer retention are rare. “While restaurants offer deeply discounted dining in a daily deal promotion, the results aren’t always what they expect. The customer is likely to be more loyal to coupons than to any particular restaurant. They are more than likely to move on to the next deep discount deal than to think of a repeat visit to the restaurant by paying full price,” says Mohan Rao, founder-director of GroupTable. “Our model provides an economical solution as the focus is on long term profitability by encouraging larger spends per meal and by word-of-mouth publicity through group dining.”
GroupTable is a flexible platform and restaurants can float customized offers that absolutely suit their requirements. For example, restaurateurs looking to generate buzz all around about their restaurant may float “One Special Price Table” type of promotion. Delivering unexpected group rewards is an effective way of generating buzz about the restaurant. An easy way to achieve this is to provide a randomly selected table with attractive discount each lunch session and/or dinner session. The cost of providing such a discount is more than worth it; the goodwill and positive word-of-mouth created will be invaluable.
GroupTable.in started operations in Bangalore, through a beta launch of the website, in August 2011. It has launched commercial operations in Bangalore recently, along with a beta rollout in Mumbai and Delhi. Future plans include gradually increasing the reach across other cities in India. In addition to restaurants, the site also features banquet halls and party venues, which members can reserve for group functions at special prices. For more information, visit http://grouptable.in/.