How a popular and contemporary hospitality group tapped into the OpenTable network to reach more first-timers
Type of restaurant
Restaurant and event
in Chicago, IL
of diners from boost campaigns
Return on investment
DineAmic Hospitality, a restaurant group known for its contemporary restaurants, nightlife concepts, and event venues in Chicago, wanted to bring in more first-timers and get more diners during their slower day parts. Through the pandemic, they’ve adapted their business to new norms – from adhering to changing regulations and adopting new safety precautions to pivoting their operational model to bring the DineAmic guest experience home and supporting their staff and community. All the while, they’re balancing how to keep their doors open, drive up dine-in business, and stand out in an increasingly competitive environment. Using OpenTable boost campaigns as part of their strategy, they cultivated new guest relationships and reached over 60% first-timers by tapping into the OpenTable network.
Before the pandemic hit, DineAmic took a comprehensive approach to marketing its restaurants, including offline and online tactics, partnership marketing with hotels and other restaurant groups, referral programs, and local marketing in their community. When the pandemic hit, they pivoted to focus their marketing efforts on driving guest traffic during specific day parts. To pull in guests within their network, they offered seasonal promotions, extreme lunch specials, and creative new culinary experiences. But, with tourism down and fewer people eating out, they realized they needed a wider reach to pull in more Chicagoans to their restaurants.
To get in front of guests outside of their network, they doubled down on OpenTable marketing. With the support of OpenTable’s Open Door pricing relief program, they reinvested a portion of the money saved on subscription and cover fees to strategically ramp up their marketing to drive more business. “With OpenTable having about 70% market share compared to other reservation platforms, we knew it would be a good marketing avenue for us to consistently be in front of new guests,” says Alexios Milioulis, Hospitality Director and Bodega Operating Partner.
For DineAmic, boost campaigns helped them extend their reach. “With boost campaigns, the exposure factor is huge. They put us in the top 10 and open up new doors of opportunity by bringing us guests we can’t reach through our own outreach, which is critical for us,” says Milioulis. While they continue to attract regulars to their restaurants, they’re seeing a massive increase in first-timers due to the boost campaigns. Milioulis says that they’re seeing on average 60 to 70 percent first-time guests, which has helped them grow new relationships and keep them coming back.
As the pandemic impacted neighborhoods across Chicago differently, they’ve shifted their campaign strategy. Rather than run campaigns for a couple weeks as they previously did, they now run long-term campaigns and customize them depending on the geographic location of their restaurants, days of the week, and specific time of the day. Milioulis says, “We had OpenTable marketing tools available to us before. But, now more than ever, we’re investing more time into them because of the current market trends and skyrocketing competition to capture a smaller share of guests eating out.”
Seeing the ROI from their marketing is also a huge value-add for DineAmic. With other advertising platforms they’re getting in front of people who see what they’re offering and may potentially book on their own in the future, but, unlike OpenTable, there’s no immediate ROI that they get from that. “When we compare it to other advertising, OpenTable has given us the biggest ROI out of anything we’ve done so far. OpenTable has about 90% of the ROI,” says Milioulis.
DineAmic is also able to track guests who come from their boost campaigns by looking at the reservation tags, OpenTable cover trend and marketing insights reporting, and the weekly performance emails they receive for each location. In addition, they work closely with their OpenTable marketing consultant who provides them with a full, comprehensive view of their data and explains what to look for so they know exactly what they were investing in. “Working with our OpenTable marketing consultant is valuable to us because he understands what we’re trying to accomplish. He looks into our books and cover trends and offers suggestions and selling points without coming off pushy,” says Milioulis.
Especially during these tough times, DineAmic continues to do all that they can to serve their guests, employees, and community. They say it’s important to stay united. The pride and local love that restaurants in Chicago have for one another is strong. Milioulis says, “We see it as one industry in it together, exhibiting hospitality and compassion to people and helping each other out to fight off this pandemic. That’s all that matters right now.”
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