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Why Your Restaurant Needs an Integrated Guest CRM System

Posted by Sam Kusinitz on 3/20/15 10:00 AM in Restaurant Technology

3 minute read Print

CRMThere is no greater driver of success than when a business understands its customers. When customers are understood - their needs, purchasing behavior, and preferences - everything else becomes clearer. Without customer data, how can a restaurant decide which menu items to remove, what specials to make, or what promotions to offer? With a strong understanding of the customer, restaurateurs can confidently make decisions about their business. 

Enter: a CRM system. CRM is an acronym that stands for Customer Relationship Management. A CRM system is the technology used to collect, store, and manage information about customers. Integrated CRM for restaurants as part of a point of sale system provides restaurant operators a deeper level of information about their customers that helps improve sales, marketing and guest experience. 

Collect Customer Data

Many restaurants don’t realize how much information they have about their customers because all of the data is segmented. A restaurant might have a seperate point of sale, a loyalty program, and an online ordering vendor, all of which are independently collecting information about customers. When a CRM system is built in to an all-in-one POS system, all of the fragmented data is compiled in a central location to create a detailed database of customers’ contact information and order history. 

If it's a truly integrated POS, the contact history is not limited only to in-house purchases. If you host your online ordering and delivery services through your POS system, for instance, you can collect customer data for your online customers as well as your in-store guests. The information collected and stored in the CRM can then be used to gain valuable insight about your customers. A restaurant owner can use the data stored in the CRM to identify the most regular customers, the highest spending guests, and what each customer orders. They can make educated decisions about what to keep and remove from the menu to improve margins. 

Reward Your Best Customers Restaurant Marketing Guide

Loyalty programs have become more popular than ever as owners strive to keep their customers coming back and spending more money. Once you have the ability to identify your highest spending and most regular guests, you can reward them to show your appreciation for their business or to encourage them to return to the restaurant. 

When your POS system has an integrated CRM system, loyalty programs become easier to promote and manage. On a tablet-based restaurant POS, guests enter the tip and sign directly on the tablet interface, creating the opportunity to allow them to easily opt in to your rewards program. Then, anytime guests pay with their credit or debit card, the loyalty points will automatically be associated with their contact history in the CRM. 

Create Personalized Restaurant Marketing Campaigns

A well-designed CRM system will not only make it easy to collect information about guests, but also to break down and analyze the information collected. The ability to access and segment customer data allows restaurant owners to easily create personalized marketing campaigns to drive guests back into their restaurants. Not only can restaurant operators send email to a list of customers with the data collected, but they can segment the data to offer personalized deals and discounts based on purchase history. The data could be used to find all of the customers who have ordered a particular appetizer or cocktail, for instance. A restaurant owner can then take that list of customers and offer a promotion on a dish they've enjoyed in the past.

A comprehensive and accessible CRM system enables restaurateurs to better understand their guests, create long-term relationships with customers, and make the best decisions for their businesses.

Click to learn how the CRM system works alongside the other Toast features.

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toast restaurant management blog

Written by: Sam Kusinitz

Sam is a product marketer at Toast. He’s a University of Michigan grad and has a lifetime of experience experimenting with Toast. Toast in Boston. Toast in Michigan. Toast in the morning, Toast in the evening, Toast at suppertime. He once considered making a sandwich without Toast, but is a sandwich without Toast really a sandwich?


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