How Integrating Reservation and POS Data Can Propel Full-Service Restaurants to New Heights

Author: Duane Lyons

Full-service restaurants are constantly tasked with creating more personalized and efficient customer interactions to meet rising consumer expectations and keep up with their competition. For many restaurants, the starting point lies in integrating point-of-sale (POS) data and reservation system data to get a unified view of your restaurant’s customers and better decipher their behaviors, needs, and preferences. This can transform how you understand and engage with diners, nurture loyalty, and ensure a steady flow of returning customers. The inability to marry these two sources would be analogous to Amazon providing in-app purchase suggestions without any access to your purchase history.


The challenge of siloed POS systems and reservation platforms

Online reservation platforms like OpenTable, Tock, and Resy offer convenience and streamline booking processes for full-service restaurants. However, they come with limitations that can hinder your ability to understand your customers and target your marketing efforts.


A notable limitation is that while these platforms may show basic diner profiles and visit frequency, they fall short when providing insights into diners’ spending habits, favorite menu items, or dining preferences. This critical information is locked in your POS system, which records transaction data, including the diner’s spending during each visit and their ordering patterns. POS system data can be instrumental in tailoring experiences to individual customers. Furthermore, these pre-built platforms lack advanced analytics capabilities for restaurants seeking deeper insights – like predictions of future diner behaviors.


To take action based on your diners’ preferences and history, it is critical to integrate this POS data and reservation data into one unified system for a complete view of trends, customer journeys, and more.


The benefits of holistic customer data

A holistic view of customer data fuels more effective and efficient marketing. For example, linking information about spending patterns from your POS system to customer contact information from your reservation platform allows you to segment your customers based on spending habits and run targeted campaigns customized for each segment. This way, you can reward high spenders, re-engage lapsed customers, and even entice occasional customers to become regulars.


Unifying reservation and POS data can also be used to flag critical moments in a diner’s customer journey. If a diner’s visit frequency or average bill total has declined, it could either signal potential dissatisfaction or a shift in preferences. By integrating reservation platforms with POS data, you can proactively identify such diners and tailor outbound marketing and advertising strategies to win them back before they churn.


Integrating POS data with reservation platforms is essential to develop successful targeted campaigns. With a unified dataset, you can gain a holistic view of your customers and craft highly personalized marketing strategies. For example, you can create offers based on visiting frequencies, spending history, and preferred menu items. You can even push personalized promotions to incentivize customers to join loyalty programs.


In addition, these comprehensive customer profiles can be used for advertising to potential new customers on platforms that allow you to target specific trade areas and build lookalike audiences based on existing customers. With a higher level of personalization and deeper understanding of your diners, it is easier than ever to deliver messages and offers that resonate with customers, leading to improved campaign effectiveness, higher ROI on your marketing and advertising spend, and increased customer loyalty.


Taking the next step to integrate reservation and POS data

Even though there are many significant benefits to integrating these two data sources, many full-service restaurants haven’t yet prioritized integrating this data to deliver actionable insight.


POS and online reservation platforms use different databases, data structures, and formats to store information. This can make it challenging to map and integrate data into a centralized storage system and properly match customer information across systems. Data conflicts, inconsistencies, and errors in matching can create inaccurate or incomplete customer profiles. Successfully integrating the two systems requires a high level of technical expertise to tailor the integration to match the restaurant’s specific needs and goals, ensuring a seamless fit into the restaurant’s operations.


By partnering with Wavicle, you can merge these datasets into a single database and incorporate essential business rules to align diner profiles between reservations and POS systems. This will allow you to generate a comprehensive diner profile and analyze your customer data in ways that you cannot within a standard reservation system or POS system.


This is where Wavicle excels. Our technical knowledge, industry expertise, and established approach to merging reservation and POS systems ensure precise diner profile alignment so you can obtain a single source of truth for sharper insights. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help you achieve this integration.