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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton
Updated on Jun 18th, 2023
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SevenRooms 2023: Memorable Moments for Guests

DeliveryRank chats with Angela DeFranco from SevenRooms, a company that provides a guest experience and retention platform for hospitality operators. With a mission to help businesses create exceptional experiences that drive profitability and repeat business, SevenRooms has become a leader in the industry. As the Vice President of Product at SevenRooms, Angela has played a crucial role in shaping the company's product offerings and messaging to meet the needs of both hospitality operators and diners around the world. With her expertise in product development and a deep understanding of the hospitality industry, Angela is committed to helping SevenRooms continue to innovate and provide value to its customers.

SevenRooms' mission is to provide hospitality operators with access to guest data to deliver personalized experiences. Can you elaborate?

At SevenRooms, we pride ourselves on being the leading hospitality guest experience platform. Our main focus is creating delightful guest experiences every day. We achieve this by offering personalized platforms and tools to restaurant operators, which help them better understand and engage with their guests. Our goal is to create more personalized and memorable experiences for each guest.

To accomplish this, we start by understanding the person walking through your door. We ensure that outreach is targeted and uses the right campaigns. From there, we serve guests in the way they want to be served when they're on-site at your restaurant, using front-of-house tools and mobile devices.

We take the data you have on your guests, such as their preferences, dietary restrictions, or loyalty status, and use that in our solution to allow for targeted marketing. This includes both Email Marketing and Automated Marketing, SMS, and other types of messaging. Our tools enable operators to treat their restaurant business like any other business and brand, taking ownership of their marketing from start to finish for each guest's journey.

What have been some of the biggest challenges SevenRooms has faced in developing its platform, and how has the company overcome these challenges?

I believe that the biggest challenge we faced at SevenRooms was during the pandemic which actually turned into a significant opportunity. It was a difficult time for our customers as many restaurants had to close their doors or go out of business. As a company, we were experiencing explosive growth in 2018-2019, but the pandemic hit us hard, forcing us to reevaluate. However, this challenge presented an opportunity for us to help our customers in a new way.

Many of our restaurant operators had to quickly pivot to stay afloat, and we realized that they were struggling to reach their local customers with new offerings and unique experiences like cocktail kits. They didn't know who to send these offers to or how to communicate effectively with their customers. This is where our expertise in customer data and personalized marketing became incredibly valuable.

As restaurants started to reopen, the importance of owning and utilizing customer data became paramount. We were able to help our customers make use of their data and provide them with the tools to make it easy to access. This was a significant challenge, and we are still seeing the remnants of it today. Some restaurants struggled to pivot and adapt, even with our help. Nonetheless, we are proud of the support we provided to help our customers survive and thrive during this difficult time.

SevenRooms has expanded globally in recent years. What are some of the unique challenges and opportunities that come with serving the hospitality industry in different regions around the world?

As a product leader, I find it fascinating to consider the regional differences in our product offerings. It's not just a matter of language or operating in a specific region with its own dialects and colloquialisms. It's about truly understanding the cultural moment in that region, the target customer, and their guests. For example, people who dine in Dubai are very different from those who dine in Hong Kong, Sydney, or London.

To serve our global footprint effectively, we need to be set up to receive feedback not just on language localisation but on the culture and society at large. This has forced us to become more mature and sophisticated in how we expand region by region and respond to cultural differences. For example, we have found that pre-ordering meals is quite common in the UK but not at all common on the East Coast of the US.

These types of cultural differences influence our product roadmap and how we support customers locally. Despite the challenges, we enjoy serving our global customers and are committed to leaning into these regional differences as we continue to grow in this fast-paced, competitive industry.

With increasing concerns around data privacy and security, how does SevenRooms ensure that the guest data it collects is protected and used responsibly?

At SevenRooms, we consider data privacy as one of our top priorities. We have strict policies and procedures in place to ensure that we collect, use, and disclose our clients' data in a safe and secure manner.

Over the past few years, we have made significant improvements to our encryption methods and beefed up our security measures. We provide multi-layered, state-of-the-art security to keep our customers' data safe. We continually monitor all access points for security and fraud and implement changes and improvements as necessary. We have a dedicated security team that keeps us up-to-date with the latest best practices to maintain the privacy of our customers' personal data.

SevenRooms has been successful in helping hospitality businesses of all sizes increase revenue and create loyal guests. What advice do you have for smaller businesses looking to leverage guest data to improve their operations and drive growth?

I think the hardest part of using customer data is knowing what to do with it. I read a survey by Nation's Restaurant News that said 7 in 10 restaurant operators question if they are optimizing the customer data they collect. Our goal is to not only provide a central source of truth to our guests, but also build tools that make it easy to use that data, even if you're a small restaurant owner.

For example, we have automated campaigns that generate personalized emails for first-time guests, which has led to a huge ROI for our clients. We're also able to use customer feedback to pinpoint areas for improvement, whether from direct surveys or online review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. We can then use that information to make targeted outreach for customers who have given positive or negative reviews in the past. Our focus is always on making it as easy as possible for small businesses to access and use their data without any friction.

If you would like to find out more about SevenRooms, visit https://sevenrooms.com/en/ or follow on https://www.instagram.com/sevenrooms/ or https://www.facebook.com/SevenRooms/

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