Customer loyalty

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

SevenRooms Unveils 3 Powerful New Tools

SevenRooms Unveils Three Powerful New Tools

by David Klemt

Booth seating inside a restaurant or bar

SevenRooms clients will have access to three new tools that will further enhance guest engagement, increase loyalty, and boost relationships with VIPs.

Each of these consumer-facing solutions is launching in time for the holiday season.

First up, 7R Priority Alerts. This tool helps operators manage their waitlists and generate revenue. We all know that even restaurants that require reservation fees end up with no-shows. Some platforms are capable of attempting to fill those available reservation slots. However, there’s not normally much control over who receives availability alerts.

Now, operators will have the power to target specific guests through automated reservation notifications. As 7R explains this tool, operators will be able to identify, label, and reward their most-valuable guests. These guests will feel like VIPs, increasing their loyalty, visits, and spends.

Then there’s Private Line. This is my favorite of the three new tools. Operators who implement this tool will be able to share an exclusive messaging line. So, a VIP such as a big spender, frequent diner, a member of the press, or an influencer can reach out to the team directly.

With Private Line, a VIP can inquire about a last-second reservation or make a special request. Again, this is the type of feature that increases loyalty and visit frequency.

Most people find new restaurants through friend, family, or coworker referrals. That got the 7R team thinking: How can restaurants reward people who refer new guests?

Enter: Word-of-Mouth Referrals, the third new tool on this list.

Pushed to guests via automated email marketing campaigns and post-visit surveys, a custom referral link is created for every diner. The guests then share that link, new guests make reservations, and the cycle continues. Operators, of course, reward guests for these referrals through any number of means, such as redeemable loyalty program points, comped F&B items, etc.

To learn more, please read the 7R press release about Priority Alerts, Private Line, and Word-of-Mouth Referrals below.


Priority Alerts, Private Line, and Word-of-Mouth Referrals redefine guest engagement and communication between restaurants and their most important guests

NEW YORK – SevenRooms, a guest experience and retention platform for the hospitality industry, today announced the launch of Priority Alerts, Private Line, and Word-of-Mouth Referrals, three new consumer-facing features that help operators connect with and reward their most loyal guests. With guests expecting more from their dining experiences than ever before, these solutions were purpose-built to solve real pain points for hospitality operators. These include alerting a specific diner about reservation availability, providing new ways for guests to get in touch and making it easier for guests to recommend their favorite restaurants to friends and family.

Priority Alerts helps operators control who they send automated reservation availability notifications to so they can prioritize their most valuable guests. In comparison to other reservation notification systems, restaurants choose who receives a Priority Alert first, not just deciding between a blast to their entire waitlist or to an exclusive subset of credit card holders. Instead, they can prioritize the guests that matter most to their business – whether that’s a VIP, loyalty member, frequent or recent diner, local, high spender, or someone else. This helps restaurants reward their most valuable guests to get them through their doors more often.

Private Line was created to give important guests an easier, faster way to get in touch with their favorite restaurants. With Private Line, restaurants can now offer their high-value guests – like VIPs, press, frequent diners and top spenders – an exclusive messaging line that can be used to instantly get in touch with their team. Whether a guest is looking for a last-minute reservation, has a special request, needs to add a friend to a booking or another ask, restaurants no longer miss out on opportunities to wow the guests that matter most. All conversations are centralized within the SevenRooms mobile app, making it easy for staff to book a table, add in requests or make other changes with just a few clicks.

Word-of-Mouth Referrals, the third consumer-facing feature launching with our fall release, gives restaurants the ability to motivate, track and reward loyal guests for referring new diners. According to recent data, 61 percent of diners discover new restaurants from friends, family and co-workers. Yet, without an easy way to capture this untapped demand, restaurants have historically left dollars on the table. Word-of-Mouth Referrals automatically creates personal referral links for every diner – shared through post-meal surveys and automated email campaigns – making it simple for guests to share with their networks and be rewarded with perks they’ll want to earn and use. Restaurants can tap into this high-value marketing channel for their business, rewarding loyalty and ensuring exceptional experiences for newcomers and regulars that translate into more sales and profits.

“At SevenRooms, our focus from day one has been on building innovations that help operators increase profitability, drive sales and improve the experiences of their guests. These three new features, all integrated into the SevenRooms platform, give operators new ways to connect and communicate with their guests – helping them evolve to meet the needs of guests who know what they want, how they want it, when they want it,” said Angela DeFranco, VP of Product at SevenRooms. “In an increasingly competitive landscape where consumers have more choice than ever before in where they choose to take their business, we’re dedicated to finding new ways for restaurants to connect and market more effectively to their guests with tools that not only make them more money, but help them execute on experiences that guests remember and recommend. Restaurant marketing is no longer one-size-fits-all, and we are redefining the role that technology can play in creating truly personalized guest engagement and marketing touchpoints at every stage of the guest journey.”

“The plan was to always move to SevenRooms because the technology was far superior, the potential for integration with our point of sale system was a lot stronger and owning the data was a huge deal,” said Kim McDiarmid, Partner at Liquid and Larder. “SevenRooms’ Priority Alerts has been a dream for us. Compared to our previous platform, it’s a lot more customizable and fully automated so it does the heavy lifting for us. We’re going to use it to give priority to guests who match criteria such as those who dine with us regularly, and with that, it will work even harder for us.”

For more details on SevenRooms’ newest innovations, please visit

About SevenRooms

SevenRooms is a guest experience and retention platform that helps hospitality operators create exceptional experiences that drive revenue and repeat business. Trusted by thousands of hospitality operators around the world, SevenRooms powers tens of millions of guest experiences each month across both on- and off-premises. From neighborhood restaurants and bars to international, multi-concept hospitality groups, SevenRooms is transforming the industry by empowering operators to take back control of their businesses to build direct guest relationships, deliver exceptional experiences and drive more visits and orders, more often. The full suite of products includes reservation, waitlist and table management, online ordering, mobile order & pay, review aggregation, email marketing and marketing automation. Founded in 2011 and venture-backed by Amazon, Comcast Ventures, PSG and Highgate Ventures, SevenRooms has dining, hotel F&B, nightlife and entertainment clients globally, including: Marriott International, MGM Resorts International, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Wynn Resorts, Jumeirah Group, Hard Rock Hotels & Resorts, Wolfgang Puck, Michael Mina, Bloomin’ Brands, José Andrés Group, Union Square Hospitality Group, Australian Venue Company, The Wolseley Hospitality Group, Dishoom, Live Nation and Topgolf.

Image: Carson Masterson on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality Start-Up Restaurant Bar Hotel Consulting Consultant Solutions Plans Services

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Canadians Preparing for NHL Opening Week

Canadians Preparing for NHL Opening Week

by David Klemt

Vintage tabletop hockey game toy

Now nobody can accuse me of showing any NHL teams favoritism. Go Knights Go!

As one should expect, Canadian hockey fans are preparing for the 2023-2024 NHL season opener, and those preparations include on-premise visits.

On Tuesday, October 10, three teams will face off to start the regular season.

First, the Nashville Predators take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Then, the Chicago Blackhawks will face the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Finally, after raising their brand-new, first-ever Stanley Cup championship banner, which they won just six seasons after their founding, the fastest an expansion team has accomplished this feat, the Vegas Golden Knights will welcome the Seattle Kraken to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

According to on-premise data from CGA by NIQ, Canadian hockey fans are planning to celebrate the start of the season at bars and restaurants. That means operators have less than two weeks to finalize plans to attract these guests to their venues.

In particular, operators in four provinces need to ensure their NHL opening week plans and promotions are good to go. Per CGA’s data, consumers in Québec are showing the greatest interest in watching this season’s opening games in bars and restaurants. Following and driving on-premise interest are British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta.

Of course, operators throughout the provinces who serve sports fans should be ready to welcome hockey fans.

For our Canadian readers, the Montréal Candiens will take on Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, October 11. On that same day, the Ottawa Senators face the Carolina Hurricanes; the Edmonton Oilers face off against the Vancouver Canucks; and the Winnipeg Jets will battle the Calgary Flames.

Click here for the full opening week schedule.

Why Does this Matter?

I may catch some flack for this but technically, any bar with televisions events can be a sports bar.

Yes, I understand that’s a very simplistic view. And yes, of course that comes with the caveat that sports should be authentic to a given concept. Also, showing sports should take into account the expectations of bar or restaurant’s guests.

In other words, most bars and restaurants can benefit from sports but they’d likely be a hindrance to some high-end cocktail bars and fine-dining concepts.

With that out of the way, operators who want to establish themselves as the go-to spot for sporting events need to nail opening week. That means having all of their ducks in a row.

Do they have the proper business TV packages in place? Will promotions and programming appeal to the target audience? Are the screens and audio system high quality for the best viewing experience? Does the menu offer sports fans what they want for great value? Is the team pulling out all the spots to make viewing fun?

Regarding the menu, CGA by NIQ has a couple of valuable insights. First, beer is the top beverage alcohol category among those planning to celebrate NHL opening week on-premise. Second, among those who plan to consume spirits, tequila is the top pick. Sounds like offering beer and tequila shot pairings could perform well.

However, operators should certainly take into account their own data. What F&B items are selling the best? Which items performed the best this same time last year?

Between 15 and 16 million Canadians follow hockey. That’s a vast pool of potential customers to convert to loyal guests. The importance of becoming their sports home base, their third spot, cannot be overstated.

This coming opening week, lay the groundwork to become the go-to place for hockey fans, fantasy sports competitors, and sports bettors.

Image: cottonbro studio via Pexels

KRG Hospitality. Gaming. Entertainment. Consultant. Food Service. Bowling Alley. Golf. Simulator. Arcades. Eatertainment.

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Time to Rethink Your Loyalty Program?

Is it Time to Rethink Your Loyalty Program?

by David Klemt

Two pepperoni pizzas in open boxes

So, you have a loyalty program in place. That’s great, but is it time to review its performance and implement meaningful changes to improve engagement?

I know, I know—that feeling of “if it ain’t one thing, it’s another” never seems to go away. That’s part of operator life.

The good news is that, if you have a loyalty or rewards program and it has been working, you’re a step ahead of many other operators. In that way, it’s similar to implementing an actual onboarding process and including an employee manual.

But what should you do if you notice engagement dropping? Well, it may indicate that while there’s interest in your program, it’s getting stale. Or, perhaps people don’t like the rewards or think they’re earning rewards quickly enough.

If engagement isn’t at the levels you want or is noticeably declining, it’s time to review your program with a critical eye.

In fact, it’s a great idea to ask your team for their feedback regarding loyalty. After all, your team hears guest feedback in real time. Also, they likely have some ideas of their own that can help refresh the program. After all, some people on your team may be members of loyalty programs themselves and have some thoughts.

Engagement via Gamification

The word “gamification,” much like “pivot,” may be a word that annoys you. That doesn’t make it any less relevant.

Millions of people are on their phones nearly every waking moment of the day. And millions among those millions engage with brands and apps via games or game-like features. It keeps these people coming back for more.

One restaurant chain that understands the power of gamification is Jimmy John’s.

First, the brand’s loyalty and rewards program has an interesting name: Freaky Fast Rewards. Second, they issue challenges that drive member engagement.

For example, for Q1 2023, Jimmy John’s threw down the Gauntlet via the Freaky Fast Rewards program. Members had until the middle of March to purchase every sandwich on the menu. The reward? A branded beanbag chair that looks like a bag of Jimmy Chips.

Of course, the program engages its members in other gamified ways. There are achievement badges to earn, for instance. And there have been challenges that were narrowed down to daypart to drive traffic and engagement.

Free food and merchandise are common rewards, but there are also surprises that members can earn to keep things fresh.

Program Updates

Another brand giving their loyalty program a refresh is Domino’s.

Rather than do what some other companies have done, the pizza giant is lowering the threshold to earn rewards.

Around a year ago, Chipotle experienced significant backlash from loyalty program members when they went the other direction. In response, one would think, to rising costs, the brand increased the amount its members had to spend to earn rewards.

That went about as well with many of their customers as you’d expect, of course. Loyalty and rewards programs are meant to increase traffic and spend per guest, not alienate them and drive them away.

Enter: The Domino’s Rewards refresh.

“We are thrilled to give the brand’s loyal customers additional ways to earn free Domino’s items more often,” said Mark Messing, Domino’s vice president of digital experience and loyalty, via press release. “At a time when most brands are scaling back their loyalty programs and making it more difficult to earn and redeem points, Domino’s is doing the opposite. We want to make it easier to reward our customers and give them more options so they can get rewarded faster.”

Members can not only earn points more quickly (every $5 spent equals 10 rewards points), they can redeem more quickly as well. For example, a 16-piece Parmesan bread bites is just 20 points. Free stuffed cheesy bread is only 40 points now. And that’s to say nothing of offers that are exclusive to members.


Only you, of course, can know how to adjust your loyalty program. You need to look at your data to understand the best solution for waning engagement.

The last thing you should do is lower points thresholds without knowing your numbers. And if you’re considering gamifying your program, you need to know if that’s an approach your guests will actually like.

In other words, don’t rush to upgrade or update your loyalty program. Take time, collect relevant data, engage your team, and move forward with any changes with strategic clarity.

Image: Polina Tankilevitch via Pexels

Bar Nightclub Pub Brewery Technology Consulting Project Management

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Cheers to the 2023 World Beer Cup Winners

Cheers to the 2023 World Beer Cup Winners

by David Klemt

Flight of beers offering different styles

Raise a glass or hoist a stein in celebration of the 2023 World Beer Cup winners, a collection of some of the most incredible brews on the planet.

Since 1996, the World Beer Cup has established itself as “the Olympics of Beer” and is hosted by the Brewers Association. This year, 272 judges from 26 countries ranked submissions from 2,376 brewers across 103 categories. A staggering 10,213 beers were entered in the 2023 World Beer Cup.

On average, 99 beers are submitted for each category. Of note, no category is guaranteed to have three medalists. In theory, the judges assessing a given category may award only a silver or bronze medal, determining that there is no outstanding entrant deserving of gold.

While the average per category is 99 entrants, some styles have hundreds. The first five categories below boasted the most entrants in 2023.

For our coverage of the 2022 World Beer Cup winners, click here.

American-style India Pale Ale

412 entrants

  • Gold: Head Hunter (Fat Head’s Brewery & Saloon; North Olmsted, Ohio, USA)
  • Silver: Applied Science (Sunriver Brewing Co.; Sunriver, Oregon, USA)
  • Bronze: Old West (Craft Coast Beer & Tacos; Oceanside, California, USA)

Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale

374 entrants

  • Gold: Wherever You Go (Green Cheek Beer Co.; Costa Mesa, California, USA)
  • Silver: Nectaronus Prime (Moksa Brewing Co.; Rocklin, California, USA)
  • Bronze: Nelson Hazy IPA (Prison Pals Brewing Co.; Doral, Florida, USA)

German-style Pilsener

233 entrants

  • Gold: Pils (Von Ebert Brewing, Pearl District; Portland, Oregon, USA)
  • Silver: Dollar Pils Y’all (Holler Brewing Co.; Houston, Texas, USA)
  • Bronze: Bibo (Creature Comforts Brewing Co., Southern Mills; Athens, Georgia, USA)

International Light Lager

220 entrants

  • Gold: Anne Bonny (Le Corsaire – Microbrasserie Pirate; Lévis, Québec, Canada)
  • Silver: 3Speed (Amsterdam Brewing Co.; Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
  • Bronze: Ultra Secret Enigma (Liability Brewing Co.; Greenville, South Carolina, USA)

Wood- and Barrel-aged Strong Stout

202 entrants

  • Gold: Big Mistake (11 Below Brewing Co.; Houston, Texas, USA)
  • Silver: BA Sexual Chocolate (Foothills Brewing; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA)
  • Bronze: Vladislav (Diebolt Brewing Co., Denver, Colorado, USA)

I selected another dozen categories, which you’ll find below. These include American Wheat Beer, Non-alcohol Beer, and Pumpkin Beer.

For the full list of 2023 World Beer Cup winners, please click here. Cheers!

Session India Pale Ale

  • Gold: Wild Gravity (Bend Brewing Co.; Bend, Oregon, USA)
  • Silver: Trump Hands (Cannonball Creek Brewing Co.; Golden, Colorado, USA)
  • Bronze: Summatime (603 Brewery; Londonberry, New Hampshire, USA)

American Wheat Beer

  • Gold: Taildragger 5G (Saddle Mountain Brewing Co.; Goodyear, Arizona, USA)
  • Silver: Meister (Eppig Brewing; Vista, California, USA)
  • Bronze: Miner’s Gold (Lewis & Clark Brewing Co.; Helena, Montana, USA)

Belgian Fruit Beer

  • Gold: Central City Brewing Framboise (Central City Brewers and Distillers; Surrey, British Columbia, Canada)
  • Silver: Vieux Bois Lambic Inspired Ale w/ Cranberry & Raspberry (Bozeman Brewing Co.; Bozeman, Montana, USA)
  • Bronze: Turtle Kriek (Peticolas Brewing Co.; Dallas, Texas, USA)

Belgian-style Sour Ale

  • Gold: Vintage 2022 (New Glarus Brewing Co.; New Glarus, Wisconsin, USA)
  • Silver: Chance, Luck and Magic 2020 (Garage Project; Wellington, New Zealand)
  • Bronze: Borealis (Lamplighter Brewing Co.; Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)

English-style Brown Ale

  • Gold: Shhhhhh…This Is Ryan’s Award Winning Brown Ale (Green Cheek Beer Co., Costa Mesa; Costa Mesa, California, USA)
  • Silver: Black Cats (Streetside Brewery; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA)
  • Bronze: Brown Ale (Grid City Beer Works; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)

South German-style Hefeweizen

  • Gold: Altstadt Hefe (Altstadt Brewery; Fredericksburg, Texas, USA)
  • Silver: Flying W Hefeweizen (Little Dry Creek Brewery; Greenwood Village, Colorado, USA)
  • Bronze: Fujizakura Kogen Beer Weizen (Fujizakura Heights Beer; Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan)

Classic Saison

  • Gold: Saaz Dryhopped Saison (33 Brewing Experiment; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
  • Silver: Juilletistes (Bruery Terreux; Placentia, California, USA)
  • Bronze: Valor (Tooth and Nail Brewing Co.; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

Pumpkin Beer

  • Gold: Pumpkin Ale (Backpocket Brewing; Coralville, Iowa, USA)
  • Silver: Pumpkinator (Saint Arnold Brewing Co.; Houston, Texas, USA)
  • Bronze: Jack O’Lantern Ale (Bond’s Brewing Co.; Laramie, Wyoming, USA)

Chili Beer

  • Gold: Yellow Fever (Comrade Brewing Co.; Denver, Colorado, USA)
  • Silver: Kimchi Sour (Dokkaebier; Oakland, California, USA)
  • Bronze: Oaxaca Choca Mexican Chocolate Stout (New Realm Brewing Co., Charleston; Charleston, South Carolina, USA)

Smoke Beer

  • Gold: Unearthing the Orb (Resolute Brewing Co.; Centennial, Colorado, USA)
  • Silver: Smokehaus Bock (Devils Backbone Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows; Roseland, Virginia, USA)
  • Bronze: Colossal 2 (Port City Brewing Co.; Alexandria, Virginia, USA)

Gluten-free Wheat Beer

  • Gold: Ghostfish 8th Anniversary Beer (Ghostfish Brewing Co.; Seattle, Washington, USA)
  • Silver: Seven Spice Anniversary Saison (Holidaily Brewing Co.; Golden, Colorado, USA)
  • Bronze: Ripped Jeans and Wolf Shirts (ALT Brew; Madison, Wisconsin, USA)

Non-alcohol Beer

  • Gold: Superb-Owl (Uiltje Brewing Co.; Haarlem, North Holland, Netherlands)
  • Silver: Just the Haze (Boston Beer Co., Samuel Adams Brewing Co.; Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
  • Bronze: Galactic Extra Dark (Big Drop Brewing Co.; Wilmington, Delaware, USA)

Image: Daniel Lee on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality Bar 101 Techniques

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Celebrate the Negroni, Support Slow Food

Celebrate the Negroni and Support Slow Food

by David Klemt

Bartender pouring Negroni into glass

This month, operators will have the opportunity to sign their bars up to take part in the tenth-anniversary celebration of Negroni Week.

For 2023, Negroni Week hosts Imbibe Magazine and Campari are raising funds for Slow Food. Sponsors also include Cinzano, Bulldog Gin, Bols Genever, and Coopers’ Craft Bourbon.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Campari USA (@campariusa)

Negroni Week will take place from September 18 through September 24. Registration is now live and operators can sign up their bars via this link.

So, we’re helping spread the word early and giving operators and their teams plenty of time to prepare to participate this year.

Negroni Week 2023

After first launching in 2013, Negroni Week is celebrating their decennial year.

Over the course of ten years, Imbibe and Campari have seen tremendous growth and results. In its inaugural year (or perhaps inaugural week is more accurate), a little over 100 venues participated. In its second year, 1,300 venues registered for Negroni Week.

Now, thousands of venues sign up every year, helping to raise money for worthy causes. To date, Negroni Week boasts more than $4 million in funds for charitable organizations.

Participation really couldn’t be any simpler: register, make a donation of at least $25, serve Negronis and/or variations of Negronis, and donate proceeds from your Negroni Week LTO menu.

After completing registration and making at least the minimum donation, an operator’s venue will gain placement on the Negroni Week website. The listings are searchable by state and city. Venues that donate $250 or more will carry a Premium Donor designation.

Those looking for inspiration for their charity LTO menus can click here to sift through Negroni Week’s recipe database.

Slow Food

Simply put, Slow Food’s mission is to help everyone access food that’s good for them, good the people who grow it, and good the planet as a whole.

An even more succinct description comes from the Slow Food website: access to food that’s “good, clean, and fair for all.”

Further, Slow Food seeks to prevent the loss local food cultures, along with food traditions. The organization was founded in 1989 and is now active in more than 160 countries.

In the US, Slow Food operates as a 501(c)(3) organization and has been active in Canada for several years. The charitable organization has had a strong presence in the provinces of British Columbia, Calgary, Montréal, and Ontario.

Get Ready

With just three ingredients in a 1:1:1 ratio, any bar team should be able to handle putting delicious Negronis across the bar.

So, operators should ensure their team can craft a traditional Negroni while encouraging them to work on some creative variations.

We’ll see in a little over a month to celebrate Negroni Week!

Image: Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality Complete Bar Menu Audit

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

iPourIt Releases Their 2023 Pour Report

iPourIt Releases Their 2023 Pour Report

by David Klemt

Beer pouring into glass from tap

Interactive self-serve beer experience platform iPourIt‘s latest report, the 2023 Pour Report, is now available for download and review.

iPourIt is a pioneer in the self-serve beverage space. While it may seem counter-intuitive to some, many guests have shown time and again that they enjoy using self-serve walls. For these guests, a not in any way insignificant number, iPourIt installations enhance the guest experience, increase loyalty, and boost revenue.

And while many people associate iPourIt and self-serve programs with beer, these systems can also pour wine, cocktails on tap, spirits, non-alcohol beverages, and soft drinks.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Matt Plapp (@mattplapp)

Another benefit from iPourIt? Transparency and sharing of data. The company doesn’t limit providing valuable guest behavior insight to their clients. Rather, they make the data they collect available to anyone. Simply head to their website, fill out a few fields, and gain important beverage insights.

Anyone curious can choose between a standard report and a “pro” version. Both are free to download and peruse. People can also read our article that dives into their fourth-annual report via this link.

Below you’ll find key takeaways from their 2023 report. I strongly urge operators to download and review either report.

The Who

We agree that demographics are a metric that people and businesses often misuse. Valuegraphics can be far more effective for businesses looking to build loyalty and boost revenue.

Still, demographics can provide beneficial insights.

First, let’s look at how men and women used iPourIt systems in 2022. Men poured 20,477,288 ounces last year, whereas women poured 10,848,435 ounces. The average per pour for men was 6.4 ounces in comparison to 5.3 ounces per pour from women. On average, men spent $14.72 per visit to an iPourIt-equipped location; women spent $12.24.

Next, the generational breakdown. IPA was the number-one style poured for Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. For legal-drinking-age Generation Z drinkers, IPA came in second; their top pour style was cider. Likewise, Lager claimed second place for Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials. Second was IPA for Gen Z, and Lager was third. Wheat beer was third place for Boomers, fourth for Gen X and Millennials, and fifth for Gen Z. Sour came in fifth for Gen X and Millennials fourth for Gen Z; for Boomers, the style didn’t rank among the top five. Stout clinched the fifth spot for Boomers.

Finally, in terms of traffic, men of every age group poured more ounces than their female counterparts.

The What

Below, the top 10 styles of beer poured by men:

  1. Fruit beer
  2. Pale Ale
  3. Blonde
  4. Pilsner
  5. Stout
  6. Sour
  7. Wheat beer
  8. Cider
  9. Lager
  10. IPA

In descending order, the top five (download the report for the top ten) products poured by men were Michelob Ultra, Bud Light, Golden Road Brewing Mango Cart, Coors Light, and Modelo Especial.

And now the top styles of beer or category of beverage poured by women:

  1. Stout
  2. Fruit beer
  3. Blonde
  4. White wine
  5. Hard seltzer
  6. Wheat beer
  7. Sour
  8. Lager
  9. IPA
  10. Cider

Also in descending order, the top products poured by women were Michelob Ultra, Mango Cart by Golden Road Brewing, Bud Light, Ace Pineapple Cider, and Coors Light.

The Where

The 2023 Pour Report by iPourIt breaks the US down into five regions: West, Southwest, Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast.

Because our American head office is in Las Vegas and our hotel consultant is in Pennsylvania, we’ll look at the West and Northeast.

The top-five pours for the West in 2022 were:

  1. Bud Light
  2. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. 805
  3. Golden Road Brewing Mango Cart
  4. Coors Light
  5. Modelo Especial

While the top-five pours in the Northeast were:

  1. Blue Moon Brewing Co. Belgian White
  2. Allagash Brewing Co. White
  3. Lord Hobo Brewing Co. Boom Sauce
  4. Sloop Brewing Co. Juice Bomb
  5. Stella Artois

For the curious, Bud Light and Coors Light are categorized as American-style Light Lagers, 805 is a Blonde Ale, Mango Cart is a Wheat Ale, and Modelo Especial is a Mexican-style Pilsner. Blue Moon and Allagash White are both Belgian-style wheat beers (or Witbiers), Boom Sauce is a Double IPA, Juice Bomb is a Northeastern IPA, and Stella Artois is a Lager.

For further insights, please download this year’s iPourIt report here.

Image: cottonbro studio on Pexels

KRG Hospitality Beverage Programming

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Why You Need to Use Direct Bookings

Why You Need to Use Direct Bookings

by David Klemt

White "Reserved" sign in wooden block on table

A new report from guest retention platform SevenRooms shows that like delivery, guests prefer to support restaurants directly when it comes to reservations.

Similar to their awareness of third-party delivery platform fees, today’s guest appears to be aware that third-party marketplaces cost restaurants and bars too much.

Let’s consider the guest discovery journey. According to their 2023 Dining Discovery & Booking Report, SevenRooms says most guests discover new restaurants via word of mouth. In fact, 61 percent of people rely on family, friends, and co-workers to find new restaurants. A third of diners use Google (33 percent), and nearly as many use social media (29 percent).

So, what role do third-party marketplaces play in restaurant and bar discovery? Per SevenRooms, not even ten percent of people who discover new places to grab a bite or a drink use such platforms.

Their research shows that just nine percent of diners use OpenTable to find new restaurants. However, that’s three times the number of diners that Resy (three percent) is seeing use their platform for discovery.

Okay, so what does this mean to you, the operator? It means that you should be leveraging a direct-booking feature. Guests are telling us how they want to experience restaurants and bars. They’ve let us know they prefer direct delivery. Now, they’re letting us know they prefer direct booking.

In other words, give them what they want: user-friendly ways to support your business. Make it easy to find you on social. Ensure your website is functional and easy to navigate. And give delivery and booking buttons prime real estate on your website so guests can find them quickly.

I also recommend communicating that you offer direct bookings, and thanking those who use that functionality for supporting your business directly. This can, of course, be done via automated marketing emails.

For more information—including how many diners call restaurants directly to make reservations—please read the SevenRooms press release below. You can also download their latest report here.


Leading guest experience and retention platform highlights consumer expectations for discovering new restaurants and making reservations

NEW YORK (June 7, 2023) – SevenRooms, a guest experience and retention platform for the hospitality industry, released its latest consumer report, “2023 Dining Discovery & Booking Report,” highlighting how guests discover new restaurants and book reservations. One thing is clear – diners are utilizing many channels for discovery – from word of mouth to a variety of online channels. Nearly two-thirds (61%) of diners hear about or discover new restaurants from friends, family and co-workers, followed by 33% using Google, 29% searching social media for restaurant profiles and 22% discovering through social media influencers or trusted sources. Only a small percentage use third-party platforms such as OpenTable (9%) and Resy (3%) to discover new restaurants.

“Coming out of the pandemic, operators are navigating an entirely new landscape which includes how diners are discovering and booking reservations,” said Joel Montaniel, CEO & Co-Founder of SevenRooms. “In this new world three things are clear: being everywhere diners are online is table stakes, diners prefer to book directly as opposed to using a third-party app, and while third-party apps are still important, Google is quickly becoming one of the preferred destinations for diners when they don’t go direct to the restaurant.”

Defining today’s restaurant guest

In the United States, today’s guests expect more than just a meal, and creating opportunities to build loyalty will set restaurants apart. Each experience can turn a one-time diner into a loyal guest – but it must include personalized touches from start to finish. It is critical for operators to own their data to create a relationship with each guest based on preferences, past visits and upcoming special occasions noted when booking direct. By building this relationship, operators are able to be more proactive with their guests, personalize dining experiences and use the data they collect to curate experiences that will ultimately drive more revenue.

The beauty of a direct booking platform is the ability to capture that data; for example, asking the guest when they are booking if they are celebrating anything special, or noting dietary preferences. Guests are also willing to make that extra step to make sure they have an excellent experience – nearly half (45%) of diners will call the restaurant directly to book a reservation, and 35% will book through the restaurant’s website. Twenty-nine percent of diners also say that they receive better experiences at the restaurant when they book direct, and more than 1 in 4 (27%) feel restaurants prioritize their reservation when doing so. 

Similar to how today’s diners are catching on to the experiential benefits of booking direct, they are also realizing that third-party platforms are not actually in the best interest of the restaurant. Sixty-one percent believe that making reservations directly with the restaurant, rather than with a third-party reservation platform, is better for the restaurant. Additionally:

  • 29% of respondents want to do all they can to directly support restaurants
  • 17% of respondents noted that third-party reservation platforms charge too much in fees to the restaurant, and guests would rather not have the restaurant incur that cost

“As the expectation for incredible experiences grows, third-party reservation platforms are losing market share as diners prefer to book directly with restaurants to ensure they get the best experience,” said Montaniel. “SevenRooms has always been dedicated and focused on empowering operators to deliver the most personalized guest experiences. Our omnichannel approach, enabling restaurants to meet guests wherever they are, whether through global discovery and booking channels or a restaurant’s own website, helps operators serve diners in this new world while helping them operate more sustainable and profitable businesses.

To learn more about SevenRooms, please visit

About SevenRooms

SevenRooms is a guest experience and retention platform that helps hospitality operators create exceptional experiences that drive revenue and repeat business. Trusted by thousands of hospitality operators around the world, SevenRooms powers tens of millions of guest experiences each month across both on- and off-premises. From neighborhood restaurants and bars to international, multi-concept hospitality groups, SevenRooms is transforming the industry by empowering operators to take back control of their businesses to build direct guest relationships, deliver exceptional experiences and drive more visits and orders, more often. The full suite of products includes reservation, waitlist and table management, online ordering, mobile order & pay, review aggregation, email marketing and marketing automation. Founded in 2011 and venture-backed by Amazon, Comcast Ventures, PSG and Highgate Ventures, SevenRooms has dining, hotel F&B, nightlife and entertainment clients globally, including: MGM Resorts International, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Wynn Resorts, Jumeirah Group, Hard Rock Hotels & Resorts, Wolfgang Puck, Michael Mina, Bloomin’ Brands, Giordano’s, Australian Venue Company, Altamarea Group, AELTC, The Wolseley Hospitality Group, Dishoom, Live Nation and Topgolf.

Image: Алексей Вечерин on Pexels

KRG Hospitality. Restaurant Business Plan. Feasibility Study. Concept. Branding. Consultant. Start-Up.

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

The Art of the Preparation

The Art of the Preparation

by David Klemt

Overhead view of chef slicing and chopping ingredients

Chef Brian Duffy‘s take on preparation and its overall impact on the guest experience extends to every aspect of operations.

In one sentence during his 2023 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago cooking demo, Chef Duffy sums up the power of the proper mindset.

“The art of the preparation creates the experience,” says Chef Duffy.

Now, he was preparing plant-based shrimp from New Wave Foods at the time. After preparing a pan, the revered chef was readying a pound of FABI Award-winning New Wave Shrimp for Duffified Shrimp Fried Rice.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Chef Brian Duffy (@chefbriduff)

When making this dish, Chef Duffy chops roughly half the New Wave Shrimp in half. He does so to enhance the dish’s texture, and therefore the guest experience. Additionally, Chef Duffy likes to toast basmati rice before adding it to the pan with the shrimp and vegetables.

Again, Chef Duffy shared his view on the guest experience when cutting animal-alternative shrimp (the product is made with sustainable seaweed and mung bean).


Okay, so what does slicing or chopping shrimp have to do with the guest experience? It’s the attention to what others may consider a tiny detail. In fact, some may deem important details “optional.”

Whether front-of-house, back-of-house, or back office, everyone’s mindset matters. How one views their role and how they approach their responsibilities impacts every element of a restaurant, bar, nightclub, or hotel’s success.

Choosing to halve half the shrimp because it will deliver a better experience speaks volumes. It’s a commitment to perfect the “small” details so every guest walks away wanting to return.

If an operator wants to know if they have a chef or an executive chef, this is one way to tell. Is the chef teaching their brigade? Guiding them? Implementing policies around preparation? Or are they just punching the clock, making sure the rest of the team shows up, and sending out food that’s “good enough”?

Operators can apply versions of those questions to every role in the house, including their own. Is their pride in preparing every element of service and operation? Or is the team just muddling through each shift?

There are no Small Details

Interestingly, most guests likely won’t ever be aware of every detail operators and their teams get right. However, they will feel every choice each team member makes. They may not know precisely what goes right, but they take home with them that their visit was exceptional.

Pulling the threads tighter separates operators and their brands from one another. Guests can get a bite and a drink anywhere. They reward outstanding service and experiences with their time and money.

It’s a simple equation to understand: Operators want to create an army of loyal guests, guests expect exceptional experiences. The operators who deliver on guest expectations are rewarded with loyalty.

Chef Duffy isn’t “just” slicing shrimp. He’s not “just” toasting rice. Chef’s not “just” making “the world’s most perfect dippy egg.” In reality, he’s ensuring every decision he, his teams, and his clients make enhance the guest experience exponentially.

There are no small details. There are no small decisions. The art of the preparation, as Chef Duffy says, creates the experience. Indeed, preparation also separates the mediocre from the exceptional.

Image: Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality Mindset Coaching

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Raise the Bar: The 3 Ps of Hospitality

Raise the Bar: The 3 Ps of Hospitality

by David Klemt

Three hands holding up three pineapples

No, one isn’t “pineapples.”

Nightlife, bar, and cocktail experts Mia Mastroianni, Phil Wills, and Art Sutley want operators to focus on what they call “the Three Ps.”

The engaging trio shared their trio of Ps recently in Las Vegas at the 2023 Bar & Restaurant Expo.

So, what are the Three Ps of hospitality? People, Place, and Product. Operators who pull the threads tighter on each of these crucial elements will be well on their way to improving operations and the guest experience.


Remember all the way back to a week ago when I shared Mastroianni, Wills, and Sutley’s thoughts on service versus hospitality? Consider the first P a deeper dive into that topic.

Operators need to focus on two categories of people who help their businesses succeed: their teams and their guests.

Addressing the former, the trio feels that operators are centering a disproportionate amount of their attention on guests in comparison to staff.

“We’re not lacking for people who want to work in the business and are outperforming other industries, but we’re not focusing on staff like we focus on guests,” says Wills. “Treat everyone with respect, including through the hiring process. If you don’t engage your staff, you won’t retain them. You need to show them they can grow in your business.”

According to Sutley, 89 percent of operators say that labor costs present a “significant challenge.” It follows, then, that committing to treating staff with respect and nurturing their careers isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s smart business.

Look for people with passion, those you can motivate to go above and beyond so you’re not stuck with a team full of space-fillers who are just after a paycheck, suggests Mastroianni.

Of course, operators and their teams must also focus on providing exceptional service and experiences to guests.

“Treat ever guest like a pearl in an oyster,” advises Wills. “They’re the pearl, we’re the oyster. We need to ‘protect’ them.” Anything less, cautions Sutley, and guests won’t return.


Interestingly, the trio touched on design, aesthetic, and vibe. However, that isn’t the crux of the second P.

Rather, Place is really goes back to the guest experience. The design, aesthetic, and vibe need to meet guest expectations.

“Make sure your space is what it’s supposed to be,” says Wills.

For example, if a concept presents itself as a high-end cocktail bar, the four walls need to deliver on that expectation. With the exception of a handful of high-level examples, an upscale bar won’t survive if they deliver a dive bar—not neighborhood bar, dive bar—vibe and service. (For the record, I love a dive bar. But I don’t expect to encounter TV trope-style dive bar service if I walk through the doors of a high-end cocktail bar.)

One way operators can ensure their space is what it should be is standardization. Once a concept goes from idea to brick and mortar, when the owner’s vision is realized, the team needs to deliver a matching experience. Steps of service, systems, procedures…standardization is the name of the service game.

“Standardize your opening, shift, and closing procedures and systems to maintain your place,” says Mastroianni.

Every team member—front of house, back of house, leadership—needs to know and buy into an operator’s standards.


Standardization breeds consistency. And consistency is a key element of the third P, Product.

Per Sutley, 76 percent of operators have noticed that guests are opting for more premium drinks. That’s great news, but it’s not the whole story.

It’s great that guests are opting for more expensive drink options. After all, that can certainly help the bottom line.

“However,” cautions Mastroianni, “they won’t come back without consistency in production.”

To drive this point home, consider this story from Mastroianni. A bartender made her a drink, and it was pretty good. She ordered another one from the same bartender and watched him make it differently the second time around. Not only was this second version different, it was better. While one could view this story through a positive lens—the drink was even better the next time!—that’s not the correct takeaway.

If the bartender was committed to building cocktails consistently, the second version of that cocktail would’ve been the first one served to Mastroianni. It would be the best version, and it would always be that impressive version.

When we’re fighting the possibility that up to 70 percent of first-time guests never return, the importance of product consistency can’t be overstated.

“Really focus on the small details to affect big change and get guests through the doors and keep coming back,” says Wills.

Image: Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels

KRG Hospitality Start-Up Restaurant Bar Hotel Consulting Consultant Solutions Plans Services

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Your Discovery Strategy Needs to Change

Your Discovery Strategy Needs to Change

by David Klemt

Black and white photo of person using laptop

A report by guest retention, reservation, and waitlist platform SevenRooms reveals that restaurant discovery is changing.

Per SevenRooms, many operators have looked toward third-party marketplaces to help people discover their restaurants, bars, or hotels. For context, online marketplaces include OpenTable, Resy, and GrubHub.

However, SevenRooms research is indicating a significant slowdown in this method of discovery. Per the platform, just a quarter of consumers still use marketplaces to find restaurants and bars.

So, how are people discovering the places where they want to spend their time and money on food and drinks? And how can you ensure your marketing and discovery strategy evolves alongside today’s consumer behavior? You’ll find out below.

For your own copy of Restaurant Discovery Has Changed: Adapt or Risk Becoming Obsolete by SevenRooms, click here.

Where are Your Guests?

It should come as no surprise that today’s consumer favors social media, influencers, Google, and even artificial intelligence for discovery.

Younger consumers in particular are more likely to discover a new restaurant, bar or hotel via social media.

Per SevenRooms, Gen Z:

  • is twice as likely as other generations to find a new restaurant via Instagram;
  • five times as likely to discover new restaurants on TikTok; and
  • is likely to visit a new restaurant due to an influencer recommending it.

In fact, 39 percent of consumers designated Gen Z have gone to a restaurant because an influencer has gone there.

When conducting this type of research, SevenRooms often works with YouGov. They did so again for their restaurant discovery report, commissioning YouGov to poll 1,185 consumers. Participants indicated they use the following methods or platforms to discover new places to dine and drink:

  • Google (27%)
  • Restaurant’s website (25%)
  • Referral (friends or family) (18%)
  • Facebook (12%)
  • Yelp (11%)
  • OpenTable (9%)
  • Instagram (8%)
  • TikTok (5%)
  • TripAdvisor (4%)
  • Resy (1%)

Three things jump out here: Organic search is crucial, websites still matter, and delivering top-notch service is paramount for word-of-mouth marketing.

Leverage Multiple Channels

If the data is accurate, operators who are relying exclusively or heavily on third-party marketplaces for discovery will be left behind. Instead, operators should seek to implement a multi- or omni-channel strategy.

What does omni-channel mean? In very simple terms, it’s not putting all of one’s eggs in one basket. Check out this article where I dive into omni-channel marketing and tactics for more information.

For their report, SevenRooms breaks omni-channel marketing and discovery thusly:

  • Owned reservation, waitlist, and ordering channels
  • Search and social engagment channels
  • Paid channels

It’s clear what SevenRooms is suggesting here: operators must adapt and meet guests where they are. Guests are relying on Google, a restaurant’s website, and social media for discovery.

The example that the platform gives in their report goes like this:

  • A consumer uses Google and finds a restaurant’s listing.
  • Next, they see a Facebook ad for that restaurant.
  • Finally, they decide to go to the restaurant’s website to learn more.

To that, I’ll add that some guests, those who prefer to order delivery, now seek an ordering widget. It’s wise, therefore, for operators to at least look into how they can implement direct delivery.

The Omni-channel Path

SevenRooms recommends a five-prong omni-channel strategy. Broken down into large chunks, the platform suggests:

  • Google integration;
  • social media engagement;
  • leveraging third-party marketplaces (with caveats);
  • owning direct channels; and
  • direct booking.

Again, this SevenRooms report can be downloaded here. However, I’ll share some details of this SevenRooms approach to discovery below.

Google Integration

SevenRooms isn’t the only one to say this: operators need to own and optimize their Google listing. In fact, they need to own all their listings, which I’ve said for years.

Owning listings boosts discoverability in several ways: SEO optimization, leveraging “near me” search functions, and ensuring guests are receiving accurate information before visiting.

Going further, operators who have marketing budgets can leverage Google ads. According to SevenRooms, Google search ads are also beneficial for becoming discoverable via third-party marketplaces.

Social Media

We’re fast approaching the day when at least half of consumers try a new restaurant or bar because they discovered it on social media. Right now, we’re at 45 percent of consumers finding new restaurants via these channels.

SevenRooms recommends having a presence on at least these channels: TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. What’s more, they suggest using a direct reservation page and linking it to a “Reserve Now” button on a venue’s social profiles.

If an operator has the budget, they can pay for influencers to visit and talk about their restaurant, bar or hotel. However, this type of marketing can be very expensive.

Third-party Marketplace

This “prong” in SevenRooms’ recommended omni-channel strategy isn’t for every operator. As stated above, it’s use is nuanced.

Who should use marketplaces? New venues or venues that find themselves struggling to drive traffic.

Who shouldn’t use marketplaces? Venues seeing consistently strong traffic, and those that perform well via organic search because they’ve done the work to establish their brand.

Direct Channels

To explain this element, I’ll share the following “journey map” from the SevenRooms report:

Own and optimize the Google My Business listing > Ensure the website is user-friendly > Make sure there’s a reservation widget > Send a confirmation email when a guest has booked a reservation > Send a reminder SMS message > Nail the guest experience during their visit > Send a thank you email after the visit > Follow up with a personalized (keyword here) offer to encourage a repeat visit.

Remember, per Ovation CEO Zack Oates, 70 percent of first-time guests don’t come back. It’s more important than ever to invest in earning repeat visits.

Direct Booking

It’s arguable that this step is part of the overall discovery strategy, that it’s a four-prong plan, not five.

However, this step involves implementing its own strategy so that guests become aware of it. Put another way, some guests need to be taught that a restaurant or bar offers direct reservation booking.

For example, SevenRooms suggests printing menu inserts that let guests know they can book directly with the restaurant. Follow-up emails should also include a direct reservation link. Additionally, loyalty programs should encourage guests to book reservations directly.

Finally, here’s an excellent tip regarding direct booking: Operators can turn off listings or at least reduce reservation inventory on third-party marketplaces. This should be done during the busiest days and dayparts.

Operators need to make sure they keep up with shifting consumer behavior. The implementation of a modern discovery strategy is a crucial step toward long-term success.

Image: Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash

KRG Hospitality marketing support. Restaurant. Bar. Cafe. Lounge. Hotel. Resort.