Garces Group connects marketing ROI to lapsed, repeat guests

How a restaurant group generated $300k* in sales
from an automated email campaign

Type of restaurant
Restaurant group

12 locations in

Year founded


Revenue generated to date from
OpenTable’s automated email campaign


Covers generated to date from
OpenTable’s automated email campaign


Parties generated to date from
OpenTable’s automated email campaign

Restaurants today are challenged with not only getting new diners in, but keeping them coming back—in fact 70% of diners never make a return visit, and that’s a missed revenue opportunity for restaurants.

It’s hard to keep track of it all. Over the course of a month, a restaurant can have hundreds, if not thousands, of diners coming in for a meal. They may be first-time guests, frequent diners, or first-time guests to one location, but have been to a different location of the group.

Back in the day, identifying guests according to their visit frequency resided in a GM’s brain and sounded something like “Hey, you know I haven’t seen Johnny in for a while.” This train of thought was potentially followed up with a direct phone call to Johnny inviting him back in, but likely remained a passing thought.

Cut to 2005, when the Garces Group opened their first location; not much had changed in how restaurateurs identified guests according to their visit frequency or engaged past guests to generate a repeat visit. Rob Esplen, Vice President of Operations at Garces Group, knows this frustration well: “The manual process my team would have to attempt in order to create some semblance of guest-visit tracking was simply ineffective. We knew the data existed, but we had no way of getting it or putting it to use.”

Motivating lapsed guests

Garces came to OpenTable with a top-priority goal to identify lapsed guests and receive support in winning them back.

First, the OpenTable team took a deep dive into their guests’ visit trends. With OpenTable analysis, Garces was able to identify that frequent diners make their second visit within 90 days of their last visit. This enabled them to identify guests who visited within the last 90 days but had yet to return as prime targets for re-engagement.

With lapsed guests identified, Garces wanted to implement the right marketing strategy to win them back. The solution was the We Miss You campaign, with a message that reminded guests of their last visit and a 20% discount on their meal to motivate a return visit.

Tracking marketing success

You can’t take click-through rates to the bank. With OpenTable’s unique ability to tie guest check-level data back to individual guest profiles, Garces could connect their marketing campaigns to guests who came in for a meal.

Now Garces could see the real ROI generated from their launched We Miss You campaign, including over $300k* in sales, over 8,500 new covers, and over 3,000 new parties.

“The data you provide us is making us a better business,” Esplen says. “We have a new confidence in our guest engagement strategies and the proof is in the profits.”

*US Dollars

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