Orla Murphy-Lascola, one of three partner owners at Proprietors Bar & Table on Nantucket Island, shares how they use Upserve with the OpenTable integration to manage the unique needs of their special occasion, seasonal destination restaurant.
- How Proprietors delivers VIP experiences to new guests
- Why a memorable and consistent experience is the key to customer retention
- How Upserve has helped them grow revenue by 10%
Creating a Memorable Customer Experience
Orla Murphy-Lascola got started in the restaurant industry in college as a food runner at American Seasons. She met her husband, chef Michael Lascola while working there. After they married, Orla and Michael bought the restaurant, becoming the fourth owners of the location.
“It was very customer-focused, very focused on food,” says Orla of her time at American Seasons. “The prior owners really pushed everybody to give the best service that they could and took care of everybody. If you did good by them, they did good by you. And they like to pass that onto their guests.”
Two decades later, Orla and Michael sold American Seasons shortly after opening Proprietors Bar & Table where, along with their business partner Anna, they continue to create special memories for seasonal guests. “The most important thing for us with a VIP customer is that their experience is the same as they had the year before. Consistency is key to retaining them,” she says.
Retaining Loyal Customers and Winning Over New Guests
Being mainstays on Nantucket for over two decades, the Proprietors team has a close connection to most of their VIP guests, many of who return year after year to vacation on the island.
Where the Upserve and OpenTable integration helps them most is with new guests. It gives them a leg up on creating memorable and familiar experiences for brand new visitors, giving everyone a VIP experience. As soon as a new guest walks in for their reservation, the team already has access to their preferences, allergies, and other information provided by the guest. “All of those things can be discussed in menu meeting before we actually have the guests even sit at the table,” Orla says.
While the Proprietors team is using the integration and their POS insights mainly to deliver on experience to their new guests, they are utilizing features with regular VIPs as well. With the restaurant being on two floors, the automatic table status notification is crucial to their ability to turn tables in a timely manner and seat waiting guests as soon as possible. “It means that we don’t have to stop our servers in the middle of their work to ask them where a table’s at.”
And although Orla is already able to predict the needs and wants of her most loyal VIP guests, sometimes it isn’t always possible to deliver. If a guest’s favorite server is sick or off for the night, having the guest preferences right on the POS makes it easy for a different server to slip into that role and provide the same experience. “Say they hate cilantro or she normally drinks this wine, she’ll have two glasses – stuff like that is helpful for a new server stepping into a VIP situation.”
Using Insights to Make Smarter Business Decisions
Aside from delighting guests, which seems to be one of Orla’s greatest talents, the insights she gains from Upserve help her to make better business decisions by looking at trends year over year, like how busy the bar was on the same day last year or which wines aren’t selling like they used to. The restaurant’s revenue has grown by 10% since switching to Upserve.
“It’s helpful to pass along to the servers and bartenders what they don’t need to push and what they do. Having a system that’s able to retain all of the information that we have that we like to look back on, it’s a luxury. We didn’t have that when we started in this business,” she says. Rather than having to keep track of all those things on paper, Upserve frees up her time to focus on what’s really important, her guests.