Keeping track of the restaurant scene in Dubai is a challenge. In 2018, Dubai restauranteurs added 1,109 new venues to the city, bringing the total number of operational restaurants and cafes in Dubai to 11,813. At that rate, Dubai residents can enjoy exploring three new eatery options every single day. That is a staggering rate, and it's only set to keep increasing as the city prepares for the tourist boom surrounding Expo 2020.
As a cafe or restaurant owner in Dubai, the prospect of so much competition is likely to be quite overwhelming. However, as a city with a transient population, the standard of service that has been set here is pretty low, meaning that there is a huge opportunity to woo customers and stand out as the option of choice by simply offering a little extra TLC to the customers visiting and looking to visit.
The simplest way to keep customers happy is to build relationships and the easiest way to do this -- with the thousands of potential and existing customers a restaurant or cafe will encounter -- is with a CRM system that can capture this customer data and leverage it to improve relationships, boosts visitation and increase sales.
4 Best CRM Tools for Restaurants in Dubai
Managing the relationships with cafe and restaurant customers requires a delicate approach. Failing to keep front of mind means risking being forgotten, but conversely, overpromotion can leave a bad taste in the mouth and cause customers to take their business elsewhere.
Dubai restauranteurs and cafe owners need a CRM that allows them to learn about their customer as their data is captured so that promotions can be tailored - connecting with the customer at the relevant point in their journey, offering a first-time discount to first-time customers, or rewards to existing patrons for re-visits.
With the unique needs of cafes and restaurants in mind, all of the CRM options below have the power to capture customer data and apply it to craft marketing campaigns that convert.
Infusionsoft is the small business CRM that packs a punch. Awarded the number one CRM for small businesses, Infusionsoft comes with all the bells and whistles to capture leads and track behaviours.
Their starting software package gives users unlimited landing pages, CRM, marketing automation, unlimited emails, invoices and payments, and free customer support. Their advanced plans bring in sales automation and online selling.
Infusionsoft starts at $119 p/month for the Basic, including 2,500 contacts, Infusionsoft then goes to $299 for the Pro with 5,000 contacts and $399 p/month for the Premier plan with 10,000 contacts.
2. HubSpot CRM
HubSpot is the marketers favourite. Suitable for cafes and restaurants of any size, HubSpot is a free CRM that is user-friendly and loaded with features to attract, market to and convert customers.
Their CRM comes free, making it a great option for brand new businesses that want a CRM to grow as their needs grow. The free service includes a Sales Hub, which integrates with Gmail and Outlook calendars and email, as well as customisable contact properties, deal stages, pipeline, opportunity tracking, tasks, website chat and bots, email tracking, reporting, meeting scheduling link per user. Then, advanced features can be added, such as HubSpot Sales Professional, and HubSpot Marketing which brings campaign management and marketing automation integrations into the CRM.
HubSpot CRM is free and the advanced features come in paid packages with their advanced sales and marketing plans beginning at $50p/month for HubSpot Sales, Marketing or Service Starter, which removes HubSpot branding and provides salespeople access to email automation sequences, and going to $400p/month for HubSpot Professional, including five licences.
HubSpot offers a 30 day free trial on advanced features.
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3. Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM meets the needs of small to medium-sized operations with their easy to use layout and plans to meet the needs of cafes and restaurants at every stage of their growth.
The basic package includes workflow automation, sales gamification, and a sales process builder, for the marketing components, owners need to upgrade and add marketing features, which includes Google AdWords integration, and their Ultimate plan brings in their AI sales assistant.
Zoho CRM plans start at $12 user/month for Zoho Standard, $35 user/month for the Enterprise package, and $100 user/month for Zoho Ultimate.
Zoho offers a 15-day free trial.
Salesforce.com is for the larger cafe or restaurant operation. As a platform designed for medium to large businesses, they offer a user-friendly interface and a great range of features so that businesses can add-on options as their business needs develop.
Their starting plan comes with all the standard contact management features, task and event tracking, Outlook and Gmail integration, mobile app access, a content library, reporting, and Chatter (their internal chat tool). Marketing features come as add on from their Salesforce Marketing Cloud service, which includes users email, mobile, social, advertising, journey building, marketing automation and data management.
Salesforce.com begins at $25 user/month for Salesforce Essentials, $100 user/month for Salesforce Lightning Professional, and to $325 user/month for Lightning Unlimited. Salesforce Marketing Cloud features come at an additional cost, depending on which base plan is selected.
Salesforece.com offers a 30-day free trial.
Cafes and restaurants should consider the size of their operation and what they will need from a CRM before selecting which option is best. As the food scene changes rapidly in Dubai, it is advised to look at options that are going to be able to keep up with that change, giving the venue a competitive advantage.