Dial & Dine restaurant service launches in UAE

A new restaurant marketing service, called Dial & Dine, opened its call-centre to the UAE in mid May. The Dial & Dine system connects diners with restaurants through a call centre. Customers looking for a dining venue call Dine & Dial, choose a restaurant, make a booking and receive a reservation confirmation — all in one phone call.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  June 2, 2005

A new restaurant marketing service, called Dial & Dine, opened its call-centre to the UAE in mid May. The Dial & Dine system connects diners with restaurants through a call centre. Customers looking for a dining venue call Dine & Dial, choose a restaurant, make a booking and receive a reservation confirmation — all in one phone call and with no cost to them. By partnering with Dial & Dine, restaurants too will be able to reach first time customers, sell vacant tables and increase profitability. “This is a win-win concept for all concerned,” says Hyder Haniffa, managing director, Dial & Dine. “With more than 1,000 restaurants across the UAE selling a myriad of cuisines, the opportunity is two-fold: Both restaurants and diners need to find each other. This is basically an information gap between an industry and its customers. Dial & Dine has been conceived not just to bridge this divide but also make the fine dining experience truly convenient and enjoyable. “Restaurant partners pay only when Dial & Dine generates bookings or revenue for them. There is no enrolment charge. Once a diner, booked through Dial & Dine, eats at a partner outlet, a percentage of the billed amount is credited to Dial & Dine. This percentage will be negotiated between Dial & Dine and the hotel or restaurant management,” Haniffa explains to Hotelier Middle East. Research conducted by the company shows the UAE’s F&B industry has a current capacity of 85,000 covers per day, of which nearly 60% remain vacant. “Dial & Dine will focus on filling this 60% unutilized capacity with customers who would prefer dining out more often if the process of finding and booking restaurants of their choice was made simpler,” says Haniffa. “In the end, Dial & Dine is about leveraging technology to create a convenient and information rich experience that is enjoyable and costs nothing.” Dial & Dine will manage restaurant inventory initially by SMS or fax, sent to the restaurant when a reservation is confirmed. “In the second phase, a specially designed M2M electronic devise will be installed in every partner outlet to communicate the reservation and feed back,” Haniffa adds. So how will Dial & Dine sell one restaurant over another? And what happens if a customer’s request is vague. “It is entirely the diners’ choice. Based on their past history and preferences, all possible restaurants will be suggested by means of sharing latest information available in the data base with Dial & Dine. All partnering outlet will be free to promote their restaurants through proposing varying promotions - it’s a consumer driven mechanism. We think that the customer will most probably choose the venue that is closest or most convenient to them, so choices can also be communicated to diners based on which locality they prefer to dine in,” he explains. Dial & Dine is initially being rolled out in the UAE but will soon expand to other parts of the region and has plans to enter other markets across the world. “The kind of investment that has gone into the initial phase of development cannot be justified by addressing just a single region or market,” says Haniffa. “We will enter any market that has a need for Dial & Dine, where the F&B industry is large enough and diverse enough, and faces marketing challenges similar to those encountered by the UAE’s restaurants.”

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