The travel hospitality industry saw a reckoning beginning in 2015 in the form of book direct campaigns. In fact, they were so successful that, for well-known brands like Hilton, direct bookings now account for approximately one third of all of bookings made at their properties. Airlines and hotels discovered that with direct booking they were able to better service their guests by offering special accommodations and more beneficial loyalty programs. However, the biggest benefit was undoubtedly the ability to collect and analyze guest data directly – allowing them to tailor their offerings even further and turn every guest into a return customer. Third-party booking services excel at attracting new guests and increasing brand awareness through strong consumer networks. These services can be valuable as marketing tools, but if used as the only channel, it means they own the guest relationship and all the data that accompanies it. Relying solely on third-party sites come at a steep cost -- not only to your bottom line, but in hindering your ability to establish meaningful, long-lasting relationships with your guests that can turn tables of new faces into regulars. So how is a direct restaurant reservation different and why is it important? When a guest books a reservation through one of your owned channels - including your website, reservations team or social media - that’s a direct reservation and comes at no cost to you. Free business, free data and endless possibilities. Get the full story at Modern Restaurant Management Read also "Report: Direct distribution is no cheaper for hotels than indirect"