How To Create A More Loyal Customer Base For Your Restaurant
Focusing on making every patron a regular at your restaurant will help you create a steady stream of business over the long-term. In fact, when you develop deeper connections with your best customers, you tap into a well of potential profits.
According to the National Restaurant Association, repeat customers are necessary for a restaurant to succeed. In this post we’ll share a few powerful techniques to help you win over the devotion of both first-time and long-time customers alike.
Repeat customers can do wonders for your bottom line.
1. Get to Know Your Customers By Name
Make sure that a manager greets customers when possible. A friendly hello is fine during busy hours, but customers who may seem perplexed or troubled should be given extra attention. Managers should learn the names of customers when possible and use them. Friendliness and courteousness from the owners and managers at a restaurant will always have a lasting impact.
2. Ask for Feedback from Customers
Make it easy for customers to let you know what’s wrong with their dining experience. Leave out feedback forms and a box where customers can drop the forms. Or place a tabletalker with a pen on every table where customers can write little feedback notes. Make it quick and easy for customers to anonymously let you know about anything they’re not completely satisfied with. This way you’ll be able to solve problems that may otherwise result in lost business.
You can also create a contact field on feedback notes where customers can leave their details. Just be sure to always follow up with those who do. Offering gift cards for legitimate complaints can help inspire customer loyalty because it shows customers that you care and are willing to take action to fix mistakes.
3. Get Creative With Your Specials
Have daily specials that repeat themselves each week. Some customers will want to try something new and different when they frequent your restaurant, so be sure to switch up the specials from time to time, too. Pay attention to what sells well and what customers rave about. Keep the popular items while switching out the special items that aren’t so well received. Seasonal specials, such as pumpkin pie for dessert in the fall and pasta salad in the summer, are often popular.
4. Loyalty Rewards Program
Start a loyalty rewards program for your restaurant. Having this kind of program can really excite customers and pique their interest in what all your restaurant can do for them. You can set it up so that customers get cash back after spending a certain amount of money, or you may choose to offer other rewards such as a free meal after a certain dollar amount has been spent, gift cards for set amounts, and hundreds of other reward options.
Be sure to make a big announcement when you go to launch the loyalty rewards program. And make sure that all diners are encouraged to join. To do this, you’ll need to train your staff to always ask customers if they’d like to join your loyalty program and explain the benefits of the program in a sentence. That way, when customers are trying to decide between going to your restaurant or a competitor, they are more likely to choose yours when they consider the fact that they can rack up points through the loyalty rewards program.
The Excitement and Devotion
As you work towards building excitement and devotion amongst your customers, start with a loyalty rewards program. It is the biggest and most effective step that you can take on the path to enjoying the patronage of many repeat customers. Sign up for a free trial from The Loyalty Box today.
You may also like to check out this great infographic by Deloitte on restaurant loyalty.