15: Grow Your Business podcast from WebProjectUK! Broadcasting directly from the digital powerhouse city of Manchester. Today I am going to share with you my tips on How To Keep Your Restaurant Customers Returning Time After Time
Welcome to the fifteenth episode of Grow Your Business Podcast brought to you by Manchester based WebProjectUK.com.
In this podcast you are going to learn how to keep your restaurant customers returning time after time. I am sure you will agree that in order to keep your restaurant profitable year after year you need to build your loyal following.
But the big question is how do you achieve this?
In today’s digital era winning and retaining customers requires a mix of personalisation, relevance, exclusivity and engagement. Customers want to be recognised and rewarded as individuals! They no longer want to be the nameless or faceless stamp collectors.
So, what drives customer loyalty?
One of the biggest factors is if the brand offers ‘value for money’. I don’t personally like to say this but it’s the truth. Consumers of today can use their mobile phone to access 100s of local restaurant menus. This allows them to carry out their own research before even getting in touch with your restaurant.
Another factor that drives customer loyalty is centred around on the trust-ability of your brand.
- Do you deliver what you say you will?
- Also, do you deliver what you say you will day in day out?
- Is your service and food quality consistent?
Inconstancy is one of the biggest problems I see in failing restaurants. Therefore, it’s very important that you create a system which will produce consistent results day in day out.
The quality of your service and food should never be impacted by your staff. A perfect example of a superb system is McDonald’s. It makes no difference to which McDonald’s you go in the UK their burgers and chips will taste the same. Hence why this brand has such a huge following around the world. The quality of the food is not determined by their staff or location. The system they have is built into the DNA of the company.
So the first step in attracting a loyal following is to:
- Make sure you offer expectational value in return for your customers money.
- Deliver on what you say you will day in day out
- Offer the best quality food and service consistently
If you have not mastered these 3 points in your restaurant business then I am sorry to say you will struggle to keep your customers coming back. If you are not getting return customers through your restaurant then you will be experiencing a very rocky ride in terms of your cash-flow and turnover.
All the successful restaurants I have worked with have these 3 points in common.
Now we have that out of the way let’s look at the other important factors which you can start to implement today..
First Impressions Count
For me personally this is one of the most important factors. So you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your restaurant stand out? Is your restaurant clean?
- Do you leave a lasting impression on your customers?
- Is your kitchen and toilets spotless?
The first impression will make or break your customer loyalty. Even if your food and service are top notch.
Communicate With Your Customers
This is yet another problem I see too many times. This is normally due to lack of staff or inexperienced staff. In order to build brand loyalty you need to make your customers feel special. Now, I am not saying go and sit down with them and take over the evening. But just take notice of them. A quick 1 minute chat is all that is needed to establish the all important emotional connection.
Give Out Occasional Gifts
This is my favourite tip! I have never actually given this away for free. So, you are very lucky today. Now you might be thinking this is nothing new! I do this already. Which is great! However, I am not talking about giving out random gifts.
So let me dive into it.. In order for my idea to work you really need a good system in place which can track your new and loyal customers. How you achieve this is down to you. The reason you need such a system in place is because you are only going to target your new customers with this method.
For example: When a new customers walks through your door and is seated. The waiter will replace the table napkins with a different colour. If you normally use white napkins, then you can replace them with red napkins. By doing this little change you will let all your staff know this is a special customer and we need to impress them!
Once they have finished their meal your General Manager will go over as normal to make sure the service and food was up to their standards. With that out of the way – he will ask them if this was their first time at the restaurant. You already know the answer to this question. At this point the General Manager should take his or her business card out and say something along these lines:
“Oh, you really need to try our chicken wings next time – “They are one of the best in the area”.
Back of the business card the General Manager will write down a special discount just for this customer. Which will be valid for around 2 to 3 weeks. The business card will be handed over to the bill payer.
You have now given this customer a very good reason to return back. You have provided excellent service, superb food and a very personal touch.
However, your work does not stop at this point.
When the customer returns you are going to use a different napkin again to mark his or her second visit. So, if you used red before now you can use blue. Again, you entire team will know that this customer requires special treatment.
The same principle applies when they finish their meal. The General Manager goes over to make sure they have had a good evening. However, this time he or she will offer the customer a dessert on the house when they come back for the 3rd time.
If the customer returns for the 3rd time you have hooked him! Statistics show that is the customer visits the same restaurant 3 times in a row they are 75% more likely to stay loyal to that restaurant. Hence why is so important to ensure you hook your new customers to return at least 3 times to your restaurant.
I hope you have learnt something new today and always if you need any help with your Digital Marketing strategies please ring me on: 0161 505 0570 or you can always email me: email@example.com
I am off tomorrow so the next Grow Your Business Podcast will be published on Monday the 19th of February 2018. Where I will be sharing with you my 5 Reasons Why You Need Influencers To Boost Your Restaurant Profits
I hope you can make it.. See you on Monday.