In this article you’ll discover why keeping restaurant customers coming back for more is vitally important to your succcess.
According to the Guardian, in 2018, an average of two restaurants are closed each week in the UK. Larger chains are slimming down and independent restaurants are closing down.
This closure is as a result of the over 4000 restaurants new restaurants being opened every three years. To look for new dining experiences, customers are going to these new places.
As a manager, these statistics provided by the Guardian can send a cold shiver down your spine. But there are times when only the best survive. For every ten opened bars and restaurants, only one will operate well. The rest deal with empty tables, few repeat customers, and even fewer new ones.
The foundation for a successful restaurant is having returning customers. They provide a steady stream of business. They are mini agents that bring new friends to dine and even recommend it to acquaintances.
Here are some tips that managers need to implement to make sure that they increase the current percentage of return clientele and get restaurant customers to keep coming back.
Stay in Touch with Your Restaurant Customers
Today, more and more of your customers are using social media. In fact, studies have shown that customers will look at Google searches before they purchase. What does this mean for your restaurant?
For starters, you can lure customers, both loyal and new, through social media. When you post an appetising meal you are serving or an offer you have, they will flock in.
You can also send special incentives and be in constant communication through newsletters. But, remember there is a fine line between being in constant communication and becoming a nuisance.
The communication should be helpful and meaningful. Ensure that you provide them with the information they can use in their daily life, not just about you promoting your restaurant.
Assume They Will Not Remember You
If a customer hires you to cater to their event, do not assume that they will always think of you when they have a party. Remember you are competing with thousands of other restaurants that offer equally excellent service.
After a while, do not be afraid to reach out, give them your contact information and let them know you would appreciate working in them in the future. Have a system you can use to send these contacts to them without coming off as a stalker.
Decrease the Pain of Spending for your Restaurant customers
These are tough economic times. As you are trying to make more profits for your restaurant, you also need to make sure the customers are feeling like they are saving money by eating out.
Psychologists suggest that people feel twice as much pain losing money than they derive pleasure from winning it. That is why overcoming the pain of spending is a huge challenge for businesses, not just restaurants. There are some tips that you can use to make your meals seem cheaper and reduce the spending discomfort of your guests.
- Do not include the pound sign. People tend to spend less when the pound sign is introduced to the menu.
- Never list the prices in columns. The columns let people think about you.
- Do not have a row of dots that lead up to the price. It makes customers forget how delicious the food is and focus on how much they will pay.
- Make it easier for them to use their credit cards. Credit cards reduce the sense of loss when they pay, unlike when they have to use cash.
Most importantly, keep your prices low and quality high.
List All the Expensive Items First
People will always read the menu from the top down. Regardless of the actual value, they believe that the more expensive things are better.
When you place the more expensive items and items you want to sell first, then they have an anchor that they will compare the rest of the menu too. It is also a way to highlight the items you want them to buy in a tasteful box that they will undoubtedly pay attention to.
Remember that the average guest will spend 109 seconds looking at the menu. Therefore, have less than two minutes to impress them, attract, and retain them.
Restaurant customers will love you for these things…
Give Occasional Gifts
Customers always want to know that they are not just part of a statistic to you. They need to feel special to you.
A great way to do this is to give them something for free. A gift that will have meaning to them.
It is not about the financial discount as much as it is about talking to customers and telling them about how valued they are. If you notice a customer regularly returning, coming with new people, or recommending you to others in social media, send them a round of drinks on the house.
That will show them how much you appreciate their business. It is a small gesture that will be imprinted in their mind. It will also go a long way in establishing customer loyalty.
Be A Great Entertainer
Customers want to come to your restaurant or bar and feel relaxed. They want to eat good food and be merry. When you can create a laid back environment where they can unwind and strategise for the battles they have to face once they get out, you will have their loyalty.
So offer wine tasting events, live music, and exclusive tasting menu. New customers will make time to dine with you. They will also love to buy the foods they enjoyed at the tasting.
Remember Their Names
Do not favour specific customers over others, but make an effort to remember the names of your customers.
Encourage the waiters to recall the names too. That will keep the customers interested. They will know you value them that much. If you are terrible with names, correct that.
Train Your Staff to Think About Restaurant Customers in the Same Way
Encourage them to remember names and smile when serving them. While you, as the manager, can be doing everything right, if the staff isn’t, you may not get as many restaurant customers as you’d like.
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