It is nothing new that the best customers are the ones that keep coming back to your restaurant.
Retaining customers is one of the most important items you should be practicing this year. Many establishments today are so focused on gaining new customers that they forget about the ones they currently have. Also, we all know how expensive it can be to acquire new customers, so leverage the ones you already have with these easy best practices.
- Everyone wants to be a VIP! With so much competition out there and endless possibilities to chose from for your next meal, make sure your current customers know they are a very important person in your restaurant. Rewards cards, thank you email’s, free offers or even a personalized note is something that will make a long-lasting positive impression on your guest. They will feel more like family in your restaurant than just a patron there for a quick bite.
- Evolve with your customers. We live in a world where it isn’t uncommon for things to change. Don’t bore your guest with the same old, same old. Evolve and create with the changes that surround you. If your customers are doing more via phone, make sure they can using online ordering. If you find customers are running in and out faster and faster from each side, consider curb side pickup. These small changes will show that your adapting to your clientele’s daily needs and doing the best to accommodate.
- Give them a reason to return. You’ll most likely retain your current customer base and then some by offering a reason to come back. Simple incentives such as purchase today and get ½ off tomorrow, or buy one get one, will not only keep your door from constantly opening – but also your valued customer bringing a friend to come with them. Simple survey completions, friendly social media challenges and deals on meals will open endless opportunity for returning customers and attract new ones.
- Link up. Collaboration is key to success. Lean on those in your community, talented staff members, or another businesses to work together on a project. Whether it is a can drive, music fest, family fun night, etc. it’s a way to get to know your existing network and a chance to give back to the community. This gives customers a chance to get to know your company, staff and values on a more personal level.
- Have the right people serving your ecosystem. Put time and effort back into your staff to make sure they are properly trained and understand the asks that are required in their daily duties. Having the right people who are excited and enthused to come to work each day makes a big difference to your audience. You can have the best burger, perfect cup of coffee or sweetest desserts, but if the end-user is served by someone who is less than pleasant – you can not only lose that sale, but future sales and get bad reviews. Having qualified, knowledge and pleasant staff members will create a happy and inviting work space and restaurant atmosphere. This simple step is up to managers and group leaders to help instill in there co-workers. Show your employees you care by offering up to date training on food prep, safety, customers service and any other topics relevant to your eatery.
Never take your repeat customers for granted. Treat them like it’s there first-time dining each time they visit. Not only will they continue to be your best customer, they’ll also be your best source for marketing and advertising.