As a restaurateur, you must be familiar with the fact that delicious and mouth-watering food is just one pillar for a successful business. In addition to the impeccable culinary skills in making delicious food, you also need to create a positive customer experience that is the stepping stone towards repetitive business.
A recent study by the National restaurant association in 2020, shows that around 65% of customers visit a restaurant once and never go back. Here you need to understand the fact that one-time customers are not our bread and butter for a productive business, but the 50% of positive cash flow in every successful business is due to 40% of the repetitive business or because of customer loyalty.
Driving new customers to your business is needed, but always remember business thrives with loyal and regular customers. So instead of focusing only on new customers, it is mandatory to maintain a long-term relationship with the consistent clients who fill tables and help to expand your customer base and which in turn makes the business fruitful.
Are you still confused and overwhelmed about how to create loyal customers for your business?
Not anymore! We will guide you to set up perfect strategies and ideas for keeping more loyal customers to your business.
What does customer loyalty exactly mean?
According to Food Media, customer loyalty is an ideology that expects customer’s readiness to engage in a business relationship with a brand or company again and again. Mostly, it comes as a result of excellent customer experience and the satisfaction they get from your products or services.
Why the customer loyalty is so important for your restaurant?
For restaurateur or any other customer-centric business owners, loyal customers can be more profitable because this is one major through which business can earn more reputation, growth, and brand building. The metrics from the recent year also pictures that the above statement is absolutely correct.
- Cities like London and Liverpool are earned about £ 9.63 billion pounds just through repetitive business annually.
- An average loyal customer visits twice his/her favourite dining place per month.
- Around 62.5 % of people use loyalty programs.
- 65% of loyal customers recommend your business to their friends and family.
The metrics clearly show the reason why you should invest more in customer loyalty. With a wide array of restaurant marketing ideas and loyalty programs, you can definitely make your restaurant business more profitable. If you are running out of such interesting ideas and concepts for loyalty programs, don’t worry we will help you to assemble some great ideas for building more loyal customers to your restaurant business, and hence eliminate all errors to your success.
Probably you also have an amazing idea or plan in your mind that really fits to whip up a positive customer experience, which is really cool, but is this plan good enough to fully satisfy your precious customers which makes them visit your restaurant over and over again?
People, despite whether they are elder or younger are always in the bid for new special programs and experiences, and for their value for money, they expect more, not only just good food but also the perfect aura and something exceptional. If you have some regular customers who often visit your restaurant, it shows that they feel comfortable in it and feel very convenient in the way you treat them, or even they like the specialties and unique features that your restaurant offers.
Give your customers an outstanding ambience, excellent food, and just an ample amount of entertainment. But, be sure to reach out to the customers about your restaurant loyalty programs and giveaways in advance.
I think now it’s more than enough reason to do your loyalty campaign to earn the more repetitive business!
But how do hard is it to create a loyal customer base?
Are you missing out on great and innovative ideas to build customer loyalty at your restaurant?
Analyse and understand what exactly your consumers are looking for will assist you to shape the perfect menu, drive in more traffic, and make them fall in love with your service and business. Use this piece of wisdom to implement great ideas to make the first impression about your brand and maintain a healthy relationship with your precious customers.
- Customer Loyalty Programs
An online customer loyalty program is the best way to provide awareness about your special offers and deals so that your potential customers can book reservations accordingly through the Internet. Online customer loyalty programs are the perfect method for communicating with your loyal customers in a minimal time. Since now people are always engaged with social media, providing promotions about loyalty programs through social media platforms will widely recognised by everyone.
A well-conceived and innovative strategies in social media marketing for restaurants will make the loyalty and giveaway campaigns more flawlessly and can double the traffic in your restaurant.
Successful restaurateurs use online marketing to do restaurant promotion on various platforms in their daily work. Make sure to advertise your special deals about such campaigns on social media platforms like Facebook, Google +, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Let your consumers get an additional loyalty reward on a particular deal when using online booking or making reservations on those sites. This should be a piece of great news on your website or on the app, If you have a restaurant mobile application you should utilise it to market special discounts deals, meal subscriptions, promo codes, and offers only for regular users of your restaurant mobile application.
- Use Reservation Data to Make Customers Feel Special
By using the insights from your restaurant POS system and online table booking system, you can effectively list down who your most frequent customers are and what their favourite dish so far. Surprise those loyal consumers with a complimentary glass of their favourite wine or something
sweet like dessert for adding a personalised touch when they make a reservation. Through your online food ordering platform, you can customised notifications or even give a complimentary gift depends on their buying pattern and preference. You can also provide extra benefits to people who did early reservations and regular online orderings.
The insights from the POS systems help in providing the entire details including their personal number, email Id, location, gender, most purchased food item, payment gateways they prefer, feedback, and many more. This customer database is an asset in creating and giving reward programs for restaurants to their loyal customers. With unique and attractive ideas, you can stand out from your competitors and hence give an alluring and unforgettable experience to your customers. Ensure that your restaurant and staff have enough knowledge about the strategies and are ready to handle the customers accordingly. Your POS software should easily permit you to organise special offers, limited time promotions, and also restaurant loyalty campaigns.
- Make Service Your Top Priority
Customer Service is highly considered and awaited in restaurants. Customers choose your restaurant for dining or for takeaways by expecting a quality service and fulfilling experience. Even though your restaurant may serve the best and good food or beverages but with bad customer service, customers would be definitely turned away and reluctant to order again from your restaurant anymore. This will definitely affect our brand reputation as well as productivity. Therefore, it is very necessary to ensure that all of your restaurant employees provide amazing customer service and do their level best to fulfil your customers’ needs and wants. Such performance would be acknowledged by the customers and enhancing the overall customer satisfaction in your restaurant.
Make sure that your employees always smile while greeting and serving. Smiling offers out friendliness to your buyers and lighten up their day. Employees also show a positive mindset with a ready-to-serve attitude. If your employees know the names of the regular customers, they can greet the buyers by their name, which in turn adds a personalised touch for the customers.
Even if any customer complained about the service, your staff should always remain positive and not fight back in anger. Sometimes it is difficult to remain calm especially when customers have made unreasonable demands then also your employees should remain calm and resolve the problem as soon as possible. This shows the professionalism of your employee, which in turn boosts the brand reputation of your restaurant.
- Pay Attention to Prices
Your customers also matter when you are deciding the pricing strategies of every dish. As a restaurateur, it is your duty to know the different category of customers who visits your restaurant frequently.
The formula for menu pricing also depends on the psychology of your target customer. So while choosing g the menu cost yet while deciding the menu cost, think from your customers’ perspective too. Make sure the menu pricing is not negatively affecting the restaurant’s image, but at the same time it should tempt your buyers and feel worth the whole experience. Too much expensive menu will lead to losing your customers because then there is a high chance that they find the food not worthy for the cost and also then they will start questioning your restaurant loyalty. But on the other hand, too low pricing will provide the image that the quality of food is also very low.
Analysing your competitors’ price menu is also a good option while choosing your menu pricing strategy. It will definitely never be beneficial if you are charging the same dish more than that of your competitors unless you are providing stunning output for the extra charge. But on the other hand, pricing lower than the industry rates may also help in getting more customers and more profits.
- Marketing Strategies for Improving Customer Loyalty
Posting blogs or articles about your service and the cuisines you offer on regular basis on different social media platforms. While a majority of restaurants find blog posting as beneficial since it helps in building brand awareness, blogs also enhance customer loyalty: 7 in 10 customers feel more positive about a business after they read its blog. One of the major effective ways to build brand awareness, while giving important and resourceful content to your target customers is through continuous blogging. Blogging is an inexpensive method for every business to get customers, enrich inbound marketing purposes and allure more potential customers.
Just like blogging, email marketing is another important way to create customised notifications and relevant content for your potential customers. Email service providers like MailChimp offers free email marketing options while offering different email lists. A disadvantage in email marketing is that around 69% of people got irritated and unsubscribed from emails if the topic is irrelevant. So to avoid such situations it is always better to ask your customers about giving offer alerts when they provide their email address.
- Listen to Your Customers
Be a good listener. This is one of the finest qualities that a restaurant employee should poses. Early customers got irritated when they got something different from what they order. Now all these problems are solved to a great extend with the effective help of POS software systems. Customer Service in restaurants is giving great importance in providing error services and for doing so giving priority to your customer needs and proper listening to the orders are highly necessary.
Just be careful how you capture your customers online. While it’s likely to get a plethora of loyal customers will post about their positive experiences as well as negative criticism on social media platforms. If someone leaves a negative review about your service, don’t ignore it or try to fight back with the commenter. Instead, try to understand the issue and resolve it by offering an apt solution. Try to take have an open mind while reading both negative and positive reviews help you in maintaining the quality of your service while negative reviews help you to identify the areas of improvement.
- Maintain High-Quality Food
Food quality is an important pillar in the restaurant business which is widely accepted by consumers. Both internal and external factors are included in food quality. External factors include the smell, structure, colour, presentation, and consistency as appearance also the quality and flavour. Chemical and microbial aspects can be considered as the internal factors. It is also important to know and display the ingredients that are used to cook each dish due to dietary nutritional requirements like vegan, vegetarian, or even medical conditions like diabetes or allergies.
It is mandatory to ensure that the surroundings of the food production are perfectly safe and clean in order to provide the best and high-quality food your customers deserve. Food quality also allocates product detectability like the ingredients used and the packaging suppliers. Moreover, increasing awareness about food safety especially after the global pandemic, customers have more concern and expectations about the quality and safety of restaurants. Everything is taken into consideration from production to delivering the food to the environment it is being served in.
- Customer Loyalty Tips to Give Your Customer a Special Feeling.
Customers can be classified into different categories such as VIPs. NPRs. PPXs. An alert message can be organised in order to make your employees aware of the arrival of special guests. Most restaurants have their own abbreviations for each guest to make the staffs understand things quickly. Some restaurants even have unique codes for new customers – to guarantee they get additional-special offers to build customer loyalty from the beginning.
Using their name while the greeting is another method to give a personalised touch. Teach your staff and bartenders to use the customers’ first names if possible. Surveys say that people love to hear their own name, it gives a strong emotional response. Along with that, it makes the customers feels like a VIP.
- Advertise Your Brand
Loyalty programs for restaurants can be easily reached out to thousands of customers through advertising. Customer loyalty can be maintained through different techniques, but you still need to discover new methods to drive in new faces to your business. Advertising is one of the best ways to reach potential new customers, and also keep updating about new events and offers to your regular customers as well. One thing to remember while doing ads is you have the total rights to any copy or imagery used in the ads. Otherwise, you may get charged with a trademark breaching lawsuit.
- Keep Your Customers Loyal
Always remember that since it is a customer-centric business you need to face both negatives and positives from your customers Some unsatisfied buyers will openly post the same through different social media or review sites. In such situations keep your anger aside and understand and resolve the problem as soon as possible. Use different possible ways to reach out to such unhappy customers and make things right. Resolve the issue with kindness: Also thank them for giving their precious time to send reviews, own the mistake and sometimes a small sorry can bring wonders. Offer them a small gesture to prove that their loyalty is really eminent to you.
Maybe bad feedback results from bad service or maybe the customer was not in a happy mood or had a bad day. Still, you should do your level best to make everyone happy. However, by maintaining and constantly practicing a culture that is devoted to customer satisfaction and loyalty, you will definitely achieve great success.