The three key ingredients to running an efficient restaurant are: having a knowledgeable and passionate manager and strong company morale, maximizing efficiency with technology and business planning, and creating a marketing plan.
Believe it or not, the first two are much simpler. In a way, for those who are experienced, developing a business plan and strategy, and gathering a team with good work ethic is the easy part. Generating foot traffic to your restaurant, increasing profits, and sustaining a loyal customer base, otherwise known as marketing, is the hard part.
See the creative ways for restaurant owners to earn loyal customers and better their marketing efforts:
1. Offer perks or a customer loyalty program
Offering perks or a loyalty program is not meant to only attract those looking for a discount and one-time service. The goal here is to keep your loyal customers by paying it forward, and rewarding them financially or other, for their loyalty.
2. Create rapport by calling them by name
Whether you are meeting a person for the first time, or seeing an old friend, there is a genuine feeling of respect and appreciation when someone calls you by your first name. Try to remember your customers' names, so when they walk in the door, they feel at home and welcomed.
3. Listen, learn, and pivot
Pay attention to your customers. Invite feedback, ask for reviews, and make adjustments as needed based on their suggestions. People want their opinions to be valued and heard. Plus, when your customers enjoy you and your business, they will do the referral work for you.
4. Customize orders, to a degree
Customizing orders can be a great way to offer higher quality menu options, and therefore, reap higher profits. However, from the customer point of view, he or she will know and remember that their favorite restaurant will make food “just as they like.”
5. Educate your staff
Educate your staff on best customer service practices. Make this a repeatable program and process so everyone learns the same and practices the same. Your customers will notice your efforts.
6. Be consistent
After implementing the above tactics, the most important final step is to stay consistent. Consistency in your staff will create a long-term process of wonderful customer service, and consistency toward your customers will generate long-term success and loyalty.
Curious about more ways to bring traffic into your restaurant? Please give me a call at 678-804-8064.