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How to Keep your Customers Coming Back to your Restaurant

Posted on July 01 2019

 

 

 

 

It’s great when you get new customers for the first time, but how do you create an attraction that keeps them coming back? Because we’re creatures of habit, you want your customer’s visit to your restaurant to become part of their routine. 

Reliability: Reliability among the food and drinks you serve is key to retaining your customer base. Not everyone is willing to explore with their food, so they often come back for their favorite item on your menu expecting it to taste just as good as it did the first time they ate it. Reliability across the board at your restaurant is important to the customer. Constantly changing your hours and prices, as well as the taste of your food, can put off a customer because they won’t know what to expect when they visit.

Loyalty Programs: These are a great way to bring customers back to you multiple times in search of a reward. Incentives are instrumental in the way the human mind works. We do everything in search of some type of reward for ourselves. Just think--we search for friendships and relationships we feel benefit us and it’s the same for choosing where we invest our time. People won’t spend time at a restaurant that doesn’t provide them with good food or result in some sort of happy experience.

Humans crave connections and experiences that evoke happy feelings. I could go on about creating great customer experiences for pages, but we’ll save that for another time! To put it bluntly, building an experience for your customer when they visit your restaurant is very important. You don’t want your customer to feel you only appreciate them when they’re physically in your restaurant making a purchase, but rather you want them to feel appreciated all the time. Creating an online presence that aligns with your physical restaurant and establishing programs that reward customers for being loyal will bring them back to the restaurant time and time again in search of a memorable time and some great food.

Who’s the chef? If the food is good, then the chef must be good—and worth meeting too. Meeting the chef is really great PR because it makes the customer feel that he or she is no longer just a customer but a guest. If a place makes you feel good, you will eat good.

The day’s special. Of course, feeling that you’re someone special makes for a great dining experience. One way to do that is to treat your customer like he (or she) is a VIP: give him the big hello (and greet him by his first name if you happen to know it); treat him to a free appetizer, maybe some dessert, too; chat with him for a while (but make it really brief) and give him your personalized business card; offer the day’s special.

I’ll be back. Get feedback from your customer, via a suggestion box for instance. Make sure to mine the feedback you get, whether it’s complimentary or not, for ways to improve the quality of your food and service.

Send emails. Or tweets. Get your customers’ contact info and use that to invite them to your restaurant’s special events (a live band performance, perhaps) or promos. Great for spreading customer love.

Vamos Rafa! Well, if you’re not into tennis you can always sponsor the local high school baseball team. Emblazon their uniforms with your logo and get great advertising mileage for your burritos. Good for attracting new customers, better for retaining repeats. Go Spartans!

Send out a PR. Make time to send out a press release to the local paper from time to time. Make sure that your PR is newsworthy; it should, for example, announce an event you’re hosting or a charity that you’re donating to or a cause that you’re supporting.

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