Here at Goodwill Financial, we believe in partnering with our clients in any way we possibly can. Lately, we’ve been focusing on giving our clients some tips on best practices, and we’d like to take a moment to speak to restaurant owners about business and customer retention. To this day, word of mouth is still the number one form of sales in any industry, so let’s talk about how restaurant owners and staff can keep their customers happy and get them talking with the other locals!
Often times, the first step in customer retention for any business is to build a customer base. You’ll want to have a strong presence in your local community. Personally greet every customer, and if you recognize your returning customers, let them know with a warm welcome. You can also check in with your customers while they’re eating, and see if they are enjoying their meals and time in your restaurant. This will allow you to identify problems as they are happening, or even beforehand, and correct them before your customers leave, ultimately leaving them with a good experience. Another way you can build your local presence is to support other local businesses, just like we do! You can have business cards from other local businesses on display, either at the checkout or on a designated bulletin board somewhere in the restaurant. You can even allow local artists or musicians to display their talent in the warmth of your restaurant by hosting open mic or gallery nights.
Nothing gets people more excited then when they are given a special offer! This could include many things, but let’s start simple by trying to offer water for free to your customers, but make it a little more fancy by offering free cucumber water or even soda water. Also, consider having special food and drink pairings on your restaurant’s menu, because having a combination of the two will make the meal more memorable, and you could get more word of mouth recommendations this way. Lastly, you could try to have loyalty program for your customers. You could give them discounts, or even a free dessert if they are regulars, this way they’ll keep coming back for more.
Now that we’ve appealed to the local scene and given them some special offers, let’s talk about appealing to specific types of audiences. With theme nights, you could have one night of the week dedicated to each personna in your customer base. You could have a beer and game night for the guys, a family specials night, or even a theme night showcasing a special cuisine, depending on your restaurant’s style. The possibilities are endless here, just try to speak to your customers in their own language and you may see some positive results!
We are huge advocates of today’s digital marketing strategies, and that’s because they really work. If you’re not on social media, that could be a great first step. Having a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for your customers to connect with you on is a great way to expand your restaurant’s reach. If you create and share original content, people will want to be involved if it looks exciting or they could picture themselves having the same great experiences. Not to mention, everyone is on their phones these days, so make sure you ask your customers to check in on Facebook or Foursquare.
Keeping your Customers Happy
If all else fails, stick to the fundamentals by providing the most excellent service you can offer. It’s great to have your staff keep a positive outlook at all times, because smiles are contagious. If you practice random acts of kindness as well, such as holding the door open for your customers or using exceptional manners, people will remember and appreciate it. People love coming into a business where everyone is smiling, so do what you can to make sure your customers are having a great time!
Remember, even with the best business plans, no business is ever safe from worry unless they have the right protection in place. If you want to make sure your restaurant has the coverage you need, we have special restaurant insurance policies designed just for you, and you can call one of our professional agents today for any additional questions. Good luck!