How can you provide insights for restaurant owners in your market? In this series, we are discussing four different things a restaurant owner can do to increase the profitability of the business. The initial topic was getting first time customers. Now let’s discuss ways a restaurant owner can encourage current customers to return on a regular basis. Although some of this information has already been discussed, I want to give some specialized information for restaurant owners.
When someone comes for the first time, the obvious priority for the restaurant is to create a great customer experience. A restaurant owner should think in high standards. Disney World is a great example. In spite of the fact that my family and I went to Disney last year, we are ready to go back because of the great customer experience! Here are a few ideas to help create the desired experience for the customers:
• Get a long-term connection before the customer leaves. Text marketing is a powerful tool for a delivery type or fast food restaurant. Getting a cell phone number would be very beneficial for the business. Although CCBizPro doesn’t sell text marketing at this time (we will in future), I have helped some local merchants set-up text marketing. Each manager collects phone numbers and has pre-approved text offers such as “buy one pizza, get one ½ off” or “all large pizzas $9.99 tonight,” etc. The manager has permission to send out one such text per week. After the manager determines the slowest night of the week, he knows when to send a text to bring in more business. The experience of my local merchants has been that a night with no business will change to the busiest night of the week after sending a text deal. One particular merchant has a bowl on the counter with a sign inviting customers to write down their phone number and put it in the bowl to receive text alert coupons.
• Getting email addresses is also a powerful tool. Email is at the heart of everything else around it. For example, a Facebook post will only be seen by a small percentage of the target group. However, 100% of emails will be seen by someone. The business owner can upload a group of email addresses on Facebook. Facebook will find those people and display the restaurant ad only to them. Email addresses can also be uploaded on Twitter. Business owners can send invites to all those people. The restaurant owner is in a position to drive traffic in his direction with email addresses.
• Offer discounts to people. Restaurant owners can receive notifications on Twitter and Facebook when someone likes your page. I recommend every business owner set up a special gmail account specifically for the purpose of monitoring social media. That inbox can be set up on the point of sale system. Invite the customer to receive a 10% discount on the current order by liking a Facebook page. The notification will come up on the point of sale screen; the customer can be called by name.
• Loyalty reward systems.
• Additional value through education, information, and support. Engage community; find creative ways to connect with the community around the business. People like to feel that the restaurant is a part of the community – what makes their town. Some restaurant owners have gained important connection by sharing recipes. Although someone may just make it at home, that same person will remember the restaurant when it’s time for eating out. One idea of engaging community is to offer 10% discount to anyone who shows their ticket or hand stamp from a local football game.
I hope these insights are helpful to you. Present these insights to your restaurant clients. Hopefully they will then be willing to listen to your solutions. Check for the next post tomorrow to learn about increasing the average ticket size in a restaurant.
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Read previous post: 3 Tips to Attract First-Time Customers – Restaurant Expert – Part 1
3 Tips to Attract First-Time Customers – Restaurant Expert – Part 1
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