4 Tips to Drive More Customers to Your Restaurant

As a restaurateur your strategy to drive more sales and increase your cash flow through these changing times should focus on the following areas.

Market data show the economy is beginning to rebound. Customers are gingerly venturing out to enjoy a fantastic dinner with family, or an evening drink with friends. As a restaurateur, your strategy to drive more sales and increase your cash flow through these changing times should focus on the following areas:

Get your existing customers to frequent more. Create an experience that delights your customers, every time, by focusing on:

  • Promotions and incentives that encourage customer loyalty
  • Implement customer feedback that adapts to customer demands and taste
  • Personalized experience through customer relationship management 
  • Table management and demand management that minimizes wait times and faster seating 

Reach out to new customers

  • Optimize your website and sales dollars through effective online strategy 
  • Monitor your traditional marketing channels for return on investment 
  • Create an effective referral program through your existing customer base

Encourage happy customers to review their restaurant experience

  • Online reviews from happy customers produce a greater return on investment than our best marketing dollars. Make it easy for your customers to review you  
  • Provide one-click review through your customer communication after their dining experience 
  • Monitor reviews to acknowledge the good reviews and make improvements when necessary
  • Remember their reviews on their next visit through integrating reviews into the customer management system

Demand Management and Inventory Management 

  • Through effective demand, forecasting anticipate surge and slow days based on historical data
  • Plan for surges related to holidays, local events, and trends through automated prediction of daily demands
  • Consolidate your in-house dining with delivery and curbside pickup to have common inventory management to avoid waste or decline orders because of lack of items in your inventory

 

Improve Your Takeout / Curbside Services

Improve your Restaurant Brand:

By balancing your Takeout/Curbside services with your in-house dining experience. Streamline your operations by consolidating orders from online and in-house, and having a well defined Takeout/Curbside strategy.

Create a simpler / smaller takeout menu:

Simplify your takeout menu to optimize your kitchen management with a focus on food that travels well, is popular, and simpler to make.  Keep the more complex, best eaten hot, and food with good presentation for your in-house dining experience.  Incorporate feedback about your takeout/curbside orders to evolve the offering, while delighting your customers and increasing your revenue without burdening your kitchen resources.    

Promote Con-tactless Curbside Service:

Curbside pickup is a good alternative for customers that do not want to wait for delivery or are not ready for in-house dining. Minimize contact in your ordering, packaging, and pickup workflows. Make the experience safe and of quality to ease the nervous customer and get them to return with confidence.

Create your own delivery service – as opposed to using third party services such as DoorDash or UberEats

Newly established restaurants often fall into the trap of hiring third-party vendors for their Delivery Service Management. These third-party vendors are expensive and are not consistent when resolving customer issues. By managing the delivery service in-house, restaurant owners have complete control over the quality of Delivery being offered and also can follow their own set of protocols for a Better Customer Experience.

Create an online ordering system to support takeout, delivery and curbside services

A majority of restaurants realize the need for an online presence that offers customers an easy order experience. Online ordering not only provides customers a convenient way to order from the restaurant but also provides business owners with a way to streamline operations. Starting with the customer order, the kitchen is prompted about the ordered items, meanwhile, the front office staff can be informed of the orders coming and going out effectively.

 

Expand Your Social Media Reach

An online presence doesn’t bring in actual convertible customers. Attracting customers occurs when you use Online Campaigns and Social Media to market your restaurant and online ordering process. Social Media is a very powerful tool to expand your reach without having to invest a ton of money.

Why Google My Business is imperative for local restaurants

AGoogle My Business’ account is a good initiative to ensure your business is listed in the search engine results pages. It also gives you a platform to connect with your customers free of cost. You can post offers and pictures to keep them informed about your uniqueness from competitors. Additionally, Google My Business provides data insights about how many clicks, calls, and bookings you received and accordingly analyze your demographic.

Why Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube actually work

Be active on social media platforms where your customer hang out.  Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube offer not just cheaper ways to market your products but also something that actually can ensure a set of recurring customers. Visually, we can entice customers, and then once they are on your Business Listing you can show what unique things you have to offer so they can keep coming back.

Use social media as an information distribution channel – such as announcing the night’s special, etc.

The more tasty and delicious a burger looks in a TV ad, the more the viewers want to take a bite of it. Similarly, businesses can use Social Media to drive more customers by visually luring them in through delicious-looking food. Show a trend through your Social Media posts that highlight your restaurant’s theme. Inform them about the Daily Specials and seasonal offers. Keep them wanting more content and what more does your Restaurant has to offer.

 

Start a Customer Loyalty Program

Ensure constant cash flow through customer retention.  This is where Loyalty programs come into the picture. Loyalty programs keep customers returning to the restaurant to take advantage of the benefits and offers.

How does a Loyalty Program work?

The purpose of a Loyalty Program is to encourage customers to keep buying from your restaurant. Customers are either working towards earning a reward or discount based on the number of times they order from your restaurant or based on their spending value in total.

Different types of loyalty programs:

Points Based

In this system after every purchase/placing an order the customer is rewarded a certain number of loyalty points. These points keep adding in the customer’s account until he/she can finally use the accumulated points to order something from the store free of cost or be rewarded through some other system of invoice discounts.

Required accumulation points are determined by the Restaurant owner.

Membership Programs

These are also very popular in both retailing and restaurant worlds. These are based on customers purchasing a membership plan which will further help them to win rewards or discounts on their future purchases.

These can be programs that provide rewards such as Free Order Delivery/Faster delivery time, overall discount on invoices, or cashback offers.

Punch Card Programs

A traditional program where customers receive a food card on their first purchase.

Every time the customer returns and places an order, the cashier punches the food card and after a certain amount of punches, a free menu Item is rewarded.

 

Use Email Blasts and SMS Marketing Campaigns

Marketing Campaigns Emails and SMS are simple and trustworthy ways to spread and share content.

These methods are cheaper than online paid campaigns. A Restaurant owner can easily get a breakdown of all the people that interact through Email and SMS campaigns.

Get Insights on Customer reach and conversion

Through third party analytic tools, you can get an in-depth insight into the number of people who opened on the emails vs the ones who opened and clicked on the in-built links. Some third-party tools will even help you look at how many pages they browse with the amount of time spent on your website. These data insights can be highly quite beneficial to understand which customers are interested in your products.

Plan  these Campaigns based on Lead Stages: Introductory and Nurturing

First, you need to sort customers based on their interest levels. Customers who are new can be put in Introductory campaigns where you focus on getting them acquainted with your restaurant and menu items. Then current customers can be put in Nurturing campaigns where the marketing team can focus more on how to maintain them as customers and lastly the set of people who aren’t returning to order can be kept in separate campaigns by making them aware of certain rewards and offers that the Restaurant has planned.

Keep your Content Crisp and Attractive

While delivering your information you need to make sure to capture customer’s attention as quickly as possible. To make the most out of the resources, you should emphasize creating Crisp and Eye-Capturing content. Make your menu items look irresistible using attractive images.  Just like your website, your emails should also be mobile-friendly, as 80 percent of users report reading emails on mobile devices.
                  

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