Restaurant business is one of the most difficult businesses to manage. Restaurant patrons are fickle creatures who would turn away at the slightest flaw. This means you must, at all times, give your customers the kind of experience that they are looking for. The restaurant sphere is a highly competitive one. According to the Webminers blog, there are 15 million restaurants in the world and fifteen thousand in the Netherlands (Statista). This presents a lot of options for diners to choose from. You have to stand out from the pack if you want to keep, and even increase, your share of the market.
Here are 10 things you should do to help you stand out from the pack and keep your patron coming back for more.
- Provide Excellent Customer Service
In restaurant business, customer service is as important, dare I say, more important than the meals served. A restaurant that serves average meals with excellent customer service will do better than one that serves delicious meals but have poor customer service. Most restaurants lose a customer for ever as result of one bad experience. To curb this, your staff should be trained to attend to your patrons professionally. They should treat your patrons with respect and make them feel welcome.
- Create A Suitable Atmosphere
The atmosphere in and around your restaurant is important to how your patrons rate your restaurant. Diners may never get to taste how delicious your meals are if they walk into your restaurant and find dirty floors, poor lighting, dusty décor, unclean tables, unpleasant smells, and torn furniture. Make sure you create an atmosphere that would get your guests excited about dining with you. Keep your floors and furniture clean and in top condition. Have a well-lit kitchen and dining area. Get rid of any foul odour. Use the services of exterminators when necessary to rid your restaurant of pests like rats.
- Keep Your Menu Simple
Some restaurants try to impress guests by presenting a complex menu. But nobody wants to spend minutes in a restaurant trying to understand what the items on the menu mean. Even though you offer a wide selection of dishes, keep your menu well formatted and easy to understand. While many restaurants believe in having a lengthy menu, this is a wrong. It is important to keep your menu short. A lengthy menu makes your diners anxious.
- Offer Incentives
Everybody likes to get something for nothing. Most people would do business with a brand gives them a little extra on their regular purchases. You could offer freebies such free coffee or desert to your most loyal patrons using in-store coupons. Alternatively, you use digital coupons to offer incentives to get first-time customers to return. If you offer free guest Wi-Fi, you could offer incentives on your Wi-Fi landing page in exchange for personal details like name and email address. Wi-Fi analytics platforms can help you see how your patrons are responding to your freebies.
- Draw Attention Through Social Media
Restaurants can get maximum exposure through social media. You can easily reach a wider audience through social media than through traditional media like magazines. If you have an upcoming event, social media is the appropriate platform to get your customers informed and excited about it. You can also share pictures of new recipes or videos on how a particular dish is prepared.
- Organize Events Regularly
You should organize events regularly. They help to keep your brand in the minds of your patrons and could also serve as channels to get new customers. Once a month/quarter you could invite a popular local music band to play at your restaurant. Or you could organize a food or wine tasting event or a cooking competition. Just make sure the event you organize is relevant to your customers.
- Support Other Local Businesses
Your customers will love you more when they know that your business supports some other local business. For instance, if you offer fried chicken or omelettes, your customers will be pleased to know that you buy from a local poultry. You can mention this indirectly in your or social media marketing communication. Or let the item in your menu reflect it.
- Distinguish Yourself, Be Unique
All too often restaurant menus start to get old or too regular quickly. When people start to get bored with your meals they may lose interest in your brand. You should try to offer something new to your patrons. You could prepare an exotic dish and have your patron try it at a tasting even. If they like it, they may start to order that particular dish. If you don’t have any new recipe to offer, give a new twist to an old dish. Let your creativity run wild. Not too wild though. Your customers will love you for it.
- Get Involved With The Local Community
You need to get involved with the local community if you want to be noticed. Keep an eye out for community events or other opportunities where food will be needed. Have your staff attend such events wearing your company logo. People who taste your meals but have never heard of your restaurant would be automatically converted to patrons. Plus, you will impress your old loyal customers.
- Build Your Brand
You should actively build your brand as it helps to boost recognition. You need to be consistent in your logo, colour theme, service, and menu. Let your brand tell a story or stand for something such as healthy meals, creative dishes, excellent dining experience, convenience, and more. Make effort to meet and surpass your customer expectations that matches the standard that you have set.
Speaking of branding, you could brand your Wi-Fi landing page or splash page with your restaurant logo and colours. This helps to reinforce your brand in the minds of your customers. To learn more contact us here.POSTED ON August 7, 2019