Restaurant Owners - 5 Tips to Retain Your Target Customer Base

Restuarant Owners - Retain Customers

Repeat customers are key to the success of any restaurant. Not only do they bring in a steady stream of business, but they also help to spread the word to potential new customers.

Every time a loyal customer brings a friend to your restaurant or recommends it to someone else, they are helping your business to grow in popularity. Here are 5 ways to keep these valued customers coming back to your restaurant again and again.

1. Offer Personalized Customer Service

At your restaurant, maintaining a great team of friendly, hospitable staff who truly care about their job and customers is a definite necessity. But to really make an impact, your customer service needs to be next level.

Customers are more likely to return to your restaurant if you treat them in a special way. Do you remember how you felt the last time a great waiter or bartender remembered your name? Recalling a customer's name or favorite dish leaves a lasting positive impression. Encourage your front of house staff to keep track of these small details. Providing personalized service will make customers feel more at home in your restaurant, which will ultimately lead to higher customer retention.

2. Implement Eco-Friendly Initiatives

As customers become more eco-conscious, they expect restaurants and other food establishments to operate in an environmentally-responsible way. By supporting and implementing eco-friendly initiatives for your restaurant, such as recycling food waste, your restaurant will appeal to a wider range of people. Many customers will be more likely to come back to your restaurant if they know it has an environmentally-friendly reputation.

3. Be Active on Social Media

Having a positive, active social media presence is crucial for any restaurant or hospitality business. Without a strong social media presence, your restaurant won't stay at the forefront of people's minds for long.

To stay visible in a world filled with tough competition, you need to consistently remind people why your restaurant is worth going back to. Depending on the brand values that you have decided to portray, you also need to make sure that your marketing doesn't sound pushy or overly promotional.

Ideas for regular social media marketing include posting enticing pictures of your daily specials or new inventions on popular, highly visual platforms such as Instagram, as well as promoting any upcoming and current events or deals.

In your social media posts, keep a light-hearted sense of humor that suits the style of your restaurant. Humor is one of the most powerful ways to capture attention online and build an emotional connection with people.

As well as posting consistently on your social media pages, it's just as important to interact directly with your audience. By engaging with customers in the form of images, events, status updates, and comments, you will build a stronger relationship with them and show that you care by replying to both their praise and criticism with grace. When you prove that you are open to feedback, you will ultimately help to establish brand loyalty and increase customer retention.

4. Change Up the Menu

While many customers love returning to a restaurant for their favorite dish, it remains important to keep your menu fresh and innovative. The key is to have a menu that balances signature favorites with new, inventive options.

Offering different specials each day or week, or introducing seasonal items will ensure your customers don't get bored with your menu. Pay close attention to what your customers are saying about your menu at all times. This will help you determine what items need to tweaked, replaced or changed.

5. Provide Entertainment

Offering entertainment is a great way to attract new customers, and can also help bring in previous customers who may not have visited your restaurant in awhile. Entertainment could involve anything from live music or karaoke nights to an exclusive tasting menu or wine-tasting event. The type of entertainment you provide will obviously depend on the theme and style of your restaurant, and your available budget.

In conclusion, retaining a customer base doesn't happen without hard work put in. For long-term survival, restaurant owners must ensure they live up to their values to achieve brand loyalty. Showing your customers that you care about their individual needs through excellent service, delicious food and drink offerings will remind them why they love your restaurant so much - and providing extra entertainment in-house, competitions, and fun interaction online will help bring in new customers and keep existing patrons happy.

Guest Author

Cloe Matheson

Cloe Matheson is a writer from Dunedin, New Zealand with a passion for all things travel and adventure. She enjoys experiencing different cultures, trying local food and exploring new places. You can often find her at a local café typing away while enjoying a good cup of coffee. Check out more of her articles on Tumbler