Keep Them Coming Back: How to Encourage Restaurant Loyalty
Do you remember the last time you walked into a new business and something compelled you to return? What did the business do to make you feel that way? Building restaurant loyalty is mostly about stepping into your customer’s shoes. Check out these tips on how to turn a first-time customer into a loyal regular.
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1. You gotta give loyalty to get it.
Nothing attracts a first-time customer to come back quite like a great loyalty program. A restaurant loyalty program that offers discounts and free-add ons is an effective way to show your appreciation for repeat visitors. However, it’s important to go about it in an authentic and “non-salesy” way.
Avoid charging customers for loyalty programs and make the process as uncomplicated as possible. Also, customers are constantly inundated by loyalty program offerings so make yours fun and memorable. Create an interesting game or encourage them to share personal food stories on social media with a hashtag. This is a great way to cultivate positive brand awareness resulting in a string of repeat orderers lining up at your door!
2. Never skimp on service.
This is a no-brainer but it’s the most important item on this list. There’s a famous quote that says “people will forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.” This is especially true in the restaurant industry. Customers have hundreds of options when deciding where they should eat and while perks such as loyalty programs and affordable prices will get them through the door, bad service is sure to make them turn back around. Fast, friendly and empathic service is key to building a loyal customer base who will spread the good news about your tasty establishment.
Offering customers ways to make their experience even easier and more efficient is another way to offer top-notch service and encourage restaurant loyalty.
3. Promote the feeling of community.
While the decor and ambience of your restaurant is one way to make a customer feel at home, creating an atmosphere of community & connection are the x-factors that keep them coming back. Hosting events such as Taco Tuesdays and lively happy hours promote the feeling of community that will encourage customers to invite their friends & family to join in the fun. This can also create an atmosphere of consistency for customers by ensuring that they will have a memorable and quality experience when they walk into your restaurant.
4. Be easily accessible.
It’s important to stay relevant and accessible to your customers, especially in our hyper-paced, technology-driven world. Offering online ordering, especially through custom restaurant mobile apps, makes this easy.
Additionally, you can increase restaurant loyalty by establishing a strong presence on social media channels such as Yelp and Facebook. Online food ordering systems like ChowNow allows customers to place an order directly from your social media channels or website. This takes your efforts to offer convenience and accessibility even one step further by allowing customers to place and personalize their order on the go.
Turning a customer into a repeat one is more an art than a science. It’s a combination of factors that produces a wonderful dining experience. This experience is what makes your restaurant memorable and can turn a one-time visitor into a valuable, long-term customer.
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