I don’t own and run a restaurant business. But as a frequent customer of different restaurants in our country, I have observed some things that make customers like me happy. I believe that restaurant operators should listen to their customers to serve them well, attract more customers, and make their business thriving. The following are 10 quick tips to attract more loyal customers in your restaurant business.
1. Give a warm welcome.
In order to attract customers, you or your staff have to enchant them right at your doorstep. Give a warm welcome and greetings when customers enter your premises. This will make them feel welcome, appreciated and special. This will also calm them, especially when they are already tired and hungry.
2. Be happy to serve.
Let your customers know and feel that you and your staff are happy that they have chosen your restaurant. Be jolly and always wear a sweet smile when talking and accommodating your customers. Remember that no matter how beautiful and elegant your place is, if your staff are not giving good vibes to your customers, you can’t keep them coming back to your place.
3. Minimize their waiting time.
Customers usually come to your place hungry. That is why you must understand them and keep them feel comfortable at all times. Your waiters should immediately attend to their needs, take their orders, and provide them something (e.g., complimentary drinks, food and entertainment) that will keep convenient while they are waiting for their orders.
4. Celebrate with their special days.
Know your customers. Ask and recognize their special day. Some of the customers that come to your restaurant are celebrating their birthday, anniversary and other very special days. Celebrate with them. If your customer is celebrating his or her birthday, offer a complimentary cake and birthday song. This could bring your business a good luck, and surely your customers will have a memorable time and moment in your restaurant.
5. Keep in touch with your customers.
Often, it’s hard to get the attention of your waiters when we are getting additional orders, getting our bill, and asking for our other needs. Being busy serving a lot of customers, especially during peak season is not an excuse to let your other customers unnoticed. Restaurants should always be prepared for peak season and make sure that they can attend to the needs of their customers immediately. To make sure your customers are served at the right time and at the right place, assign a personnel or a supervisor to observe, keep an eye, and keep in touch with your customers at all times. This can also be done by the owners, themselves.
6. Get their feedback and act on them.
Listen to your customer feedback. You can ask them for comments and suggestions either by letting them fill up a suggestion form or simply ask them verbally. Customer feedback will give you valuable information on how to attract potential customers and keep your existing customers. It will also let your customers feel that you’re listening to their concerns and doing something to improve your services.
7. Promote your business online.
Utilize the power of the Internet to invite more customers, spread the great words about your business, and keep in touch with them. Build a website, blog, and social media pages, such as Facebook Page and Foursquare Page to keep on listening and interacting with your potential and current customers. Remember that if your business is present online, your customers will have a 24/7 access to it for getting to know it, making inquiries, and sharing it to their friends and connections online.
8. Keep fresh and clean.
Keep everything in your restaurant fresh and clean, from your premises, the food, the furniture, and to the people. This should be your top priority, and I believe I don’t need to explain this further.
9. Train your staff.
Everyone in your restaurant have to share the same objectives and procedures to serve best and make your customers happy. Even though your chef is excellent if your waiters don’t how to keep your customers smiling, your overall goal might not be achieved. Therefore, keep on training your people important knowledge and skills, such as customer service and the like.
10. Keep learning and improving.
Operating a restaurant is not an easy business. It’s tough and competitive. If you don’t learn from your customers, if you don’t keep an eye on your competition, if you don’t innovate, and if you don’t keep on experimenting and improving your products and services, you might fall short in keeping the loyalty of your customers and keeping your business success. Thus, if you want to achieve long-term success, keep on learning and bringing better things to your customers.
Are you a restaurant business owner or a customer? What other tips can you suggest to attract more customers and keep any restaurant a true success?