It’s all good and well spending your time trying to entice new customers to visit your restaurant or cafe, but the truth is, it’s probably not the best use of your time. It’s much easier -- not to mention cheaper -- to keep your existing customers on the hook, rather than to go out and get people through the door. Of course, you should be dedicating some time to bringing onboard new customers, but not at the expense of your existing clients. So how do you get people to visit again and again? We take a look at four ways below.
Mix Up the Menu
You could have a ten out of ten menu, one that has your customers waxing lyrical about how inventive and well-presented your food is. But while they’ll still be wowed the second or third time, eventually they’re going to become a little jaded. There’s no menu in the world that can stand the test of time forever! As such, it’s important that you’re taking the time to mix up your menu regularly. If people love what you’ve done with your previous menus, they’ll be eager to see what you come up with next time. And this doesn’t just benefit your customers -- it also helps keep you and your staff on your toes, too.
Your loyal customers are an important part of your business, so make sure they know it. Work with Lexel, app developers to create a unique mobile application for your restaurant, and reap the benefits of having your establishment forever in the pockets of your customers. You’ll be able to offer discount codes, or flash deals if it looks like it’s going to be a quiet evening. You can also host a digital version of your menu, so your customers can check out all your latest dishes no matter where they are.
You’re in the food game, but that doesn’t have to be the beginning and end of what you do. Sometimes, a customer just needs a slight nudge to be lured back to their favourite establishment. During the quieter parts of the week, look at hosting singer-songwriter nights or other cultural events. You may have a limited menu, or make it a drinks only affair if it’s a special event. It’ll help make your restaurant a bigger part of their life and the wider community.
Find Your Flaws
Your restaurant isn’t perfect. There’s not one in the world that is (though some do come pretty close). As such, one way to keep your existing customers on your side is to figure out what your flaws are, and taking steps to improve them. Have an independent party come in and make notes (don’t tell your staff). Once you’ve got an idea of where you’re going wrong, you’ll be able to make the small changes that take your restaurant from a 9/10 experience to a 10/10 experience.
Your repeat visitors are going to be the backbone of your restaurant. Treat them well, and they’ll treat you well.