How Restaurants Attract and Keep Loyal Customers
Loyal customers are often a major source of revenue for businesses. This is especially true for restaurants. Attracting and keeping loyal diners can sometimes be difficult for restaurants, however, since customers love trying new foods and dining at different restaurants.
To attract new patrons that may become loyal customers, restaurants can employ a number of different tactics. Here are some of the most common tactics that restaurants can use to attract new clientele.
- Advertisements. Putting out advertisements is very important when trying to attract new customers. Some of the most common types of advertisements include radio, television, and newspaper advertisements.
- The Internet. The web can also be a helpful tool for restaurants that are trying to attract new customers. Online advertising, for instance, is generally less expensive than other types of advertising. Restaurants can also list their businesses in free online business directories, or set up social networking profiles.
- Promotional apparel. Another effective way to attract new customers to a restaurant is by giving away free promotional apparel. For instance, a new restaurant can hand out free t-shirts or hats to their current loyal customers. This apparel should be eye catching and include a catchy slogan. When customers wear the apparel, they basically become walking billboards.
Attracting new customers is only half of the battle. Restaurant owners also have to make an effort to keep current customers coming back. Here are a few tactics that restaurants can use to build loyalty among their customers.
- Loyalty and rewards programs. Loyalty and rewards programs encourage customers to return to your restaurant by rewarding repeat patronage. They have the potential to turn good customers into great customers. There are a variety of loyalty and rewards programs that you can implement, from customer competitions where the top 10 or 20 customers earn a special reward to loyalty programs that encourage specific purchase behavior. For example, if a customer never orders dessert, loyalty program software may prompt you to offer them a free dessert. If the customer likes the dessert, he is more likely to order dessert the next time he dines at your establishment.
- Promotional discounts. Promotional discounts can be used to keep restaurant customers coming back. For instance, restaurants may consider offering free meals to individuals who are celebrating their birthdays. These types of promotions should be printed right on the menus, where diners are sure to see them.
- Good food and great service. Two of the most commonly overlooked tactics for getting diners to return to a restaurant are offering good food and great service. Obviously, if the food is good, diners are more likely to return to your restaurant for another meal. If you pair good food with excellent service, however, you have a winning combination. In fact, many restaurant patrons admit that customer service alone will determine whether or not they return to a particular establishment.