Of all the restaurants and bars I’ve worked in, I can only think of two that haven’t closed, changed ownership, or filed bankruptcy. I’d love to say this fate befell them because I left, but the reality is even with the most incredible staff on the planet a restaurant is more likely to fail than it is to succeed. So, in an era of constant evolution where customers are looking for more and more from every company they engage with… what is your business doing to remain top of mind?
If the aim is to increase and/or diversify revenue streams, you have to start with customer service. Building brand loyalty doesn’t just apply to retail brands such as Nike or Lululemon, which have built up a nearly cult following thanks to shrewd marketing. Loyalty matters in our industry, too. And building that loyalty starts with offering epic customer service. Research shows that customers are 60% more likely to take their business elsewhere if they have a poor customer experience.
If a customer messages your business page on Facebook, do you have an answer for them before they’ve had the opportunity to message any of your competitors? When someone is searching for a group dining space, what hoops do they have to jump through to find you? Is your menu available for diners before they’ve arrived? One of the key indicators of a great server is their ability to anticipate their customers needs while they’re at the table, make sure you’re anticipating their needs before they’ve even decided where to eat.
The customer experience, believe it or not, can truly make or break your revenue numbers for the year. For this reason, it’s vital to take the time to create a strong working environment for your servers and other employees. Servers who are empowered, who feel valued, and who are not over or under worked will perform at a much higher rate of customer satisfaction. Soon, customers will be lining up just because they’ve heard how amazing your restaurant’s service is.
On the same topic, have you considered offering a loyalty program for your customers? This is a popular tactic that many restaurants are turning to. Consider offering perks or rewards for frequent customers, and use the information you collect when they sign up to create a strong email or social media marketing campaign.
When coupled with the great customer experience at your restaurant, loyalty will be easier to build and maintain if you have the right program in place and put in the proper effort to make sure your staff is bought in.
So, to summarize: are you building up your staff to create an epic customer experience? How are you going above and beyond to ensure that every person who comes into your restaurant leaves satisfied? Consider offering a loyalty or rewards program to build up that loyal customer base, and take the time to create a positive work environment so that your staff is fully bought in to the concept. By focusing on this area, new and increased revenue opportunities will be easier to attain.
Want to make life easier for your restaurant’s event coordinator and for your group dining customers? Book your free demo of PEPPR now!