6 top tips for restaurants to attract customers
Restaurants all over the world are back in action. After more than a year of lockdowns, restaurant owners are heaving a sigh of relief. As per the report by National Restaurant Association, in 2020, the sales in the restaurant industry were $240 billion lower than expected levels. Now, it’s time to compensate for those lost sales. In the post- Covid world, the expectations of customers have changed drastically. The diners have become quite hygiene conscious. They just don’t want to risk catching the infection by visiting a restaurant. Hence, it’s time to alleviate all those concerns.
Top 6 tips to attract customers with the help of technology
Let’s see how you can make use of modern day digital technology and lure diners to your establishment.
1. Remove fear from the minds of diners– Let’s see how a restaurant management software provides your customers with an absolutely safe, no-contact dining environment. On the mobile app, now your diners can book their favourite table at the restaurant. It helps them avoid the rush during busy hours. Once customers arrive at your restaurant, they can order food using a digital menu. Just by scanning a QR code on their smartphones, they can view the menu. Thus, no more touching of paper menus used by multiple people. The research conducted by Wakefield Research shows that 88% of restaurants consider replacing the physical menu with a digital menu. When it’s time to pay the bill, customers don’t have to touch physical currency. Now, they can make payments using digital payment platforms such as Google Pay or Amazon Pay.
2. Surprise customers with personalised service- The software collects valuable information from your diners. It includes name, date of birth, e-mail id and phone number. Suppose a diner’s birthday falls in the coming week. Send a personalised birthday wish and surprise him/her. Any customer would be quite delighted to receive a wish from you.
With the software, now also collect valuable insights about the eating preferences of diners. Assume that a customer ordered Chicken burger during the first visit. The next time, let your waiters suggest ordering the same dish. Also, the servers can effectively upsell by recommending to have French fries as a side dish. As per the study by Deloitte, 22% of consumers are willing to share some data when they are provided with a more personalised customer service or product.
3. Lure food lovers via social media- Have a robust presence on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. The survey results by MGH shows that 45% of the customers in United States tried a restaurant for the first time due to the post on social media by the establishment. Keep posting photos of the mouth-watering dishes. Make it irresistible for all those die hard food lovers. Come up with a video that offers a sneak peak to your restaurant kitchen. Let your main chef explain the preparation of a signature dish. Keep conducting contests on Facebook and Instagram. An example is a free buffet lunch for the best comment on your latest post.
4. Build your own website for online ordering – Nowadays, many of the customers prefer to order food online. Having tie-ups with third party food delivery platforms is a great idea. However, it can burn a hole in your pocket. The New York Times reports that restaurant owners complain of paying aggregator commission as huge as 30%.
Thus, come up with a food ordering website and mobile app for your restaurant. Let your customers order from the comfort of their home.
5. Boost loyalty with a digital loyalty program - Customers need to have a strong reason to visit your restaurant. As per the findings by PYMNTS’ Restaurant Readiness Index, customers rated loyalty programs as the primary reason that restaurants can motivate them to spend more money. Keep your loyalty program simple and easy to redeem. Notify your customers when it’s time to redeem the points. Let them keep coming back for more rewards.
6. Customise your marketing campaigns- As per the report by SmarterHQ, 72% of customers prefer to engage only with personalised messaging. A group of corporate customers may be looking for buffet lunch offers. On the other hand, young couples may be more interested in Valentine’s Day special discounts. With the help of restaurant management software, now identify the various customer segments. Personalise the marketing campaign depending on the particular segment.