Restaurant business has been a really tricky business as it has now been more dependent on the digital media rather than word of mouth. The Millennial are looking up more and more on the Digital Platform and are more keep to exploring new places. But how do you gain a loyal customer?
These tricks will help your business help achieve loyal customers rather than you keep on investing in acquisition of new customers.
Let's look at the stats first:
As you can see when the customer first arrives at your restaurant the chances of them coming for a second visit are just 40%! During the second visit, the chances are a bit higher for the 3rd visit. After 4th Visit (assuming that the conditions of the restaurant are the same and the food quality is maintained), the customer will have got a liking for a particular dish. Loyal customers today are also only 90% loyal as the remaining 10% are the ones who love to try something new every now and then.
But how do you take that 30% to almost 90%?
First thing is to focus on new Clients. The person who is coming for the first time to your restaurant is always looking for good suggestion. Train your people to give him good options and the ones which will not take time to serve. So you get his confidence by serving him the best of your food, in the record time. Now when he is done, just give a clue that you have something else as well for his next visit and give him a pre-printed discount coupon on his phone number. This will increase the chance of him coming back to try something new on a discount!
Now this is tricky as he already has a coupon for a discounted meal. Offer him the 2nd thing that is best in your restaurant. So the confidence has already increased by now in terms of your quality and service. With this give him either a higher discounted coupon or a Free meal for the next time. I will explain why this strategy might fail or succeed:
1. Higher Discounts means you are getting the customer habituated to discount and so he will not be a loyal customer. He will again look for discounts when he comes back to you. It is very easy to get them addicted to discounts but not for a Free meal.
2. Free Meal will definitely get the customer back but he is not addicted to the discount. He has got a taste of your not so expensive meal.
Third Visit: Now as you decide either for a Free meal or a Discount, the customer comes back for the third time. You give him the same service with the food that is not very expensive and still will enlighten his taste buds is a must. Once he has tasted the delicious varieties that you have on your platter, his unconscious mind will tell him that the food and service of this restaurant is of A grade though he must be missing out on 90% of the menu. The brand positioning is really important to develop relationship with the new customers.
This is where you will earn! Now the customer has come with some more audience to give them the same delicious journey that you have taken him through in the first 3 visits. Now its time to push some of the expensive dishes that you have and name them as Chef's Special.
This is how you earn loyal customers. Lets have a sneak peak at approximately how much are you spending to gain a loyal customer:
So even with a small investment you can gain loyal customers. Different people have different strategies that they follow. There is another question that may rise:
What will happen to the loyal customers?
This Strategy is more focused on gaining new customers and making them loyal for your brand. Will see some strategies how you can focus on building strong relationships with existing customers in the next article.