Loyal customers are essential to the success of your restaurant. They are the backbone of your business. Foodservice operations rely on repeat business to prosper in this competitive market.
Customer loyalty will increase profits by:
- Encouraging repeat business
- Generating word-of-mouth
- Increasing willingness to spend more.
The truth is, attracting new customers costs more than building and managing relationships with current customers. Increasing revenue and decreasing costs are terrific reasons to start considering how you can earn your customers’ loyalty.
Here are 6 ways you can acquire customers who keep coming back:
1. Start With The Food
It starts with the core of your business – the food! There are no exceptions here. You either serve tasty meals that keep customers coming for more or lose out to your competitors.
You know the basics: perfect your recipe, execute the food preparation, and nail the actual cooking.
To do this, you need the expertise, the team, and the essential restaurant equipment and supply to lay the foundation for building customer loyalty.
This is where you want to consider the essentials.
Selecting the right kitchen equipment and ensuring you stick to a regular maintenance schedule will ensure that your back-of-house team is equipped with the tools to help them achieve phenomenal results every single time.
Customers are looking for an unforgettable experience. Nothing adds to great tasting food than fast and friendly service. Accomplishing this is no easy task. Your servers are hard at work exceeding all of your guest’s expectations while the back-of-house team is scrambling trying to achieve culinary excellence.
Generally, targeted bill times are no longer than 15-20 minutes. These minutes move quickly when you’re in the middle of a busy service.
Improving the speed of service relies on organization.
Your back-of-house team will benefit from a well-organized workflow that minimizes the number of steps required to prepare a meal from start-to-finish. Click here to read more about how you can maximize workflow in your kitchen.
Streamlining the kitchen process also plays a big role in speeding up the process. You can achieve this during the food preparation and cooking process with multi-functional commercial kitchen equipment, such as a Robot Coupe Food Processor, or a Rational Combi Oven. These heavy-duty pieces of equipment will not only allow you to perform a variety of tasks, but they will also help you yield consistent results every time. Not only that, you will be able to perform operations much quickly and efficiently, saving you money along the way!
Finally, great service also comes down to understanding who your customers are. Understanding the people who come to your restaurant time and time again will help you better adapt and provide exactly what they’re looking for.
Mistakes are not always unavoidable.
If mistakes occur, or a customer’s experience has not been up to their expectations, it is crucial that your team address the situation and ensure the customer leaves happy. Develop and communicate a customer-service policy so that your staff will know how to handle situations accordingly.
There is always an opportunity to fix what was done, and move forward with a resolution. Your customers will notice the effort, and normally, a one-off mistake can be forgiven in the long-run.
Expectations are high, and delivering tasty food and top-notch service doesn’t just happen on a good day.
Maintaining consistency day in and day out provides your guests with value. Your guests will be encouraged to express this value with their friends and family. Value that will turn your guests into happy customers. These happy customers become long-term customers.
If you put the time and effort into selecting the essential restaurant equipment you need for your operations, your skilled team will have no problem maintaining consistency each and every service.
4. Keep Up With Trends
Once your foundation has been established, it is imperative to remain relevant in such a competitive industry. Keeping up with trends tells your customers that you have your fingers on the pulse and are working hard to achieve customer satisfaction.
For example, 2020 resulted in the explosion of food delivery services. The pandemic has made the accessibility of delivery a necessity, not an option. Keeping up with trends is a must to stay successful. This ensures that you are adapting with your customers, ensuring you are always meeting their needs.
Relationship building is crucial for any successful business. No matter what type of foodservice operation you run, there are ways to get involved in the community. Community involvement will establish your brand and your restaurant as a staple in your neighborhood. Community involvement establishes your restaurant as part of the location’s culture. Your restaurant is the connection between great food and service with the town you are centered in.
There are various ways to get involved. From participating in local events to hosting your own. From staying connected and engaged on social media to sending out regular newsletters via email. There are a number of ways to initiate or join in on the local conversation.
6. Loyalty Programs
Finally, sweeten the deal with customer loyalty programs. Loyalty programs can be developed in a variety of ways, either through a mobile app, or simply through reward cards. Maybe customers can collect points to redeem for a discount, or perhaps they receive a free meal on their 10th visit. You have a variety of options to get creative and entice your customers to keep coming back for more of what they love.
Building customer loyalty will increase profitability and promote growth during this uncertain time we are living in. It’s a process that begins with the very core of your business – the food and the service. Your kitchen essentials lay the foundation for success. Babak Food Equipment has helped restaurants, pizza shops, sandwich shops, cafeterias, and food trucks establish their kitchen foundation for 20 years. Give us a call and let’s begin laying the foundation for your kitchen’s success.