“Service is what you do for your guests; hospitality is what you do with them – Anna Dolce”
With people evolving with technology, they are expecting more from a restaurant than just good food. No doubt that you need to have an excellent service and a wonderful ambience, you should also give your customer some additional benefits so that they look forward to coming to your restaurant next time as well. New-age restaurants can adopt strategies like attractive digital menu and banners to attract people and loyalty programs to ensure repeat visits.
How to Drive Customer Engagement at Your Restaurant
Let’s have a look at some of the customer engagement strategies in detail and find out how to get more customers in restaurant.
Adopt Digital Signage
Gone are those days when you used traditional banners, billboards and pamphlets for gaining attention of your customers. In today’s day and age, you need to upgrade your methods of interacting with your restaurant customers. Digital signage is a way of connecting with your prospects by displaying your content in the form of images, videos and social media on screens, tablets or kiosks in your restaurant. The two major reasons of adopting signage boards are: entertainment and information. You can deliver customized content including media playlists, video and live TV across multiple displays, which show targeted information to a specific audience.
One of the popular examples of digital signage is digital menu at restaurants, which makes it easy for your restaurant customers to place their orders.
- A major benefit that you will get by using digital signage is that changes in terms of price and items on the menu can be done quickly.
- Digital signage displays make it extremely dynamic and easy to display your latest promotions and offers.
Earlier, the technology for using digital software was complicated. But now you can find a lot of options for signage boards and digital display boards, which are easy to use and can help you drive greater customer experience.
Adopt Tech-Savvy Ways to Promote Customer Engagement
Let’s move forward from the old paper-style menus. You can think about innovative ways to display food items available at your restaurant. By providing a unique way for customers to order, you are bound to create a lasting impression in your customer’s mind. For example, you can place iPad or tablets at each table for ordering, you can also display how a dish is prepared in the form of pictures or videos. You can give various options like board games or video games to your customers, so that they stay engaged and entertained while you are preparing their order. Additionally, you can try these tricks to attract tech-savvy restaurant customers:
- Remove flashy graphics from your website, so that it’s easy to use
- Work on a streamlined, neat mobile design
- Provide easy sharing options for mobile apps
- Benefit from GPS-enabled store finders
Surprise Customers with Ultra-Personalized Outreach
Wouldn’t it be great if every customer that has visited your restaurant, comes back for again? Well, this can be true with the help of loyalty programs, which is one of the best strategies to increase sales in restaurant. Studies have shown that loyal customers bring in 10x more business than new customers. Loyalty program brings in a mechanism called the ‘point’s pressure mechanism’. With this, a customer who is a participant in your loyalty program, ends up spending more in food orders to gain more points. You can provide free food items or additional discounts, after your loyal customer has reached a certain level.
Loyalty programs don’t just help increase revenue, but also help you enhance customer engagement. With the help of restaurant management software applications:
- You can send notifications to your customers about the points they have earned till date.
- You can also offer them special discounts and offers if they have an anniversary or a birthday coming up.
- Loyalty program data will help you get a complete view of restaurant customer behaviour, eating habits and preferences
Frequent reminders will make sure your customers have your restaurant in their mind, whenever they are thinking of eating out.
Collect and Analyse Customer Feedback
A mistake done twice is not a mistake. You should learn from the first-hand experience of your guests, implement corrections if needed, and please your customer the next time. It’s true that you cannot please everyone, but while functioning in the restaurant business, you have to try. The F&B industry is all about giving a mind blowing experience, and any mistake in the same will hamper your reputation. With the online platforms becoming popular for posting restaurant reviews, you have to be very cautious about your service. A single spot on the spoon or delayed service can result in lost customer engagement and reduced business prospects.
Benefits of Getting Restaurant Customer Feedback
- Provides insight into what’s working well about our menu and service
- Helps measure customer satisfaction and improve on their feedback
- It shows that you value customer feedback and helps boost your restaurant reputation
- Provides relevant customer data to take important business decisions
You can provide a customer feedback form to your customers in the end, record them and analyse them carefully. Improve upon what your customers suggest, and your sales are surely going to increase. You can also use these restaurant management software applications for recording their feedback online and get analytic insights.
Organise Frequent Events
You can organise different kinds of events which can attract more customers to your restaurant. Try having live band performances or set up pop-up shops in your restaurant. This will not only give you additional sales, but will help promote your restaurant through word of mouth on social media. If your budget permits, you can also call famous artists, be it musicians, dancers or comedy artists. This will ensure greater visibility among target audiences.
Leveraging Social Media
You can place props or frames inside your restaurant for engaging your customers even more. They can click pictures around your property which they can share on their social media platforms and you can post on yours. You can intelligently place enough branding material so that your restaurant gets noticed by the audience on social media.
- You can place interesting props in your restaurant along with a giant frame for your customers to get their pictures clicked in.
- Ask your customers to share their pictures and tag your restaurant on social media for an extra discount.
- They can also review your restaurant online for a complimentary food item or drink.
Reduce the Wait Time
Nobody likes to wait for food. But you sure can make their time worthwhile. Wait times can be divided in three ways:
Pre-process: The customer just sits on a table
In-process: The customer is giving his order to the restaurant employee
Post-process: The customer is waiting for his order to arrive
All these stages can be utilised by engaging the customers in different activities. For example, in the first stage, you can greet the customer with a welcome drink. In the second stage, the waiter of the restaurant can tell the customer what is the best-selling item in the restaurant and recommend him something that the customer would like. In the third stage, different kinds on games, be it board games or on a tablet connecting the people of the whole restaurant, can be provided so kill the wait time. All of these activities will help to reduce the wait time of the customer.
With an increasing number of F&B restaurants opening every day, your customers now have more choices when it comes to dining out. Apart from that, they also have an option of ordering food directly to their homes. With the competition level rising at this rate, it is an absolute necessity to focus on customer engagement.