The correlation between repeat customers and profit growth is no secret to any successful restaurant owner. Studies show that the cost of acquiring new customers is up to 5 times more expensive than retaining existing customers. In this article, we’ll cover several different techniques owners can employ to encourage and increase repeat customers at their restaurants.
Let’s face it: humans are creatures of habit. We like to know what to expect when we walk into our favorite establishments—we enjoy consistency and the comfort that comes with it. Drastic changes in your restaurant’s routine can decrease the likelihood of returning patrons who are seeking that comfort. These changes can be something as simple as new hours, raised prices, or inconsistent service. They may seem like minor issues, but that loss of consistency can mean the loss of a returning customer.
Emphasize accurate order-taking and efficiency by using National Checking Company’s GuestChecks. With GuestChecks, servers are given ample space to write down orders, promote higher-priced menu options, and make notes about customer preferences. This one simple tool can be an easy way to establish consistency in the ordering process.
Loyalty Programs for Repeat Customers
Loyalty programs are a fantastic way to increase repeat customers for your restaurant. Best of all, creating a loyalty program can be extremely inexpensive. All it takes is a set of punch cards and the promise of a free meal after 10 visits. When they’re considering eating out, customers are more likely to return to your restaurant because they know their repeat visit is contributing toward an additional reward.
You can also use customer receipts to provide coupons or encourage customer feedback. For example, if they complete a customer satisfaction survey, your customer receives a deal for a free side on their next visit. Not only are consumers more likely to return if they feel their opinions are being heard, but there’s also the added incentive of free food.
Remember: the above techniques only work if your restaurant already maintains a high level of professionalism, as well as a sanitary environment. No matter the coupons or the reward, repeat customers won’t return to a restaurant that’s dirty or poorly run.
For the supplies you need to emphasize food safety and efficiency, turn to NCCO. For over 100 years, we’ve provided restaurant owners with the tools they need to succeed in the foodservice industry. Learn more about our history, or shop our products online.