In today’s economy, loyalty is more important than ever. As prices continue to rise and people watch their discretionary spending, you want your restaurant to be their destination of choice.
As a restaurateur, knowing your customer is a fundamental factor for success. The better you get to know them, the easier it will be to deliver on – and exceed – their expectations. Loyalty matters. When your customers feel a connection with you, they’ll keep coming back, re-investing in that relationship and offering you a reliable revenue stream.
There are a few things you can do to build long-lasting relationships and get ahead of your competition as inflation continues to affect customer spending.
Up your value
Your customers are looking to stretch their dollars. Rather than lowering prices to compete, or raising prices to keep your margins, consider a value-added approach.
Adding a loyalty program will encourage customers to visit so they can earn those rewards. It doesn’t have to be expensive, either; you could offer a free appetizer for spending $100, a gift after 10 visits, a discount on future visits, and more.
On average, customers belong to 16.6 loyalty apps, so you want to tune into what your customers are looking for to make yours the one they choose. Stand out as the restaurant helping to offset inflation costs with more to offer than your competition.
Let your customers know that you appreciate their continued support. When they’re deciding where to spend their money, they are more likely to visit a restaurant where they know their patronage is appreciated.
While this can certainly include giveaways, it doesn’t need to be costly. Addressing customers by name when they visit, stopping by their table, and shouting them out on social media are a few quick and easy things you can do to make your customers feel special.
We’re all feeling the pinch and sharing that experience will help strengthen that bond with your customers. Be transparent with the challenges you’re facing. For example, if lettuce is too expensive for you to order these days, communicate to your customers why you’ve taken it off the menu. Be empathetic in your communication, expressing that you understand today’s challenges and appreciate when your customers visit.
Shared experiences bring people together and while inflation is affecting us all, it’s something you can connect with your customers over to build loyalty for your restaurant.