1. Keep it consistent.
When customers come in to your restaurant, they want to know what to expect. Will their food taste like it did last time? And will the portion sizes be the same? Make sure customers can depend on you to provide a reliable experience.
2. Offer a loyalty program.
When you reward customers for each visit or purchase, they’re likely to come back. Give customers a punch card or swipe card and offer a reward like a free meal for every ten visits or purchases. If customers know there’s a free meal on the horizon, they’ll be back.
3. Try games.
If customers have something fun and social to look forward to, they’ll be back week after week. Consider offering trivia games. Encourage customers to form teams and bring out their competitive sides. You can turn your bar or restaurant into a weekly hang out spot!
4. Utilize social media.
Social media can help you form a more personal connection with your customers. If they like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter, they’ll have up close and personal access to your news, updates, and offers. Encourage customers to come in by posting frequent updates and invite feedback by asking (and answering) questions.
5. Offer Buy-One-Get-One deals.
Buy-One-Get-One offers encourage customers to bring in friends, and this can turn one repeat customer into two repeat customers!
6. Avoid general discounts.
Although specific offers can be a good way to increase repeat customers, offering general coupons (like $5 off any meal) doesn’t do much to increase customer loyalty. This may bring in new customers, but you want to encourage customers to come back often and pay your regular prices. Customers who only come in for a deep discount may not necessarily be back when that discount isn’t around.
7. Provide great service.
This is one of the most important things you can do to bring in repeat customers. Diners may forget many details of their meal, but they never forget terrible service. Make sure you’ve trained your servers and hosts to provide top-notch service by being as friendly and helpful as possible. Servers and hosts should remember customers’ names and make them feel welcome.
8. Encourage honest feedback.
If customers feel like they can engage honestly with your restaurant, they’ll be more likely to tell you if something goes wrong. And while complaints might not seem so great on the surface, remember that many customers who don’t tell you about a problem go home to complain about it to their friends. When a customer tells you about a problem, you can fix it right away and ensure that they come back again.Sure, new customers are important, but building a loyal customer base is what separates a successful bar or restaurant from an unsuccessful one. By following these tips, you should be able to turn your customers into repeat business!