Running a restaurant is not the same as it was a few years ago. Soaring food costs, persistent workforce shortages, and a growing desire by guests for more unique dining experiences have reshaped the landscape of the industry. In 2024, if you want to learn how to keep customers coming back to your restaurant, you need to take advantage of a few key tactics to stay ahead of the competition and keep your revenue rolling. From embracing new technologies to engaging with guests through personalized marketing, and more, we’ll guide you through four strategies to revitalize your restaurant and make it this year’s go-to destination.
4 Tips: How to Keep Customers Coming Back to Your Restaurant
1.) Embrace New Technologies
In a recent article by the Food Institute regarding digital trends in restaurants, they share that in 2024, the food service industry will see “innovation play out at an even more accelerated pace with the potential to drive competitive advantage for those who get it right.” What this means is that new and helpful technologies are on the rise and available for restaurateurs to incorporate into their operations. By embracing these technologies, you can improve your guests’ experience and increase the efficiency of your restaurant, thereby gaining advantages over competitors.
For example, technologies such as updated point-of-sale systems and innovative kitchen and inventory management software can help you improve your restaurant’s operational efficiency because they can lead to faster service and reduced customer wait times. Technologies including QR codes, mobile ordering apps, word-of-mouth software, digital menus, and online reservation systems can help improve your guests’ experience with your restaurant, thereby leading to repeat business.
2.) Engage with Guests Through Personalized Marketing
Loyal guests don’t just happen to appear at your restaurant. It takes effort on your part to cultivate a relationship with them. That’s where personalized marketing comes in. Personalized marketing gives your guests an experience that is tailored to their unique wants and needs. Through it, you learn your guest’s names, buying habits, and unique stories so you can create a special dining experience for them.
Ways in which you can do this include sending personalized birthday messages with a discount for services. Another option to personalize your marketing is by sending your guests emails that share menu recommendations that might intrigue their specific dining needs. Or, to mix it up even more, you could offer coupons tailored to your guests’ interests that they would find value in.
3.) Share Your Menu in Innovative Ways
Your menu is one of the many reasons your guests love your restaurant. Your fresh, inventive dishes not only spark excitement among your guests but also show your restaurant’s dedication to setting yourself apart from your competitors. By spreading the word and sharing your menu, you’re not only showcasing your restaurant’s delicious fare to your existing guests, you’re attracting new ones.
A few creative ways to share your menu can include incorporating QR codes on fliers or decals that guests can scan to find your menu in an easy and convenient way. Another option is using social media to share a post with a tantalizing image of your latest plate, which also includes a direct link to your menu. Text messages, which typically have a 98% open rate, are also a great way to showcase your restaurant’s menu and feature your entrees. For instance, our weekly specials text campaigns can broadcast your delicious new dish to your guests and drive traffic from those excited to taste your menu offerings.
4.) Create a Positive Image of Your Restaurant with Word-of-Mouth Buzz
Ben Franklin once said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation…” He was right. Cultivating a reputable reputation takes time and effort. And when it comes to building a positive impression about your restaurant, one of the best ways to do this is through word-of-mouth buzz. Word-of-mouth buzz is simply when others pass along positive information about your restaurant. If you’re a savvy restaurateur, you can leverage word-of-mouth buzz as a strategy to reach new guests and create a more positive image of your restaurant.
You can do this by encouraging your guests to rate your restaurant and share reviews about their dining experience. You can also engage with your guests through your social media and ask them to share and post about their favorite dishes you serve. To connect with the local area, you can support community events and partner with other local businesses. Another option is giving your guests discounts for spreading the word to their friends about how much they enjoyed dining at your eatery. Guests are more likely to return to a restaurant that has a good reputation in the community or has been referred to them by someone they know.
How Check This Out Helps Puts More Guests at Tables
At Check This Out, we consider all these strategies and incorporate them into our word-of-mouth software to help restaurants fill seats and improve their bottom line. We do this by harnessing the power of referral and SMS marketing to make it simple for your guests to spread the news about your restaurant and receive an incentivized discount for telling a friend about it. By doing so, we have helped restaurants gain 17x ROI in gross sales for every $1 spent with a time-to-revenue of 2-4 hours.
In addition, with our Check This Out’s analytics dashboard, you can easily analyze your guests’ insights so you can pivot accordingly and personalize your marketing to their unique preferences. This can help you save time and money on lackluster marketing efforts that fail to connect with guests. By leveraging guest data to make informed decisions about how to better personalize your guests’ experience, you can pinpoint your most motivated guests and ensure a full house!
Ready for Your Restaurant to Have a Successful 2024?
Whether you take advantage of cutting-edge technology or share your menu in innovative ways, these tips will help you learn how to keep guests coming back to your restaurant year after year. And you can count on us to help you achieve that! Schedule a demo and contact us today; we’ll show you how we help restaurants like yours reach new guests and grow a loyal guest following.