1. You have customers coming in but they never become regulars?
2. You’re not seeing the level of customers you should?
Currently, millennials are spending more and more on experiences rather than saving for big investments. The reality being, your customers are now living in the moment, posting their experiences on social media for their friends to drool over and envy. There's no denying it, Social Media has become a force to be reckoned with, a world full of influencers and icons with thousands if not millions of followers. So how do you, as a restaurant owner, tap into this market? Let's break it down for you, people are after that experience we mentioned and the way to give it to them is to first pay attention to the little details your restaurant, café or establishment offers that improve the experience and naturally entices them to come back time and time again.
Have you ever dreaded going to a dinner party because you didn't trust where it was booked? I for one can put my hand up and say that if their brand lacks transparency, I'm not interested in trying it... In other words, if I can't see the menu online, or reviews from previous customers, or even a couple of photos of the interior of the restaurant, I can't help but get a little anxious that the restaurant may not offer me the experience that I'm seeking.
This is crucial if you are currently struggling to get people in the door and build a solid customer base. Online and social channels are paramount to attract punters and showcase your restaurant as a whole. The fresh produce that's chosen daily, the dishes designed by your talented chefs and the story that you have created in this restaurant can all be communicated through social and digital means. Websites, review sites and social networks all work together to inspire and build a loyal fan base by showcasing your restaurant even before they step foot in the door.
Before I decide where to dine, I have a sneak peek on TripAdvisor and see what other people have been saying about the place. I can usually spot the extra harsh critics a mile off and won't let that rain on the parade. But what I'm shocked about is nine times out of ten, the premises aren't responding to any reviews. Or, they're only shining a light on the negative ones.
Would you leave a glowing review of a restaurant if you felt the owners or managers didn't respond to them and didn't care? Well, that is what it looks like to your customers which deters them from sharing their positive experience with their online peers. Reward your loyal fans with love and attention too and not just the negative Nancy's.
I recently went for lunch in a half full cafe. The servers seemed rushed off their feet, every one of them avoiding eye contact with me as I stood waiting to be seated. As someone who's worked in hospitality, we've all been there. However, I felt as though I was an inconvenience. When it was time to leave, getting the bill was difficult as well. The food was fantastic, but unfortunately, the only thing left lingering in my mind was the poor treatment from the staff. Millennials are the generations that grew up in restaurants, therefore good service is a must if you want return custom.
Have you revamped your menu yet? The dishes and ingredients may change... but what about the graphics, font and logo? In the majority of cases, your menu is the first thing prospective diners expect to see when making their choice. Whether it being on the homepage of your website or on the table when you sit down, spray painted on the wall or written in chalk on a blackboard; whatever it is, get creative and communicate your brand aesthetic!
The devil really is in the detail and people care, now more than ever. Ensure your online presence is up to date and engage with all your reviews. Keep your website up to date with menus and information and in turn, reap the benefits of it.