In 2020, restaurant success consisted of finding creative ways to bring your restaurant to your customers. However, it costs six to seven times more to gain a new customer than to keep an existing one. Prioritizing the customer experience is crucial to any restaurant’s success. We can take what we learned in 2020 to inform a path forward for a better customer experience in 2021 and beyond. In this article, we’ll dive into five ways restaurants can improve customer experience in 2021.
Invest In Your Team
Your staff creates the first impression of your restaurant, and happy employees radiate positivity. This is more likely to create a positive experience for your customers as well. A positive customer experience will lead to bigger tips for your team and a more loyal base, reinforcing a very positive cycle for your restaurant. In addition to customer loyalty, you will also experience more competitive recruitment, reduced turnover, and reduced training costs.
In 2021, customers have grown accustomed to online ordering. To go digital with your restaurant experience, try a digital menu. Offer a copy of your menu on your website which will allow your customers to browse from home or on the go. A level of flexibility that will keep your restaurant relevant as they decide where to go to eat.
You should also let your customers reserve a seat without you picking up the phone, saving time for your staff. On top of that, investing in online cooking sessions and classes can help you nurture customer relationships and open up new channels of revenue.
Create A Memorable Customer Experience
Far too many restaurants forgo the importance of establishing a unique customer journey. You can stand out by making sure your restaurant features something noteworthy that creates a memorable experience. It can be an Instagram wall, a unique plating style, comfortable chairs, or a signature cocktail that keeps customers sharing and returning.
Reward Restaurant Loyalty
A loyalty program gives you a chance to give back to your most loyal customers. Thanking and rewarding their patronage is an incredible way to ensure they feel appreciated. You can set up a formal rewards program, offer spontaneous complimentary dessert, or give away branded merchandise. This also boosts word of mouth and creates credibility.
Have A Plan For Disaster Recovery
Consider the scenarios a customer may run into at your restaurant. From the mundane to the extraordinary. Allergies, incorrect orders, unmet expectations, poor online reviews, or even sanitary issues – set a plan in place for correction and reputation recovery. Restaurants that are able to quickly address incidents leave positive impressions in the mind of customers.
Improving the restaurant customer experience in 2021 is the key to growth and stability. Happier customers are more likely to tip well, return for another visit, spread the word about your restaurant, and bring friends to try it. It is easier and more cost-effective to make a current customer happy than it is to clean up the damage later on.
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