How To Get Repeat Customers For Your Bar or Restaurant
Repeat customers are one of the most important elements of any marketing strategy for a bar or restaurant. The most successful bars and restaurants have repeat customers, and a lot of them. Getting new customers is very important but they are expensive, repeat customers cost over 50% less. They also make up to over 60% of a bar or restaurants cover per week.
If you fail to plan a repeat customer strategy then you are planning an uphill struggle. Here are a few ways to get repeat customers for your bar or restaurant:
1. Be Exceptional
This goes without saying. Unless you provide an excellent service, why would anyone bother coming back. This should be at the core of all your business operations. The better your service, the more repeat customers you’ll get. It’s as simple as that.
2. Be Consistent
Once you’ve nailed being exceptional, consistency comes into play. There’s no point in being exceptional when you know it’s a new customer, then the next time they come in the service is sub par. They may have been a repeat customer one time, but that’s not good enough. Customers like consistency, from the quality of food, the service, to how their drink is poured. Be exceptional, be consistent, be consistently exceptional.
3. Use Bloc
Bloc is a social events app that rewards it’s users for attending venues. People collect stars in the app for performing certain actions, like checking in. If they attend (using geo-location) they get stars. Once they have collected enough stars they can exchange them for real money. You can advertise your bar or restaurant on Bloc to get more check-ins. You’ll get repeat customers because user’s get more stars for checking in to an advertised venue compared to a non-advertised venue.
4. Offer A Loyalty Program
Each time someone attends your bar or restaurant you can acknowledge this with a loyalty card or other system. Each time they attend they get a stamp, if they attend say 5 times they get a free meal or drink. Nandos have supercharged their loyalty program by going digital, which is expensive but offers invaluable future data for marketing. Whatever way you choose to do it, use trial and error and receive feedback to make sure it’s working.
Top tip: as well as acknowledging their visit and purchase, don’t be afraid to ask for more. E.g. you can setup an influencer loyalty program where customers get two stamps if they give your bar or restaurant a shout out on social media.
5. Get Fans On Social Media
Make sure your best repeat customers are following you on social media and you’re following them as well. Concrete the relationship by continuously interacting with them so you can be sure they’ll keep coming back. If you have a special offer/new food item/new beer to try, then they’ll be the first ones knocking on the door.
6. Make Them Feel Important
This one comes down to human psychology. Humans love to be made to feel important. When you’re born usually your parents make you feel so special but then as you get older this importance subsides for most people. By making your customers feel special and important they will only see your bar or restaurant in a positive light and will keep coming back like a moth to a flame.
Top tip: Train your staff to try and use a customers name. Invest time into getting to know your best repeat customers and smiling goes a long way.
7. Special Rewards For Influential Customers
There are lots of people out there who are extremely well connected. From business owners to sport team captains. Seek out these repeat customers and reward them if they can bring you an influx of business. People love free things and they’ll be happy to help.
8. Bounce-back Offer
Once a new customer or even repeat customer has concluded their visit, with their bill offer them a discount on their next visit (within a time-frame). This is a way to entice them to come back.
9. Referral Program
Creating a referral program can be straight forward. For example, companion vouchers can work well. Give your best customers companion vouchers and when they are cashed in by one of their contacts they also receive a voucher. There are apps and different software that can do this digitally too.
10. Use Data
By capturing your customers data (email or phone number) you can contact them later so they can become repeat customers. Email marketing is very common in the bar and restaurant industries and SMS marketing works well for delivery restaurants.