Traditional marketing techniques are obsolete in the digital age. Spending large amounts of money printing intricate menus to distribute around the neighborhood is akin to throwing money in the trash: that’s exactly where those menus end up. In order to attract clientele, you have to meet them where they are at. In 2019, that means having an attractive presence on web and social media. Here are four tips to establish an attractive digital presence.
- Nurture Established Relationships
The best way to attract new clientele is to nurture the relationships you have with your existing client base. Every functioning restaurant has regulars. Do you and your staff intentionally recognize this act loyalty? Regulars are the primary people you want providing online reviews.
Routinely remind your staff to make an effort to make your regulars feel valued. This is a natural instinct among successful restaurateurs and their staff. Encourage your staff to strategically offer free appetizers, desserts, or drinks to regular guests. Address these guests by name when they enter your restaurant. Thoughtful acts like these make a lasting impression and overflow into compelling positive reviews. Make these small investments and reap large rewards in the form of glowing reviews.
You have a golden opportunity when your guests are enjoying their meal to capture their positive feedback. Team up with a software such as Front which enables automatic engagement via text and email. Automated follow up texts and emails minimize human error and limit the man-power needed to create real engagement with your guests. This is particularly useful when your guests order takeout; you already have their phone number, so couple their receipt with an invitation to provide feedback. Sweeten the deal with an offer for a discount or free appetizer upon completion of the survey, and you have a recipe for success.
- Provide a Dedicated Feedback Space
Time is a person’s most valuable asset. Don’t risk losing an opportunity to catch your satisfied guest in a good moment by letting them walk out the door of your restaurant with the hope that they will remember at some point to invest time in order to review your service. Seize the moment by creating a welcoming space for your guests.
Transform an area of your restaurant into your “Feedback Space”. It doesn’t have to be more complex than a comfy chair with a placard with your wifi password or an iPad dedicated to review submissions. Certain review sites penalize businesses who submit too many reviews from one IP address. If you decide to use a dedicated iPad for reviews, be sure to restrict the review sites available on it. You should also consider written surveys. These can be added to your website for heightened attraction.
- Review Feedback with Your Team
Your digital appeal starts with tangible reality: you and your staff. Establish a monthly meeting to review feedback with your team. Attend to the good and the bad. Staff members who are making an effort benefit from receiving affirmation to that effect. It also helps to share something positive when you also have to convey areas which need improvement. The tone of these types of meetings should be encouraging. Your team should be motivated to harness their strengths to make the next month better than the last.
Great truth can be found in the old saying, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Your restaurant may need new kinds of tools in order to be successful; however, the underlying principles are the same. Foster real relationships with your clientele that attract new relationships.
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