MORE REGULARS, INSIDE YOUR CAFE OR RESTAURANT
At Cavalletta Solutions we use the Six Pillars Approach to creating a successful restaurant. This blogpost explains a the sixth pillar, which is your customers' experience. We know we want the guests to love your place, AND keep returning. Here are some of the basic steps.
MAKING THE EXPERIENCE MEMORABLE. Simply put, every day, every cafe is a lesson in how to make the experience memorable, so that the customer who comes once, loves your place so much, they make a mental note to returns. You are creating the memorable experience from the time they enter, during their meal, and as they leave. A greetings happen in the first few moments. A little chat from the staff makes your guest feels welcome. Once your guests sits down they should have a great meal and a predictable pattern of service at your cafe or restaurant. Oh, and yes, the food should be predictably consistent. Good food is always important--it's part of the experience they expect from your cafe or restaurant. How does your staff handle departure. One of the earliest lessons I received was, "always invite the guest back". This invitation to return is also clever--you are trying to get them to come at a different time than they usually come.
TORTURING YOURSELF WITH THE QUESTION WHY ARN'T THEY EATING HERE TODAY?
That's actually a great question to ask yourself. And there a number of answers, which are listed below. You have to be tireless in your desire to make a wonderful experience. That is what they will conjur in their mind when they are deciding to come to your place or another place. They conjure the memory of their last visit, and return, based on how happy it made them or how satisfying it was! Now, for a list of things you could be doing to attract your returning customers, and even bring in some new people (who you'll want to invite back).
- do you have active social media--posting every few days
- do you have a newsletter? If you the answer is yes, is it monthly with a couple friendly e-blasts in between?
- do you have a special event per year? Find a cause that suits your mission. Your customers appreciate your good work in the community.
- do you do your own PR? If so, who is in charge of it, and what are you doing to help keep it active,
- do you keep up with product quality? Tasting your own food is a daily duty.
- do you read your reviews?
- do you know that you and your staff are serving up hospitality with each experience?
Running a restaurant or a cafe means you are community. Give them good reasons to keep coming back. The best experience is a lovely time in your restaurant, followed by repeatedly (but not obniouxiously) keeping in touch. They will naturally come more often. If you need a refresher on hospitality, Setting the Table by Danny Meyer is the best book on the topic.