I’m a regular customer at my local coffee shop, so much so that when I walk in every morning to a friendly greeting, I don’t have to tell them my order. They already know that I want a large dark roast. And just for the mere fact that they have gotten to know me a little bit and make me feel special and welcome, I’m a die-hard loyal customer. I don’t care if there’s another place that’s closer or cheaper; I’m going to my coffee shop. Wouldn’t you want your patrons to call your establishment “my restaurant”? It’s all about building a relationship with your customers. Here are 5 of the best ways to deliver incredible personalized service in your restaurant.
1. Get to know your regulars
Your regular customers can be your bread and butter. They can also be your greatest ambassadors in the community. If you and your staff take some time to get to know them, what dishes they enjoy, their drink of choice, where they prefer to be seated, they will appreciate the recognition and familiarity. Try to remember a detail about them, like their favorite sports team; they’ll feel even more valued when you ask them what they thought of last night’s game.
2. Be attentive
Being attentive doesn’t mean constantly hovering over a table in case a customer might need something. It means reading the cues from the table to understand just how much attention a customer might prefer. Some patrons may want to get suggestions to help them make the most of their dining experience, while others may prefer to be left alone, particularly if they are having a private conversation over dinner.
3. Have a conversation with your customers
Show some interest in your guests by asking them a bit about themselves (without being too intrusive, of course.) Talk about where they’re from, what they do or about their family. By showing a desire to get to know them as more than just paying customers, but as individuals, you will make them feel more welcome.
4. Provide special offers
Everybody likes to be treated like a VIP now and then. Recognize returning and loyal customers with exclusive offers and special perks. Of course, it may be difficult for you to keep track of which guests are returning and loyal ones, and just how often they have visited you. Thankfully, the best restaurant management systems can help you track and segment guests based on different factors, such as frequency of visits and overall spending. With this kind of data, you can also tailor special customized promotions and campaigns for your guests.
5. Offer a loyalty program
Could there be a better way to show your appreciation for your customers’ patronage than by giving them a free meal? That’s why loyalty programs can be so powerful in bringing customers back for repeat visits. A solution like LS Nav Hospitality makes it easy to create and manage a loyalty program for your customers. Points are automatically awarded based on each of the menu items ordered, and guests can choose to redeem their points as a form of payment whenever they want. If you implement these tips, you’ll be nurturing an environment where your guests feel welcome, valued and even part of the family. I know that’s what it takes for a place to become my restaurant.
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