If you own a cafe or restaurant, read part 2 of our tips to stay ahead of your competitors:
1. Loyalty program
Creating a loyalty programs that rewards patrons and encourages them to visit more often- set up a system where customers can receive a free gift or discount after a certain number of visits. You can either create an app for the mobile phone or go old-school with points accumulating on a card. Either way, it's a great interaction between you and your regulars.
These can make or break a business- having a variety of good reviews can do wonders and having bad reviews does exactly the opposite. Remember, that anyone that visits you can and will review you- as a restaurant owner you should dress up any of your online presence on review sites by adding photos, keeping up to date your store hours & menu, state your price range and if applicable, state any other features or services on offer like Wi-Fi.
Similar to real life, whether positive or negative...you should always thank those leaving feedback and reply in a polite and professional manner. Consider contacting the reviewer privately for more information about negative incidents. You could offer a voucher or giftcard to try get them back in for a second chance. It shows that you value the consumer's opinion and are seeking to improve.
3. Web monitoring
Google Alerts is a service to notify you when your business or other keywords you choose appear as new content on the Internet. This allows you to keep in check what people are saying about you and your business including any good reviews or accolades you should share on your Social Media channels.
4. Promote content created by users
UGC (user-generated content) is a great way to develop engagement with users, it shows that you appreciate customers and can turn occasional visitors into loyal fans. Search using Instagram with a hashtag of your venue name to see what others have submitted or host a contest to get your patrons to share their favourite dish or a moment they had in your restaurant or cafe.
5. Taking online reservations
By having an online reservation system, you allow your customers the convenience to book easily on their time including when your office hours are closed. You are cutting down on operational costs as the customer is booking themselves in- there's also the ability to collect a deposit or full payment upfront and collect data to add to your e-mail list.
This is the second in a three part blog post, read the first blog post or Subscribe to the ROLLER blog to stay in the loop for the third and final post.