Every new year brings with it an atmosphere rife with resolutions, often made with all sincerity but seldom kept. As a restaurateur, it should be your goal to keep improving your business every year. The beginning of the year thus presents a chance to reflect on what you did well in the preceding year and what you could do better to help your restaurant grow. Here is what you need to do:
Evaluate your restaurant
You can’t improve and maintain your service without improving your internal processes. Take stock of how well your restaurant performed in the previous year and what helped or hindered you from providing excellent service. Iron out any issues you may have had and make any necessary adjustments.
Inspire your staff
When it comes to social media, the more people you have viewing your restaurant’s offering, the better. That’s why you should encourage your staff to share stories about their place of work on their own social media pages. You could organize to have short video clips of them sharing anything from what they like about your restaurant to what their favourite dish is. In order to get them revved up to do this, they need to genuinely love what they do and it’s your responsibility as the restauranteur to ensure you provide an inspiring place to work. When new people join your team, introduce them on your website and social media pages.
Audit your online presence
As more people search for restaurants online and use customer reviews to make decisions on where to dine, your website and other pages where your business has presence should draw people to your restaurant.
Choose high-quality images that showcase your latest offerings and give customers a glimpse into the ambience they should expect to dine. Compelling images will elicit more comments, shares and likes from your audience, which may result in an increase in your orders.
All the content you put up should work together to tell a story about your restaurant and allow you to engage with your customers.
A great way to engage with customers is through Facebook Live, which allows you to stream videos in real-time for up to 90 minutes. According to Facebook, 1 out of 5 videos watched on the platform is a live broadcast, this makes it a powerful tool to get in touch with your customers. As you broadcast live, your audience can send in their comments and you can respond, even mentioning them by name. In this way, you add a personal touch to your restaurant and give your customers a chance to talk to you and find out more about the business.
Use the power of influencers
People usually trust a brand that has been recommended by someone they know. Reaching out to an influencer who already has a large following will extend your restaurant’s presence to their followers. You can conduct an online search for food reviewers in your area and invite them for a complimentary meal in your restaurant. You could also find a popular blogger, who is not necessarily a food enthusiast. The key is to find someone with a sizeable audience, who can help spread the word about their dining experience.
Run a promotion
Offering a chance to win a prize, is a great way to increase orders. Whether customers have to be in the restaurant or if they can win when ordering online will depend on your business goals. Are you trying to get more people to engage in your online channels or are you trying to get more foot traffic into the restaurant? The answer to this question will guide the nature of your promotion. Publicise the promotion across all media channels that your audience uses.
Businesses make most of their money from repeat customers. What turns a customer into a loyal customer is usually service that meets or exceeds their expectations. The more customers are pleased with your service, the more they will recommend your restaurant to their network. A loyalty program will help you to know your customer better and this may guide you in deciding what sort of reward they would appreciate. The more you reward your customers, the more their loyalty to your restaurant will grow, resulting in increased profits for you.
As you implement the aforementioned tips in your restaurant, remember that they are not once-off quick fixes, but are initiatives that need to be run and maintained throughout the year. They are proven strategies, but will only work if you put in the effort by providing stellar service and excellent dining experiences that your customers can share with their friends. This will help broaden your restaurant’s reach and may lead to an increase in sales, which may carry on way beyond the beginning of the year.