Make Sure Your First Impressions Don’t Make It The Last Time People Visit

Make Sure Your First Impressions Don’t Make It The Last Time People Visit

Current and potential customers are constantly forming an opinion of your restaurant at every touch-point. On your website, social media pages or inside your restaurant. Therefore you need to be making an impactful and consistently great impression at all times.

Making an impression online

Most people will find your business online before they get to the brick and mortar restaurant. This calls on you to have a modern, well-designed website that tells the story behind your business. Even though there are many free web builders out there, getting a professional to design or oversee the development of your website, is the best thing to do for your restaurant. 

A professional will advise you on the latest design trends and help you with issues regarding functionality. The website should be easy to navigate and carry pictures that help sell your restaurant. 

Have images showing your exterior and interior decor, as these will give customers a glimpse of the ambiance to expect. The quality of food at the restaurant should also be clearly captured through professionally shot, appetising pictures. 

In addition to your website, other places that will require professionally shot images are review sites, social media pages and any printed material such as flyers and magazine adverts. Investing in a good photographer is essential as they will provide enough material to use across all media channels. Using one photographer is also advantageous as your pictures will all have the same style. This is crucial for maintaining brand consistency.

Getting a professional photographer for restaurant shoots

When customers come across your restaurant through review sites and social media pages, they should find the same level of quality that is present on your website. Since these are interactive platforms, your audience will also judge you by how you respond and engage with consumers. Therefore, know your audience and provide content and the kind of interaction suited to them. Also, make sure the language and tone used are in-line with your brand.

Wow them in person

When visiting your restaurant, your customers may have already formed in their minds a picture of what to expect, based on the information they found online. The key is to surpass their expectations by being authentic and professional at all times:

  • Be authentic

All the information, videos and pictures that you send out in the media should be an accurate reflection of what you have in your restaurant. If you are faking it online customers will be disappointed when they visit your restaurant in person and they may never return.

  • Be professional

Set standards for your brand and ensure every member of your team understands them. The moment you bring a new member of staff on board, train them on how you would like them to behave, how customers should be treated and how work is handled. Maintain a high standard of conduct throughout your restaurant, as this will go a long way towards creating great customer experiences.

Always be impeccable

Being professional also includes maintaining high levels of cleanliness, since restaurants are places where people eat, relax, and socialise. Your counters, table surfaces, and floors should be spotless at all times.  Restrooms also should not be neglected. Ensure they are always well-stocked, checked, and cleaned frequently. A lot of people would not want to dine at a place where they can’t use clean bathrooms. In fact, one study notes that a third of customers would not return to a restaurant with dirty bathrooms.

You can’t always tell where your customers will interact with your restaurant first. However, if you maintain consistent brand standards across all touch-points, your customers will have great experiences with your brand. In return, your restaurant will continuously make great first impressions.

Malebogo Tshosa

Brand and communication expert,
Copywriter for Napkin

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