ENGAGE WITH RESTAURANT CUSTOMERS
It takes a lot of touchpoints to engage with new customers and keep relationships with current ones strong.
Naturally, you provide superior service to dine-in, takeout, curbside, and delivery customers - and you promote your menu offerings via social media, advertising and promotions. That's your foundation. But it also pays to weave buzz-worthy events into the mix to get noticed.
"Do what guests want and enhance the experience in ways that nobody else is delivering in the marketplace."
Customer Engagement for Profitability
Here are three ways to effectively generate the kind of public relations and word-of-mouth that builds sales, revenue and profitability.
Participate in Community Events
"Get involved in community events, such as Restaurant Weeks," says Rodney Estrada, Shamrock Foods Branch Chef, New Mexico. "Offering a scaled-down menu of what you typically serve brings people in the door and helps them get to know who you are." Leverage the opportunity to make a memorable first impression. Give first-time guests a sincere greeting, seek opt-in future communications, thank them sincerely for their business and convey how eager you are to welcome them back. Tell returning guests how much you appreciate their support for the event.
Offer Teachable – and profitable – moments
"Virtual classes provide the opportunity to build revenue beyond the walls of your operation - and they get people talking," says Jeff Pivin, Shamrock Foods Business Review Specialist, Arizona. Moreover, research from Dataessential reported earlier this year that consumers want them. And, thanks to video-conferencing apps such as Zoom - and the public's increasing comfort with using them - virtual classes are an easy sell. Logistics are uncomplicated, and cleanup is minimal. Sell ingredient kits for pre-class pickup in order to offer convenience for attendees and to generate additional revenue for your operation. The virtual classes are fun, educational and entertaining - and they create personal connections with your restaurant.
Create Meaningful Differentiation
"Surprise and delight" is more than just a marketing strategy. Menuing dishes based on unexpected ingredients and techniques as well as providing exceptional hospitality generate loyalty. "Do what guests want and enhance the experience in ways that nobody else is delivering in the marketplace," says Tim Maness, Shamrock Foods Business Review Specialist, Colorado. "Over-promise and over-deliver."
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