Are you tired of the small margins your discount packages give you? Make the most of your promotion by turning those discount diners into one of your most loyal customers.
Giving out discounts is indeed a debatable issue among today’s restaurants, what with the surge of online deals, happy hours and other restaurant discounting efforts. But despite the issues surrounding these discounting schemes and the argument whether they are in truth good for the business or not, the fact remains that these deals are immensely popular with today’s customers.
And from the looks of it, discounting is not just a fad–it’s been predicted to stay. And restaurant operators need to adapt to this yet another market evolution. So, how then do you make sure that those diners who come to avail of your discount packages are not those fickle ones who are often seen chasing deals somewhere else the soonest that they’re done with you? And if they are, how can you convert them into one of your loyal customers?
1. Make sure to obtain their contact information. By doing this, you will be able to establish a line of contact through email or social media, where you can get them to like your Facebook page, invite them to follow you on Twitter, ask them to subscribe to your newsletter, or simply send them enticing emails about special offers, restaurant news or those creative recipe ideas done by your chefs in elegant chef coats.
2. Start a loyalty program. Turn these discounting schemes for random people into a loyalty program which would enable you to reward your regulars in the long run, believing in the oft repeated marketing phrase, “it costs more to entice new customers than it does to retain your existing ones.” Loyalty cards are often the best way to extend your relationship with your discount enthusiasts far beyond their first visit.
3. Come up with follow-up deals. You need to be able to persuade them to come to that much important second visit, and the best way to do this is to offer what others call a bounce-back deal. Fifth person eats free, a complimentary bottle of wine for a group booking’s next meal, or free dessert entices deal fanatics to come back. This provides you a chance to get them hooked to your food later on and eventually become a regular.
4. Create a “diners club.” People love the idea of being set apart from the rest, and offering them this exclusive membership would foster loyalty to your restaurant. You can offer special meals personally cooked by your chefs in their smart chef coats, create a special section in your dining room for them, or run special events to make them feel distinct from the rest.
5. Deliver impeccable service. Sometimes it’s as simple as that. Give them good food, great service and one of their most unforgettable dining experience and you got them for the long haul.