The financial future of the United States and the world at large seems uncertain at the moment. With markets bouncing around and inflation skyrocketing prices for fuel and especially food, restaurants should consider some intelligent investments to enhance the restaurant guest experience.
Offering additions like loyalty programs create a sense of brand loyalty that can see a restaurant through the leanest times. These drive sales, visits, and deliveries and allow restaurant owners to collect valuable data to provide the greatest possible expereince.
Loyalty Programs Can Keep you Relevant
How often have families and individuals decided where to have dinner based on pricing and availability? What about loyalty to a particular restaurant? The answer is quite often. If you have a brand loyalty program that allows customers to receive perks based on their patronage and regular discount updates via an app, email, or text, they will be more likely to choose your restaurant for lunch or dinner.
Let’s consider this scenario in a restaurant guest experience:
John is undecided on where to have dinner tonight. He’s thinking of the usual sub from the corner store when he receives an email for 20% off a take-out order from the Thai restaurant he is a loyalty member of. That discount, along with the previous solid relationship he has with the Thai restaurant, helps him decide on Thai for the night. He can feel happy he’s getting a great deal with 20% off his dinner and feel proud he is giving one of his favorite businesses some love.
This may sound like a silly example, but this sort of thing happens daily throughout the country. Start a loyalty program if you don’t have one, and keep it active. If customers never get emails or notifications from your restaurant regarding specials or deals, they may quickly forget you, that is a great restaurant guest experience.
Don’t Lose Sight of your Team
It’s excellent to put your customers first, but you should equally put your employees and team members first. We have all seen signs that read “help wanted, hiring all positions” at restaurants around the country. If you forget your team or they feel left behind, you may find yourself in a similar situation. Providing your employees with the right benefits and allowing them to offer you honest feedback is a smart way to keep everyone happy and working as a team. Happy employees mean a better restaurant guest experience.
Employee turnover is one of the most costly and time-consuming problems that employers face today. The restaurant business tends to have an even higher employee churn than other business varieties. Your team should be seen as an essential piece to your restaurant’s success. If team members feel undervalued or have no voice, they may leave. Do your best to keep things an open forum and allow people to speak freely. A great way to do this is quick team checkups before or after a busy day. This way, they can vent frustration or share excitement. Meetings don’t have to be about the negative, so be sure you focus on the positive things people are doing.
Run Your Restaurant like a Family
There is a reason many mom-and-pop restaurant operations do exceptionally well and tend to have the best restaurant guest experience. There is a lot of love that goes into the cooking, employees are valued almost like family members, and diners feel they are truly appreciated. Take this model to your growing restaurant, and you’ll quickly see why it works so well.