4 Easy Ways to Build Better Relationships With Your Restaurant Customers
In the world of restaurant management, nothing is as important as keeping your customers happy. After all, your patrons are the lifeblood of your establishment. No matter what niche you may be in, when it comes to succeeding in the food service industry, you need to have close relationships with your customers. However, this is often easier said than done.
It takes time, energy and a concerted effort to really build better relationships with your customers—but it is always more than worth it in the end. These easy steps can help you change the relationships that you have with your customers and change your restaurant for the better.
1.Build a Rapport
It is so important to be able to have conversations with your customers. Good conversation is the basis of any relationship, no matter what industry you are in. Take the time to really stop and chat with your customers, even if it is only for a few seconds. Focusing on your customer and engaging them in conversation will only help build that foundation for a strong relationship.
You need to not only talk to them about their experience, so you can gain valuable information for your restaurant, but also keep the conversation light and casual—as if you were talking with a friend.
Yes, it can take time away from your other responsibilities in the restaurant, but it starts to help your customers feel like you really care. It’s such a small gesture but it’s one that customers will not only remember when they walk away from their dining experience but one they will remember next time they are looking for somewhere to eat.
2. Ask Them for a Favor
It may sound like a strange tip, but it is one that works. People tend to like those that they have helped out, so asking for a small favor can really help your customers feel like the two of you are connected. Typically, this comes in the form of a Google review or a positive Yelp post. It is a great way to build your online presence and your relationships at the same time.
3. Have Swag
Restaurant “swag” whether you have custom plastic cups, t-shirts or koozies, is a great way to build that stronger customer bond. After all, how many times have you carried around the koozie from your favorite dive bar?
For example, if you have cups from your restaurant that you have for sale or that you give out with certain drinks, customers are likely going to keep them and feel like they got something special out of their visit to your establishment. It will also help remind them of your restaurant next time they use their disposable cups.
4. Show Your Regulars You Appreciate Them
Starting new relationships with new customers is one thing. However, maintaining positive relationships with your regulars is something entirely different. Your regulars are not only paying patrons, but they are the ones most likely to recommend your establishment to new people. You need to continue to show your regulars that you value them, even if you already know that they love your establishment.
Something as small as a free soft drink is a great gesture to keep regulars coming back. If you have restaurant paraphilia, giving out those plastic cups with your logo on them can also go a long way for a regular. The key is to show them that you recognize they have frequented your restaurant more than once and that you appreciate their continued business.
There are so many factors that go into keeping any business up and running. However, if you fail to give enough attention to your customers—your restaurant won’t live up to its potential. Keep these relationship-building tips in mind so you can continue to maintain the positive connection you have with your clientele.