1. Loyalty program

 If you don’t have a loyalty program, Start a Loyalty Program NOW!!!!

Create a loyalty program and start signing customers up right away. It should allow customers to earn rewards points by shopping at your restaurants. You want a program that integrates with your POS data to allow you to collect valuable information about your customers. Now you will know exactly what your most loyal customers purchase, how much they spend, and how often they return. This information is powerful!

2. Say “Thank You”

 Have your staff welcome everyone who comes into the restaurant and continue to encourage interaction with customers throughout their stay. This is simple but just start by saying “welcome to our restaurant. You want the customer to interact with one or two people from your team when they come into your restaurant. This could be the waiter or waitress, the bartender, the host or hostess, the cashier, etc.

 Pro Tip: Create a Thank You Video

Create a Thank You Video

A simple video from your phone will be perfect! This video doesn’t have to be high-tech to make If you have the knowledge and the time to edit in your store’s graphic, even better! Text or email the thank you video to new customers after they get take-out with just a simple thank you and let us know if there is anything we can do better.  This will set you apart from the competition and get those customers back in your restaurant.

3. Know your customers and remember them

Encourage your staff to:

  • If you start to see a familiar face, acknowledge it! Let them know that you recognize them and get to know them!
  • Introduce yourself and express your thanks that they chose your restaurant.
  • Each time they come in, take the initiative to greet them by name, and ask them how they are.
  • Send them birthday and anniversary offers. This reminds your customers that they’re not just another body with a credit card, but an appreciated guest in your establishment.

4. Exclusive Announcements and Offers via text and E-mail

Stay in contact with your customers. Collect and use your customer database as a tool to show appreciation.

Want to offer a secret 10% off sale for loyalty program members today only? What about giving away a free dessert just for this weeknight, but only for those on your email/test list?  We have a special wine or new beer on draft that is only for members of our loyalty program.

When customers give you their email address, they’ll want something in exchange. Give them these exclusive offers and these pop-up deals. Make them feel appreciated.

5. Recognize your customers on Social Media

Shine a spotlight on your loyal customers and they will likely enjoy seeing themselves on your page. With their permission, take their photo and post it on your social media page with a little caption explaining the event.

6. Name a customer of the month

Your loyalty program should be able to tell you who spent the most at your restaurant at the end of each month. Email them a congratulatory message and thank them for their loyalty. Tell them that with their permission you will be posting their Customer of the Month photo in your restaurant and on social media.

7.      Customer appreciation day

Show your guests you appreciate them by devoting an entire day to them. I would suggest doing this a few times a year. Use your social media pages to promote an upcoming Customer Appreciation Day. Raffle off ten free shirts, offer half-price apps, discount drinks, give away $10 gift cards to the first 50 customers. …

 8.      Give Discounts and Freebies (unexpected)

You want to “surprise and delight” the customers.  On your slower nights, tell your servers or cashiers that they can each pick a random customer and give them a 20% discount. If your orders/tickets have assigned numbers, pick a number as this week’s “discount number;” every time the order number is 37, give them a discount.

9.      Everyone loves free swag.

People will show their love for your restaurant provided that you have good swag. Don’t get cheap stuff. Only give away stuff that you would wear. You are not saving any money if the hat goes directly in the trash. Also, make sure that your swag represents your brand. Colors, feel,  styles, and logo should all be consistent with your brand.

10.  Make it personal!!!  Send follow-ups to new customers, loyalty sign-ups, catering orders, etc. 

If you acquire a new loyalty member’s email address, take a minute to send them an email. I am not talking about an automatic computer-generated email. A real email or text.  Introduce yourself, thank them for coming in, and ask if they had any comments, feedback, or suggestions from their visit.



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