How to attract new customers and keep them coming back for more

Premium Supplier 25th June 2020

How to attract new customers and keep them coming back for more

A lot of your business will rely on attracting new customers and, once you have succeeded at this, making sure they return. Keeping your customers happy is something that requires more than good service and tasty food. It’s important that you think carefully about what your marketing strategy is in order to make your business a first choice for customers.

This is particularly important in a post COVID-19 world. Many people have less money and most of us have been greatly affected by the pandemic to the point where our spending habits are going to be forever changed.

Think carefully about how you are adapting your restaurant to be ready for these changes. Provide customers with more than a place to eat; provide them with an experience.

If you’re at the point where you could end up selling your restaurant, your customer base will inform your business valuation.

Learn more about how to value your business here:

Read on to find out more about how you can bring in new customers, build lasting relationships with them and ensure they increase the value of your business.

Think of their needs

The needs of your customers have been drastically changed while we were in lockdown. The public, while in lockdown, have been ordering food online in order to get their fix of professionally prepared food.

While these online services were used out of the necessity of lockdown, even with the opening of restaurants, people will be hesitant to return to physical spaces.

Think about how you are adapting what you offer in order to suit your customers. Can you offer delivery? Or a click and collect option? Many restaurants have already put these services in place in order to continue operating during lockdown so, see how you can keep this going or introduce these operations if you haven’t already.

For those customers that will be coming back to your premises, have you put social distancing measures in place? You should think about putting sanitizing stations at key points in your restaurant so that customers and staff can sanitise their hands throughout the day. This is particularly important for those that are preparing and serving food.

There are also likely to be strict measures that will be announced in conjunction with the opening of restaurants. You will need to adhere to these so that your customers feel safe returning to your business.

Listen to what they say

There are a lot of ways that customers are able to have a say nowadays. There’s social media, review sites, google as well as contacting you directly. You need to listen to them on all these channels so that you don’t seem to be ignoring their grievances or advice.

Make sure that you respond to customers in a timely fashion. Don’t leave them waiting days to hear back from you! You can also hold live Q&A sessions or, get a chatbot for your site that will help to answer customer questions instantaneously.

In times like these, customers need to be able to ask questions and get answers. If you want them to keep interacting with your brand, you need to be the one to provide those answers.

Let them know what you plan to do

Once you have made changes in order to accommodate your customers as best you can, let them know! Get your customers excited about what you are providing for them and how they can take advantage of them.

The easiest way to do this is through your marketing channels. Do you have an email list? Create an email blast to send to those on the list announcing that you have listened and made the necessary changes. You can also make the announcements on social media and your website.

If you are offering delivery, let them know! If you have made changes to your procedures for the safety of your customers, tell them! If you have takeaway services, inform them of these.

Be mindful of the current climate

Finally, consider the tone that you use in communicating with your customers. There are many people who have been going through a difficult time due to COVID-19 and the resulting effects.

How will you make sure you are not being callous with your customers? Be careful to address issues in a sensitive way or at least be mindful of them when communicating with your customers.

Speak earnestly with your customers rather than coming across as a business entity without any humanity. If you customers are able to connect with you, they will come back time and time again.

In these challenging times…

…the hospitality landscape has dramatically changed in the last two months, and with that our advertising revenues have all but expired, significantly impacting our business. Despite having to furlough a large portion of our staff, we are still delivering the valuable content and honest information, which hundreds of thousands of you come to The Staff Canteen for. We believe we have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

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