Customer Loyalty and Retention: Top Tips for Restaurant Owners

Do you love seeing the same guests at your restaurant every week?

One loyal customer is worth 10 one-time customers. Loyal guests are also more likely to tell others about your restaurant. With loyal patrons and word-of-mouth marketing, you can generate more sales to grow your business!

Not sure how to boost customer loyalty and retention?

Read on for the tips you need to gain happy, loyal restaurant patrons today!


Gather Data

Before using the rest of these tips, learn more about your current restaurant patrons. Customer data can help you make more informed changes. The more information you have, the more likely you’ll cater to your customers.

For example, you can use an online ordering system to gather information about customer meal preferences. Use this data to send customers personalized push notifications. Your notifications can feature special offers, dishes, or reminders to place an order!

You can also study the data to determine which of your dishes are the most popular. Then, you can create a special offer for that dish to drive sales. 

Leveraging data to create customized messages can help you gain a competitive advantage in the restaurant industry. 

Use data to learn about the problems your customers have faced at your restaurants in the past. For example, maybe you don’t offer food delivery options. Maybe they’ve complained that the options you do offer are slow and too pricey. 

Keep gathering analytics to make informed changes to your business over time. Use POS reports and restaurant surveys to gather helpful insights. 

You can also use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. A CRM will create detailed guest profiles of your customers. It will combine engagement data (such as money spent) with behavioral data (such as when customers dine in).

This data will help you make decisions that will keep patrons returning to your restaurant.


Improve Dining Experiences

Patrons won’t return to your restaurant if you’re not offering the best possible dining experience. Prioritize making a strong first impression on guests. Later, ask for their feedback to determine how to service them better. 

Talk to your employees to make sure they’re offering the best service possible. An unenthusiastic staff might make guests unhappy or uncomfortable. 

Improving customer experiences can increase revenue by 80%. In fact, 73% of customers agree great customer experience drives buying decisions. About 86% of customers are willing to pay more to receive better service. 

Meanwhile, 89% of consumers will move to one of your competitors if they have a poor experience at your restaurant. 

According to 70% of customers, excellent experiences should be:

  • Fast
  • Convenient
  • Helpful
  • Friendly

About 87% of customers will come back to make another purchase if their last experience was very good.

Offer Seasonal Items

Improve customer experiences and stand out in the restaurant industry by offering seasonal menu items. Updating your menu with a few small changes can encourage guests to return. 

Try offering limited-time dishes and offers to create a sense of urgency. Patrons might return more often to try the latest menu items. Make sure you’re communicating these offerings online!

Make Payments Easy

Difficult or inconvenient payment options can drive customers away. Improve the dining experience by offering multiple payment options. Accommodate all customers to boost customer satisfaction. 

Make sure each option is seamless and easy. 


Use Technology

You can also improve the customer experience by leveraging technology to increase loyalty and retention. For example, you can allow diners to complete orders and transactions online. Using more than one platform can help increase accessibility.

Consider tapping into voice-based ordering solutions. Customers can use their smartwatches, Google Assistant, or Alexa to place an order.

You can also leverage technology by creating a custom web app. A contactless online experience might encourage more customer engagement.

Make sure your web app is branded. Maintaining brand consistency will help people remember your restaurant. The more familiar your brand becomes, the more confident people will feel about your restaurant.  

Use automation when you can to save time and money. For example, you can automate online orders. Automation will reduce labor costs while creating unforgettable customer experiences. 

Create a Loyalty Program

Chain restaurants like Taco Bell, Starbucks, and Domino’s already have loyalty programs. Loyalty programs allow you to reward customers for making repeat purchases. Customers will feel more inclined to remain loyal to your restaurant if they’re receiving rewards. 

Consider the type of reward you want to offer. 

For example, the Points Spend Ratio option gives customers a ratio of the dollars they spend to points earned. For example, after getting 10 points, they’ll receive $1 in rewards.

The Purchases option grants rewards based on how many purchases the customer completed. For example, after buying nine burgers, the customer might get the tenth one free. 

When offering customer rewards, make sure they’re enticing rewards. 

Launch Targeted Campaigns

A strong digital marketing strategy will help you remain at the forefront of the customer’s mind. Otherwise, they might dine at your restaurant once, then forget about it later. Create a cohesive digital marketing strategy using:

  • Content creation
  • Paid ads
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Email marketing

For example, you can send patrons an email on their birthday. Remind them to treat themselves at your restaurant. You can also send them a 10% off coupon code. 

Use social media marketing to announce new dishes, deals, or events. Consider creating contests to generate more brand engagement. Generating engagement will make your restaurant more memorable. 

Make sure to personalize your marketing campaigns. Personalization will show customers you care about their experiences. 

Ensure Restaurant Customer Loyalty and Retention

Increasing customer loyalty and retention will help you generate repeat sales. Generating repeat sales will boost your ROI. Learn how to stand out in the restaurant industry using these tips!

Remember, automation could prove key to your success. Deliver cost-effective solutions without sacrificing quality.

Discover our pricing and book a demo today to learn more.