You know the saying, “Word-of-Mouth is the best Marketing”? This is still true today. Would you pass along someone’s information if you didn’t believe in it? Probably not. Whenever you can get someone to promote your restaurant via word-of-mouth, consider it the best compliment. They trust you enough to put their name on the line, so don’t mess it up!
Word-of-mouth still exists in a more wonderful way. With the advent of Social Media, real time word-of-mouth is very much alive and kicking. We live in a time where you can hear comments, complaints, and everything in between after, or even during a customers experience! When handled correctly, complaints can be turned into positives and nipped in the bud faster than any written comment card can ever accomplish. Let’s take a look at a few things that you can do to improve the experience of your customers.
1. Focus on the Locals
If the city your restaurant is in happens to be in a “Downtown” or “Old Town” district, a certain amount of your customer base may come on its own. However, getting them to come back is a whole different beast. Focusing on the locals should be a given, but you’d be surprised how many people bypass such a gem. I’m not talking about those that live a city or two away, I’m talking about people that live within blocks of your restaurant. Why? These are the people that will be coming back again and again. Before work (if you’re open), after work, during lunch, for a date night, etc. Which brings me to my next point.
2. Focus on a Group
Did you know that most public High School seniors are allowed to leave campus for lunch? Did you know that, in this current gig-economy, many self-employed people take lunch at different hours than the normal noon to 1pm? More ideas can be conjured up, and each one can be leveraged to bring in not just customers, but loyal customers, which leads to my next point.
3. Provide Value
Once you focus on a particular group, i.e. High School seniors, it’s time to come up with a strategy to keep them coming. The possibilities are almost endless but can still be a chore to pull off. It can be as simple as giving all HS seniors 10% off a lunch special (with valid ID), or as creative as giving a free lunch to someone who’s earned a 4.0 GPA. Knowing your generational statistics can help you as well. Did you know Millennials like exclusivity? This is where an email list comes in handy, where only between a certain time (maybe when your restaurant is at its slowest) they will get an exclusive 40% off a lunch deal. Again, many possibilities exist, but you need to be seen in order to be spoken of.
4. Make Sure You At Least Have a Facebook Page
Word-of-mouth doesn’t spread on its own. Having a Facebook Page accelerates word-of-mouth by giving everyone a platform to voice their awesome experience, thereby expanding your message to their entire friends list. Keep in mind, you also have to deal with complaints, which can also be leveraged to win over customers. The more you grow your following, (how many people Like your Page) the more impact you will have!
5. Make Sure Your Website is Up to Date
Do you remember that at one time people didn’t consider you a real business unless you had a business card? Today, people don’t consider you a real business (or one that’s taken seriously) without a website. Did you know that over 60% of people view websites on their mobile devices? Gotta make sure it’s mobile friendly! You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you have to make sure it’s legible enough that you can see what your website is about in five seconds or less.
All of these things may seem daunting, but you can do it! However, there may come a time when you’re not wanting to deal with this yourself. That’s where we come in! We can work with you to come up with strategies that will win over new and recurring customers for years to come! In the meantime, focus on growing your loyalty, focus on a particular group, and sooner than you think you will be the popular place to go to!
Want to skip all of this and have us do the work for you? Contact us! Click here to send us a quick message and someone will get back to you soon. We look forward to hearing from you!