What makes a successful restaurant? Is it good food? You’d think so, but if all it took to run a successful business was delicious food no restaurant would ever go out of business. But, tragically, 60% of them do… Within their first year. Is it in a fancy front of house that gives diners a treat for the eyes as well as the palate? That certainly doesn’t hurt, but without the right business acumen behind it, cute decor can quickly become just another costly overhead. Perhaps it’s in great management. For sure a great restaurateur needs to be every bit as skilled in their office as they are in their kitchen, but that’s still just one piece of the big picture.
But we would argue that to provide a USP in a restaurant landscape that’s increasingly dominated by huge multinational restaurant chains, one of the most important things to serve up isn’t just good food, sensible management or aesthetic flourishes… It’s heart. Here’s how you can serve up a big dose of it to your customers every day and keep them coming back for more…
Show your customers that you care
Customers love to feel valued, and ensuring that they get this feeling consistently is the key to success. But there are many different elements to doing this. Obviously your front of house employees like your greeters, waiters, waitresses and sommelier play a huge part in this, as does delivering them consistently excellent food every time. But good customer care takes place in the office, too. Give them targeted emails that give them access to VIP offers and discounts. Give them an extra special treat on their birthday. Develop a rewards scheme that knows what they want and gives them more of it. When your customers know you care about them, they’ll be more likely to reward you with their loyalty. And in an age where consumers are getting more and more fickle that counts for a lot!
Show your employees that you care
In the digital age, customers are a lot more clued up and savvy. They know a lot more about how businesses work and will penalize them with negative comments on social media or simply a lack of patronage when they are suspected of running a less than ethical operation. One of the best ways to show them that you care is by showing your employees that you care. Use accounting software to ensure that your cash flow is healthy to ensure that your employees get paid on time every time. Visit Restaurant Solutions Inc for details. Give them competitive pay, reasonable conditions and let them keep their tips. When your employees are happy the difference shows in ways that your customers will detect.
Build a menu that cares
Finally, it’s no longer enough for you as a restaurateur to show that you care. Your menu needs to show that it cares too. Use locally sourced ingredients to reduce your restaurant’s carbon footprints and buy from farmers who you know will get a good deal. Use free range eggs and responsibly sourced seafood and (in an age where more and more people are turning to veganism for ethical reasons) ensure that you have a plethora of plant based options too.