Patrons, like their restaurants of choice, often change with the times. New generations of patrons are continually defining the restaurant experience.
With the hospitality business now more competitive than ever, and highly ranked restaurants all vying for consumer attention, restaurateurs must use the right tools to attract the modern, adventurous diner with their distinct tastes and demands.
While great food is undoubtedly a cornerstone of a world-class restaurant, in today’s competitive marketplace, food quality is merely the bare minimum.
So what can world-class restaurants do to help restaurant goers decide where to eat? The five initiatives below summarize vital, influential ways that restaurants can create a positive dining experience to attract diners with an ever-evolving modern attitude towards dining out.
1. The Importance of Partnerships
The deregulated lifestyles of current patrons mean restaurant reservation services will play a more prominent role in years to come.
Today’s average restaurant goer craves convenience. And online electronic reservation systems like OpenTable, Reserve, or Yelp Reservations affords world-class restaurants the opportunity to spread the overhead costs and fill more seats. All this while allowing customers the convenience to engage with restaurants when and how they want.
With more and more guests heading to your restaurant’s website to find vital information to make an informed decision as to where to dine out, channels like online reservation systems allow your restaurant to be more bookable, creating greater reach to attract the engaged diner and build repeat business.
2. Loyalty Program Schemes
Similarly, loyalty programs look favorably to restaurants rewarding their guests and customers.
Whether it’s world-class Japanese dining or a themed restaurant, loyalty programs have a direct impact on customer engagement and where guests will spend their money when they’re out. Loyalty schemes position restaurants in a favorable position as it provides diners exclusive access to dining rewards, creating an incentive to drive repeat business.
Eating is a social experience. Loyalty programs are a customer-centric approach to driving loyalty to your restaurant. When frequent guests have rewarded loyalty discounts for their continued patronage, restaurants create a memorable experience that will only serve to further drive loyalty.
3. Use Social Media
Integrating social media into the dining experience enables restaurants to leverage opportunities to increase brand awareness, reach and engagement.
For many modern diners, social media is a daily affair. Besides your restaurant’s website, social media is a high channel to gain exposure.
Food and social media pair just as exceptionally well together, as mashed potatoes and gravy or chocolate and peanut butter do.
To drive loyalty among modern, adventurous diners, you want to be where they are. Social media is an effective way to communicate with your guests to drive footfall to your restaurant and to keep customers coming back.
To effectively drive engagement on social media, careful planning must be implemented. Inactivity can result in poor online interaction and a dip in engagement.
4. Collecting Data on What Customers Want
Advancements in technology have enabled your restaurant’s POS to serve as more than just a standalone terminal and point-of-sale system.
The integration of an all-in-one POS system can enhance customer loyalty, thanks in part to its ability to systematically track and deliver information on your guests’ wants and needs.
A POS system with a built-in customer relationship management (CRM function) makes it easier for restaurants to collect relevant customer information. By being able to cater loyalty programs and services to customer preferences, restaurants can better target diners with offers that create opportunities to upsell at the point of sale.
Further, an all-in-one POS system can streamline vital operational aspects of your restaurant to enable restaurateurs to make data-driven decisions that contribute to the future of their business.
Labor, inventory management, marketing initiatives, and menu items’ popularity can all be easily identified through an integrated POS system to improve loyalty and increase revenue.
5. Providing an Emotive Experience
The modern, adventurous diner is highly informed and highly engaged. And with competitive market forces a simple click away, restaurants must focus on the emotive experience of dining to create a competitive edge. The real business of restaurants isn’t food; it’s emotion.
By applying these crucial initiatives to tap into emotional triggers, you create opportunities to connect with your guests. And the essential ingredient of brand loyalty is building a deeply rooted connection.