Ideas For Growing My Restaurant

The Secret to Growing Your Restaurant From Within

It is no secret that the restaurant business can be pretty risky. On average, a quarter of restaurants will fail within their first year of operation. This number almost doubles by year two. If your restaurant has prevailed through the first few years of adversity, congratulations on beating the odds! So, now that you have weathered the storm and kept your restaurant afloat, you are probably thinking about ideas for growing your restaurant. While growing a business is never an easy task, there are certain principles that can be adapted in order to find success.

Customer Base-ics

While a simple Internet search for ‘ideas for growing my restaurant’ can produce thousands of articles with ideas and tips, most of this advice centers on investing in a better POS system, cutting food costs by using local vendors, reducing labor costs and cutting operating expenses. While these are all great ideas, the most valuable piece of advice for restaurateurs wanting to grow their business is to look to their current customer base. One of the root causes of restaurant failure is the fact that most restaurateurs spend more time trying to recruit new customers instead of properly marketing to and leveraging their current customers. On average, a company loses 20-40 percent of its customer base each year. So, how do you avoid this scary stat? You must change the way that you view your current customers.

A Customer’s Worth

Most restaurants value each customer by how much they will spend during a single visit. The restaurant’s staff is trained to employ up-selling techniques to increase the check total and marketing dollars are often focused solely on trying to attract new customers. Did you know that it costs nearly seven times more to recruit a new customer than to keep a current one? Here is where the fundamental shift in mindset and customer approach needs to happen. Do you know the lifetime value of your average patron? Probably not. Let’s say a local customer dines with you one time per week and spends an average of $40 each time. Factoring in that the average lifecycle of a habitual buyer is five years, we can do some quick math to conclude that this customer is actually worth $10,400. Your average patron has suddenly become worth a lot more to your business than you had initially thought. Now that you now how important customer retention is to your business, how do you instill customer loyalty?

Give Them What They Want

The demands of today’s consumers have never been higher. Great service and delicious food are not enough anymore. Customers have been conditioned to expect a reward for giving you their business. If you nurture them, they will come.

One of the most effective ways to gain repeat customers and grow your restaurant is to create a customer loyalty program. Customers who belong to a customer loyalty program visit twice as often and spend four times as much as those who do not belong to one. Additionally, by decreasing your attrition rate by just 5 percent, your business can improve its bottom line profits by 25-85 percent.

If you’re looking for ideas to grow your business, you should be designing a customer loyalty program.

How Do I Set Up A Customer Loyalty Program?

While the idea of a customer loyalty program is nothing new, technology has created wonderful new ways for businesses to track, reward and serve their customers. In our next article, we’ll show you why mobile customer loyalty programs are the best way to reward your customer and your bottom line.

And in case you were wondering, AppSuite presents innovative, unique and tech-savvy ideas for growing your restaurant with our feature-rich app, which helps create a palpable buzz around your restaurant brand. Your customers and prospects will be intrigued, feel engaged and keep coming back for more.

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