Sometimes, you might be checking all the boxes by getting new diners through various PR activities and well-executed social media campaigns, but what if you’re not able to retain them? You know a diner wouldn’t return if they get into an argument with your staff or storm out, but what about those customers who don’t tell you what went wrong? Here’s a couple of reasons why your diners aren’t coming back once they’re out the door:
Inconsistency in Food Quality
No matter how picturesque your restaurant’s ambience is or how great the service is, if your food’s quality dips quite often; your restaurant’s reputation is in deep waters. This would mean average reviews by new customers and if the regulars notice a downfall, you might lose them too. Also, if the quality is up to the mark, but your diner had to wait for their order for a considerably longer time without being informed about it, they’re unlikely to return.
You may have an extensive menu, but if something or the other is always missing; people are going to start pointing it out. Also, if you have an exhaustive menu, it could confuse people. So, it’s crucial to highlight your specials. Lately, since healthy food is on the rise, you could also benefit by including low calorie, gluten-free or even dairy-free options.
Sometimes tardy service, arrogant or inattentive waiters and unattractive food can also put off diners. If the waiters take too long to tend tables or your diner’s inputs aren’t taken into consideration, there’s a high probability that your customers aren’t coming back and are going to leave a bad review.
If your prices are on the higher side as compared to your competitors, diners would only prefer your restaurant for an occasional outing. They always look for affordable meals if they want to dine out somewhere regularly. One way to solve this problem would be to keep some menu items at a relatively economical price as compared to the specials or exclusive expensive items. You must thoroughly study the market, and your position in it, before pricing all items.
Dearth of Well-Executed Loyalty Programs
Diners might like your restaurant, but at the end of the day they’ll compare you to your competitors and wouldn’t choose you if there’s no incentive. Run loyalty programs by offering them discounts for consecutive visits or have a point-based feedback system to ensure they keep coming back for more. Even if you have a great loyalty program in place, it’s essential to remind your diners about it from time to time. You can do this by running well-targeted engagement campaigns.
Attention to Hygiene
Sometimes your restaurant is spic and span but a dirty bathroom, a dirty kitchen or even a delay in clearing tables, could really scare people off. Also, if you’re rigid about the cleanliness schedules of your restaurant, you might be missing out on your staff’s hygiene. Your staff must be well trained and should be prim and proper at all times. Let’s not forget, sometimes one tiny detail could also lead to terrible reviews.
Most importantly, even if a diner doesn’t return what harms you more is the bad word of mouth marketing that ensues.Always keep your food quality top notch, pay heed to loyalty programs regularly, monitor the hygiene factor, make sure your pricing strategy is consistent with competitors, keep a neat and concise menu and never let your servers slack off. All this will ensure happy diners and increase your diner retention rates.