In the wake of COVID-19, restaurants in India are witnessing a sharp fall in the number of footfalls. Even before the outbreak of the pandemic, there were certain reasons that stopped diners from making a repeat visit to the same restaurant. As the current prospects are bleak, you would be definitely interested in finding out those reasons. Here are 6 reasons that keep diners away from restaurants.
Poor food quality
The prime consideration for any customer to visit a restaurant is the quality of food offered. Imagine a diner going through an unpleasant experience such as undercooked grilled chicken or a salty fish curry. It’s quite natural for the customer to post a negative review in social media about that restaurant. Hence, always keep in mind that you maintain consistency in the quality of food offered. It matters a lot when you serve the fresh, delicious food in right quantities.
Poor customer service
Arrogant and rude behaviour from the restaurant staff and undue delays in serving can be a big letdown for the diners. Imagine a customer ordering for a dessert mentioned in the menu. After making him wait for 15 minutes, the server informs that the particular item is out of stock. It can be a big disappointment and no customer would ever want to visit that restaurant again. The customer expects your restaurant staff to greet him politely, offer suggestions, and serve the food on time.
Affordable prices is one of the important considerations for diners to make repeated visits. If the prices at your restaurant are higher compared to your competitors, then there are chances of losing customers. An effective solution for this problem is to offer food items at different price points. By charging lower prices for popular meals and higher prices for other dishes, you can satisfy customers belonging to different categories.
Absence of loyalty programs
If your restaurant does not offer loyalty rewards for the customers, they are less likely to visit next time. Majority of the diners do their research and compare the incentives offered by various restaurants. With the help of digital restaurant platforms such as inresto it’s pretty easy to offer a customised loyalty program. The points can be awarded based on the number of visits or amount spent. Make it simple so that the customers can redeem rewards for discounts, freebies, or points.
Your restaurant may be appealing in terms of aesthetic interiors, but a dirty dining table, soiled table mats or an overflowing dustbin can be a turnoff for the diners. The outbreak of COVID-19 has made customers more hygiene and safety conscious. Non-compliance to social distancing protocols and safety measures may lead to customers staying away from such restaurants. Educate your staff on the importance of sanitizing, washing hands, maintaining sufficient gaps between the tables and the procedures to be adopted while cooking food at kitchen. A negative customer review on the cleanliness front can prove to be too costly for your restaurant.
Inability to adapt to the latest trends in technology
Gone are those days when diners used to wait beside the restaurant table. Covid-19 has made customers more tech savvy and they book tables well in advance using mobile apps. The absence of facilities such as free Wi-Fi, online food ordering, seat reservation, Facebook and Instagram pages, mobile wallets, and digital menus at restaurants can stop customers from making repeated visits. Employing a cloud based digital Point of Sale system such as Inresto can take care of several functions mentioned earlier.
Restaurants are struggling to cope up with the new challenges posed by COVID-19. In an industry that is already operating on wafer thin margins, the need of the hour is to devise alternative methods to generate more footfalls at your restaurant. Unlike the earlier days, social media reviews play an integral role in making or breaking a brand. The 6 factors discussed above need to be dealt with due care. Hence focusing more on these aspects can no doubt help you earn a place in the minds of diners.