5 Social Media Tips to Keep Restaurant Customers Coming Back. As a newly established restaurant owner, you’ve done all the right things. Your restaurant has satisfied many new customers since your business’ social media journey began, and now you’re asking yourself, “What’s Next?” You’ve reached a large audience and established a solid foundation for your customer base, but how do you further your success? How can you encourage your customers to return, become consistent, and even advocate for your business long after they’ve left? You’ve guessed it: social media.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the thought of losing the patrons you’ve just gained. You worked hard to leave a lasting impression, but you’re worried it’s not enough. We’re here to comfort that thought and give you some social media tips that will leave you motivated and assured that, most importantly, keep your customers coming back!
Your restaurant’s social media should be the news channel for your business. It’s where you will want to inform, share, connect, and offer.
A successful business owner like yourself will strive to continually update your existing customers with the latest and greatest news. If your restaurant hosts live music, a monthly special, or even happy hour, those events are sure to pique their interest and persuade them to stop by. Promoting events should not just be a simple text posted to an Instagram story.
Think of seeing a poster on your mailbox for your neighbourhood’s annual summer barbecue. Chances are it’s colorful and captivating, with images portraying what kind of event is advertised. This is how you will want to promote your restaurant’s events.
Why are Repeat Customers Important to My Restaurant?
Your restaurant’s returning customers can be a sizable percentage of your revenue. They must continue to repeat their dining experience as it will only add to your growing income, or at the least, keep your revenue steady. Your regulars are also a great source of word-of-mouth advertisement, which is why you want them to remain happy with your establishment. Repeat Customers are also great for how others perceive your restaurant as they might see your staff interact with patrons who are seemingly not as new.
Offer Digital Deals
Customers love nothing more than the thought of a great discount. It is almost always a shoo-in for returning customers as it encourages them to choose your restaurant over the others they may be considering. The day of cut-out paper coupons is gone, and technology has replaced them with a digital version. While we love the idea of an electronic bar code, you will not need that exact form. However, the concept should be the same. You will want to create a simple post that offers existing social media followers a discount to use during their next dining experience. It should read, “We would love for you to come by and try our specialty of the month! Make sure you’re following @YourRestaurantName before showing this post to your waiter and receive 25% off any dinner entrée!” People love food, and they also love a terrific sale. Put them together, and you’ve got returning customers!
Should My Restaurant Recommend New Items to Regular Customers?
Recommending new items to regular customers is entirely acceptable, even encouraged. The more items your regulars enjoy, the more frequently they return! There might even be one super special dish that insists they be a returning customer for life. We know you might be thinking about the what-ifs. What if they don’t like what you recommend? What if it ruins their experience? It won’t sabotage what they think of your restaurant if they are already a regular customer. If anything, they will appreciate the outreach and suggestion, as it shows you and the staff are passionate about your work.
Ask for Feedback
Patrons of an establishment indulge in the chance to voice their opinion, and what better platform to give them than social media? You can use various ways to facilitate this on your social media accounts. However, two of the best choices are Q&As and surveys. While your overall goal as a restaurant owner is to convince customers to return, if you can receive great feedback in the process, then it’s a win-win! Instagram would be the ideal platform to conduct both Q&As and surveys, as it is a quick and easy process that hardly takes much time to create. Surveys, or polls, allow the customer to rate their experiences with your restaurant and rank specific aspects that you list in the poll. You can view the results after it has been posted on your restaurant’s story for 24 hours. A Q&A is when you allow the customers or followers to ask questions about your business. This tool is also routed through the account’s story, and as each question is submitted, you will, in turn, be able to answer them. These two strategies create a connection between both your brand and the consumer. If, at the very least, it will show them that you care about what they think. You, of course, want to be the very best for them. Turning your survey or Q&A into a raffle could also win you extra brownie points!
Should My Restaurant Keep Track of Returning Customers?
Keeping track of your existing pool of patrons is smart and also rewarding. It allows you to understand which customers contribute the most to your business and show them you appreciate their support. You want your #1 fans to feel recognized and valued for their loyalty. Additionally, having accurate and detailed stats on your restaurant’s consumers will let you understand the benefits and disadvantages of your business’s success. It’s never a bad idea to keep track of returning customers.
Social media trends can be much more critical for your restaurant than you might think.
Trends are ultimately what the public focuses on, gravitates toward, and is interested in. Each social media platform has its own trends, whether a filter, stickers, or emojis.
An example of this can be the different sounds used on TikTok. TikTok is a platform that allows users to share videos and add various sounds to those videos. Depending on the content of a video, a specific sound can be trending, which implies it is popular, thoroughly used, and what other users want to see more of. Keeping up with social media trends allows you to be relatable to your current audience and groups that you may not have connected with yet.
How Do You Drive Your Restaurant’s Repeat Customers?
Customers are primarily motivated to return to a restaurant by seeing how it will benefit them. Apart from the social media strategies, they will also be influenced by the dining experience that your restaurant provides. The needs of your customers must be met during their time in your establishment, otherwise, no amount of social media outreach will convince them to come back. Repeat customers are driven by their first impression. If the first impression is unsuccessful, it’s improbable they will even give your social media a chance.
While loyal patrons enjoy being updated, getting discounts, offering their thoughts, and seeing you keep up with the latest trends, they also become incredibly interested in what those who are in the spotlight are also interested in. We’re talking about the power of influence, and don’t worry! You don’t have to think too big here. We’re not insinuating a brand deal with the most significant celebrities. Think of someone relevant within your industry. Inviting social media influencers to dine at your restaurant is the ultimate marketing goldmine. It increases the number of new customers and reassures your current ones that they’re at the right place. It is an instant popularity booster that people will find hard to forget. If you’re thinking about finances, we have got your back. There’s no need to rush into any paid advertisements. The first step can be as simple as reaching out to as many influencers as possible and inviting them to dine at your restaurant. You may get an endorsement, but you might not, but in the least, you’ve made a solid connection within your industry.
How Can I Make My Restaurant Customers Feel Special?
Restaurant customers appreciate it when an establishment, such as yours, makes them feel special. Making them feel so important does not just benefit them but also you. The better the customers feel, the better your ratings and the more revenue received! Making customers feel special should not be overthought. It’s easy and doable with any customer, no matter how picky they might be. It simply requires you to go the extra mile. Be courteous, friendly, and direct.
Taking the initiative goes a long way. Please don’t allow them to reach the point where they need to ask for something. Offering options throughout the dining experience influences their outlook on you and your business. Make it a point to recognize regulars, compliment your guests, and treat them how you wish you were treated at a restaurant.
Would You Like Help in Keeping Your Restaurant Customers Coming Back?
We’ve been there and know that you only want the best for your business. With technology continually evolving, it can be tough to navigate your chosen platforms exactly as you would like.
That’s why we are here to help. We can provide you with all the support you’ll need to successfully overcome the fears of social media. If you’d like us to assist you further with using social media to keep your restaurant’s customers returning, see below to access a free consultation with us!
It’s just a short, casual conversation, to see if we’d be a good fit.