Many chefs dream of owning their own restaurant – of creating their own menu, securing their own customers and answering to no one but themselves. While this may sound idyllic, it is far harder than it may at first seem. Running a restaurant is incredibly hard work, and it requires a lot of dedication, manpower and capital to succeed. As a result, many new restaurants fail within their first few years. In a lot of cases, failure comes down to an inability to secure a loyal customer base. So, what makes one restaurant more attractive than another? Well, there are a number of elements beyond the most obvious one (good food). Here are 5 ways in which you can attract customers to your restaurant and secure their return:
As the first thing passers by will see, your restaurant’s exterior is absolutely key in drawing people in. This is why it is important to ensure your restaurant gives off a good impression, which can be achieved by maintaining clean, freshly painted walls and signage as well as ensuring your branding is on point. Other elements that can attract customers include outdoor seating, clearly displayed menus, and greenery like flowers or potted plants. You can use sandwich boards to promote special offers or elements like a garden. While the value of outdoor seating and gardens may be obvious during the summer, it should not be underestimated in the winter months either. Smokers will be attracted to spots where they can sit outside comfortably, which is why having covered seating can be a huge draw. By installing retractable roof systems in Melbourne, you can maintain an attractive outdoor entertainment area that can be used year-round and which will draw new customers in.
Your front of house staff is key in ensuring a good experience for your customers, so be sure to choose them well and train them properly. Not only must they be able to take orders, they should also be well presented and maintain a friendly and amenable manner if you want your customers to return.
These days, ratings on sites like Trip Advisor have become essential to success. This should act as a motivation for ensuring each and every one of your customers has an enjoyable experience, as you never know how their ratings could damage your business. As well as customer experience ratings, you should focus on gaining the highest level of food hygiene ratings, as these will also draw customers in.
Bar and Opening Hours
Other elements that can increase your customer base are consistent opening hours and especially later closing hours. This ties in with having a bar – alcoholic beverages can not only be sold at a good mark-up, a bar also serves to attract customers and will provide you with extra revenue during busy times when patrons need to wait for a table.
Another thing that customers value in an establishment is good customer service. This not only includes being flexible with their orders, such as accommodating allergies or preferences, but also extends beyond their immediate experience. If you receive any complaints, it is important to deal with them head on, both by rectifying the problem and by compensating your customer. This is the best way to ensure that they will give you a second chance and recommend you to others.
There is no sure-fire way to guarantee your restaurant’s success, but by ensuring that your customers always come first and by making your establishment as attractive as possible from the outside in, you can be in with the best chance of triumph.