How To Use Content To Get More Return Customers For Your Restaurant

get more return customers

Using content to encourage repeat business is all about building goodwill.

Repeat customers are incredibly valuable to your restaurant. In fact, they are integral to your restaurant’s success.

Research by Thanx found that the top 25% of a restaurant’s customers (think returning ones) contribute 64% of the restaurant’s revenue. This figure underscores the importance of building and retaining your customers. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how you can use content to get more return customers for your restaurant.

It’s good to remember that while your service and food are incredibly important to your customer and the likelihood that they’ll return to your restaurant, you must also concentrate on the customer after they dine at your restaurant in order to grow your business with repeat diners.

Your restaurant’s success depends on building strong, personal relationships with your customer base, both while they are in your restaurant and after. Customer trust and customer loyalty lead to repeat business which in turn leads to referrals for new customers, and the circle hopefully continues.

Content marketing is the buzz word of the year in marketing circles. We’ll discuss how to tailor your content to your audience and give you some tips for leveraging content to keep your customers coming back.

Send Personalized Emails

Use email marketing to reach out to your diners. Email marketing moves the conversation about your restaurant to a personal space – your customer’s inbox.

TIP – How to get them on your email list: In order to provide great content, you have to first get them to subscribe to your list. Offer an in-restaurant incentive. For example, when they pay their bill, offer them a coupon if they give you their email address.

Emails involve a bit of give-and-take with your customer – an exchange of sorts. You provide valuable information in exchange for their valuable time. It’s important for your customers to get to know your restaurant. It should feel like home to them. A great way to do this is with email content.

Good email content creates and deepens your relationship with diners. (tweet this) Your voice, your subject line, your content quality and your ability to meet their needs all work together to get more return customers to your restaurant.

Restaurant Customers

Using a customer’s first and last name in emails garners higher open rates.

Email newsletters provide you a direct channel to promote content such as events and offers, but they also provide you a low key way to build customer loyalty by providing marketing-free tips and ideas. Newsletters offer you a low-pressure way to communicate. Your customer can read your newsletter when it’s convenient for them. They can take their time or act immediately.

With the newsletter, you can discuss a wide-range of topics. Offer cooking tips, recipes, live events, trendy drinks, a featured dish, coupons and more. Your content should enhance your customers’ lives. Before sending, ask yourself, “if someone sent me this, would I want to read it?”

When you send emails to your customers, you should include personalized content. An Experian study revealed that personalized mails have a 29% higher open rate and 41% unique click-through rate. While personalization seems like a no brainer, it can be tough to know where to get started. Here are two key ways you can create a more human experience for your diners.

  1. Start with the email subject line. Use at least the customer’s first name – open rates tend to be higher when the first and last names are used. Use split tests to see what works better for your emails. Try a friendly, casual subject line using first names and a more formal subject line with both first and last names. Find out what works best for your restaurant.
  2. Segment your lists and target content to your customers. You’ll provide greater content relevance to your diners. Emails are personal and private, and you can tailor content to your specific audience. On your website email sign-up form, give your customers a few choices. For example, are they interested in specials, recipes or special events? Once you know this, you can target your content to these specific groups.

Give Customers Something Special on Your Website/Blog

This doesn’t mean discounts. This means providing your customers with features, resources, services, tips – just about anything that they value that can relate back to your restaurant.

Create unique blog posts. Your restaurant’s food blog can be inviting, creative, funny and inspiring. You can share a variety of things, from “what I had for breakfast” to recipes and videos. Don’t forget to share them on social media and link back between your site and social media platforms.

Encourage your customers to comment on your blog after they’ve tried a recipe or your restaurant’s featured dish. Invite them to share your content across social media.

Increase Your Social Media Content

Focus on connecting your customers to great content through your social media outlets, and you’ll encourage a sense of community and loyalty.

First, though, you have to get them to subscribe to your social media channels. As with your email list, offer an in-restaurant incentive to get your customers to subscribe to your social media channel. Grab their attention while they are in the restaurant, and get them to sign up while they are enjoying their great meal and ambiance.

Once they are tied in to your social media, you have many content options for getting more return customers for your restaurant and for creating your own social media family.

  • Use vivid photography and compelling text.
  • Generate a hashtag that encourages your patrons to “tag” photos of their meals and fun times in your restaurant. Encourage posting while dining. When they post on your social media, it’s important for you to tag them, link back and give them a “shout out.”
  • Post valuable information. Ask your customers what they want to know more about. Maybe they want tips on cooking with chocolate or how to grill the perfect ribs. Provide them the content they want, and you’ll encourage their loyalty and their return visit.
  • Feature your customers/fans in your content. Put them in the spotlight and let them know you appreciate them.
  • Visit their social media pages and see what they are posting and what they are interested in. Develop and tailor content on your page that might interest them.

The Bottom Line

While we’ve separated content into three categories: email, social media and website/blog, many of these tips span all three areas. What’s important is that you provide your restaurant customers with engaging content that is valuable to them and invites their interaction.

Using content to encourage repeat business is all about building goodwill. Use your website, email and social media to let your customers know how much you appreciate their business. (tweet this) Make them feel important and involved with your restaurant family.

When you use content right, you’ll get more return customers for your restaurant. In turn, they’ll become your marketing ambassadors, spreading the word to their friends and family. Treat these new customers to your great content, and you’ll have a new generation of repeat customers.

Are you ready to create intriguing, valuable content? Are you looking for a responsive website and blog that looks great on all devices? Restaurant Engine can help! Contact us today to learn more about our complete restaurant website package.

Images: thisisbossi and Chris Goldberg

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