10 Signs your Customers won’t return to your Restaurant
Do you feel that you’re spending a huge amount of time and money on your restaurant and yet your customers do not come back?
You have improved the taste of your food and still had no luck?
Well there’s more to customer satisfaction than just good food and service. The more you get faithful “repeat customers”, the higher the possibility of creating lifetime loyalty and value for your restaurant.
Repeat customers bring huge business benefits that most restaurateurs fail to realize.
According to a study, customer addition cost is from 5 to 25 times more than retaining an existing one.
The study also shows that the customer retention rate can improve profits by 25-95%. An additional statistic specifies the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% as compared to the probability of selling to a new likelihood is 5-20%.
Customer acquisition vs retention costs
To keep your customers loyal and content enough to return you might need to revise and review your restaurant priorities.
Bad Customer Service
Poor customer service is one of the main reasons your customers leave with no intention of returning. With so many options easily available in the restaurant sector, today’s food consumer will not tolerate substandard service.
Apart from enjoying a delicious meal, customers require to be taken care of.
Customer service in this business consists of attention, communication, timely delivery of the order and staff courtesy.
So it is essential that you greet and guide them to their table, otherwise they feel lost and unattended.
Likewise, if you deliver the order in 35 minutes instead of 15 minutes as described on your menu card or your staff doesn’t address them properly or listens to them attentively, they are certainly going to rate your restaurant awfully on customer service and never return.
To combat this issue you might need to hire more staff and train the existing ones to make sure:
Poor Food Quality
- Your staff goes above and beyond to please customers. Train them to address the customers with a smile and small gestures like “Welcome, Sir”, “How can I help you?” or “Please visit us soon” that can go a long way.
- Your staff gives extra attention when the customer orders food making sure every little detail and preference is noted and provided.
- The order is delivered on time. In case, a certain dish that has been ordered will take longer to cook, inform in advance.
- If a customer complains, your restaurant admits and owns its mistake and fixes it immediately.
The first thing in a restaurant review, that a critic or customer talks about is food. When your customers don’t get what they expected or came for, they don’t have a reason to come again.
For example, a customer orders a cup of coffee, only to find that it is cold or too sweet or she/he gets a bowl of tinned fruit salad when they were expecting freshly cut fruits.
Quality food is the most basic component of a restaurant business
, it should be catered in a way it is actually meant to be – scrumptious, fresh, with an appealing presentation and in the right quantity.
When you decide your menu card make sure you are capable of preparing all that is in it at any time. For instance, when a customer craving for tomato soup orders from the menu, and comes to know that it’s not available that day, he is bound to get disappointed and not return again.
Another reason might be a lack of healthy options
. With increasing awareness about health and diet, many people are concerned about eating well, organic, or gluten-free food and it is vital to have a few of these options on your menu.
The atmosphere at your restaurant adds to the experience more than you think it does. Your restaurant may have the most magnificent interiors, but a soiled napkin, some dust or dirt on the table or an overflowing dustbin in the bathroom can take away all the pleasure of dining for the customers.
A study of 373 service failures conducted by Beth Chung
and K.D. Hoffman
showed that housekeeping is one of the most essential factors to keep the customers returning to your restaurant.
Another study suggests that lack of cleanliness is one of the longest remembered by customers and associated with lowest customer retention rates.
So, get the basic housekeeping principles right. Problems such as food under the table and bad smells need to be fixed immediately. Right from the entrance and bathroom to cutlery and staff uniforms, everything has to be spic and span.
If your food and service is constantly reliable, it is definitely a reason for your customer to return to your restaurant but if standards are not constant, their restaurant choices are too wide to retain them.
In a restaurant business, it’s not just the first but also the second, third and following impressions that count. The key to repeat business is securing consistency in products (what you offer) and also services (how you deliver it)
. It develops confidence in customers to want to come back and experience what they are expecting.
Regular diners look for reasonable prices for everyday meals. If you are not playing competitively in the restaurant business, you are most likely going to miss out on the returning dining crowd.
Make an effort to offer meals in various quantity options and affordable prices. You can include some in-demand lower priced meals along with higher priced specials.
Lack of Customer Loyalty Programs
Do you show appreciation and reward your customers for their loyalty?
Do you give them a reason to return?
Once you have a customer acquired, she/he needs to be appreciated and nurtured to build loyalty.
There are endless options to incentivize customer loyalty:
- Offer them discount coupons for the next visit.
- Offer a point-based loyalty program.
- Offer personalized focused attention and freebies like a free dessert or drinks on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries.
Location is vital to good business! A perfect restaurant in the middle of nowhere is not going to help you in anyway except for low rental costs. A restaurant located near universities, offices and shopping malls is bound to bring in more regular customers along with competitiveness.
You also need to think about accessibility, parking space and visibility of your restaurant.
Poor Restaurant Promotion
In today’s world of technology and digital information, simple advertising by word of mouth will make your restaurant invisible and outdated. There is no success without good promotion. Come up with creative ideas to advertise on social media
and use marketing apps for better promotion
Less Accommodating Space
It is pretty simple how more space means more customers at a time. Return customers are more likely to bring with them more acquaintances if you make an impression of accommodating bigger groups of people.
About the Author: Lisa Brown
has been helping her readers with successful business and entrepreneurial strategies for the past 3 years. She currently works with Ekuep
), which is the first online store in the Middle East that caters to the foodservice industry. It sells kitchen equipment, restaurant equipment, and food service equipment that are made by leading brands from all over the world. These machines and tools are trusted by all restaurant and cafe owners from across the world.