Creating a culture of customer loyalty | RPOWER Blog

Creating a culture of customer loyalty

Creating a culture of customer loyalty

It’s no secret that the restaurant industry has had it tough over the past couple years. But despite thousands of restaurants closing their doors, the competition for customers remains fierce. Between online ordering, curbside pickup, take-home cooking kits and beyond, customers have more ways to order the food they enjoy, and they’re eager to support restaurants they love.

But as the old saying goes, loyalty is earned, not given. If you want to attract customers and keep them coming back, you need to give them a reason. You can do this by building a culture of customer loyalty around your restaurant. Here’s how to get started.

1.  Create a great atmosphere

First things first, if you want to encourage customers to keep coming back, you need to create an atmosphere that’s inviting. While every environment is different, here are a few ways you can make any restaurant more inviting and enjoyable to dine at:

  • Provide great service around the clock
  • Greet and/or seat customers quickly
  • Streamline your ordering process
  • Be flexible with your menu, customers like options
  • Ensure orders are always moving
  • Make it easy and convenient for customers to pay

2.   Get involved in your community

A great way to build connections with local customers is to get involved in your community. By giving back to those who support your business, you’ll be able to build awareness about your restaurant, develop a great reputation, and attract customers who want to support local businesses. You can do this by sponsoring local events, volunteering in your area, running charity events, partnering with local businesses, and selling your products at farmers markets.

3.   Leverage social media

Social media is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to connect with customers and get them excited about your business. It’s free to create accounts on various platforms and post content about your restaurant, and there are a number of other ways you can build even deeper connections. 

  • Run promotions. Contests, discounts, and referrals are all great ways to encourage customers to interact with your brand and connect with your business.
  • Re-promote customer content. When customers post about and tag your restaurant, don’t hesitate to repost their content and tag them. Customers love when brands they love share their content, and you’ll be able to build stronger connections with them and their audience.
  • Location tags. Create a business page and location tag for your restaurant in order to make it easier for customers to find your business and tag you when they visit.

4.   Go the extra mile

If you really want to impress your customers and get them talking about your restaurant, little things can go a long way. Make your customers feel special by greeting them by name when they visit, comping small items from their bill, remembering their usual orders, offering them a discount on special occasions, and so on. 

5.   Run promotions

Whether at your location, in your community, or on social media, promotions are a great way to attract new customers, increase sales, and bring back existing customers. And the best part is that there are so many ways you can go about it:

  • One-time discounts for special occasions like Valentines Day
  • Recurring promotions like happy hours or taco Tuesdays
  • Channel-based promotions like discounts for ordering online or curbside pickup
  • Offering discounts when customers show a receipt from another local business
  • Monthly draws that customers get entered into each time they place an order
  • Contests for tagging or sharing your content on social media
  • Referral programs or promo codes through local influencers on social media

6.   Create loyalty programs

Providing an incentive to continue visiting your restaurant can be very effective motivation for customers to come back. This can range from simple stamp-cards that provide rewards after customers make a certain number of purchases to more complex programs that allow customers to build points towards rewards based on what they order and how much they spend.

7.   Issue gift cards

Gift cards are one of the oldest and most reliable methods of building a culture of customer loyalty in restaurants. They encourage existing customers to come back and enjoy your restaurant time and time again, while giving recipients a reason to visit and experience everything you have to offer.

But they’re not always convenient for customers to purchase. If you don’t already have a gift card system in place, or customers don’t want to physically visit your location to purchase them, you could be missing out on potential revenue.

With RPOWER eGift, selling gift cards to customers is easier than ever. Once set up in your RPOWER point of sale system, you can issue and sell digital gift cards to customers in only a few clicks. You’ll create a custom gift card purchasing page that matches your brand and website, customize gift card options, then simply add the link to your existing website to increase sales and build customer loyalty.

Final thoughts

With so many options at your customers’ disposal, it’s more important than ever to build a culture of customer loyalty around your restaurant. There are a number of ways you can go about it, but gift cards are a time-tested method that are proven to increase sales, retain existing customers, and attract new ones.

Have any questions? We are happy to help!