Britons grabbed more than 100m discounted meals during the August Eat Out to Help Out scheme – but how can you capitalise on the scheme now it’s over?
Some operators – Gaucho, for instance – are carrying on the initiative at their own expense for a while, thanks to the droves of customers it brings in.
But if that’s not your option, now that customers have made the psychologically-important move back to your restaurant, it’s a great opportunity to keep on engaging with them to encourage them back again and again.
Different hospitality operations have different levels of marketing support, and not everyone has a whole marketing department to fall back on.
So today we launch a new NFS series, written by an award-winning PR professional, to pass on best practice tips on how to promote your business and engage well with your customers.
This week’s best tips – how to reach your customer’s heart
- Start considering who your customers are. Where do they come from? What age group are they? Singles, couples, families? Socio-economic type? Typical spend? Group them into three or four typical ‘personas’.
- Now you have identified the ‘segments’ of your client base, consider what each group really wants. What do they order? When do they come in? Do they book and order online? Eat in or takeaway?
- Now, based on preferences you have identified, think about what incentives you can offer each persona. Couples might like a romantic free glass of prosecco with their next meal; families not so much – but complimentary soft drinks for the kids could work.
Avoid sending the same generic offer to everyone, as you stand a chance of missing your target – or even of causing offence.
For example, if a customer has never ordered alcohol, it’s a possibility that they do not drink. Again, your restaurant management technology’s loyalty functions can provide this level of detail.
- Send out your best offer. This is important, though: you may have taken someone’s email address as part of the fight against coronavirus, but under data protection rules, you MUST have permission from your customer to contact them. Why not ask them to tick a box to give this permission at the same time as you take their details?
- Your emailed offer doesn’t need to be complicated, but should be short, friendly and to the point. Address your customer, and outline the offer straight away.
Your restaurant management technology can help a lot, capturing data that can be segmented to support your own instincts and knowledge.
Watch this space for more in this NFS guide to marketing your hospitality business. We’ll help you:
- Understand your customers better
- Create targeted offers to appeal to them
- Use different channels including email, SMS and Facebook
- Use your restaurant management technology to drive successful loyalty programmes
- Create long-term strategies for customer loyalty and rewards
- Use social media to build a community of engaged customers
- Send fraud-proof voucher campaigns
We’ll even provide you with sample emails and social media posts that you can adapt to your own operation.
Next blog: Hello, friends! Sample emailers to appeal to different types of customer
* Learn how to use your restaurant management technology to build customer loyalty: