Attracting New Customers and Retaining Them: 8 Strategies for Restaurants

Attracting New Customers and Retaining Them: 8 Strategies for Restaurants

Restaurants are designed to be full of atmosphere, which means plenty of customers and a magic spark. However, a magic spark alone won’t be enough to bring people to your restaurants. Instead, you need to focus on creating campaigns to ignite customer relationships and keep them going long after they leave. To start with, lead generation needs to play a central part. This involves capturing the contact details of prospective guests that may have interacted with your business in some way. Then, these people can be contacted with offers and reasons to spend money. Then, once they leave, you can launch campaigns designed to bring customers back into your business.

Free Wi-Fi for Contact Information

Most people love free Wi-Fi, and it’s a brilliant way to bring customers into your restaurant. However, you need to be getting something out of the deal as well. Therefore, you should start requesting customer information in return for internet access. Then, once the customer has left, you can contact them with target offers or requests for reviews. Additionally, by requiring registration, you can attempt to convert anyone who has been to your building just to use your free Wi-Fi.

Clear Signage

People need to know who you are and where you are. They’re not going to know either if you don’t have clear and recognizable business signage. If you’ve spent time building a recognizable brand, then a clear sign is a sure way to bring people into your restaurant, regardless of the city you’re in.

Collect PoS Data

There are countless PoS (point-of-sale) solutions for restaurants. Many of them use cloud technology and come with an arsenal of features beyond simple sales. For example, a quality PoS, like the one from RMS Cloud, will have a guest database attached to it. This then allows you to collect and store customer information. If your PoS has this feature, train your front-of-house team to ask customers if they’d like to leave their contact details to receive future offers and news.

Introduce Loyalty Programs

Part of restaurant growth involves retaining customers, which involves making contact with guests once they’ve left. However, simply asking for contact details without a reason won’t get you anywhere. This is why you need to offer something in return; loyalty programs are a great idea. When a customer knows that they’ll receive unique offers and discounts just for eating at your restaurants, they’re much more likely to sign up and return.

Free Offers for Website Visits

A restaurant’s website is essential because it allows customers to access information without causing friction. Therefore, even if a potential customer is just looking at the menu or checking your opening hours, you can draw them in with an enticing offer. All you need to do is set up a subtle prompt or web banner that will lead them to a signup page. Then, you can then send the coupon to their email address.

Social Media Subscription Forms

The digital age is changing the way guests interact with restaurants, with many of them focusing heavily on the aesthetic and the food. If a customer is impressed, they’ll likely post a picture on Instagram or a video on TikTok, where they’ll include a link to your restaurant. You can make the most of this free advertising by providing a CTA (Call-to-Action) to take visitors to a signup page. Here they can receive a free offer in return. This can be setup on your website but if you want a system ready-built for this then you should check out a restaurant digital service like  See the latest popmenu customer reviews. here.

Event Text Campaign

Restaurants are in the perfect position to launch a successful lead generation campaign. This is because they can easily reach potential customers that haven’t even interacted with them. For example, if a restaurant sponsors a large event like a music festival, they can piggyback on the user database of the event organizers, where they can text people with links to offers and signup pages.

Backlinking Campaigns

A great way to draw more customers to your site is by focusing on backlinking, which means having external website point visitors - and Google - in your direction. A great way to do this is by signing up for the daily HARO (Help a Reporter Out) email, which is 100% free. This service allows journalists to ask questions to experts and then use their quotes in their articles. If you successfully pitch to a reporter from a High Authority publication, like Forbes, you’ll be put in front of a whole new audience.

Growing a restaurant is about more than simply getting bums on seats, it’s about building lasting relationships. Relationships start with lead generation and continue through future visits.

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