The Restaurant Business is Tough. Here are a Few Tips to Simplify Things
From staffing to rent to suppliers, there’s a lot that restaurant owners have to worry about. But one challenge stands above the others: customer acquisition and retention.
Harvard Business Review reported that, depending on the industry, acquiring a new customer can cost 5 to 25 times more than retaining an existing one. And increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits anywhere from 5 to 95%, according to Forbes.
Traditional customer acquisition and retention strategies rely on marketing and loyalty programs. Many brands have put extensive resources into social media marketing, only to see diminishing returns and rising costs. Research shows that restaurants regularly overestimate the customer interest and overall effectiveness of loyalty programs.
Restaurants need a new strategy for reaching today’s consumers.
The on-demand economy is the next step in the evolution of retail and restaurants. To effectively acquire and retain new customers, restaurants need to embrace it.
Modern customers value convenience as much as food quality, especially during the workweek. Fifty-five percent of millennials report that convenience is a top consideration when buying food. It’s no surprise that they are driving the popularity of online ordering and delivery. If you own a restaurant, you’ve probably partnered with an online delivery company--and seen how quickly they eat your profits.
How can restaurants be part of the on-demand revolution without relying on expensive third party delivery platforms?
Integrating into a customer’s workday, when convenience is most necessary, is key.
Here are some methods of increasing convenience, reaching office workers, and getting them to love your brand:
- Go for Grab-and-Go: Many limited-service restaurants have seen success converting more store space into grab-and-go areas, so busy customers merely need to go to the store and back. This can save them at least 20 minutes of ordering, waiting, and eating time.
- Improve Take-Out: By picking up their own takeout orders, customers get the convenience of online ordering, and restaurants don’t have to pay delivery fees. Invest in improving your online ordering software, standardize operations for pick-up orders, and make sure customers can pay online so they get in and out more quickly.
- Get Inside: Leveraging tools like Byte Technology’s unattended stores allows you to bring your brand inside the office, giving you ultimate proximity to busy workers who need to eat. Because customers can pay with credit cards and get their meals instantly, convenience is paramount. Acquisition is easy because your brand--and no other--is visible all day. Restaurants can stock Byte stores with fresh breakfast and lunch fare, drinks, and snacks so customers return multiple times a day, making retention a matter of continuing to keep tasty food in stock. Plus, Byte refrigerators cost a small fraction of opening a store.
By making your brand more convenient, it will be easier for you to acquire and retain customers. However you choose to increase your restaurant’s convenience, make it more appealing to office workers. With all the demands of the modern workplace, busy employees need convenient access to fresh food.