Providing a good meal, optimal attention, in a welcoming place, benefiting from a good brand image and active digital channels , is only the beginning of the recipe for success in today’s restaurant industry. To set yourself apart from the competition, it’s important to take restaurant marketing to the next step: Personalization.
This consists of adapting the restaurant’s offer to the concrete needs of your potential customers , and allowing them to participate in the creation of products and services, in order to give them exactly what they are looking for and to retain them.
This strategy is based on a scientific bass: When, for example, we hear our name, certain areas of our brain are activated to make us more attentive and more willing to form relationships. The same thing happens when we are treated in a personalized way: we feel special and recognized, which affects our purchasing decisions.
The current challenge in restaurant marketing is to apply the customary personalization of manipulation to retain the greatest number of customers. Give it a try! With your team, you can start testing this strategy by addressing your potential customers by name and in a personalized way. You will see the difference!
How to apply personalization to your restaurant marketing
The key to providing personalized service is knowing your customers. Initially, you will need to make sure that you have well defined the profile of your potential client, in order to know how to satisfy them.
After this first step, there are several ways to apply the personalization.
The meal is one of the most customizable elements of the restaurant. In this sense, you can make a list of your most popular recipes and offer several ingredient options to your potential customers for them to dress up.
More and more hamburger restaurants offer their customers, for example, choosing the type of bread, meat and complementary ingredients to create the perfect burger. On the other hand, we are seeing an increase in the number of shops with a healthy philosophy , in which personalization is the norm, because customers need to have maximum control over the quality of what they eat . Combining these two trends, the Big Ferdinand restaurant in Paris has adopted the following slogan: L’atelier du hamburger.
The hamburger is his favorite dish. He uses artisanal and local products, offers gluten-free formulas, vegetarian specialties, and of course, his customers can create their own burgers. It is the perfect example of current personalization.
Besides hamburger restaurants, we believe that personalization can be applied to any gastronomic offer. There are restaurants that offer a wide choice of products allowing their customers to compose their salads according to their tastes or to choose the topping of their dessert among 3 options (chocolate, caramel, red fruits), for example. Asian restaurants also offer their customers several ingredients to create their rolls.
To best adapt to the tastes of your customers, you can consult them through social networks, which will allow you to better know their favorite products and to develop your strategies for personalizing dishes. This step helps to avoid making mistakes in the preparation of dishes that would not work later.
The decoration is another customizable element. This strategy was applied by the restaurant Les Frères Toqués in Nantes, where they invited their customers to send postcards from their trips to use them in the renovation of the toilets. The winners received free drinks on their next visit and, of course, had the satisfaction of seeing something of their own in the restaurant. It is definitely a restaurant marketing effect, but it is proving to be very effective.
Personalized attention on social networks
It is important to respond to customer comments in a personalized manner and in a close tone. The ideal is to be able to carry out a small survey before answering the comments and the doubts of the customers who have already visited you. Hard work? probably, but the results will not be long in coming.
The key to success is consistency and the application of personalization across all digital channels.
If you receive emails or private messages, personalization is even more direct and easy thanks to a private environment. You will be able to strike up a conversation in a more natural and close way with them.
You can also personalize your newsletters. You can segment groups of customers with similar preferences, to send them tailor-made content. For example, a promotion on your latest salads for customers looking for healthy cuisine, or gluten-free dishes for your customers with gluten allergies , or even invitations for your next live concert , to your young customers, using language adapted.
The database is an indispensable tool for personalization. A true bible of the restaurant, it contains the information of all the customers who are seated at your tables. The database is one of the most precious treasures. It can be used, in the context of personalization, for:
- Record all customer information. With this information, not only will you be able to call your customers by name, but you will also be able to know their preferences, to give them exactly what they want.
- Better welcome groups. Large group meals are a good selling opportunity for restaurants, but they are easily stressful for these customers because they require more organization. By using the information from these groups’ fact sheets, you can make their evenings simpler and more comfortable, offering them the foods they ask for every time and calling them by name, of course!
- Offer tailor-made promotions. By analyzing the common tastes of all customer records, you can identify patterns of consumption and offer them personalized promotions. If most of your customers like the craft beer on the menu, you are sure to get good results by offering them a promotion that includes that product, because they will feel it is aimed at them directly.
At TheFork, we use restaurant management software with a database that allows you to perform all of the actions presented above. Click here to install TheFork Manager in your restaurant , if you don’t have it yet.
In summary, remember that it’s just about putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. Wouldn’t it be tempting to receive an email from a restaurant promoting your favorite dish? Yes of course !