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Increase Repeat Sales With Customer Loyalty
Prasad Vemulapalli | August 26, 2022


The hospitality industry purely runs on goodwill and reputation, and most of this rests with the quality of services it provides to its existing and new customers. Like many other retail industries that bank on repeat business for sustainability, much of the restaurant business income comes from their regular customers. Repeat sales do not happen overnight and need consistent performance and guided strategies to attract customers and referrals to the business.

What Is A Repeat Customer?

In the hotel or restaurant business, you can’t expect a customer to return to you every time, but yes, you can certainly expect them to purchase from you from time to time. Such customers could be considered loyal customers. 

Market study indicates that many restaurants report nearly 50% or more of their total revenue from existing customers. Loyal customers are likelier to talk positively about your restaurant, be it to their friends, family, or on social media, and drive sales for you. Good feedback from such loyal customers helps attract more customers to your restaurant. 
However, to reach that point, the first step is to satisfy your existing customers to return for more. 

How To Get Repeat Customers?

Are you wondering why you should target existing customers in the first place when you can reach out to a broader customer base? Research reveals that acquiring a new customer can get 5x costlier than retaining existing ones. 

So, if you are scouting for brand ambassadors who can do most of the work of getting more customers to your restaurant, it’s worth working out a strategy to retain your existing customers. With this, you will be able to increase repeat customers as well. 

If you want to register more repeat customers in your business log, here are ideas to help you build a sustainable restaurant business:

Use Customer Data to Create Offers

You aim to get people to revisit your restaurant. You will need to build a solid database by capturing customer details such as their name, contact number, email-id, etc. It can be done when they visit your restaurant via a feedback form.

If you have customers waiting to check into your eatery, especially on a day when the restaurant witnesses a high footfall, you can record customer names and phone numbers to build your database. 

If you aim to tap new customers and turn them into loyal patronages, you can use the reference data to send personalized emails to your customers to encourage them to reorder from your restaurant. You can also use discount coupon codes that are valid for a limited time. 

Additional information such as the restaurant’s innovative twist to a dish they’d ordered previously and verbally encouraging your customers to reorder it can work in your favor. These things can go a long way in attracting customers to your restaurant tables. 

Open More Options For Your Customers

Want to boost customer loyalty? Be open to providing additional services such as online ordering and home delivery. There are times when returning customers want to eat from your restaurant but cannot visit your restaurant physically. A prompt home delivery system can indicate that you are easily reachable for service. 

Online ordering, especially home delivery, garnered a lot of popularity during the pandemic and continues to offer convenience to customers. Delivering food on time or compensating customers with a refund or a discount coupon in case of a delay are little gestures that build customers’ trust. 

Technology is a boon in many ways, and if you are contemplating ideas on how to drive customer loyalty, all you need is to integrate your creativity with technology. If you’ve already made ordering food accessible to your customer’s fingertips, it may be time to move further and initiate the process of accepting orders through voice commands. This way, your customers will be able to experience the perks of seamless service and place instant orders regardless of where they are. 

How To Keep Customers Coming Back? 

Now the straightforward answer to that is to create a loyalty program?

Loyalty programs aren’t new to the industry, as several top-notch hotels have been using this to drive repeat sales. In several restaurants or cafeterias that offer a rewards program, most of their total sales come by providing customer loyalty benefits. 

Here are a few tips on creating a successful restaurant loyalty program. You can get good repeat business systems software to help create a customer database for personalized target marketing.

  • Keep the loyalty program simple
  • Use the appropriate ordering system to manage your loyalty program
  • To encourage customers to revisit, offer something extra from your repeat business systems. It could range from providing an additional 10% discount on the 4th visit or a complimentary drink on every alternate order. 
  • Apprise customers through email reminders on how they can get a discount based on their current points. 
  • Collect customer feedback from time to time on how they feel about the loyalty program and make amendments to suit their needs in alignment with your business interests. It will also give you a fair idea of what keeps customers coming back to your restaurant and what doesn’t appeal to them. 

The Role Of Social Media in Increasing Repeat Sales

You can look for customers who have either mentioned your restaurant on their social handles or responded to their respective posts. You can also reshare a few of them on your social media handles. With that, you will make your customers feel valued, and their posts can become proof of your services to attract potential customers and repeat sales. 

A strong customer support team and customer-friendly employees make a huge difference in driving repeat sales. For your restaurant business, you can train your employees to handle different situations. Your staff should ensure that the customers leave the restaurant on a happy and satisfied note, increasing the possibility of their revisiting you anytime soon. 

Lastly, you need to improve your services based on customer feedback. The more you listen to your customers, the more they will feel valued and likely revisit your restaurant.

Build A Personal Connection With Customized Services 

The human factor plays a vital role in the service industry. Eating at a restaurant for customers is not just about eating but may be tagged with myriad emotions. For instance, a customer who experiences their first date or celebrates their 10th wedding anniversary at your restaurant values your restaurant more than just the food. 

Asking for feedback can make your customers feel valued and unique. In your feedback process, you can ask your customers to rate their experience at the restaurant across a range of parameters and also note their birthdays and anniversaries to offer special greetings and send discounts on their special days. In the repeat and referral business, you need to touch your customer’s hearts with personalized marketing efforts so that they keep coming back for more. 

Why Are Repeat Customers Important?

Restaurants that experience a higher footfall of loyal customers who visit or order frequently are successful in the long run. With loyal customers, you can be assured of a steady revenue as a happy customer will popularize your restaurant without you having to invest more in your marketing efforts. 

Whether it is a quick service, family dining, fine dining, or a casual dining restaurant, with repeat business, you can smoothly promote your business through your strategy of retaining existing customers. 

Turn more customers into regulars by building a loyalty program. Use OrderEm’s free loyalty program to attract customers and encourage them to keep coming back for more!

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