Restaurants have always catered to the needs of the individual. Favourite dishes, preferred seats, chosen conversation topics — all the little things a good restaurateur takes care of.
Customers still expect restaurants to treat them as good friends, placing their needs above all else. Here are some suggestions for your restaurant to boost personalisation in customer experience in 2021.
Figure 1. Chainaya Loshka Restaurant by Paul Arps via Flickr
Summary — What’s Inside:
There are many personalised experience examples for restaurants to follow, but first let’s take a look at what customers want.
Unsurprisingly, customers crave a more personal touch. Accenture, a data consultant, has found that 83 per cent of a focus group’s consumers are willing to share their data to create a more personalised experience.
Customers are entering your restaurant’s doors with an ideal conception of your services in mind. If the majority of customers seek a more personalised experience, then they’re thinking of their version of the ideal restaurant, where the manager knows them by name — even knows their favourite dishes and preferences as soon as they enter the door.
There is a compelling argument for fostering these sorts of relationships. Ashish Tulsian, a tech entrepreneur, has argued that restaurants can already make a head start. To begin with, he recommends using multiple feedback channels on the web — stuff like review sites, social media, data analytics.
“Such intelligence,” he says, “can help [restaurants] understand more about their customers [to] improve service that will eventually keep guests delighted”.
Such efforts will help keep your restaurant’s efficiency on track. The key here is to create a shared understanding with guests that you can improve on in person — and getting to know them with the help of free technology will allow you to serve up to their pre-expectations with little trouble, making service quicker, more efficient, and enjoyable.
Personalisation is something that can’t be faked. Once people put a face to your restaurant and decide what it does for them, they will begin to establish a one-to-one relationship with you, one that is unique.
Among personalised customer experience examples, this one has a direct link with fostering customer loyalty. It’s a two-way street — one holds up the other.
The first step is to initiate conversations with customers outside of restaurant doors. This technique is important because it taps into a basic human need: to be social. Nothing can beat the power of an engaging host — this will never fail to make customers feel welcome.
In one sense, getting to know everyone intimately is practically possible, but could be too much to bear for a single host to manage on their own. A popular restaurant will struggle to get friendly with, say, over 500 guests in a single week.
So the alternative is to reach out via other means. Create a marketing campaign that refers to customers by their first names, and use it to inspire social interactions such as a family get-together.
For instance, a reward (“free dessert when you bring a friend to dinner”) will get customers talking about your restaurant. This is known as referral traffic — a great way to promote personalisation in customer experience without really having to do much.
A free app’s two-way communication features also let you stay in touch with customers, all from the palm of your hand. Texting customers is personal and immediate, allowing you to initiate conversations and get customers to come back to dine with you wherever you are, whether that be the back office or restaurant floor.
Figure 2. Ouishare Summit 2012 by Ouishare via Flickr
We live in an era of restaurant analysis and data metrics that aim to improve your business. It’s true: restaurant analytics help businesses improve their services.
The most important factor to remember is that behind every data entry — every number, every figure, every analysis report — is a real person who is seeking quality customer experience.
As such, how can a restaurant use analytics sensibly? The challenge is a worthwhile one. Restaurants need to work with their data and put it to good use.
For instance, restaurants can incorporate existing methods with restaurant analytics. Loyalty programmes spring to mind. They’re not just about boosting customer engagement — matter of fact, loyalty programmes also present an opportunity to observe an individual’s buying habits (favourite dishes, etc.). Next time you check your customer list, think creatively.
Otherwise, using restaurant analytics is simply a matter of finding the gaps. Amber Mullaney is a staff writer at Forbes and has observed the ways in which restaurants can create the ultimate dining experience. When collecting customer data, she has said restaurants need to focus on what’s not there — the empty spaces.
“Utilise the data you do not have,” she says, “to strategically gather the data points you’d like to have”. In other words, focus on asking customers to update their information in an email; for instance, you can send an incentive for them to update a user profile, making it easier for you to cater to their needs.
So put data to good use. Consistently reward customers, personalising your service in a data-driven way that goes beyond discounts.
Figure 3. Bar Chart by Free Images via Flickr
By this point one of the easiest ways to customise the customer experience is to use a mobile app — an app that provides effortless access to customer information, to provide the ideal experience.
A free app comes with various features, like unique push notifications. These can vary according to every person. You may start a notification with a familiar greeting, establishing a rapport with customers.
Also, you can collect data via the app. Encourage users to fill out “About Me” sections that list their dining out preferences — including birthdays, transaction histories, top-five menu items, and frequency of visits.
Users can then update their profiles, allowing your restaurant to evolve with a customer’s shifting needs. To create a more individual experience, you can now keep up-to-date with the changes customers now identify with. A free app helps keep your restaurant contemporary — and involves no risks, completely free of charge.
Carbonara App specialises in helping your restaurant improve customer relations, promoting personalisation in customer service. Our free app can help you with other pressing matters — such as knowing how to keep tables full or how long to wait for a reservation no show.