Today’s customers demand tailored and personalized dining experiences. They need to feel special to come back to your restaurant. Therefore, adding a personal touch to their journey in your restaurant could shape their decisions and attitudes toward your restaurant.
In an exclusive interview with WIRED, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said that for restaurateurs to transition from mass marketing to mass personalization, they have really got to unlock the data within the ecosystem in a way that’s useful to a customer. Accordingly, McDonald’s announced significant news with its $ 300 million acquisition of Dynamic Yield, a startup centralized on building data and algorithms upon personal preferences in order to drive purchasing decisions. This step clearly indicates a transformation towards exploiting customer interests and predictive analytics to generate more revenue.
What is personalization?
It is the art of making your service as relevant and personal as possible at every touch-point with your customers. It is about delivering a message or a story to your customers, showing them that you care about their interests.
The reasons why restaurants should make use of personalization:
- Encouraging more traffic with automatic rewards based on customers’ likes
- Sending customized marketing campaigns to increase revenue
- Adjusting their menus or offers
- Offering an extraordinary customer experience that meets customers’ needs, both in the restaurant and off-premises
- Applying changes in business’ operations by training employees more efficiently and more easily
Tips to personalize the customer experience in your restaurant:
Personalize your menu and dishes’ choices:
Next-generation customers are always looking for interesting stories. Offering exotic dishes, which are based on an appetizing story, can give your service flavor and value. For the Millennials, eating out is a mix of experiencing new food, taste, and culture. They like to know about the food they eat and its origin.
Consider using personalized links on your restaurant website, which provides a very important way to reach your targeted customers. These links match the concept of personalization, talk to your customers and tell them what to expect when they click the link.
You shall also have a more flexible menu, allowing customers to choose their own dish, or designing their meals.
Personalize your restaurant’s ambience:
When people choose to dine out in a specific restaurant, they are not only looking for high-quality food, but they also expect a welcoming and friendly ambience.
Engaging your customers in your business requires you to be creative about the ideas you apply to stand out in the competition with other restaurants. You can make use of the following ideas:
- Offering a musical night.
- Inviting your customers to leave their notes on a particular graffiti wall.
- Designing your restaurant according to the cultural identity of your city.
- Having a comfortable seating arrangement.
Personalize promotion and marketing campaigns:
You can use social media platforms to gain access to information. Reviewing your guests’ profiles can tell you a lot about your customers. However, for more usable personal information, try offering discounts or organizing social media contests in exchange for submitting an email address. Since email is a great tool for communicating with your customers. In fact, the visit behavior and frequency in your restaurant give you a significant insight into the types of messages you should send to please your customers.
For example, the messages you send to your loyal customers shall differ from the messages you send to new guests. Not mention that young patrons shall receive different emails from those you send to the older.
Sort out your customers and use this information to send personalized emails with different deals, new special offers, and upcoming events you will host. There is no better way than email marketing to return customers to your restaurant.
Consider providing discounts or rewards for every time they check-in to your restaurant on social media, or use it in their hashtags.
You may also make use of birthday celebrations by offering discounts, resulting in satisfying your customers and make them feel special and attracting new customers who may attend the party.
Receipts are powerful tools to improve customer retention rates, staff training, and overall guest experience in your restaurant.
Research has shown that personalizing receipts, such as drawing “smiley faces” and writing “thank you” notes on customer bills to express gratitude, can result in larger tips for the restaurant wait staff. However, you shall maintain a high-quality service that exceeds customer expectations.
A Customer Relation Management System (CRM) is all you need to get. This system will help you to be more connected with customers, streamline your processes, and improve your profitability. CRM is your tool to manage your restaurant’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers, opening new marketing and communication channels that improve retention and repeat business.