In almost every town and city in the UK there are lots of restaurants, all competing for customers, many serving the same type of cuisine. Even country pubs have to offer good quality food and a high level of service nowadays (think Tom Kerridge). What can a restaurateur do to encourage customers in for the first time and keep them coming back for more?
It goes without saying that your restaurant should be clean and tidy, your waiting staff should be appropriately dressed and their clothing clean, and their personal hygiene tip-top. They also need to have the right attitude and know-how to manage people and situations, especially at busy times. Inevitably, there will be times food will be served cold when it should be hot or other mistakes, and your staff need to be trained to deal with this.
Creating the right ambience
Let’s face it, when we go out to eat, we want an experience we will enjoy. We want to feel special and cared for, or to be reminded of a holiday destination or to be transported to some far off place. The ambience of the restaurant can help achieve this, whether it’s by Eastern music being played in an Indian restaurant or Italian speaking waiters in a Trattoria. Know where you are trying to pitch yourself in the market and then build your style and ambience to suit that.
Expanding on the ambience
A fairly new and expanding marketing method, to help build the experience for your customers is scent marketing. Our sense of smell is our most ancient and deep-rooted sense, linking directly to our Limbic System, the part of the brain involved in emotions and behaviours. Scents tap directly into that, and, used correctly can help us feel happier and more relaxed.
According to the Independent, for scent marketing to work effectively, it must be linked with a positive experience – you want your customers to associate it with good things. If you are new to this, try using an experienced agency such as https://moodmedia.co.uk/scent-marketing/.
Remember, no marketing will work in your favour if you don’t get the basics right, but in many ways, that’s the easy bit for a restaurant. Get that right from day one and then you can use marketing to attract and retain your customers.