Being a formidable restaurant requires you to be crafty and stand out amid an industry that can be incredibly cutthroat at times. You have to be able to promote your business in a way that not only grows your outreach but builds strong brand loyalty.
It’s hard to meet the demands of every customer. There are too many contrasting needs and ideologies that make it challenging to cater your services to all of them. By establishing customer segments, your restaurant defines consumer bases through various characteristics. These include income, lifestyle characteristics, and age groups. By catering to specific customer segments, you’re providing them with services they’re most likely to buy. It’s both a strategy and art to cater to these segments successfully.
Establish What Your Segments Need
One of the most prominent markers for success for a restaurant is understanding how to address the needs of their customer segments with greater efficacy than their competitors. Finding out the extent of these needs requires a fair bit of market research. This kind of research includes various analytical tools and measures to strengthen restaurant outreach. That includes qualitative research, which covers things like archival research, focus groups, and interviews. This kind of research allows restaurants to collect demographic information including, but not limited to:
An alternative research method you can use is quantitative research. That involves the use of surveys featuring close-ended questions to get an idea of customer habits. You can also introduce polls, particularly on social media, to ask questions about everything from food options to the preferred times they choose to dine.
It’s best to use both methods, if you can, as they go well in tandem to help restaurants understand needs and model their services accordingly. You’ll learn about spending habits, the frequency of visits from customers in the segment, and lots more.
Customer Service Optimization
Making every interaction within your customer segment a positive one is another must when trying to cater your services to them. Observe how well employees are interacting with their customers and ensure the standard is high. Your employees will know what to expect when you’re providing additional training and reinforcement, improving their listening skills and approach to making every interaction encouraging and meaningful.
You should also be monitoring the negative interactions or those customers that haven’t been impressed with your services. That, in itself, is a target market. If a customer had a bad dining experience or was unimpressed with the timeliness of service, having customer service specialists who can offer options to make up for those bad experiences helps. They can provide a free item or discounts as ways to cater to unsatisfied customers.
Another crucial element of catering to specific customer segments is ensuring that your distribution method is easily accessible for consumers looking to partake in your products.
Make it easy for customers to reach you by offering your service in convenient locations, so it’s easy for them to go to and from your restaurant — this is especially important if one of the main aspects of your customer segmentation strategy is geography. Having restaurant chains in place effectively saturates local markets, making it easy for people in the regions or communities you’re targeting to find you.
Furthermore, having reliable online will appease your customers as it makes it easier for them to order from home if they can’t make it to your restaurant in person.
Constantly Ask How You Can Get Better
Even if your restaurant is putting many smiles on peoples’ faces, never allow complacency to set in. There’s always something you can improve on as your restaurant continues to grow and build greater trust with its customers.
Here is where those previously mentioned surveys come in handy as you can ask customers about different aspects of your restaurant. Ask them what they think your best qualities are. Find out the things that customers believe could use some fine-tuning. Get their feedback on restaurant promotions and figure out if you need to be offering more (or how to present those same promotions differently). And, don’t just ask when they’re in the restaurant either. Maintain contact with your customers on these issues using as many channels as possible, so you’re best prepared before their next visit.
TipHaus can help you with all your tip allocation needs and help you make it easier to cater to your hardworking employees. We’d love to hear from you today and help you establish a tip strategy that works for you!