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Foodservice Insights & Ideas

Increase Loyalty & Boost Sales

Restaurants are opening up everywhere, and the industry is more competitive than ever before. With the abundance of dining options out there, how can you be sure your restaurant will come to mind first when customers plan to dine out? Here are some insights for consistently attracting—and keeping—customers.

Get acquainted
Strike up conversations with customers and get to know them by name.

Create a mailing list
Build a customer list for keeping in touch periodically. Include customer names, occupations, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers.

Celebrate special dates
Use your customer list to flag important dates. Send birthday, anniversary and holiday cards to regular customers.

Chip in
When a party is booked at your establishment, offer to help out. Assist with details such as decorations, table centerpiece, seating chart, and food selection so the host can focus on the guests.
Show recognition
Name a menu item after a long-time customer or feature a customer of the month.

Get personal
Ask the chef to greet customers at their tables and inquire about their dining experience. And for the culinary curious, arrange cooking classes and kitchen tours.

Become unique
Stand out from the crowd. Differentiate your establishment from other restaurants. Whip up a signature dish or offer an exclusive promotion.

Build a business customer base
Offer special incentives to local businesses. Provide free delivery services, discounted meal certificates and free samples of new menu items.

Start a loyalty program
Create a strong incentive for your customers to return by rewarding frequent visitors. Establish a loyalty card and offer free or discounted food for accrued points or punches.
Boost Sales with Service

Add Family Appeal to Your Restaurant

Add Family Appeal
Consumers with kids thrive on convenience, which makes dining out or ordering to-go an ideal option. Families need good financial incentives for parting with their dollars. With a few tweaks, catering to this consumer group becomes a snap. Read these insights for going beyond "kids eat free" and attracting families to your restaurant.

Expand your children menu
Not all children have the same appetites and tastes—in fact, tweens tend towards more adult-like meals while toddlers aim for easy finger foods. Add more palette-pleasing options that go beyond traditional American fare.

Set fixed prices
Package meal deals are a parent favorite. They make meal selection easy, offering an entrée, drink and dessert for a single price.

Get family-oriented
Help parents engage with their kids by offering games and crossword puzzles, or let kids indulge in fun-filled placemats and crayons, giving parents a little "me" time. Also provide additional services, such as high chairs, restroom diaper changing stations and designated family-seating areas.

Tailor your incentives
Above all, parents focus on price when choosing a restaurant. Providing value offers, such as coupons, discounts and freebies for kids, can attract price-sensitive parents.

Keep Your Menu Fresh

Don't let your menu get stale! While high-quality, tried-and-true meals are a restaurant must, diners can grow bored with the same dishes. Generate excitement about your establishment with a few tweaks and a little creativity.

Get acquainted
Strike up conversations with customers and get to know them by name.

Focus on trends
As the seasons change, so do diners’ tastes. Shift cooking gears by adding warm comfort foods in winter and cooler options in summer.

Look for patterns
No matter how delicious you find a dish, if customers aren’t ordering it, chances are they don’t like it. Take stock of what sells and replace items that sell poorly.

Add healthier options
Better food choices are in high demand by restaurant goers. This creates a huge opportunity for restaurateurs. Replace refined bakery goods with whole grains for both kids and adults.
Think grab & go
Time-crunched consumers opt for quick-prep meals. Yet convenience doesn’t have to be a substitute for quality. Add appeal by using fresh, flavorful products.

Make regular changes
Try out new dishes by offering them as daily specials. The frequent change will keep your menu exciting, plus successful dishes could eventually become regularly featured.

Use menu inserts
Feature high-profit specials and new items on these inexpensive and replaceable pages. Inserts also give servers great conversation starting points.

Do your research
Look to high-end restaurants and cooking channels for cutting-edge trends. Experiment with new flavors and forms. Use your imagination to create your own signature concepts.