Before social media existed, advertising was designed to move a customer’s purchasing decision in their direction. Money (spent towards the right medium) influenced decisions. Flash forward to 2018 – that connection doesn’t work like it used to. How a customer relates to a brand or restaurant is largely as a result of other customers experiences and reviews, media, and large social influencers who are talking about that business.
These brand conversations can are occurring anywhere from social media, online reviews, or word of mouth. The benefits behind having good conversation and chatter about your restaurant is incredible. However, if your restaurant gets caught in the line of fire of bad or negative chatter, your brand and sales will take a hit. When a negative experience occurs, one thing you can do is take a step back and look at your brand.
Your customers eat with their eyes. The visual components of your restaurant includes the comfort of the restaurant, how the food looks when it comes to the table, and how your staff presents themselves (i.e. happy delivery drivers with a good attitude or cheerful waiters/waitresses). How your restaurant appears visually to your customers is one of the most important components to a positive experience because it can easily be shared through social media, photos, press releases and more. Customers individuals experiences will undoubtedly be compared to your competitors, so it’s worth the time and money to make sure is cleaned up and ready to be on display.
You should also pay attention to what your customer hears when they interact with your restaurant. These aural components can have a lasting effect. If a customer is showing up to your restaurant for a takeout order that they placed online and you have your manager yelling at the cook in the background, odds are against you that they will be ordering takeout from you again. However, if your customers shows up, great music is playing, they have a cozy chair to sit in, and all of your staff is friendly, you have increased your chances that the customer will return and potentially refer your restaurant to others. This same experience can be applied to a customer that places an order online. Most of the time, a customer will receive a call from their delivery driver about them being at their destination, or there is a rare circumstance where the driver is confused about the delivery address.If your staff is trained to handle these situations directly and appropriately , the customer will have a positive experience that they will then share with others.
Last, but certainly not least, you need to care about the quality of your food. The moment a customer associates your food with poor quality, it is almost impossible to change their perception . If you give your customers the type of food that they’re paying for – flavorful, unique, high quality ingredients – they will return for more. No one is asking you to be a James Beard chef, but make the food being ordered worth their time and money.
To give your customers the right perception of your restaurant and your food, you need to fully integrate yourself with their culinary expectations. Every single experience and interaction they have with you needs to be positive if you want to keep their perception of you in the green. This positivity will generate the type of buzz that will benefit you and your restaurant’s growth.