Stop and think about a few restaurants in a similar niche, say, Burger King and McDonald’s, or Chipotle and Pancheros. Now ask a room full of people which of these is their favorite, and you’ll likely start a very heated debate over favorite foods!

You might not think of McDonald’s as the type of brand to inspire loyalty, but you can find plenty of customers who swear by their fries. Similarly, Chipotle adherents will insist upon the superiority of their burrito bowls over Pancheros or Qdoba.

For the savvy restaurant owner, this begs an important question: how can I inspire that kind of loyalty in my customers? We’re here to take a look at some simple steps restaurants can take to build brand loyalty and turn guests into regulars.

  1. Encourage feedback. Don’t just ask for feedback — ask for feedback with a promise for free food if they complete a short survey. Make the process as easy and quick as possible to encourage participation. In doing so, you can learn about things that your customers would like to see changed or what can be done better at your restaurant.
  2. Use customer reward or membership programs. If you’re a bar or sell alcohol, you can sell mugs that customers can use at your location for cheaper drinks. Alternatively, you could establish a membership program that gives customers access to special events or deals. Maybe Thursdays are half-off appetizers for members, or they can get a free drink with any meal on Fridays.
  3. Use social media to build brand visibility outside of your establishment. Unfortunately, even your biggest fans can’t be at your restaurant all the time, soaking in your brand and persona. But with social media, you can broadcast your message to your fans no matter where they are. Cultivate a social media presence that’s vibrant, engaging, and focused on giving audiences value — people will notice!
  4. Show customer appreciation. One of the best and simplest things you can do for brand loyalty is to show your customers that you truly care about them. This starts with good service in-house, even when you’re busy. If you’re a manager, make it a point to make the rounds and ask customers how they like their food. Additionally, thank customers on in-person and social media, and don’t be afraid to give away free food or drinks every now and then as a token of appreciation!

PGN Agency has an extensive track record of bringing our clients returns on their marketing and advertising campaigns. If you would like to learn how PGN can come up with creative marketing solutions to drive YOUR business’s growth within Social Media, feel free to contact us directly at 248-414-6860. One of our friendly team members will help assess your needs, and put together a game plan for success!