Good restaurants know their customers. Great restaurants understand their customers.
A crucial part of any successful restaurant is understanding what makes your customers tick. An accurate understanding of customers can become the factor that transforms a not-too-sure customer into a loyal one who can’t get enough of you and your delicious food.
There are immense benefits to understanding your customers – better service, customer loyalty, increase in User Generated Content (UGC), brand promotion, and ultimately an increase in your profits. (And all restaurants are looking for that, especially right now).
Knowing why it’s important to understand your customers is one thing, but actually understanding them is a whole other beast.
To gather useful data that translates to a better understanding of your customers, you need to be specific with the data points you choose to focus on.
As a restaurant owner, recognizing the peculiarities of each age group can help you understand your customer. Consider this trend in online deliveries – 95% of people who generally shop online are between the ages of 18-74. However, when it comes to ordering food online, the age group that orders the most food is people between ages 18-59.
You can personalize your patrons’ experiences by tailoring emails, promotions, and your online presence to appeal to their age group.
- Run promotions that appeal to various age groups
- Offer birthday promos (free cake, drink, meal, etc. on a person’s birthday)
- Create a birthday specific celebration and honor big milestones (21, 40, 50, etc.)
Location is a significant data point in the quest to understanding your customer. You want to know what city or area your customer comes from. Gathering and using the location data of your customers is certainly useful when it comes to gaining insights.
As an instance, you could easily discern when your restaurant is most active by collecting information on customer location. It could be that people in a particular area purchase more food from your restaurant because you’re more easily accessible on that side of the street. You could then adjust your business activities to accommodate more persons from that location.
The key is to be attentive. Recognize trends in location data and it’ll not only help you know who to serve but also how well to serve them.
- Encourage your most active areas to come back for more by offering specials
- Find the “low hanging fruit” and encourage customers from your second, third, fourth, and fifth performing areas to eat at your restaurant by incentivizing their dining experience
- Offer delivery to areas that are most popular and cut back on deliveries to less popular areas to save money
What They’ve Ordered
Most businesses that sell a variety of products understand that every product sells differently. Some are purchased faster than others. For restaurants who use an online ordering software, it is crucial to be able to get a good grasp of the parts of your menu that sell out fast. Knowing what gets ordered more will help you better plan your inventory and ordering and reduce food waste.
eHungry makes seeing what your customers are ordering and what’s most popular super easy.
Use this data to:
- Save on food costs
- Entice customers with emails showing their favorite menu items
- Offer specials on bestselling items
When They Order
At this point, you must already be noticing how these key data points are connecting and turning to a data ‘line’. That’s because these data points are all linked!
Collecting data on what times a customer orders food speaks more about that customer than you think. A customer that makes an order every morning within a specific time frame would very likely be happier if you took note of his pattern and used it to serve him better. Something as simple as attaching a lovely “good morning” note to the order goes a long way in boosting customer loyalty.
Domino’s is really good at this. They send an email to their customers when they are most likely to order and feature their favorite menu items to make enticing them even easier.
Use this data to:
- Encourage reorders with timely emails or ads around customers’ peak ordering times
- Scale operations according to when you’re most busy
- Entice customers with happy hours during most popular ordering times
How Often They Order
Collecting and analyzing data on how often customers order makes it very easy to be more precise in your marketing strategies. Your marketing approach to a sit-on-the-fence customer will and should most certainly be different when you approach an already loyal customer.
A customer who orders regularly will need less encouragement to order and could serve a social ambassador to help bring more customers in. Customers who might order on a rare occasion could need extra encouragement in the form of a promotional code or offer to place an order with your restaurant.
Use this data to:
- Find your biggest fans
- Identify commonalities among your biggest fans to tailor marketing to attract more like them
- Know who needs an extra push to order more
These key data points have one overarching message: the devil is in the details. Understanding your customers is all about getting personal with them. The best way to create a personal experience is to use the information that’s found in your eHungry dashboard and design a user experience around those variables.