Increasing customer retention in restaurants: How Yumpingo can help

7 min read
Mar 20, 2024 3:10:11 PM

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Increased customer churn can be difficult to manage and detrimental for restaurants. When you’re losing diners and not attracting new ones your churn accelerates. 

It’s important that you create lasting experiences for your customers to encourage return visits and guarantee profits. Continuously needing to attract new customers due to a lack of returning diners is extremely costly for your restaurant. Acquisition methods like marketing campaigns and promotional offers will quickly eat into your profits. So what are you doing to increase customer retention in your restaurant?

The day-to-day work in a restaurant’s marketing team is busy, which increases the difficulty of focusing on customer acquisition methods. Dealing with negative reviews is hard enough, let alone time consuming, but when done correctly it can increase the number of new and returning customers into your restaurant.

Did you know that 88% of people read reviews before choosing where to eat? When poor reviews are ignored they lead to a decreased footfall.

A reduction in footfall can then lead to costly acquisition and retention methods. This could include:

  • Marketing.
  • Loyalty programs.
  • Promotional offers. 

There isn’t just one surefire technique to reducing your customer churn. You’ll need to add a range of ingredients into your mixing bowl, such as effectively tackling negative reviews, boosting positive feedback and growing a loyalty scheme. This all contributes toward improved customer acquisition and retention and decreased customer churn. 

What issues do restaurant marketing teams face?

Struggling to get positive online reviews?

If you’re struggling to get positive reviews online, you’re not alone. Many restaurants struggle to get positive online reviews on platforms like TripAdvisor and Google. 

If you don’t have an optimized process to get reviews, this needs to change. Customer reviews are crucial for gaining new diners and driving profits. 

We understand how difficult this can be, which is why our software enables you to easily collect and analyze customer sentiment. This allows you to grow your positive reviews giving you a great way to gain new customers through showing them you always provide excellent customer service. 

Difficulty getting more people in your loyalty program?

It is tricky to grow your CRM and loyalty database, as not every customer wants to give their personal information and not all servers remember to ask for it.

A huge hurdle when collecting customer feedback is a lack of staff providing opportunities for customers to give it. Many diners will be willing to give a response, but if you don’t ask you don’t get!

For those struggling to get feedback, a stronger emphasis should be placed on the importance of asking diners for feedback at the right time. Further training or incentives could encourage staff to ensure they work it into the service they provide. 

Struggling to deal with public-facing negative reviews?

No one wants to get negative reviews, but unfortunately, this will happen. When it does you must deal with them appropriately to avoid your restaurant’s reputation being tarnished resulting in fewer customers. 

In many cases, customer feedback can be unstructured, making it even harder for the issues to be dealt with or solved. Restaurants need to find ways to be more proactive with all of their reviews, not just the negative ones.  

How can Yumpingo solve these issues?

Customer preferences tend to change rapidly based on factors like dietary trends, cultural influences and changing expectations. Adapting to these shifts can be difficult as they change quickly and often require menu adjustments, supplier changes and consistently staying up to date with trends and expectations.

However, despite it being important to cater to changing preferences and trends, restaurants need to make sure that they find the right balance between making changes and keeping consistent. You’ll also need to ensure your menu aligns with your core values and retains and attracts new customers.

How can restaurants solve menu margin issues?

Ask for customer feedback

Requesting customer feedback is a great way to understand whether the portion sizes, dish quality and prices are meeting your diner’s expectations. Understanding which dishes are performing well and which aren’t, allows you to remove underperforming dishes or adapt ingredients to help improve menu margins. 

Having access to an abundance of data allows restaurants to make informed decisions about menu pricing and adjustments to ingredients and portion control that almost guarantees positive customer experiences. 

Using feedback to align your menu with customer preferences and making price changes that meet your customers’ expectations can help you improve profits and customer experiences. This in turn can foster positive customer relationships that keep them returning.

Establish strong relationships with suppliers

Establishing strong relationships with clients can help restaurants improve their menu margins. Creating strong relationships with reliable suppliers enables you to negotiate stable pricing contracts that help you combat fluctuating ingredient prices. This makes it easier to set consistent menu prices and control overall costs better, contributing toward enhanced menu margins. 

Good supplier relationships also often lead to better quality ingredients that can enhance the overall dining experience you provide. 

At Yumpingo we can help you test new suppliers' products on your guests and rapidly understand how they affect sentiment and profitability. 

For example:

 A major UK group used two onion ring suppliers across different brands. Using direct guest feedback they found that one product had significantly higher guest happiness scores and therefore rolled it out to all restaurants. 

Within a week the scores on those dishes increased by 20%. 

Analyse competitor's menu dishes and prices

Analyzing your competitor's menu prices allows you to make price increases that strike a balance between being profitable and staying competitive. Doing your research can stop you from setting your prices significantly higher than other restaurants in your area leading to customers being deterred. 

Implement portion control measures

Implementing portion control measures and training your staff on how to be consistent with their portion sizes can help you boost your menu margins. Regularly serving the same portions means the right amount of ingredients are used, helping you avoid food waste and ensure you purchase the right quantity of ingredients.  

Training staff to provide the right portion sizes minimizes the chances of errors being made helping you avoid the quality of your dishes being compromised. This helps you control costs, boost profit margins and repeatedly provide high-quality customer service.  

How Yumpingo can solve these issues

If you’re finding it difficult to deal with poor reviews and to increase the number of people within your CRM platform there’s no need to worry as Yumpingo’s software is designed to help you better navigate this. We can help you by:

Increasing your opportunities to collect customer data and feedback

Implementing multiple ways to collect feedback and customer data increases your chances of gaining an accurate insight into the service your restaurant provides, as well as increasing your CRM and loyalty database.

We collect feedback through devices, emails, SMS and onsite collateral to give you different ways for customers to respond at a time that works best for them. For example;

  • Our devices can be handed to guests while they’re sitting at their table in your restaurant, encouraging them to give immediate feedback. 
  • Emails can be sent after their dining experience to allow them to give feedback at a time that suits them but still paints an accurate picture of their experience. 

These engagement methods, paired with staff asking diners for feedback will automatically help you gain valuable insights that drive new and returning customers and boost your CRM and loyalty database. 

Some of our clients collect more than 50% of their loyalty scheme customers through the Yumpingo feedback surveys.   

Encouraging those with negative experiences to leave reviews that go directly to your restaurant 

We understand that reviews can make or break a restaurant. That’s why our software encourages those with negative experiences to leave feedback that goes directly to your restaurant. 

This helps you prevent negative feedback from reaching the public, as well as preserve your brand reputation. It gives you a route to resolve the issues faced by your guests before they are forced to complain on an open forum.

This important feedback should also be directly shared with your operations and development teams to address the problems so that it doesn’t affect other guests in the future. 

Dealing with negative customer experiences could even encourage those with complaints to visit again, turning them into returning customers and allowing you to leave them with lasting positive experiences. It also enables you to run ‘win-back’ campaigns through your loyalty system to increase your guest retention.

Encouraging those with positive reviews to leave them on public-facing platforms

We encourage people with positive reviews to leave them on public-facing platforms to boost your reputation and encourage more people to visit your restaurant.

We do this by reviewing which customers gave positive feedback and encouraging them to leave a review on another platform like Google or TripAdvisor. Follow-up emails like ‘We’re glad you enjoyed your meal with us, would you like to add a review on TripAdvisor?’ are sent to all happy guests. 

Existing customers are your most powerful growth-generating asset. Many restaurants find they’re busy managing their unhappy guests rather than focusing on their happy ones. 

Did you know that on average 60% of your guests leave happy? These advocate customers are a free resource that marketing teams can use to optimize advertising and business growth. If you’re unsure of how to utilize your happy guests properly, Yumpingo is here to help you!

Learn more about how our enhanced outcome CRM Booster can help you.

How Yumpingo grows your satisfaction levels

Our satisfaction growth service enables you to increase guest sentiment before they review your business online. 

Improved guest satisfaction results in more positive public-facing reviews and a reduction of negative ones, and it will attract and retain more new customers, helping to boost your brand reputation and profits. 

If you’re looking to tackle poor restaurant reviews and grow your satisfaction levels, book a demo today to see how we can help you better navigate your reviews and boost your loyalty and CRM system.

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