Navigating the Restaurant Customer Journey

Aug 19, 2023

The customer journey is a way to bring in and keep customers coming back. It consists of different points of contact that make up a digital onboarding process, ensuring that new customers stay interested in your business.

The challenge of retaining customers, often referred to as the "Leaky Bucket" problem, poses a significant concern for growing restaurants such as fast casuals, coffee shops, juice bars, and other food and beverage establishments. It's a common issue that needs addressing, where customers might visit a restaurant only a couple of times before moving on.

The expense of attracting a new customer is approximately five times higher than keeping an existing one. Therefore, savvy and successful business owners focus on resolving this issue before expanding.

To tackle this, restaurant owners establish an automated onboarding system with various touchpoints. This ensures that customers actively engage with the business and become loyal, returning customers.

This article will explore the growth tools, which enable businesses to create a customer journey map, ensuring customer loyalty.

Example Welcome Email Touchpoint: (welcome email image from our restaurant)

Customer Journey Overview

While every restaurant has its unique way of connecting with customers, the general process can be broken down into a common structure. It kicks off with a promotion, usually triggered externally, sparking the customer's journey to visit your business. This could involve them dropping by your physical store for their initial purchase, placing an online or mobile order, or simply joining your loyalty program with the aim of getting to know your establishment better.

The first interaction with the customer is crucial, but the messages they receive in the following days are just as vital. These messages create a sense of continuity for their visit, ensuring they find it easy to become a repeat customer. Many individuals will read your story, engage with it, install your mobile app, and make additional purchases. For others, a little extra motivation, like a variable reward in the form of a coupon, is needed to prompt action and bring them back.

Here are the four crucial steps in the process:

  1. Promote: This involves external triggers like digital ads, signage, email, or text messages that guide customers to your restaurant.
  2. Sell: At this stage, customers interact with your online or mobile ordering system, or they may place an order using your self-ordering kiosk.
  3. Bind: This step encourages customers to download your app and join your loyalty program. Ordering ahead, making payments, and tracking loyalty points become convenient with their phones.
  4. Hook: People appreciate variable rewards, such as loyalty points or coupons. You can use these incentives to encourage them to join your loyalty program or download your app.

Promoting Your Restaurant Across Channels

In today's world, restaurants have a multitude of options for targeted online advertising. There are numerous ways to showcase your restaurant online, engaging in conversations and drawing customers to your establishment.

Here are some effective methods for promoting your restaurant:

  1. Utilize Instagram and Facebook for marketing.
  2. Adopt mobile ordering for convenience.
  3. Implement in-store signage, such as QR codes, posters, and window decals.
  4. Opt for sidewalk signs to catch the attention of passersby.
  5. Optimize your Google Business Profile.
  6. Encourage reviews on Google and Yelp.
  7. Share business cards for a personal touch.
  8. Connect with your local community through a neighborhood email list.
  9. List your restaurant on review sites for word-of-mouth recommendations.

Word-of-mouth still plays a crucial role in reaching new customers online. Platforms like Yelp and TripAdvisor are popular choices for potential diners seeking recommendations. Ensure that your information is accurate and up-to-date on all review sites and directories to make a positive impression. (we have images for QR codes, etc)

Make the most of Social Media Marketing for Restaurants. Engaging with customers through social media can be a powerful way to build lasting relationships. A successful social media strategy provides customers with a reason to follow you. Share content that is informative, helpful, interesting, or simply enjoyable.

As people search for restaurants online, ask for recommendations on social media, and make reservations through their smartphones, it's crucial to establish a strong online presence. If you own a restaurant, now is the time to enhance your visibility online.

Crafting an Unforgettable Ordering Experience

The restaurant landscape is evolving with the widespread use of technology. To stay competitive, it's crucial for a restaurant to embrace mobile apps and online ordering . Establishing an online presence can be achieved through a website, social media platforms, and other means. Online ordering systems are a prime example of enhancing this presence, leading to increased sales and the attraction of more customers. Implementing an online ordering system and a mobile app not only offers convenience to customers but also fosters loyalty to your restaurant.

It's essential to automatically enroll customers in your loyalty program because it makes them more comfortable, especially when they are guided through their initial orders with a clear reward. This approach helps your restaurant become a part of their routine.

Frequently, restaurants become a part of consumers' routines due to factors like convenience, proximity to home or office, and a known preference for the food. This underscores the significance of customer retention for restaurants, as repeat customers can significantly contribute to a business's revenue.

Engage Your Customers with Touchpoints

If you own a restaurant, it's crucial to draw customers in and keep them coming back.

Studies show that people tend to make a habit of dining at a particular spot after visiting it at least seven times. After that, they're more likely to become loyal customers and even recommend the place to others.

To make your restaurant their go-to choice, it's essential to understand their journey. By mapping out their entire experience, you can uncover their needs and enhance your business operations accordingly.

Start by identifying the points where customers first discover your restaurant and follow their journey until they bring friends or family along. Use this guide to craft a unique restaurant customer journey map for your business!

Welcome Interaction and Touchpoint

The initial email serves as the first point of contact with your restaurant. It's a chance to give your audience a taste of your identity and what your business is all about. It's also an excellent opportunity to encourage them to get your app.

This introductory email can be as straightforward or detailed as you prefer, but it's a perfect way to present yourself and your business to new customers.

Ensure that you provide essential information about your restaurant, such as your logo, description, and links for downloading the app on Android and iOS. Utilize your App Landing Page by Per Diem .

Event for Sales and Points of Contact

To enhance the customer experience, let's concentrate on how customers interact with the restaurant website and mobile app. We suggest that your restaurant sends customers an email, along with a Per Diem push notification to their phones, providing updates on their order after they've placed it for pick-up or delivery.

Moreover, make use of customer feedback in the app to understand how you can enhance your services. Reach out to them if more information is required.

Kickstart your customer journey with Per Diem.