Restaurant Marketing: If you think, in an air of self-righteousness, that a guest or two hasn't fired you (your restaurant) this week, no matter how great you think your restaurant is, then you're most likely living on another planet. So, if you want your restaurant to win the election in your trading area and get the most votes, here's my platform—
Please, please don’t take your guests for granted.
Expect them to have high expectations. Talk to them and listen to their comments, complaints and suggestions. Value them as a "dues-paying member" of your "temple of food." And, when something goes awry, then apologize and don't pass the buck; make a commitment to right the wrong. This is one of the best times ever to convert a disgruntled guest into a believer of your restaurant.
Now, if we could assume that, in terms of your guest, you're only as good as their last dining experience with you, then how many of your guests are firing you because of a mediocre experience that doesn’t live up to their expectations? And, more importantly, how many are firing you without even letting you know about it?
Wouldn't it then be helpful to "get to them" before they fire you and prevent that from happening? Wouldn't it then be advisable to get to as many guests as possible to enhance their dining experience and prevent them from possibly firing you? You see, (here's the million dollar statement) a guest experience isn't all about the food. Many elements go into the shaping of a guest experience.
Research shows that if a customer goes into a retail store and can't find what he/she is looking for, then that customer is unhappy at the experience and may not ever return. But, in the same scenario, if the customer goes to the store, can't find the product and a sales rep at least helps the customer to find it and then explains why it's not there, and gets it ordered, and promises to call that customer when the product arrives, then that customer will leave that store with a very positive experience, even though the product wasn't on the shelf.
Marketing your restaurant is not about promotions. It's about making your guest feel good and important. And, the best way to make a guest feel good is with genuine human interaction. It's the feeling good that builds customer frequency. And it includes an automatic by-product in that it may prevent a guest from firing your restaurant.