Who Are My Customers?

Title: Who Are My Customers?

Who are these people? Where did they come from?  Why are they here?

Years ago, you did not have that problem you almost knew every customer who came into your restaurant.  They were mostly people that lived 5-15 minutes away from you.  You knew them by their first name and their children names.  knew what their occupations and you could also plan on seeing them for special occasions.

For the most part that was the restaurant business in the 60’s 70’ and part of the eighties.

  Then it changed, it was a slow change but steady.  Underneath, a foundation was being built and that was the internet.  Then it raised its head.  Cell Phones were the first breakthrough.  This little handheld “Flip open phone” seemed to change overnight. As a restaurant person, you could see the changes and could not understand how this technology will help you.

Today, the restaurant business has been inundated with new technology as well as a breakthrough in marketing and that is social media.

So, you ask your question today.  The first response you get is “Demographics”

What is demographics – “demographics plural: the statistical characteristics of human populations (such as age or income) used especially to identify markets” Merriam-Webster

What are demographic factors. “. Socioeconomic characteristics of a population expressed statistically, such as age, sex, education level, income level, marital status, occupation, religion, birth rate, death rate, an average size of a family, the average age at marriage.

BD BusinessDictionary

Okay, we have gotten this far. Now you going to hear the word “Target Market”.

You will be told that “Identifying and understanding your target audience is incredibly important”.  You will be asked questions:

What problem does my company’s product or service solve?

Who are my current customers?

Who is my competition?

Why would customers choose us over our competitors?

What features do we offer that no one else does?

What do we do better than anyone else?

You will be asked to dig deeper.

Beyond the questions above, you can do additional research to learn more about your target audience.  Search for competitors via Google, use Google Analytics, or use social media to learn more about who you are trying to reach.

All right we have done our homework.  Let’s go to work and our work is our current customers

The survey noted that the trend is moving in the right direction, with repeat customers making up 71 percent of sales at quick-service restaurants, 68 percent of sales at fast-casual operations, 64 percent at casual-dining establishments, 63 percent at family-dining eateries and 51 percent at fine-dining restaurants.

“Restaurant operators today are much savvier about attracting repeat customers and maintaining their loyalty,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA’s Research & Knowledge Group. “They are utilizing new technologies and tactics to engage, retain and enlarge a loyal customer base.”

Restaurant.org/News-Research

What is the answer to all of this?  The answer is “Do it yourself”

Quit depending on those expensive marketing companies

All it is going to take are two maps. a local map covering the cities around and a state map and colored stick pins.  Make a game out of this.

First, and the most important thing is to have the tools to find out where your customers are coming from and where they work or live.

I know there is expensive technology out there that will give you this information and this way may seem old fashion, however it will get you results.

Below are the steps:

  1.  The fishbowl – Do not get confused with “Fishbowl marketing” You will be using an actual fishbowl.
  2.  Procedure
  3.  Type in a 3×5 message “to enter our weekly drawing for a free lunch please leave your information or business card”.  Have a pad with information for them to fill out.  Do not request a lot of superfluous information. Name. e-mail. Telephone number if you want to be notified by text about or special for the day or special offers
  4. Use a separate bowl for Breakfast Lunch and Dinner.
  5. Follow through and have a winner each week.
  6. Ask them if they would be interested in a loyalty card.

When you see business cards from a local company.  Research that company, number of employee’s number of shifts etc.

This will allow you to market for drop-offs and send them a “to go” menu and the procedure to call in or go to your website to order.

You can do this or hire an expensive marketing company. There is technology that will install loyalty devices to capture this information.  Your call

Kenny Arone is a partner in Cost Genie Menu Costing Software and is also a Restaurant Consultant with twenty years’ experience.  Visit our site to read more of our blogs https://costgenie.com/blog/

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