If you’ve never been to FSTEC, it’s a trade show that happens every year in the Dallas area, just after Labor Day, hosted by Winsight. As the name would aptly lead you to believe, it’s about where Food Service and Tech meet.
To quote Jeff Caplan, Chief Information Officer, Hooter’s of America, an on stage speaker from the show, “The restaurant is a technology driven business and its a great time to be in the restaurant business."
Heck yeah Jeff, I agree!
The sophistication of the level of conversations that happen at this event are worthy of note taking. After attending many panels and presentations and asking lots of questions, here are 3 of the top guest retention tactics I took away from the show.
NEW MENU ITEMS
Getting guests to come back is the key to same store growth. New guests cost dollars and returning guests cost pennies.
New menu items and limited time offers require team worth with operations and culinary, but they result in higher LTV, frequency and marketing engagement.
New menu items give your biggest fans a new way to experience your brand.
One of the two best times to give a current guest an offer is when it gets them to do something they haven’t done before. Guests who change fulfillment methods, day parts or menus have higher LTV.
Here are some good habit switching actions to target:
- Ordering from a different day. (Ex: guest has only ever ordered lunch, get them to order dinner)
- Using a different fulfillment method. (Ex: guest has only ever ordered online, get them to dine in.)
- Increased average order value. (Ex: AOV is $27, get them to spend $35)
LATE NOT LAPSED
One of the two best times to give a current guest an offer is when they are late. Many restaurant brands send “we miss you” offers after a guest has already totally forgotten about them.
This is a result of using an average lapse calculation of all guests. That could look something like taking every single guest in your database and running a calculation of when is it most typical for guests to churn. It gives you a number of days after a visit at which its likely they aren't coming back. For a coffee or QSR brand, that might be 30-45 days and for a fine dining or celebration brand, that might look more like 6 months.
Either way, it leaves our most valuable guest behind.
Every restaurant brand, regardless of service model, has guests who dine frequently and guests are who are very infrequent. Averaging the former with the latter puts your most valuable guests at risk.
The key is to calculate a drop in frequency of each guest individual and when it happens, send an offer.
Example 1: Bellatrix comes weekly. 4 weeks go by and Bellatrix has not visited. Time for an offer.
Example 2: Voldemort comes every 3 months. 6 months have gone by and John has not visited. Time for an offer.
If you waited 9 weeks (the average of the 2) to send Bellatrix an offer, she might already be imprisoned in Azkaban.
Configure your CRM / CDP to recognize a drop in frequency and set up an automation to send an offer.
**PRO-TIP** Use a points multiplier rather than a discount if the guest happens to be in your loyalty program. If the guest is not in your loyalty program, offer them a robust sign up offer to be in your loyalty program.
Have you tried any of these? What were the results? Would appreciate your feedback and ideas! Please share with me!
Need help getting these set up or have questions?
Send me an email: email@example.com
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WHAT DOES REV DO?
*I help restaurants to build guest marketing programs.
*I help hospitality tech companies with lead generation and content marketing.