It takes a lot of time and effort to build a loyal customer base. After your employees, your guests are your most valuable asset. They know you, they like you, and they tell their friends about you. Don't forget to tell your customers what you're up to.
One way to accomplish this is to implement a simple postcard program announcing something new about your foodservice operation. Send a postcard to all the customers in your database. These are people who have signed up for your mailing list, filled out your guest comment cards, or written checks to you. Almost any topic is fair game:
- Announcing new hours
- Invitations to special theme nights
- Introducing your new chef
- Debuting a new menu or a new menu item
- Moving to a new location
The postcard should simply let them know what's cooking and offer an invitation to come in and check it out.
Another great way to communicate with all your customers, not just those in your database, is to present a card with the guest check. This gives you a chance to share the details of your announcement and collect some data in the process. Ask your guests what they like best about you, how often they dine with you, what types of promotions they like, improvements they'd like to see, menu items they'd like to see, if they use your take-out service, and if they'd like to be on your mailing list for special offers and announcements.
Need an incentive for your guests to fill out the cards? How about a gift certificate? Or an invitation to a special VIP preview night? People love to be part of the buzz surrounding events like this.
Download a copy of a postcard for reference when creating your own. Use the formats in our samples for any of the occasions we mentioned above. Give it a try and keep in touch!