Don't forget to write...

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!

See also:
Guest comment card
You can learn a lot just by asking

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Marketing

Older brands try new tricks in their quest to stay relevant

Reality Check: A number of mature restaurant chains are out to prove that age is just a number.

Financing

At Papa Johns, delivery shifts from its own apps to aggregators

The Bottom Line: The pizza delivery chain’s business with companies like Uber Eats and DoorDash is thriving while its own delivery is slowing. But this isn’t the beginning of the end of self-delivery, CEO Rob Lynch says.

Topics

How the shift to counter service has changed Steak n Shake's profitability

The Bottom Line: Sardar Biglari, chairman of the chain’s owner Biglari Holdings, details how the addition of kiosks and counter service has transformed restaurants.

Trending

More from our partners