Keeping Customers Loyal to Your Bar or Restaurant

Getting customers through the door of your bar or restaurant is one thing; keeping them there is another, and getting them to come for a second visit is something else again.
Customer loyalty is the life blood of many businesses, so here are a few tips on how you can make yours love you even more.

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Happy Hours
Customers at a bar love happy hours. Everyone loves a bargain, and if you have special offers such as two-for-one drinks or special deals on cocktails at certain hours, you can practically guarantee word will get round and customers will arrive.
Placing free nibbles on the bar is also a good way of tempting people to linger, and if you include bite-sized offerings of tid-bits from regular meals, you may get some extra takers of full bar meals or snacks.
Keep the bar an attractive place to be with drinks colourfully displayed in commercial bottle coolers such as those from Fridge Freezer Direct. Being able to see different types of drinks is also a temptation to try just one more.
Play Music and Create Atmosphere
Music of any kind sets a tone and atmosphere, and if people feel welcome and relaxed, they’ll be more inclined to stay put than go wandering in search of another venue. And speaking of atmosphere, don’t forget lighting. Too bright and people will feel uncomfortable, but too dim and it might promote insecurity. It depends on the surroundings, what’s happening and what kind of mood you want to promote, but lighting is a powerful trigger to emotion.
Know Your Customers
Do you greet your bar or restaurant customers by name? Do you know their favourite drinks and which meals they prefer. Or how about what they do for a living and how many kids they’ve got? If you get to know your regular customers, they’ll feel as though they’re getting special treatment just because you give them a personal greeting. And if they know they’re going to get good service, you’ll be at the front of their minds whenever they’re thinking of somewhere to go, either on their own or with friends.
Offer Discounts
Run a VIP programme and give customers vouchers for money off their next meal. Encourage them to bring friends by putting a cover limit on the offer if you prefer, but this is another way of making people feel special. If you don’t advertise the offer anywhere, it’s unlikely to become common knowledge, especially if it’s a random promotion that you only run once a month or so for a limited number of customers.
Help to Fundraise
Why not join with local charities and offer to host a fundraising evening? Get to know what’s going on in your area and approach charities that are having a fundraising drive to see if they’d like your help. Most will say yes, and you may even get some good publicity if the event is covered by the local press.