How To Secure Regulars 

In an industry that's identity is so deeply rooted in hospitality, restaurants must now scale their "personal touch" for a much vaster customer base, and that is certainly a tall order. Or is it?

THE HISTORY

Back in the day - that period of time where email didn't exist (gasp) - a successful General Manager of a restaurant could be found calling guests individually to check in on how their last visit was. If they saw a recent diner around town, they would strike up a conversation and ask "why haven't we seen you at our table lately?"

Today, business growth is imperative and a personal touch is becoming harder and harder to find. An individual phone call has been replaced with bombardments of impersonal emails. A casual conversation on the street has turned into social media advertising.

In an industry that's identity is so deeply rooted in hospitality, restaurants must now scale their "personal touch" for a much vaster customer base, and that is certainly a tall order. Or is it?

THE IMPORTANCE OF REGULARS

Venga intel tells us that 77% of diners visit a restaurant only once. And while this is a staggeringly high statistic, Venga intel also reveals that the top 4% of guests generate 12% of a restaurant’s total revenue. This data quantifies an age old restaurant rule: your best customers are your regulars. 

PREDICTING FUTURE REGULARS

Venga has been tracking dining trends and found that restaurants have a window of opportunity to engage their guests.

The numbers don’t lie- future regulars make their second visit within 6 months of their first visit, and your restaurant wants regulars. This statistic shows us that restaurants who successfully gain regulars are not just making a fantastic first impression, they are following through.

Your restaurant does not have to be a one-hit-wonder. Venga analytics have been able to predict who will be a loyal guest after only their second visit by analyzing trends showing that loyal guests return for their second visit sooner than other guests. To make this analysis actionable, Venga has pinpointed that future regulars make their second visit within 6 months of their first visit.
Venga analytics can also predict which loyal guests a group is at risk of losing. Trends showing a slowdown in visit frequency is the giveaway. More specifically, loyal guests who don’t dine within 4 months are likely to never return.

UTILIZING SEGMENTATION

Today's most-used marketing approaches lack the personal touch every restaurant hopes to convey and don't consider Venga's data-backed prediction of regulars.
But not all contacts on an email list are the same, and treating them with the same approach is a missed opportunity for restaurant marketers. Segmenting your contact list facilitates a more targeted approach, thus increasing the impact.
In this case, the target would be "Guests who have dined only once", given our knowledge that future regulars make their second visit within 6 months of their first visit. 

TAKEAWAYS

It is important for restaurants to cater to guests, and it is equally important for restaurants to secure regulars. When your guests leave after their meal, the clock has started. In six short months, you want that same guest walking through your doors again to cement them as a regular diner. So don’t leave things to chance. Engage with your diners, remind them of their amazing meal, take action on their reviews, and always be sure to let them know, you miss having them at your table!