How to Improve Customer Experience in a Restaurant

You might remember the F.E.E.E.L framework for improving customer experience. It’s fairly intuitive to say that you should Familiarize, Engage, Empower, Enchant, and Listen to customers to improve their experience.


What does it look like in practice?


Familiarize
. In the past, familiarity in the restaurant looked like remembering key points like a guest’s favorite table, drinks, or entree. Habits like these were easier in a pre-pandemic world. These days, you need a digital approach. Cookies on your website or mobile app make it easier to learn about each customer, and serve them the items, promotions, and pictures they’d like while they’re ordering from you online. 

Engage. Keep the conversation going with your customers even after they leave your restaurant. Engage them on social media by posting surveys, sneak peeks, and behind-the-scenes footage of your operations. Similar to Chipotle’s Trivia Giveaways, challenge your followers to play games through your app or website to receive freebies or rare store merch. And when customers respond, leave ratings and reviews, or comment on your posts, reply to their messages in a friendly, clever tone. 

Empower. Beyond the digital tools you use today that provide customers with options to customize their orders, think about how to enable those customers to engage your brand. Provide multiple venues for offering feedback, such as through in-app portals and email surveys. If your budget allows, self-serve kiosks for in-house ordering not only empower customers, but could alleviate some labor shortage strains. 

Enchant. In person, give your patrons an exclusive experience or item that makes them glad they chose to come to your restaurant. Have your servers paint a story about the farm-to-table. Online, post mouth-watering photos and videos of your food to your social media. Or, taking notes from In-N-Out, start rumors about a secret menu–and serve it up! 

Listen. If something goes awry with an online or in-store order, acknowledge the mishap immediately. Give your customer an estimate on when their revised dish will arrive, and offer them a complimentary menu item for their troubles. Don’t forget to listen fully if they have feedback or complaints.

The common theme through all of these tactics is personalization. Instead of grouping or segmenting customers based on factories like spend or gender, focus on wowing first-time customers and keep the ball rolling by treating each customer like the individual they are. 

This sounds out of reach with labor shortages and ever-increasing supply chain costs. But there is a way to do this efficiently and profitably.

How to Modernize Customer Experience with Personalization

Like any other industry, restaurant owners must now operate through the omnichannel to reach new customers. This means leveraging data and technology to convince customers at every stage of their customer experience journey that your restaurant has everything they want and need.

A report from the SMB Group found that 18% of small businesses and 57% of mid-size businesses are investing in big data to bring in more patrons–with restaurants investing more heavily than brands in any other industry. 

But in reality, most small and mid-size restaurants don’t have the cash flow to continuously purchase consumer data.

Fortunately, small and mid-size restaurants don’t have to overspend on big data. 

Small and mid-size restaurateurs can bring in new customers with a personalized experience using data they already have.

Upside empowers restaurants to personalize customer experience using the anonymized credit card data restaurants already have. Paid that with our mobile app that knows when customers are on the move, and together we’re able to direct all potential customers to your business with profitable cash-back promotions. 

Not only do Upside’s personalized, margin-bound promotions persuade hungry customers to choose you, but the GetUpide platform takes care of every part of F.E.E.E.L. And it’s guaranteed to be profitable. 

Our customer-centric platform is:

  • Familiar with your patron’s habits and preferences.
  • Aware of nearby customers when they’re looking for a place to dine. Our app alerts and engages them right on their phones when they’re in your area. 
  • Supportive of mobile and value-oriented diners. Our app empowers users with prices that make them better off, and that are guaranteed to be profitable for your business. 
  • Delightful. Upside promotions enchant nearby patrons with the cashback offers they need in order to choose your restaurant time and time again. 
  • Data-driven. Upside knows that your customers’ habits are always evolving and listens to what they need to behave differently. Our always-on platform continuously analyzes their purchases across their whole wallet, and incentivizes them to choose you. 

Instead of investing in “big data” to learn more about customers, there are platforms like Upside that offer all-in-one, integration-free solutions. But none other that also guarantees profit for your business.


How To Tell if Your Customer Experience Strategy is Working

Your customer experience strategy is working if you pay back your customer acquisition costs and earn a profit. That means you’re earning more than you’re spending to get more customers through your doors, more often. 

With Upside, you get just that: it is the most cost-effective way restaurateurs can acquire new customers. Our back-end tech serves your customers with the minimum possible, margin-bound offer that motivates each of them to change their buying behavior and come into your storefront.

It’s a win-win: diners get the highest-value cash-back promotions on the market, expose them to your customer experience strategy, and you, the restaurant owner, make a profit.

If you’re interested in more examples from restaurants with the most loyal customers, stay tuned for our upcoming article.

In the meantime, learn more about how Upside can help: