The food industry is rife with competition. Sixty percent of restaurants do not even make it to their second year. It’s tough business, but one of the proven ways to stay up and running is to gain loyal customers.

But how can food businesses attract repeat customers? It does not have to be guesswork. Here are 6 practical ways on how food businesses can survive and thrive in this competitive world:1

  1. Rock the customer service department. If the customer service is mediocre, a dining experience, no matter how awesome the food is, will be sub-par and disappointing. Every aspect of the service matters – from the way the customer is greeted at the door to the moment the check is paid.2
  2. Maintain stellar food quality. Food is the number one thing customers are paying for, so poor quality food will surely turn them off. To attract and keep loyal customers, regular food quality measurement is necessary. Food quality is measured by several attributes such as texture, appearance, flavor, and safety.3
  3. Stay slick. A restaurant’s looks should not suffer through time. Restaurants should stay as sleek and spotlessly clean as they were on day one. Comfort rooms, kitchen area, floors, and utensils are top priorities. No one wants their customers to flee as soon as they can due to stained plates and glasses.front view of many euro banknotes in cupped palms close up
  4. Offer irresistible rewards. Rewarding loyal customers with occasional freebies or discount cards is a sure way to keep them coming back. Creative and personal rewards are especially effective. Offering gift cards of partner retail stores to mommies or one extra slice of cake for sweet-toothed young people will go a long way. Being rewarded is always a great feeling.5
  5. Combine digital and traditional marketing strategies. It is a fascinating time to own a food business because of the ease of online advertising. Advertising on social networking sites or online forums is great, but businesses should not ditch traditional marketing. Giving out leaflets or brochures to locals or putting up posters will keep food businesses in the forefront of customers’ minds.
  6. Encourage feedback. Customers love feeling like their opinions matter, so encouraging honest feedback whether in person or on social media sites is a great way to attract loyal customers. Listen to their concerns, improve the problematic area, thank them for praises, and soon enough customers will perceive how they are valued by the management.

In this age of online review sites, it is crucial to keep customers satisfied with their overall dining experience. With these six tips, any restaurant can attract loyal customers over time. Keep them happy, pampered, and well cared for, and the efforts will surely pay off.