Spruce Things Up with Economical Decorating Ideas
An Insta-worthy space will get a restaurant more visibility and encourage others to visit the establishment. There are many low-cost ways to set the perfect mood for a restaurant photo. Fake plants and wall decals are economical and can help create a warm atmosphere. Art can also be a factor when a customer is deciding where to dine. A study out of RIT Croatia found that customer satisfaction increased when the art in the space seemed to match the dinging experience’s quality. The highest percentage of those surveyed preferred paintings, followed closely by photographs. A low-cost way to incorporate art into your restaurant’s decor could be to partner with a local art league or art school and feature paintings and photographs from the students.
The same study also found the lighting of an establishment to be a one-way driving factor in customer influence, meaning that customers did not often cite good lighting as a reason they wanted to go to an establishment. However, they did cite harsh lighting as a reason not to want to go to an establishment. Simply swapping out harsh fluorescent light bulbs for ones that emit a softer, warmer glow could give a restaurant an instant refresh.
Extend Your Space into Social Media
Businessman and founder of Intuit Scott Cook once said, “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” Even a minimal presence on Instagram and Facebook can remind a customer of all the positive associations they have with your space, or create an impression of a restaurant they haven’t tried yet. Create a hashtag for your restaurant, and periodically repost your customer’s posts about having a good time at your establishment. This can help turn your client base into more of a community. Drive engagement with small contests and giveaways.
Update the Menu
Consider your menu a selection of “greatest hits.” Are there a few menu items that no one seems to order? Consider a menu audit to tighten up your menu to cut out the deadwood. This adjustment can save your establishment money on supplies while continuing to offer only the favorites. Furthermore, space on your menu is like real estate. Since customers only spend a few minutes glancing at the menu, it’s best to offer a smaller selection of popular, appealing items.
In addition to cutting things from your menu, restaurant psychology expert Aaron Allen suggests that simply reengineering a menu can increase sales. Suppose a restaurant puts the most expensive dishes at the top of the menu. In that case, customers feel like they are getting a “deal” by choosing the more reasonably priced items below, driving up their satisfaction with the experience. Rewording a menu can also be powerful. A study out of The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly found that when used sparingly, vivid descriptions with positive connotations (for example, “scrumptious cookies like grandma used to bake”) could drive up sales and customer attitudes toward a business.
Let Them Eat Cake
Customers want to feel appreciated. Studies suggest that loyalty programs, when executed properly, have been shown to make guests feel special and also increase sales. Customers want to feel a return on the investment of visiting your establishment. Programs that give customers a free item or discount after a certain number of visits can incentivize visiting more frequently. Additionally, implementing a birthday program that offers customers a discount or freebie during their birth month could be an excellent way to establish your restaurant as a positive presence during someone’s celebratory plans.
Keep a Happy, Well-Trained Staff
A large part of the guest experience comes from their interactions with staff. Furthermore, happier, better-engaged staff often equals a more satisfied clientele. Boost morale among staff with bonding experiences and menu tastings to get them to know the restaurant better. Keep your team up-to-date on best practices with a restaurant training system that can help promote positive interactions between servers, managers, and guests. Synergy Sync is a web-based restaurant training program that is your one-stop learning management, checklist accountability, and process management system built by restaurant leaders for restaurant leaders.