Every restaurant focuses on bringing in new customers, yet this can get costly - quickly. The key to a steady revenue and large profits is retaining your current diners. In fact, increasing existing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
Luckily, humans are creatures of habit, which benefits your restaurant. Providing a positive guest experience is the first step in gaining returning customers.
We have a list of restaurant amenities that will transform your customers into happy regulars without breaking the bank. And don’t forget to read to the end, where we’ve included bonus features that will add a unique touch to your business.
Let’s dig in.
Outdoor seating is one of the many permanent changes the pandemic brought to the restaurant industry. Even after mandates, many restaurant goers opt to sit outdoors for the fresh air, relaxed setting, and scenic views. With added space you can:
To create an ambient outdoor space, add decorative lighting, faux grass, and comfortable furniture.
If you don’t have the liberty of an outdoor space, you can still experiment with an interior layout that works best for your floor plan. Create a variety of spaces by adding walls, fireplaces, coffee tables, booths, and more. As long as your guests are able to find their way around easily and comfortably, a variety of spaces will create a unique customer experience.
A pleasant environment may start with the ambiance, but it continues with the temperature of the space. Ensure your guests are comfortable by installing air conditioning throughout your restaurant. Don't let your guests debate whether to sit outside or inside based on comfortability. Install patio misters for outdoor diners, too and they'll be content wherever they sit.
As temperatures fall and people start to bundle up, turn on the heat inside and place space heaters throughout your outdoor seating. With both spaces set to the right temperature, you’ll have happy customers who won’t be in any rush to leave.
Keeping the air conditioning on every day for guests can get expensive quickly. With unit, installation, maintenance, and bill costs, AC may not be the right fit for your business just yet. If your indoor seating is spacious and guests can’t feel the heat from the kitchen, opt for ceiling fans to circulate the air in the room. Diners may not feel the chill of the AC, but they’ll be grateful for the air movement.
Accessibility to your restaurant is key to gaining and retaining customers. A business that has its own parking space will not only be set apart from its competition, but will also leave a lasting impression on guests. As the first touch point with your guests, offering convenient parking and access is crucial to the success of your business.
Go the extra mile when customers pull into your restaurant’s parking lot and take the burden of finding a space off their shoulder with free valet parking. First impressions go a long way, and what better time for them than before guests even step foot into your restaurant.
If you own a coffee shop, fast-casual restaurant, or diner, chances are your customers are no longer hoping for Wi-Fi, but are expecting it, too. Good news is that a guest who uses your establishment’s Wi-Fi is likely to spend more time there. In fact, 62% of businesses stated their customers stayed longer there when Wi-Fi was available. This means more refill orders and seconds of that avocado toast (yes, please).
High-speed internet not fitting into the budget? Encourage diners to disconnect by offering creative solutions that inspire interaction.Your guests will feel like a local in no time. These can include:
People rarely refuse free gifts, and offering one to your guests from time to time shows mindful and gracious hospitality. Many comped meals are a result of bad customer experiences, but some restaurants provide them regularly for birthdays and anniversaries. Want to create extra memorable experiences for your guests? Offer a complimentary beverage or meal when they’re least expecting it. There’s nothing like a surprise to uplift your week, especially if that takes the form of a free chocolate mousse dessert on a random Tuesday.
A restaurant’s operating environment is fundamental to the overall guest experience. By streamlining your tech stack, you increase operational efficiency and customer engagement. Implement tech such as:
A clean bathroom sets the standard of your restaurant and is key to the customer experience of your business. Consistently clean restrooms increase comfort and uphold customer and employee safety. Looking to wow those needing a quick bathroom break? Try including these few special touches in the stalls:
Many people love bringing their friends and family to their favorite places, and this isn’t limited to their furry friends. Go above and beyond and offer treats and water bowls to guests with canine friends. A personalized customer experience is key to nurturing guest relationships.
These large amenities are sure to impress your diners, but the most impressive aspects of your business may be in the details. Does your outdoor seating get direct sunlight for hours? Add automated sun screens to make sitting in the sun more pleasant. Once the sun sets, create ambient lighting with candles in the middle of the table. Be sure to add them indoors, too if you have low lighting.
Don’t let the menu be the last time your guests can view their food and beverage options. Print menu pairing recommendations on your coasters and keep them updated as you change your menus. Do you have a waterfront restaurant with limited parking? Offer guests to dock their boats and create easy access from the docks to the decks.
While all these amenities sound great - there’s probably one thing running through your head. Which ones can you actually afford?
Taking out a traditional loan can temporarily ease your burden, but interest rates, lengthy application processes, and rigid payment deadlines can delay your business plans. What if you could build your restaurant with the amenities you need now and pay for it later?
Get a quickly approved amortized loan so you can put cash towards the amenities your customers will love. Start with Aikito’s build-now-pay-later solution for your restaurant today.