Let's face it. An excellent recipe for a delicious thin-crust pizza with premium mozzarella cheese and pepperoni no longer guarantees a fully packed restaurant every single evening. Chances are, most stores down the road are selling similar dishes at half price. This does not only apply to brick and mortar stores - Search for pizza in a food delivery app and you will see a page of different restaurants offering you similar items. So how do you make yourself stand out?
It is not just about following trends and attempting to come up with viral marketing campaigns. Start small - focus on building your own brand name and crafting your marketing strategies based on your target audiences. Here, we break down the types of F&B customers into 4 main categories that are often observed in the food industry to provide you with some tips on winning their hearts over:
1) Kings and queens of convenience
These customers are the ones that will always choose something that is more convenient and requires less waiting time They may even be huge fans of Mcdonald’s (even if they aren’t known for serving healthy meals) because it is everywhere.
To target them, you have to be easily accessible. According to a report by the National Restaurant Association, 61 percent of consumers expressed that takeout and delivery option is an important factor that can affect their choice of a table-service restaurant. You can either adopt an efficient reservation system that makes it easy to reduce waiting time for seats or opt for online deliveries which will send your food right to their doorstep. Best part about this group? Most of the times they are willing to pay more on delivery charges just to save the efforts spent on travelling.
2) The tempted ones
Presenting a wide array of options for your customers may not be the most beneficial for your restaurant after all. An influential psychophysicist, Howard Moskowitz, once explained the reason why it is so difficult for consumers to make decisions: “The mind knows not that the tongue wants.” When your customers are hungry and distressed, they would appreciate an easy decision-making process better.
Quantity over quality. Research done by Bournemouth University has shown that most of the menus include more dishes than what people would even choose from. Conduct a proper sampling and select a few great dishes to display on the menu before doing proper research on designing an attractive menu. Ensure your staff are well-trained and readily available so that they can introduce and recommend the various dishes that customers would enjoy.
If you have an online app or website, pay attention to building a simple and clear layout. Customers only spend an average of just 109 seconds (Gallup poll) to scan through the menus hence, we recommend that for both online and offline menu, choices should be limited to around 50 and the top 10 items should be prominently placed on the first page.
Using Google analytics, you can also identify the stages in your customer's buying process to simplify it further.
3) The requesters
Everyone has their own preferences and it is impossible to produce a universal taste that can appeal to everyone. By offering flexibility and customization in your menu, you are on your way to capturing their hearts. However, it can pose a challenge to many restaurateurs because flexibility may result in miscommunication and higher risk of staff messing up orders
Create an organised order form that is able to present the options and selections for the customers. Ensure that the step by step instructions are easy for consumers to understand and follow through.
4) $$$ Cash is king customers
Prices are the first criteria that this group of people will consider. Attracted by promotions, good deals and driven by price cuts, these customers would know all the good deals around them.
Lunch sets specials could be a way of giving a consistent discount or you can also opt for giving a seasonal discount based on occasions. If the discounts you are able to offer are lesser than most of the restaurants are providing during the peak periods, you can release the discounts during the off-peak periods to increase its significance and visibility.
It is not a “one strategy fits all” game. Being aware of what your customers are looking for and tweaking your strategies accordingly is your first step to building a relationship with them.