Despite what you hear, customers like to get personal. It may seem like a bizarre concept, mainly due to the fact that hospitality venues give customers an experience, a dish of pleasure or an ambience that fits the right mood- separate from any personal kind of interference. However, thanks to a special platform called ‘social media’, flocks of prying eyes would like to know what goes on behind the scenes and what the true identity of their favourite restaurant really is. As news is shared across the internet, images begin flashing, swiping and streaming, viewers want to dig deeper into the background of each establishment, which appears to contribute to their interest of trying the place out!

 Online and Offline Communication

 Working within management or being the owner of the venue means that you have a duty to connect with your current and future customers. This may come in the form of online or offline communication, meaning that you can communicate in real-time online, offline posts or face to face. Of course, for future customers you need to outline your current vision and overall business identity through images and content on your social pages- giving viewers the information they need to spark interest and give your venue a try. By posting visuals of the venue itself through a design perspective, or handing it over to the chef to display their culinary creations for the day will no doubt bring forward a certain group of onlookers.

For some real-time communication, it’s always nice to step into the venue and let your customers know what you’re truly about. Hand out flyers to upcoming events, talk to them about how their night/day is going- all to ensure that they see you as a part of the venue. You must represent and make your customers feel as though they are important, because they are- if they continue to return, they will be doing you a favour by enhancing the experience of the industry. These factors are now becoming more important day by day, as customers prefer to engage and understand the product they are being served rather than merely sitting within a space. Customers have a higher sense of self worth, even if they have no connection to you as an owner- now the experience is being felt both ways, as more customers are beginning to feed off servers and in-house with interest and curiosity.

Integrate an Email Campaign

When speaking of feedback, there is a wide range of methods to obtain it- however online techniques are more successful. You could hand out flyers and get your customers to rate their stay by ticking a few boxes, or more so, remind them daily to write a review on a widely read review site. This type of thing gets forgotten very easily, I mean it’s hard to exit a restaurant thinking that you must write them a review as soon as you get home, even if you did enjoy it. Of course anger fuels review writers more so, who want a reaction and know what kind of method will trigger it.

But despite this, creating an email campaign will do wonders for your regular and future customers. By asking for emails on exit, or obtaining their email through research if their names have been entered for upcoming events, should all be stored in your venue’s database. Once obtained, you will be able to send automatic emails when menu updates come through, an event pops up or even if you just feel like sending a random ‘thankyou’ and appreciation post, it will all help in the long run. This kind of campaign will reassure customer contribution and interest towards future products whenever they become available.

When speaking of communicating with customers, it can be a little daunting, as personal interaction can possibly hinder or accentuate the overall attitude towards your business. But, there’s no need to think like that, if your taking the right steps in appreciating your customers by giving them a glimpse into the background of your business or merely sending them updates to keep them in the loop- there will be no bad blood!