Marketing, meet engagement: 5 simple ways to boost business

napkin dispenser foodservice restaurant marketing

From Tork, an SCA Brand.

As menu trends continue to evolve more quickly than the consumption of a double-bacon cheeseburger, there’s one trend that’s here to stay: Customer engagement, which is key to building a loyal fan base.

But don’t be intimidated by marketing jargon that suggests you need a “customer experience architect” to create a great relationship with your guests. There are a number of easy ways to engage customers that are personable, customizable and, above all, easy. Get started with these five tips designed to get your customers talking—about your business, of course.

1. Create a loyalty program

Incentivize your customers to visit your location more often by offering specials or discounts for return visits through a rewards program, whether digitally or with good old-fashioned punch cards. The Loyalogy 2014 consumer restaurant rewards study found that 76 percent of respondents would visit a foodservice operation they like more often if it offered an appealing rewards program.

2. Go beyond the menu board

Highlight your weekly specials, events and loyalty programs where customers will notice them. Consider using highly visible (but often underutilized) places such as placemats, table tents or napkin dispenser displays such as the AD-a-Glance marketing window in Tork Xpressnap dispensers.

For customers who prefer take out or delivery, consider custom printing for cups, bags and even napkins. These low-cost solutions allow you to reach customers through assets they’re already using. 

3. Go (at least a little) green

Aside from the obvious benefits of reducing operating costs and decresing your establishment’s effect on the environment, going green has a big impact on how your customers talk about you. According to a study conducted by SCA in partnership with the National Restaurant Association, almost half of diners indicated they’re more likely to recommend a restaurant after learning about its environmental efforts.

4. Encourage feedback

Whether electronically, through comment cards or even in person, encouraging guest feedback gives staff a chance to connect authentically with customers, and it can also solicit useful tips and insights into what your guests really want.

For example, one general manager of board-plan operations for a state college encouraged students to leave “napkin notes” on a bulletin board in the cafeteria. From menu items to lighting changes, students were encouraged to leave comments on Tork napkins—some of which resulted in real cost-savings changes for the staff.

5. Put cleaning first

Make it easy for your customers to rave about more than just your food. By having clean tabletops, easy access to napkins and clear floors, customers will notice what really matters—enjoying the experience of dining out.

To learn more about the SCA-sponsored study in partnership with the National Restaurant Association, click here. To request your free trial of the Tork Xpressnap Napkin Dispensing System, with an innovative marketing window that doubles as a tabletop display, click here.

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