Loyal customers and repeat customers are great, right? But you know who’s even better? The straight-up die-hard fanatics for your restaurant. These are the people that swear by your restaurant. These people claim that you make the best dish (of whatever delicious dish it is that you do make) in the entire world – and there’s not a single person they’ve ever met, or will meet, that can convince them otherwise.

You want these customers because not only are they an incredibly consistent source of revenue, they also also are your biggest cheerleaders. It’s exponential word-of-mouth advertising at its best.

Get started with these 6 great tips to help you create more fans for your restaurant.

  1. Sell merchandise. Think koozies, T-shirts, and hats. These are the types of goods that your die-hards will buy. The simple act of owning a piece of merchandise triggers a psychological reaction inside your customers. It’s almost like they own a piece of your brand. Merchandise is also great because it spreads the word on your restaurant to friends, family, and the occasional passer-by in public.
  2. Personalization on every level. Nothing makes a customer feel like they’re a part of your restaurant’s brand more than providing the deepest level of personalization that’s feasibly possible. Notice the word feasible. I know you don’t have time to personalize everything for every single customer that walks in your door, but you can take shortcuts thanks to marketing technology. One very basic thing you can do is encourage your employees to recognize, and become friendly with frequently returning customers.
  3. Loyalty Program. Creating a true fan of your restaurant is about involvement. Having a loyalty program is one of the best ways to initiate that involvement. Consider even a fully digital loyalty program, which can let you engage with customers wherever they are. You can even simplify your entire program down to a text message with service like CoGoBuzz (which we’ll get to in a bit).
  4. Great customer service. This comes down to every aspect of the interaction with a customer. Greetings at the door, general etiquette throughout the meal, and attentive service. Sometimes, it really is the little things that matter. For instance, here’s a personal example. Whenever I go out to eat, I go through a lot of water at dinner. It’s just how I am. So I always take notice of the waiters that frequently fill my glass up. I’ll even tip them a bit extra. Also, never hesitate to comp a dissatisfied customer’s meal (not that it’s always necessary).
  5. Nail social media interactions. Constantly engaging with your customers on social media is not only a good way to create loyal customers, it’s the right way. Don’t just think about promoting your restaurant. Think about curating a community around your brand’s culture. Feature your biggest fans, pictures from events at your restaurant, or even exclusive behind-the-scenes kitchen pictures! Reply to as many comments as you can, and remain vigilant.

6. CoGoBuzz

Create loyal customers automatically with CoGoBuzz. Easy and affordable, our state-of-the-art service utilizes WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions to incentivize customers to return to your restaurant, and create loyalty. Remember what I mentioned about simplifying your loyalty program down to a text message? CoGoBuzz does that for you – and so much more.

We’ll leverage your in-store WiFi to get you more Facebook followers automatically – empowering your brand loyalty. Because customers login through WiFi with their Facebook profile, Email, or phone number, we even produce fully realized customer profiles, allowing you to optimize your marketing, and personalization on a much deeper level. Check out the rest of our website to learn more!

How have you created your restaurant’s biggest fans? Sound off in the comments!