Like it or not, you’re bound to lose customers. It’s not always your fault (even though sometimes it can be). Life gets in the way. People decide they like your competitors. Maybe prices are better elsewhere. It really can be anything.

But here’s the thing. If they’ve dined with you before, they’re far more likely to dine with you again. You just have to incentivize that return visit.

Here’s four ways to lure those lost customers back into your restaurant.

Reach out. Want to bring lost customers back? You’ve got to start by reaching out. Here’s a few of the best methods to do so.

  • Email and SMS. Have their contact info from a previous visit? Great. It’s time to re-engage. Always remember, when sending an email or text to customers, always provide an opportunity to opt out of communication.
  • Social media. Just because they haven’t dined in for a while doesn’t mean they’ve unfollowed you on social media.
  • Direct mail. Digital is great, but a postcard (with a nice deal) adds an element of tangibility. They’re more likely to stick around on someone’s kitchen counter for a few nights, ensuring that they don’t forget to stop by.

Show off what’s new. Sometimes the easiest way to attract someone back to your restaurant is simply to peak their curiosity. You can do this by promoting anything that’s been newly introduced. Here’s a few examples.

  • Specials. New Happy Hour Menu? A strong special (at the right price) can never steer you wrong.
  • Seasonal menus. A new season means new food means new reasons to stop by.
  • Renovations. Any renovation to your restaurant is a big deal. And it’s definitely a good reason to reach out to lost customers.

Give every promotion a prominent CTA and a good deal. Whether you’re promoting Happy Hour or seasonal specials, sending a postcard or text message, make sure you’ve got a prominent CTA paired with a compelling deal. A CTA encourages the customer to act. The deal provides the motivation.

Address your problems. Like it or not, one of the primary reasons people don’t return to restaurants is because of a poor experience. There’s no quick fix for taking care of all your issues, but there are steps you can take to win back these customers.

One way to address problems is by responding to your restaurant’s reviews on an individual basis. Reach out to the customer, thank them for their criticism, apologize, and assure them that the problem won’t happen again. Another method is to go through your reviews and see if there’s a recurring issue. If something happened once, it could be an accident. Twice? You might have a problem. Get to fixing.

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Leveraging advanced WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions, CoGoBuzz redefines your restaurant experience. Our service helps you reach and engage your customers on the devices that they use most, both in-store and out. We create a fully-realized profile for every customer that logs into your in-store HotSpot. On top of that, our service comes packed with a fully digital, text-based loyalty program, allowing you to instantly engage and reward your customers with a simple text.

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What has your restaurant done to bring back lost customers? Let us know in the comments!