Marketing Hacks for running a Restaurant: Customer Segmentation

by Suteja Rao | Feb 12, 2019

Running a profitable restaurant takes a lot of hard work. After creating a fantastic product with a lot of thought gone into the recipe and presentation of the food, it is now time to bring your product to the right customers. 

Reaching the right customers and then persuading them to visit your restaurant again and again, is a growing challenge. With so many choices for the customers, how would you help your customer choose you?  Some clever marketing hacks can be used to achieve this. 

With the help of a table reservation system, you would have information about the preferences and purchasing behaviour of your customer. For example, what appeals to your customers the most - the taste, the presentation or the ambience of your restaurant? How often do they visit your restaurant and when? Do they book for special occasions? If they do how early? When you really know your customer, you can then create different marketing material for different groups of customers. 

As an example, you can segment your customers based on their visit behaviour. You can roughly categories them into three groups - First Time Visitors, More than one-time Visitors and Inactive Visitors. You can then send out only the relevant information to each group of customers. 


Group 1: New customers 

First-time visitors: 

The key question is how do you persuade them to come again? You could offer discounts for price-sensitive customers or send out emails and social media updates about new recipes or seasonal additions to your menu. This will create a need for first-time visitors to come again to your restaurant to take advantage of the price offer or sample a new dish. 


Group 2: Repeat Visitors 

More than one-time visitors: 

This is one of the most difficult groups to address. In fact, one of the most difficult tasks for a marketer is to persuade the second time visitors to make the important third visit. This is when the customers will shop around and evaluate other restaurants with similar cuisine. But if you can successfully address this group for repeat visits to your restaurants, they will soon become your brand advocates. Creative offers and ideas will have to be thought to spark interest. You could have a special event in your restaurant or a themed tasting session or an exclusive art exhibition when the customers can get to meet the artists. Most of your marketing efforts should centre around this group of customers. 

Group 3: Inactive Visitors: 

These visitors would have visited your restaurant a couple of times and are still not very sure about it. Or they might have been dissatisfied with a tiny aspect of the service or ambience or they might just have forgotten about your restaurant. It will be useful to send emails which can entice them to give your restaurant another chance. This may be discounts and special offers on their birthday or special occasions or complimentary drinks for their order.  

This is just one way of segmenting your customers. You can consider various other characteristics like the demographics, location, interests, etc which can then be used to create effective marketing propositions.