Every restaurant owner dreams of busy nights when all the tables are booked, clients are lining up outside and waiters are bustling around to serve or clear tables. At the back, the kitchen is firing on all cylinders and cooks are producing one great dish after the other, ensuring that your coffers fill up nicely while your servers earn great tips. Unfortunately, not many restaurants enjoy profitable nights like this. Even large restaurant chains may stammer simply because they forgo relationship building. This small detail can make the difference between a one-time customer and a regular, which is why it’s about time that you embrace customer relationship management (CRM).

How CRM Can Increase Customer Retention

There are four ways through which your restaurant’s CRM can increase your customer retention rates as well as ensure higher employee satisfaction and reduced turnover.

  1. Building a Customer Database – Integrating a CRM system in yoCustomer Relationship Management Softwareur IT infrastructure will help you gather information about your customers. For instance, by learning about your clients’ frequency of visits, preferences on meals, and average spend per visit, you can gain insight into the popular items on your menu, which items you should discard, which nights or days are the busiest, and/or which franchisee is performing better than others.
  2. Menu Engineering – The heart of every restaurant is its food, which is why every item offered through your menu should match your clients’ tastes and preferences while its quality should be superior. However, the profitability of your restaurant depends on the meals that sell well rather than those that don’t. With customer relationship management software, you can categorize your offerings into: popular and highly profitable edibles, profitable but unpopular ones, popular but unprofitable items, and unpopular and unprofitable edibles. This information can also help during product innovation since you can mine information to determine what your clients like.
  3. Better Marketing Campaigns – After learning about your customer and menu, your next step is marketing. In addition to helping you develop strategic promotional campaigns, a CRM solution will enable you to segment and target specific groups of customers. You can also use information on quiet days or nights to provide clients with valuable discounts and offers during those slow times and reel them in.
  4. Loyalty Programs – Loyalty and reward programs are the main purpose of customer relationship management A loyalty program can track the frequency of your client’s visit, their favorite meals, what time they tend to visit and other important details. This, in turn, helps you learn how to attract your clients and engage them. Access to data such as their anniversaries or birthdays will also give you the opportunity to send one of your products as a free gift.

How to Ensure Customer Relationship Management Success

If you want the employee and customer related benefits CRMs have to offer, all you need is the right software. And you will be best served if you select cost-effective software implemented by top restaurants chains in the U.S. The software you select must help you carry out customer relationship management strategies without investing too much time and effort. In addition to automating many related tasks, it should also include a Business Intelligence feature to help you mine data and get real-time reports. Moreover, a comprehensive system that combines the functions of multiple software programs with the help of the Workforce Management, Supply Chain Management, and Universal Forecast modules will help you drive customer retention.