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September 17, 2020

Restaurant CRM

If you are in the service business, then you are also deeply into the relationship business.

The stronger your relationships are with your customers, the more they will not only like your business, but like you and do more business with you.

Today I am going to show you how to grow the relationships between you and your restaurant customers without any fancy software. Just great communication that is tailored to specific situations.

What Entails Good Relationships?

Good relationships are exactly the type of relationships you have with your best friends. You listen to each other, you understand each other, and in most instances, you will do almost anything for each other. Best of all, you know each other’s preferences and make the most out of each other’s situations.

Sounds like a strong relationship to me.

The same goes for a good relationship between you and your customers in your restaurant business. You recognize people’s faces and know them by first name. You know what they usually order and even remember what they wanted to try after their last visit.

One of the hardest things to do is to remember all of these things for so many people.

In fact, Dunbar’s number for the amount of people someone can comfortably maintain on average is 150 and at a max 250.

Imagine only being able to give great service to only 250 people. Do you think your restaurant would go out of business if you can only serve 250 people well?

The good news is that we can write things down to help us remember about each customer. That is what a CRM is. It’s a series of records or a database of all of your customers, would-be customers, etc.

What Data Can You Store In A Restaurant CRM?

A CRM can store any kind of data about a customer that you want it to.

Most CRMs are based on a table structure, very much like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.

There are rows and columns of data and you can put any type of data into the rows and columns.

You can then reference different types of data in the rows and columns to look up who ordered what, who visited when, and much more!

So what are some important pieces of data that you want in your CRM?

Of the top of my mind, I can think of:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Zip Code
  • Birthday
  • Last Visit
  • Length of Visit

What Can You Do With The Data In A Restaurant CRM?

Imagine if your social skills were as easy as storing information in your brain about someone and then outputting a greeting that was tailored to them. You also continued the conversation with things you know about them and made them felt special because you remembered about something (like their birthday).

A CRM can be your second brain when it comes to maintaining relationships with your customers. It has all the information you will ever need and it will even be your assistant when it comes to sending timely messages to people.

For example, you can send an email to someone whose birthday is coming up in 30 days and tell them that you have a birthday surprise for them at your restaurant.

You can also send a text to someone whose last visit was more than 90 days again and let them know that you haven’t seen them around. You can ask something friendly like “are you busy with work?” or “are you on a long vacation?”

If you didn’t have this data, then you would just be sending messages about your upcoming specials to people and your messages just wouldn’t resonate because it isn’t relevant to what’s going on in their lives.

Imagine being told to come in just because the restaurant said so. People don’t prioritize other people’s wants and needs over their own.

Once you know what your customer wants to do, including celebrating their own birthday or coming to see you again because its been awhile, then you actually have an enticing reason for people to come to your restaurant again.

How Do You Start A Restaurant CRM?

A restaurant CRM can be started with anything that has rows and columns. If your restaurant is on a shoestring budget, then you probably want to start with the most basic and free form on rows and columns which would be Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.

If you have a little bit of budget available, you should invest in a communications platform such as an email marketing service, text messaging service, or chat service.

Each of these services have rows and columns that can help you keep track of your customer activity.

The reason why I say you should invest in a communication platform is because they also have the ability to send messages to your customers based on the data that you have in the communications platform.

In Conclusion

A restaurant CRM can work wonders if you know what type of customer communication you want to make more personal so that your communication can be more convincing.

Once you do it, you will never go back to those unwanted, spammy-looking email blasts or message blasts ever again. In fact, you’ll reach even more people with meaning and they will even thank you for it.

Where do you keep your customer information for your restaurant?

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Wilson Muh


Wilson Muh

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