Customer knowledge is a key aspect of running any business, but especially in restaurants and bars. Customer hesitancy is a real thing, and restaurants suffer the most from it. A mixture of fear and uncertainty of trying a new restaurant or bar leaves customers worried they’ll waste money and not be 100% certain they’ll enjoy the food, and just revert back to their favorite spots to eat or get drinks. Increasing customer knowledge and accessibility can stop these fears at the point of contact, and make potential new customers feel safe and secure that they know what they’re getting into.
The first point of contact any bar or restaurant will have with potential customers are the Yelp and social media pages. If those aren’t filled out and lively, it will put even more hesitancy in the minds of the potential customers. Yelp pages need to be fully filled out with information. Opening hours, phone number, menu, directions, and COVID information if applicable. Perhaps the most important aspect though, is the reviews section. Positive reviews will live on the site and be shown to potential customers, but so will the inevitable poor reviews. The poor reviews are what customers will tend to look through though, so much care needs to be taken of them or they will sink a business. Each poor review needs to be responded to in a thoughtful and understanding manner, and done quickly. It lets potential new customers know that management and/or ownership care about the customer experience, and are interactive with customers to make sure their experience is a good one.
Social media pages need to be lively as well. Lots of posts of the food, drinks, and inside decor to show people what they are going to get, before they get it. Restaurants build a customer base either from being an established chain brand, or word of mouth. If a business has neither, then it must be organically created. Interactive social media content can go a long way as well, immersing the customers in the brand and experience of the establishment itself. Polls, getting involved in viral trends, or asking for customer engagement in the comments section and starting conversation are all ways to show digital signs of life. Having an established online image and personality to the business will make customers feel safer in coming in and trying a new place.
Having an established online image and personality to the business will make customers feel safer in coming in and trying a new place.
Food photography is another crucial option to increase customer knowledge. When people look at menus, words will mean little to nothing to them. If they can see what they are ordering, it makes them feel more comfortable in doing so. The last thing they will want is to order a mystery dish and hope it comes out like they think it will in their head, just to be surprised by something different. Whether it be online or on the menus customers receive when they walk in the door, investment on a good food photographer will pay dividends. Makes for great social media content as well!
Last but certainly not least, a FAQ page on the website may seem like an obvious answer, but it is a very important one. Customers may not want to call and ask their questions, so it makes their lives much easier to have a set of common questions that they can reference for themselves. It gives people a sense of autonomy, and clears any potential confusion or anxiety about calling and asking a question. The new generations will want the information ready and easily accessible to them if they just search it up online, so make sure it is there for them to see for themselves. Many people may not want to ask a very common question for fear of asking a “dumb” question, so a FAQ page makes life easy for both the customer and the busy staff of any bar and/or restaurant. Customer knowledge is essential to building a brand and customer base, and these strategies will make sure customers don’t let their skeptical side get in the way of trying a great new bar or restaurant.