By Nick Fosberg   |   July 11, 2012

One of the hardest things to do when running a bar or restaurant is to develop a rapport with your customers. Yet when you put yourself out there and relate to your customers like an old friend, they keep coming back. That’s because they feel more at home in your establishment and a little more special.

So what’s the best way to do this? Exposure. You need to personalize your customers’ experience—that includes making the rounds, speaking to people at their tables, asking them how they’re doing. The result will almost always be positive, and what you’ll find is you’ll begin to see the same faces more often, simply because you appear concerned about your customer’s time at your place.

Keep in Contact with Your Customers & Offer Them Deals to Keep Them Coming Back

You’ve invested a lot of time and money in your business and you want to attract people by giving them great deals and a sense that they belong. Creating a variety of offers for your bar or restaurant will help draw in customers and increase your earning potential. There’s a simple way to do this, which involves some easy marketing and communication.

Email has proven to be an inexpensive way to keep in touch with your customers, as well as utilizing social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook; these are great resources for keeping your bar or restaurant’s customers alert of upcoming events and offers.

In addition to making the rounds when your customers come to your bar or restaurant, also consider sending them a newsletter. Newsletters are a great method for bars and restaurants to establish a connection with customers. Here you can elaborate on your business, while also telling a bit about yourself and how your bar or restaurant came to be. People love stories and the more your customers know about you, the more they’ll be able to connect and feel a connection with your bar. And like social media, newsletters are also a great way to promote events.

A Good Rapport with your Customers Involves Special Incentives & Events

Having a good rapport with your customers from the outset will greatly contribute to your earning potential. Yet not everyone will be receptive to special offers; some customers may just want their beer and that’s it. But you want them to come back, so it never hurts to keep trying. All customers are different, and they all have their own likes and dislikes.

Give your customers the incentive to come to your bar or restaurant on their birthday, by giving them a special deal they can utilize on that day. The extra plus is they’ll most likely bring additional people, which, in the end will add up to more money for you. And if you’re there on their birthday, make a point to stop by their table and say hello.

The same thing goes for kids; they love to celebrate their birthday, and while the kids are having their party, their parents will be there as well, so if you’re a family-based establishment, you can cater to both adults and children.

Fundraisers are another great way to get yourself and your name out there. They can be for anything, whether it be a school, a kids’ group, or someone who needs help with their medical bills. Having a fundraiser will not only help promote your bar or restaurant, but it will also show you care about others and your community, which in the end will draw more people to you. The extra plus here: you may get some press as well.  Bar owners, click here to find out more free tips on how to build your bar business.

Nick Fosberg

Nick Fosberg is known as one of the highest paid, marketing and promotional consultants in the bar & restaurant industry and he owns 2 bar / restaurants in the Chicagoland area. He's famous for creating some of the highest grossing digital marketing promotions in the history of the bar & restaurant business..... without spending a penny on marketing. All done through e-mail & Facebook posts. 

Click here to get a free copy of my latest book.

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