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Restaurant Marketing – Survey to Success

When it comes to the business of food there’s no better way to success than through the stomachs of your customers. After all you want to retain as many customers as possible, right? You want them returning weekly or monthly, right? Then quit wasting time and find out what they really like to eat! Find out what they want and desire to eat and survey your way to a growing repeat customer base.

Survey your way to success in your restaurant business and do what few other restaurant owners are willing to do. How do I know this? Because I travel a lot and what I’m sharing with you is rarely done, at least in the many different establishments I’ve frequented in the last 20 plus years.

Survey you say! Yes, and it’s really simple to do.

It’s what I did at SOTS. Surveying and tracking were one of The Secrets of The Tiny Store and these two were what enabled me to do what so few other companies in our industry had done before.

When it comes to restaurant marketing, simple surveys can be what separates you from the pack.

Here’s what you do:

Survey – Yourself.  Yes, you the big boss does the actual yakkin’ and asking! Just be yourself, friendly and ask some questions. Then when you get done, go back to your office or tablet, or notepad and write down the questions, answers, date and name of the customer. It’s a simple solution, especially if you run a small establishment and need immediate feedback.

Survey – Have managers and supervisors talk to your customers and then document what they say. It can be casual and friendly like inquiring about the service and what they thought of the meal.

Survey – By having your best employees or managers doing the actual survey for you. These employees can become your best allies as they ask customers simple questions and get real time feedback. Make sure to set up a reward or incentive program for the employees so you receive the most accurate information and they look forward to doing the work.

Survey – Using social ignitors before, during and after the meal. These little gems can bring repeat business if you go about it the right way. Give your customer a free appetizer or drink or something of value that says you care. Even offer to deduct something from the existing bill if they fill out a survey card right there in the restaurant, go online by a certain time or simply answer a few questions if they are open to do this.

It’s a simple process to survey. Keep it that way and learn what your customers like to eat and provide great service. It’s not rocket science.

To your restaurant’s success,

Dave Krygier

Secrets of The Tiny Store

PS – I have found that the email auto-responder can also be a great way to keep in touch with customers and do simple surveys just by asking a few questions at a time.

Simple Survey Solutions

When it comes to surveys I’m all about keeping it simple. I’ve done it the hard way and simple seems to work better for me. That’s why when I talk about simple survey solutions for small business owners I almost always go with the email route.

Look – if you are just getting started online or offline, keep it simple. For that matter – if you are more advanced and have lots of experience, keep it simple.

How to survey customers and prospects is so much easier today than ever before but I want you to understand that you can overdo a survey and this just happened to me.

In a recent email the publisher of our regional business journal sent us a generic survey that was so broad it seemed liked they were fishing for information and it just kept going on and on and on. Overall this survey looked like it was generated by the advertising department to see which areas we subscribers were interested in. Not only was the survey generic and long but it didn’t show any personalization or have any followup built in.

Surveys are great for data mining and better connecting with your subscribers and clients but each survey should be finely tuned, short, concise and to the point. That way you can achieve higher responses, better connectivity and ultimately more sales.

Remember you are always looking to connect with your subscribers and surveys can work for or against you. So be mindful of this as you develop your surveys and implement them in your small business.

Ask pertinent and relevant questions that your subscribers and customers will be open to respond to. This way you’ll have more than enough responses to the survey which should help you accomplish whatever it is you set out to do.

Now before I go any further I’m going to bring it up again and reiterate that a sale is a fragile thing and can break at any time. So you as a business owner, who is building a list of subscribers and customers, needs to keep this in mind every step of the way. Because the last thing you need is an ugly or long winded survey to come in and destroy all your hard work and cause a sale to be lost or delayed.

So here are Four Survey Options you might want to consider:

1. Email Survey are the best because you can use your email auto responder to do the heavy lifting and all you need to do is write a really simple message to your subscribers and clients. This message could be as simple as asking your subscriber for help and then listing a few questions.

2. Physical surveys work well if you happen to be a merchant, service provider or business with physical offices or location that has foot traffic on a continual basis.  Physical surveys can be implemented through hand outs, mail, in person on a tablet, and even the good ole’ fax(I know it’s really old school but some businesses still use it).

3. Phone Surveys are a great way to connect especially when you’re speaking to and    have the person live. There’s nothing like having a live human being on the other end of the phone so why not ask a few questions and find out what your prospects and customers like, dislike and throw out a few marketing questions if time permits.

4. Online Software is the last on my list because it’s the most complicated to implement and response rates might not be what you expect. This is not to say that online survey software isn’t good. Many companies use online software and must have good to great results. So if you as a business owner should decide to use online survey software – just make sure to shop around and do some testing before you dive in.

Happy Surveying…

Dave Krygier

Secrets of The Tiny Store