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How to Make Your Street Food Shop a Home Away From Home

How to Make Your Street Food Shop a Home Away From Home

How has it been, our dearest street food owners? This year is ticking by fast and it is the fifth month already. Through the past four weeks, we devoted each week to learning something new about either marketing or customer service, each chiefly geared towards sales, sales, and sales. On each of these digests, we pour in our soul and we hope that they mean that much to you.  In recent times, we have shown you how you can Market Your Street Food Business Like a Pro. Then we showed you how to Maintain Excellent Customer Relationships at your Food Shop. We also discussed Staff Trainings and Boosting Sales through Food Plating and Presentation. The most recent lesson was on Saving your Street Food Shop From Becoming a Memory.

Today, we are going to talk about connecting with your customers on a deeper level and making your food shop mean more than just a shop to them. Have you noticed that only few food shops do very well while the rest are just average no matter how delicious their meals taste? You know your shop is doing well when over 65% percent of your customers are repeat customers. When you make your customers the priority, you have them come over again and again. We cannot stress this point enough because it is very important. This goal must be added to your daily tasks and must be fulfilled daily. It must also become a part of your shop’s culture and values which must be taught to every new employee that you hire.

Let’s look at some advice you could use.

1. Remember The Names of Your Customers

Every time you remember people’s names, you make them feel important. Do you remember how it makes you feel when a shop owner who you visited once calls out your name on your second visit? Sometimes it makes you shop more than you needed. Now, imagine how many people you can attract to your shop when you make an effort to remember people’s names.

However, confronted with too many daily tasks and a number of customers to satisfy, you may have a problem remembering names. You can achieve this feat by repeating their names in the conversations you have with them. That way, you hardly forget.

2. Find Out More About Them

This is the point we always love talking about, getting to know more about your customers. While holding the first conversation with them, try to remember details about them that you could mention in the next exchange. When you do this, the customer feels glad that you remembered details about them. This boosts their sense of importance. They will trust you now and place your shop at a special spot in their hearts as one of their favourite eating places.

You can kick start with small talks and questions while they place their orders and wait for their food to arrive. You can go beyond the usual greetings and ask about work, family, food preferences, their plans for the weekend, how their day went, and any topic they are willing to talk about.

Some of your customers who are probably used to the tradition of buying and leaving which is usual in other shops may feel awkward at first at your intrusion into their personal lives. But they will gradually warm up to you and appreciate the fact that their well being is also important to you.

3. Smile

It is important to make your customers smile because it makes them feel good. When you frown and do not appear happy, it affects them and may make them not to repeat a visit. Sometimes, they may spread the negativity to other food lovers who may want to try your shop.

4. Remember Their Preferences

This point is as important as remembering your customers’ names. It feels great if you know what their usual is. You could also inquire if they would love something new and different from their favourite. When you know who likes a little more pepper, a bit less salt, you are bound to gain a repeat customer. If there are customers who love compliments, who like to be helped with their bags, you should be able to find out. You and your staff should be patient enough to try different things so as to know what works for each person.

5. Offer Them Free Treats

This could come in form of drinks or appetizers or snacks. It could also come as discounts. When a customer appears the third or fourth time at your food shop, it is time to reward them. You should however not do this too often so that they do not look forward to it and then get disappointed when you do not meet up. You also do not have to print fliers for promotions or discounts before gifting people free treats. Surprises are equally beautiful and will be appreciated.

So start painting extra smiles into your customers’ faces when you add a little extra free something to their trays.

6. Hire and Train Employees Who Share Your Values

It is important that your cooks make amazing meals, and that your bartender serves great cocktails. Yet, all of this has no impact if they are not passionate about how your customers feel. You should hire people who make your customers feel very good. Also, train your staff towards this goal because this skill can be learned. Reward employees who remember customers’ names and who make most friends with the customers.

It is vital to know that staff training is a never-ending venture. You should train your staff monthly, hold reviews of their performances every month, and reward those who were exceptional.

7. Invite Loyal Customers To a Private Event

When a customer has eaten for long at your food shop, you may want to invite him or her to a private event you are hosting. This is a sign that they are valued and you may hardly ever lose their patronage.

8. Other Things You Could Do

There are countless things you could do to attract customers to your shop repeatedly until you become their only option. You could reward customers who bring numbers to your food shop. If it is a case where a customer pulled the staff working in an office to your shop, you could serve them meals at a discount rate. They will keep coming until they become your regular customers.

You could also set up a reward system where you secretly record the number of times a customer has visited your shop. When the visits hit a particular number depending on your standard, you could decide to reward them in some special way. Your food shop could wash their car or gift them anything on your menu.

You could also set out a date when you give huge discounts on everyone’s favourite. It could be once every month. This will attract both old and new customers. This special day at your food shop could also be accompanied by good music for entertainment. You could also redecorate your shop if you can afford it.

To be sure that you are doing it right, invite an honest friend or a business pal to sit at your shop and rate your business. That way, you know what to improve and what to leave the way it is.

Please visit our Facebook and Twitter Pages to join in all of our conversations. We will come your way again next week.



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P.S. If you love our Blog, you'll surely love our products: Check out our  Disposable Food BoxesSoup ContainersCoffee CupsSmoothie and Milkshake CupsSandwich Packaging or Salad Packaging Containers.

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