Building Superfans for your Restaurant Business

There is a famous marketer who years ago reinvented, or better said rewrited most of marketing strategies. He reinvented the way to talk to customers. He created a system that he calls “a system to create Superfans”. He puts all his energy and effort in delivering high value content to his potential customers and existing customer base. Andre Chaperon is one of my favorite marketing teachers and if you are interested in marketing or copywriting then you should definitely check out his work.

So what are Superfan and what does it have to do with a Restaurant Business? Superfans are your best customers. The once you will never lose. They are like an evergreen income stream. It doesn’t matter what type of goods you sell.  Whether it is a breakfast or a five-star menu, the principles of marketing those products are the same. 

But don’t be mistaken.

Marketing is not about selling. 

Marketing is about creating a relationship between you as the business owner (the seller) and your customers (the buyer).

If you have done a good job at the marketing stage, then you will not need a sales process.

People will buy from you as a consequence of the relationship you have created with them. 

They trust you and pay you back buying from you.

A pizza or a digital book. It doesn’t matter.  The principals are the same. 

And if this relationship grows over time and you deliver value and quality time after time, you will create your own Superfans!

They will love you and trust you and you should never ever betray their trust!

But how can one create Superfans at a Restaurant Business?

THE FIRST IMPRESSION

Well there are infinite ways to do it.

From the very first moment they enter your establishment, they should have a feeling of being welcomed.

Remember: you have only one opportunity to make a “Good First Impression!

Let me tell you how this works at my own business:

My own Superfans have all my personal phone number. 

Yes they do really!

Why?

Because I have their number! Of course!

Every day we receive clients from all over the globe and try to overdeliver for every single customer. 

Sometimes it works, and sometimes we fall short. But the satisfaction rate at our business is high. Very high. 

Of course not all our clients come back. Everyone has his own agenda and many people that visit our cafe are travelling with no opportunity to return.

But those who stay longer are most often repeat customers every day of their stay in our town. 

And if they come back they will visit us again because we have surprised them. Every morning we have over-delivered and started creating a relationship with them. They recommend us to friends.  The relationship grows. 

Sometimes it starts with a simple conversation.

Travelers are always curious about local people and their stories. They like to know where you come from or why you do speak different languages. They want to know your story.

They have questions about nice walks and what to visit. They maybe would like to check in at certain hotel or try a restaurant, but have doubts. And perhaps you know the place and can give advice.

In other cases they have children and need a babysitter for a night. Or activities for the day. 

People have many needs when they travel and even more when its a foreign country with a different language and mentality.

They look for a personal opinion from you because You are the first contact they have. 

Can you see what is happening here? 

The hypothetical traveler, who isn’t even your customer yet, is opening a door, physically and emotionally.  (he is not conscious about it – he is just looking for information).

He opens the door to your business, and he opens the door to a personal interaction. Now it’s your job to enter that door and overdeliver with valuable information in order to create and build up a relationship that will in certain cases create a Superfan for your business.

But the story begins at your own business and with your offer. Because if you are not overdelivering first, no further conversation will happen. 

People will only trust you if they have got value. In the case of a restaurant this value must be delivered as food and service.

People have very high expectations today because of the offer they can find. And even more because of the experience they have accumulated long before coming to visit your place.

THE WOW EFFECT

Specialised restaurants around the globe offer such a big variety of different styles of food that you can get anything, anywhere.  

But you know what?  There is always something to reinvent. Something that other entrepreneurs are not seeing, some niche that is available.

Many times it is just because successful entrepreneurs become lazy and stop reinventing themselves.

At our business we sell breakfast and brunch. That’s what we do. And so every morning we welcome dozens of new travelers who have already experienced many places and lots of offers.

But you know what? They are so used to “the normal” offer that we do surprise them. It happens every morning, again and again.

A marketer would say that you need a HOOK in order to capture a new lead or potential customer. 

Well, for a Restaurant Business it is the same. The hooks we use in this industry are about Service, Quality, Freshness, Kindness and so on.

Examples:

Let’s imagine you open a pizzeria in any town on the globe where there are already a dozen existing pizzerias.  

But you do something slightly different.  

You employ a pizza-chef from Naples who uses the original “Napolitan recipe” to prepare the pizza.  

So, you should put a big sign outside which says: “Original Pizza Napolitana”. This would be your personal HOOK

If you prepare “pasta fresca” by yourself then you must enunciate it and say it loud! 

This is your HOOK or your Unique Selling Proposition.

You can bet that 99% of your competitors are buying their fresh pasta from a provider. It might be a very good one, but it is not homemade!

If yours is “Home made” then put it out there in a big sign! 

And so on for each “special” product you offer. 

The same applies for service details such as offering a “children’s corner” where kids can play while parents are having lunch and so on… 

The list of things you can do in order to create your own Superfans is infinitely long.

Most business owners do not realise the power of these details and underestimate the client’s knowledge and experience with fresh and original products.

Many times tourists are more informed about local product than the locals by themselves. 

How can this be? Easy. They read and collect information before they arrive to a new place. 

And in most cases they want to try something special. Something they do not know yet. 

OFFER SOMETHING SPECIAL

Again, this is your moment, surprise them. 

The more you learn, the more you earn! 

This is something you should always consider. Whether you start a Restaurant Business or any other commercial actility.

Do never underestimate yourself when you run a Restaurant Business.

When you go from table to table asking your clients if all is ok, you should see yourself like a senator aiming for the next presidentials and walking through the crowd in order to collect points. 

I am not kidding!

There is nothing more powerful in order to get Superfans than walking from table to table and having a short chat with your clients. 

The people you know, of course but especially the new customers!

They will appreciate it and feel grateful. Don’t miss the opportunity.

Your turn. Up to you now. Go and create your SUPERFANS.

If you need more inspiration I recommend you to read one of the many books of Seth Godin, one of the most influential experts on the planet. You can check it out following this link to Amazon.

YOU ROCK!

Marco Palatini

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