Top 6 Reasons Why Restaurant Customers Don’t Come Back

 In 1. David Scott Peters, service, Training

I’ve been working on a presentation for a speaking engagement I have coming up, and I’m covering one of my favorite topics: why customers don’t come back. I wanted to cover this ground again for you as well and share survey results that revealed some useful information to help you attract restaurant customers.

In a study several years ago called “The Spirit of Service” done by the National Institute for the Foodservice Industry (NIFI), they detail six main reasons why customers don’t come back.

I imagine this scenario is familiar: You spend thousands upon thousands of dollars a year driving customers through your doors. You’ve tried advertising on the radio, in the newspaper, in magazines, in Money Mailer, in directories, on the movie screen, couponing and more — with some success. But with all of this money being spent, sales aren’t moving up as fast as you would like or even worse, they are actually going down. Why?

Maybe one or more of these following reasons?

Reason No. 6

Let’s start things off with a bang, so to speak. It’s the one thing you can’t do anything about. It’s that 1 percent of your customers die. This is just the reality of it all.

Reason No. 5

3 percent of your customers will move out of the area. For many restaurant operators there’s not much you can do about this because when someone moves, they move literally hundreds of miles or more away from your restaurant. But for many restaurants in large metropolitan areas, moving may mean moving to a neighboring city that is still within an hour driving distance.

Reason No. 4

5 percent find new interests or friends. OK, I know you’re thinking, “that’s completely out of my control.” While this is true, if you follow the example given in Reason No. 5, you will again magnify the importance of building up your customer database and staying in constant contact. Just remember interests and friends change… and they may come back.

Reason No. 3

9 percent change for competitive reasons. This reason is the one most restaurant operators lose the most sleep over. A new restaurant is opening up next door or around the corner. The new restaurant is in direct competition with yours.

Reason No. 2

14 percent change because they are dissatisfied with the restaurant.

Reason No. 1

68 percent encounter an attitude of indifference or unconcern by one or more employees.

If you do nothing more than tackle Reason No. 1, “encounter an attitude of indifference,” you will attract restaurant customers and your business will literally explode!

If you want to learn more about how you can attract restaurant customers and provide a truly hospitality-based restaurant business, read our free special report, Breaking Away from the Insanity: How to easily take control of your restaurant and make more money. Download it here. Be sure to visit our YouTube channel for more helpful restaurant business management video tips. 

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