The Philippines is fast growing into one of Asia’s most diverse food havens. With countless high concept restaurants, niche cafes, and increasingly elaborate food parks cropping up everywhere and taking local and international cuisine to the next level, it’s no wonder keeping a diner’s attention, loyalty, and satisfaction is becoming such a difficult task.
Difficult, but not impossible—as Abba Napa of the Moment Group, Joanna Manalastas of Spot.ph, and Margy Grace Dimacali of Mary Grace Cafe can attest.
In April, Entrepreneur Philippines, in partnership with Globe MyBusiness, held the first Trep Talks forum of this year, and Nappa, Manalastas, and Dimacali were the featured speakers. After years in the game, these three restaurant industry experts certainly knew what’s needed to create and keep customers, and were happy to share their insight.
Know your customer
According to Napa, it’s critical to understand the people you’re hoping to attract. This not only means anticipating the diner’s needs and expectations so you can meet them easily, but also figuring out what they’re missing out on (whether they realize this or not), and providing them a way to have that.
On the other hand, Manalastas stressed that you need to be consistent with what you offer, whether in terms of service, food quality, ambiance, or anything else. This way, the diner will know that they can expect the same sort of top-notch dining experience every time they come.
Roll with the punches
Dimacali is certainly no stranger to setbacks and seemingly insurmountable hurdles—she’s encountered a fair few over the years she’s spent growing her business. There was a time when she had to let go of some of her people -- a reality she had to overcome for her business to survive. Challenges as such did not stop her, she found ways to adapt instead and kept moving forward no matter what.
Stay true to what you set out to do. Don’t get caught up in popular trends and gimmicks that don’t really jive with your business because this can negatively affect your brand as whole, and even your regular customer’s perception of you.
And we’re not just talking about good locations. By putting up your own website, or staying active on social media, or even just putting up your business’ basic information (address, operating hours, price list, etc) online, you can attract new customers, as well as keep in the good graces of old ones. Make sure also that you build customer loyalty by giving back -- Globe myBusiness' RUSH loyalty platform makes it easier for you to set up a loyalty program for your customers. Reward customers through a digital punch card everytime they purchase from your restaurant!
Offer quality goods
Flashy decorations, popular promos, and big events may draw you a crowd, but it’s your products that will seal the deal and get people to come back. So never compromise and never stop serving quality food—this will make your customers happy, which should always be your most important goal.
Trep Talks proved to be an informative event. Hard-won advice from the speakers were given to nearly a hundred entrepreneurs, both experienced and aspiring. Make sure you have a front-row seat at the next Trep Talks and get invited to other future events by signing up to our newsletter now.
Missed the action and want to learn more from the Napa, Manalastas, and Dimacali? Download the PDF file to get the notes of the Trep Talks event here.