Staying regular: how to keep good patrons coming backPosted on April 16th, 2018 in Blog, News
If you run a local pub, you know that your regular customers are valuable, but you might not realise just how valuable.
Not only do these loyal customers bring a steady revenue stream, they can also convert other friends, family and acquaintances into regulars too, not to mention providing free advertising when they talk about their activities in your pub on social media.
Your regulars are the backbone of your business. That’s why you should do everything in your power to keep them coming back and find ways to grow the ranks.
If you run a busy pub, your staff can’t be expected to remember everyone’s name, drinking preferences and other details about their lives… can they? While it isn’t mandatory, this type of recognition can be flattering and impressive, and could persuade a relative newcomer to go regular.
Your bar staff don’t need extraordinary mental powers to remember this information. They can get a low-tech helping hand by jotting down details on a notepad, to help them out when they see a familiar face until it becomes so familiar that they don’t need the cheat sheet.
Cater to their habits
Keeping records of regulars’ drinking habits and the times they visit isn’t only useful for conversation. The data collected from tracking payments can offer insights into which drinks are selling well and which ones aren’t, so you’ll never have to disappoint patrons by running out of stock.
This data could even help you to plan your staff rotor more efficiently, if you notice there are quiet periods when you don’t need as many people behind the bar.
Start a loyalty program
If you’re looking for strategies to encourage customer loyalty, you can look to other industries for inspiration. Introducing a loyalty program or membership scheme that offers exclusive benefits to your regulars could encourage casual customers to favour your pub over the alternatives, when they know their money will go further.
These benefits can be in the form of drink discounts for members, free entry into prize draws and even personal touches like their own beer mug etched with their name. It’s a win-win situation where you help your customers to save money and enjoy the freebies while being guaranteed repeat business.
Mix things up with events
Your regulars may like the comforting familiarity of your bar, but they might still get itchy feet sometimes and feel like something new. You can scratch this itch by hosting special events tailored to some of their interests, whether that means wine-tasting, live bands, karaoke nights, quizzes or all of the above.
You should also look into pub games, if you haven’t already, from classics like pool and darts to modern arcade games. These can be a great way to attract new regulars too, who’ll be eager to defend and improve their high scores.
Get more insights
Meet some of the most influential figures in the alcohol industry and try out new products by attending The Drinks Industry Show.
Register now and head to Australia’s biggest trade-only gathering from 18-19 June 2018 at Sydney’s Darling Harbour.