Restaurant Articles

11 Reasons Your Customers Aren’t Returning

By July 26, 2016 No Comments

Fix These Problems, Earn More Repeat Business at Your QSR

If you’ve been wondering why more diners aren’t becoming regulars at your quick service restaurant it’s time to learn about some of the top reasons your customers aren’t returning. From long wait times to bad weather, here are 11 things that could be preventing diners from making repeat visits.

  1. Long wait times No one wants to wait in line for ages, especially not at a quick service restaurant. If you aren’t sure why your customers are waiting too long to order learn more about the possible reasons behind the waiting.
  2. Waiting too long for meals People don’t generally visit QSRs with the intention of settling down in the dining area to enjoy a long, leisurely restaurant experience. They want their food, and they want it quickly.
  3. Your QSR only fits a specific occasion If you own a restaurant that’s well-known for its breakfast offerings, you’ll have a hard time getting people through your doors during other parts of the day. Perhaps you’re known as the spot for a fast lunch, or the perfect place for a takeout meal. You need to change diners’ perceptions of your business, and show them that your menu is great for a variety of occasions.
  4. Bad customer service Are your employees treating customers appropriately? If customer service in your QSR is lacking, there’s no way you’ll be able to convince diners to return time after time.
  5. An unpleasant in-restaurant experience Long wait times and poor customer service contribute to an unpleasant in-restaurant experience, but they’re hardly the only culprits. Cleanliness, layout, temperature, and more can impact a customer’s experience in your QSR.  These are things that audit services from Envysion could help you measure.
  6. No online ordering options You’re in the business of making customers’ lives easier, and online ordering is an ordering choice that busy people love. Do you have an online ordering option?
  7. Your prices are too high How do your prices compare to similar QSRs in your niche? If your prices are too lofty or if customers perceive them to be too expensive they’re unlikely to return. Consider offering a range of prices for different budgets.
  8. They forgot about you We live in an age of mass information. When it comes to business, that means that your customers are exposed to tons of marketing messages every single day. If you aren’t marketing your business regularly it’s all too easy to be forgotten. 
  9. Customers aren’t craving your food frequently Sometimes, diners only want to eat certain types of food infrequently. Maybe they don’t crave pizza regularly. Perhaps Indonesian-themed food isn’t all that popular in your region. Whatever the underlying reason, consider taking a hard look at your menu to see whether you could diversify the selections being offered.
  10. You don’t have a loyalty program Nowadays, many quick service restaurants have loyalty programs, and customers have begun to expect they’ll be rewarded for their loyalty. If you aren’t giving diners enough incentive to return again and again, consider creating or updating your loyalty program.
  11. The weather is terrible Unfortunately, the winter season tends to slow down the entire restaurant industry. Your customers may not be returning as frequently because they don’t want to brave the weather. David Crane, CEO of BlueSky Local, explains that, “[a] good portion of [loss] happens during the winter because people are less likely to go out in snow and ice.” BlueSky’s research even found that nearly 75 percent of restaurant owners surveyed said changes in weather result in at least a 10 percent sales decrease.

    Don’t let that undermine your efforts, though! There are ways to beat winter. For starters, consider offering “bad weather” deals and promos. 

Use this list to study your quick service restaurant and to see where you might be falling short. Once you identify the issues, it’s time to get to work fixing them.