Attracting New Guests...One of Those "Gotta Do's"

The necessity of attracting new guests into a restaurant is usually one of those things taken as a just gotta do it.That's gotta do it...but sometimes it's worth thinking about both the upside and the downside of new guest attraction.Here's the upside: Each new guest that happens to walk into your location has a real "future potential" dollar value. If you can convince them to come back multiple times into the future, then the "future potential" can be really, really huge.And, it's pretty easy to calculate. Here's the down-and-dirty quick formula. (Your average ticket $) X (Expected number of visits per year) X (number of years you expect the guest to remain loyal) = Future PotentialHere's an example: Assume that your average ticket is $20 and you expect your guest to visit every other week, and remain a loyal customer for 5 years. The Future Potential for every new guest who walks into your restaurant is $2,600.00 ($20 X 26 X 5).So, if you fill a four-topper with all first-timers, then the potential future sales to that table is over $10,000.00!Every restaurateur knows the importance of attracting new guests, but it can be very clarifying to calculate for yourself just how much those new guests are worth in real dollars.
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  • Lifetime Customer Value is important. A local place that I go to often has no idea that I am worth $46,000 over 5 years in sales and referrals.
  • I like the fact that you understand the value of a guest but I also think to much money and time is spent attracting the new when we should be investing in the current. Have you ever got an offer from a business you use and it says "for new customers only" that stuff drives me crazy! Those same numbers work with your current guest that will bring in new guest all the time. I like to keep my guest longer and get them coming in more often. Getting new guest is harder than getter your current guest to come more often and spend more money. Thanks for the great post as I think so many businesses don't understand what a customer is worth.
  • It's the old cosmetic television commercial on social media. And she told two more, and she told two more, and she told two more.
  • Seth Godin must have read my blog posting!
  • Let me throw some more numbers on you Rod,

    I visit your restaurant with my 4 buddies, all my 4 buddies and I tweet and post to our facebook profile that we are going to go eat at your restaurant. After eating there, my 4 buddies and I rave about your food on our facebook and twitter accounts!!!!!!!!

    Here is the simple math (me+ 4 friends + all social network platforms= endless results)

    Awesome post!!!!!!!
  •'s kinda like learning about the power of compound interest in grade school!
  • Excellent post Rod, thanks!

    If I may, I'd like to play with the math a little. With the right marketing tool at the table to measure customer experience, those repeat customers have the potential to add 26 new guests to your business (i.e. Rewarding Feedback - assuming one buddy coupon offered per positive experience). 26 new guests X $20 X 26 visits X 5 years X the buddies gained from coupons they share with friends X their visits X repeat cycle X repeat cycle X unlimited potential)

    The right tool at the table will increase revenue and pay for itself repeatedly every month. Not having a tool is lost revenue - both from a "potential" standpoint and from the lost revenue of dissatisfied customers.
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