Lessons Restaurateurs Can Take from Starbucks’ Success

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Coffee Shop

From landing
on Forbes’ Best American Employers List to stretching across 64
countries, Starbucks is obviously doing something right to fill their
cafe chairs. While not a restaurant itself, the company has
conducted business in a way that restaurateurs could find success in
emulating. Whether it’s marketing or employee practices, the coffee
chain has plenty to teach restaurant professionals around the world.

Create
Lifelong Customers
If there’s
one thing Starbucks is focused on, it’s customer loyalty. Baristas
call people by their first names and the company has made quick
visits easy by implementing mobile payments. Professionals trying to
fill their restaurant dining sets can also increase customer loyalty
by focusing on customer service, engaging in personalized marketing,
and offering a guest loyalty program.

Utilizing
Social Media
One powerful
tool in filling up Starbucks cafe chairs is social media. Even
people who have never been to the restaurant have seen at least one
of their social media posts. Just like Starbucks, restaurateurs
should leverage several social outlets, including Facebook and
Instagram, to maximize their reach in the local and surrounding
community.

Accept
Responsibility, Make Things Right
Most people
who have sat at Starbucks cafe tables have one thing in common:
they’ve experienced great customer service. Any guest that
discovered their drink order was wrong was undoubtedly able to
quickly have it corrected.

That’s
because Starbucks takes customer service seriously. If a
restaurateur discovers a negative review on Yelp, they should take
the time to respond and promise to make things right. This lets the
customer, and everyone who reads the review, know that the
establishment is focused on guest experience.

Focus on
Social Responsibility
Businesses in
all industries are starting to recognize that a sense of social
responsibility can go a long way. This holds just as true in
restaurants as anywhere else, and even as a coffeehouse, Starbucks
can teach culinary entrepreneurs a thing or two.

The
international coffee company focuses on recycling, climate change
prevention strategies, water conservation and a host of other
socially responsible ideas. Restaurants can help fill their own cafe
chairs by engaging in similar tactics along with sponsoring community
events and hosting fundraisers.

Be
Innovative
Starbucks is
much the same company it was when it opened its doors in 1971, but
they’ve been no stranger to embracing innovation. These innovations
include smartphone payment options, free Wi-Fi, and even offering
single-serving coffee makers.

All of these
innovations helped bring new clientele through the doors, and by
following suit, eateries can help fill up their bar tables as well.
Offering free Wi-Fi is a great start, but utilizing electronic
point-of-sale systems, providing mobile payment options, and signing
up for services such as Grubhub and OpenTable can also go a long way.

While
a local restaurateur may never reach the success of Starbucks, they
can undoubtedly increase revenue, brand recognition and customer
loyalty by mimicking their practices. It’s not often that a chain of
coffee houses can teach an established restaurant tips for success,
but in the case of Starbucks, there’s an abundance of great lessons
to be learned.