Encouraging your customers to refer your hospitality business

September 16, 2022
min read

When happy people say nice things about you, everyone wins. Your guests have a magical experience and want to share that with people they care about. You get free promotion, your customers pick up street cred, and their contacts get a recommendation they can trust.

Customers that come through referrals are often more loyal because someone they trust has already validated the decision. Not to mention referrals are easier and faster forms of customer acquisition.

So, how do you get more referrals? Here are some tips on creating and making the most of customer referrals. 

Build it and they will come

Before trying to secure referrals, make sure you have a product or service worth referring. Focus on what you do best and look at everything through the eyes of your customers - your brand, your experience, your food, your service. Do your job before expecting anything in return.

Start with an ideal audience

The way you own and operate your hospitality business communicates something, so make sure you’re considering what you want to communicate, and to whom. Everything you do as a business will attract a specific audience, so start out with who you want to attract and think about the qualities you most value in a customer, then double-down on serving that persona.

Proactively seek referrals from your best customers

Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals and get creative with incentivising your customers to share their great experience on social media or through other channels. Loyalty programs are a proven way to bring customers back, but they’re equally powerful for encouraging customers to bring people with them when they return.

Relationships are everything

One small advantage of mobile ordering and payments is that it frees up your staff to engage with your customers in a more meaningful way. Getting to know your customers face-to-face creates stronger connections, which leads to a higher likelihood of those customers saying nice things about your business.

Reward referrals

Having a loyalty program that is linked to your mobile ordering and payments platform, often enabled through a QR code with pay-at-table service, provides visibility into when your customers have referred your business. This is your opportunity to further build the relationship and say thank you with rewards.

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