Here are 3 easy steps to encourage your customers to come back – when you want them to:


if you are not already doing it – make sure you start capturing the names and addresses of all your customers – starting now! All you need is a simple system of capturing all contact details at point of booking or if they are a walk in, ensuring you have a ‘comment / feedback card’ that your staff get customers to complete – perhaps when payment is being taken. The incentive for them to complete the card is that it goes into a prize draw each week for a FREE meal / bottle of wine etc. This weekly draw can then be promoted through social media and other marketing channels – it may be as simple as putting a poster of the winner in the window advertising who has won each week!

Over time try to build up the info you have on your customers – birthdays, anniversaries, whether they are a family or retired etc, etc, etc… The better the picture you have of each of your customers the more you can use it to market to them with relevant offers and the more loyal they will become.

Capture all details into a CRM database – remembering to log when and how the info was taken. This is so you comply with the new/upcoming GDPR rules*.

If you already have a database of all your customers – great, onto step 2….


the next step is to send out a personalised postcard to your customer base with an offer they can’t refuse that will get them back to your restaurant – quickly. It is best to stagger the mailing, so you don’t get everyone in at once and change / test different offers, until you find out which one works best. The best offers are the ones offering limited availability, which encourages prompt action. This is great for encouraging customers to come back more frequently than they normally would or filling up quieter times. A great way of really building loyalty with your best customers is allowing them to use an offer or giving them a priority booking option at your busiest times. But make sure your offer is genuine & irresistible – with a time limit  ie: “You need to book your place by <date> to avoid disappointment.”


now you’ve got your system in place for capturing all your customers details and sending them out a promotion to encourage them to come back, what you need to do now is get them to refer you to ALL their friends, family & colleagues. You do this by offering a fantastic incentive – to both parties. If a customer gives a referral you could offer 15% off each of their food bills, or free starter or dessert. An easy way to manage referrals is to produce a referral card and give them to your customers. They would then write their names on them and give them out. Then when someone makes a booking or comes in with the card – you can give them their discount / money off / free dessert etc and also send out a thank you card and voucher out to the customer who gave the referral – encouraging them to come back – brilliant!

(*for more info about GDPR – please get in touch via telephone: 0191 580 2031 or drop us an e-mail to:

So, now you have got the steps to help you get your customers coming back time and again and also recommending them to everyone they know – what now?

Well you could read up and get more info about direct marketing – a great resource is Dan Kennedy – just Google him, or speak to your current marketing company / designer / printer or talk to us.

Print and Mail Runner are experts in the Art of Communication, so we can design and print your CAPTURE cards and design, print and mail your COMEBACK postcards and then design and print your REFERRAL cards. We can also provide advice on content and design to ensure you get a great Return on Investment

If you require any further information or would like a quote, please just ping me an e-mail to:  or give us a call on: 0191 580 2031

If you would like some info on costs or get hold of our Top Ten Direct Mail Tips please click here:

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