Keeping customers top of mind is one of the most important ingredients when it comes to creating (and maintaining) customer loyalty.
Leonard Coetzee, COO of John Dory’s, shares the franchise’s secrets of success in keeping its customer base growing – and coming back for more.
1. Pay attention to what customers want
For John Dory’s, this was recognising that patrons were looking for a seafood and sushi offering in a family-friendly environment for adults and kids alike. The chain has implemented a strong ‘child-friendly’ drive as a result, with a popular kids’ menu and play areas.
2. Make great customer service a part of your DNA
John Dory’s has a ten-step process for absolutely everything. This assists franchisees and managers to run each store in line with the tried and tested John Dory’s system, but it also means that customer service is always top of mind because each employee has a checklist to follow.
3. Balance front-of-house talent with back-of-house talent
John Dory’s, in line with the Spur Group as a whole, understands that great ‘people’ managers and great ‘systems’ managers are not always one and the same person.
You need a manager or owner who is excellent with customers and makes everyone who walks through the door feel comfortable and at home. But you also need a first-rate systems manager who ensures the great ambience is supported by excellent quality in terms of food and service.
Since these tend to be quite different personalities, ensure the owner’s and manager’s skills complement each other.
4. Make use of suggestive selling
Some customers love coming in each week and ordering their favourite meal. Others can quickly get bored but aren’t sure what else to try on the menu. It’s important for waiters to not only know the menu well, but to be able to advise customers on what they might like to try and ask what they feel like eating. Waiters play an integral role in this process.
5. Keep quality consistent
As a franchisee, belonging to a franchise with excellent service levels, quality controls and an established supply chain ensures you are always able to deliver consistent quality to your customers. While the group has a large role to play in this quality consistency, so does the franchisee.
“We are committed to delivering sustainable fish from SASSI’s approved Green and Orange list, and undertake to purchase products from reputable suppliers — all of which are able to trace the product back to its source,”says Coetzee.
“We therefore have certain ‘licensed’ products that have to be bought by our franchisees. This can only be achieved through centralised buying and our highly experienced procurement team, that scrutinises all relevant documentation before listing the various seafood products at the respective distribution points.”