Thursday, April 28, 2011

How the Customer Benefits from Restaurant Entertainment

We, as entertainers, normally do not think about the customer’s benefits for coming to the restaurant. Nevertheless, if we evaluate why they come, we can better hone our skills to make sure they keep returning. I find that most customers are concerned with the quality of the food.  If the food is good, the customer will return. However, if we can provide an entertaining atmosphere, one in which kids are kept occupied, giving the impression that food preparation time or service time is quick, these customers will return like clock work.

Over the years, my restaurants have changed and currently I am working a different [lace on Fridays.  The focus of the restaurant is still pizza, but with a much larger family menu.  I have a couple who come in every Friday night around 6:30 pm with their two little girls so they can have a good meal and see the Magical Balloon-dude Dale.  The girls are occupied with the balloons and Mom and Dad can relax and enjoy their meal.  I have learned over my years of restaurant entertaining that I can keep families like this coming back for years, or at least until the kids are in their teens and the balloon guy is still cool.  The restaurant and I have provided a service to these families for years and they have repaid us by return every Friday night for years.  At some point, these families do outgrow the food, the entertainment or just move on. However, I will, as you will with your customers, always be part of their childhood memories as the Magical Balloon-dude at their favorite pizza parlor.  If we stay long enough at one establishment, we can get lucky enough to see the grandchildren of these families.

Some customers just come for the entertainment.  These are the people watchers, older couples whose children have grown up.  Most approach me and tell me they love to watch me interact with the kids.  They like coming when I am around because they think it is cute how the kids react to the balloons.  I had some of these couples tip me just because the enjoyed watching me.  I always tell them, “When you have their kids or grandkids in town, make sure you bring them and I will make something special for them.” I have one couple from Wisconsin and we can always joke with each other, especially when it is football season.  A Green Bay Packer fan versus a Chicago Bear fan, do I need to say any more.

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