Restaurant Customer Journey Map: How to Attract and Retain Repeat Clients

restaurant customer journey

Attracting new customers is a great marketing goal, but it has shortcomings. Precisely, there is a finite number of new clients you can entice to visit or order from your restaurant as your audience is predominantly comprised of people living in the same location as your business.

Then how can you ensure your restaurant has constant clients and grows consistently? By creating a strategy that will help you get more repeat customers!

A restaurant customer journey map is the means to attract and retain repeat customers. In this article, you will learn what constitutes a restaurant customer journey, what its benefits are, and the five stages you must go through to ensure your restaurant's success.

What is a customer journey map for a restaurant?

The purpose of defining a restaurant customer journey map is to offer guests the best experience possible that will tie them to your business and keep them coming back.

Read more: 5 Simple & Effective Customer Retention Strategies for Restaurants

But to do so, you must first walk a mile in the clients’ shoes and research how they see your restaurant.

Therefore, the customer journey is a concept that refers to how each customer interacts with your business, including before even stepping foot in the physical location or ordering, during their visit, and after they leave.

To be able to identify why clients choose your restaurant and how to encourage more to do the same, you can create a restaurant customer journey map. Every business will have a different story and approach, but the stages will remain the same in every situation:

  • Attract: the first step is reaching the client through social media, website, email campaigns, or any other type of advertisement;
  • Sell: how to get the customer to order from or visit your restaurant;
  • Bind: what benefits or type of experience you can offer the clients to help them create a connection to your restaurant;
  • Feedback: get more insight about their customer journey by encouraging them to give you constructive feedback;
  • Return: what loyalty programs or other types of incentives you can offer to encourage clients to keep coming back.

Read more: 9 Factors Affecting Customer Satisfaction in Restaurants and How to Use Them to Increase Loyalty

Benefits of creating a restaurant customer journey map

A restaurant customer journey map can help you identify your clients’ needs, motivation, and dislikes to improve your customer experience. Here are the benefits you can expect if you start mapping your restaurant customer journey:

  • Improve your customer service: by mapping the customer journey, you can find out what works and attracts the customer and what may be a mistake and is deterring them from revisiting your restaurant;
  • Get more repeat customers: your restaurant’s success is assured if you can get many repeat customers that will keep ordering your food;
  • Grow your business: by constantly bettering your restaurant service and valuing client feedback, your business will grow and offer clients the experience they crave.

Read more: How to Use an Automated Ordering System for Restaurants to Grow Your Business

The 5 stages of a successful restaurant customer journey map

Every stage of creating a restaurant customer journey map is important because it ensures you reach the final goal of getting more repeat clients. Use the information below to get you started and experiment a bit with the strategies to find the perfect ones for your restaurant.


To get returning clients, you first have to attract new clients. Therefore, you must implement effective marketing strategies to increase visibility and encourage people to order from or visit your restaurant. Here are the most common ways to attract customers:

  • Get a sales-optimized website: the best way to increase your online visibility is to have a fast-loading and SEO-optimized website, like the one provided by GloriaFood. In no time, you can have a restaurant website with personalized texts and images that will help you rank on the first page of Google. Check out this preview to see how intuitive and easy to use the website is;
  • Claim your Google My Business profile: fill in all the relevant information such as NAP (name, address, phone number), working hours, and a link to your website and menu, so people can easily find you when they search for your type of cuisine in their location;
  • Use social media: identify the social platforms your audience uses and create an active profile. Make sure to also add your NAP information there, post at least three days a week, constantly encourage engagement, and respond to comments and messages.

Afterward, you need a way to monitor and analyze where most of your customers come from. Do they find you on Google? Do they reach your website through your social media posts? An easy way to do this is with the Reporting module from GloriaFood.

Attract more repeat customers to your restaurant Install a free online ordering system to your website Start now

After you become a GloriaFood member and go to admin -> Reports, you can access useful information such as:

  • The number of website visitors;
  • The number of new vs. return clients;
  • The number of visitors that accessed your menu through the “See MENU & Order” button;
  • The channels people use to access your website.
customer journey map restaurant example

All this information will help you make decisions that will better the customer experience and increase your sales. For example, if you invest money in Facebook advertising and don't get visitors from that channel, you can redirect the funds to a platform that works.

Read more: How to grow your food business with Restaurant Data Analytics


Now that you got the audience interested, how do you offer the best ordering experience ever? Surely, not by taking your online orders by phone and leaving room for human error.

You need the efficient online ordering system from GloriaFood that offers clients a seamless ordering experience. You can start taking online orders in a few simple steps:

  • Sign up on GloriaFood;
  • Fill in the required information and create an attractive menu;
  • Publish the “See MENU & Order” button to your website;
  • Download the order-taking app for Android or iOS;
  • Start receiving online orders!

Clients can easily order directly from your website or by clicking the “Start Order” button on Facebook, and you will have close to four minutes to accept an order. They will also be kept in the loop the whole time so they can track their order.

You can also offer customers the option to order with your own branded mobile app. By going to admin -> Setup -> Publishing -> Branded Mobile App, you can get a native app personalized with your photo, logo, and slogan.

customer journey example restaurant

The branded mobile app will also help with client retention as customers will constantly see your logo when browsing for food, and it will subconsciously remind them of your existence. When they are feeling hungry, comfort and rapidity matter and a native mobile app excels at both.


To get a client to keep returning to your restaurant, you must offer them an experience and some benefits they won't be able to get elsewhere. Your interaction with customers should have the ultimate goal of creating a strong bond.

Here are some ideas that will make clients appreciate your restaurant more:

  • Offer a QR code menu: customers will appreciate you offering them a method to view the menu items and order without touching a paper menu countless others have touched before. You can easily generate your own QR menu for free by going to admin -> Setup -> Publishing -> Dine-in QR code;

    app to improve restaurant customer journey
  • Organize contests on social media: encourage engagement by constantly hosting contests on your social media accounts. You can start with simple ones to gain visibility, such as “like or share this post to win a free meal” to ones targeting return customers, for example, "post a picture with your online order to win free lunch for a week";
  • Offer multiple ways to pay online: some people may prefer to use their Visa Card, others Apple Pay, and others PayPal. Give them the liberty to use their preferred payment method by offering multiple ways to pay online. You can do so by going to admin -> Setup -> Payments -> Online Payments.

    how to greet a customer in a restaurant


Feedback is the backbone of restaurant customer journey mapping as you need to know your clients’ opinions to better their customer experience. Here are some ways you can get restaurant customer feedback that will help both with your restaurant customer journey and your online visibility:

  • Claim your account on review platforms: add relevant and up-to-date information (NAP – name, address, phone number, working hours, link to website) and many pictures to create trust. Use platforms active in your area such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, or TripAdvisor to give customers the space to voice their opinions. Also, it is essential to reply to every review, positive or negative, and use it as a learning experience;
  • Send thank you e-mails after every order: let clients know you care about their opinions by sending a thank you mail where you encourage them to leave a review;
  • Add a banner on your website: your website is the main way to connect to your clients, so it makes sense to advertise your review pages there;
  • Encourage feedback on your social media: When creating a content plan, include posts advising people to leave reviews. You can even invite them to discuss any suggestions they have through private messages to better understand their needs.

Read more:: Creative Restaurant Feedback Form Templates + Free Examples


Now comes the most important part, how do you get clients to return? How do you encourage them to form a habit of visiting your restaurant or ordering from your business? Obviously, the first step is to give them an experience without fault, including a seamless ordering experience and great food.But you must also try some tactics to increase the number of return customers, such as email markering and offering relevant promotions.

But you must also try some tactics to increase the number of return customers, such as email markering and offering relevant promotions.

Promotions to improve restaurant customer satisfaction

Promotions are a great way to encourage people to order more and keep coming back to take advantage of your offers. Here are some tried and tested promotions you can implement at your restaurant:

  • % discount on selected items: find the bestselling menu item you have and offer a discount on it to attract return clients to order. Don’t forget to advertise the deal on social media;
  • Free delivery: set a minimum order amount that clients have to order to get the benefit of free delivery;
  • Buy one, get one free: a great promotion for couples that can get two meals for the price of one.

You can easily set up promotions to show at the top of your online menu with the online ordering system from GloriaFood. Go to admin -> Promotions and choose from the many restaurant promotion templates available.

how to communicate with guest in restaurant

The great thing about this Promotions module is that it allows you to access advanced settings. After selecting a certain promotion and customizing the text, image, and specifications, you can also choose to only apply the sale to return clients.

how to create a customer journey

Read more: 10 Restaurant Website Promotion Ideas for Delivery & Takeout

Email marketing to gain restaurant customer loyalty

An efficient email marketing campaign can increase the number of repeat customers by reminding them how great their experience was at your restaurant and tempting them with discounts and promotions.

You don’t have to spend all your time coming up with new ideas for email marketing, you can just use the Autopilot feature from GloriaFood. All you have to do is set up your email campaigns once, and the system will send them on autopilot, segmenting clients according to purchasing history along the way.

Go to admin -> Autopilot Selling -> Autopilot to try it out.

restaurant customer journey

You can learn more about how Autopilot works from this video:

Read more: Ultra-effective Email Marketing Ideas for Restaurants


Mapping your restaurant customer journey can help you offer the best client experience possible and increase the number of repeat customers. Start by analyzing every step of the process, from awareness, selling, and binding to feedback and return, so you can understand where you can make improvements.

Otilia Dobos

Otilia Dobos is sometimes a content writer, other times a copywriter, but always produces high-quality content that helps clients up their marketing game. She devotes her attention to helping restaurant owners have a successful business with well-documented and SEO-optimized articles.

Create your own restaurant website

Get Started