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Line Up Your Repeat Restaurant Customers Using JTBD

Restaurateurs can use the Jobs-to-be-done framework strategically to keep their customers coming back.

Line Up Your Repeat Restaurant Customers Using JTBD

Thursday June 04, 2020,

8 min Read

One of the innovation framework models which have taken the world by storm is the jobs-to-be-done framework. It helps you understand not only what your customers exactly want, but also how you can ensure that your customers have a pleasant experience using your products and services.

What is the jobs-to-be-done framework?

You may be a restaurant consultant or owner, but you’re a customer, too, in your own way. For example, you might buy a sweater, a pair of shoes, or a watch.

But you don’t just buy these products; you hire them to get your jobs done. For instance, when you feel cold, you purchase or “hire” a sweater to keep yourself warm. You don’t buy a watch just for the sake of buying one. You buy a watch to check the time of the day. So, checking the time of the day is the job for which you “hire” a watch.

As a marketer, you should think in the same way. What job is your customer trying to get done? Or, what’s your customer trying to achieve? These questions steer your focus away from your product itself to your customers.

This framework for viewing your products and services in the light of the jobs that your customers want to get done is called the Jobs-To-Be-Done (JTBD) framework. Because of this framework, your customers “hire” your product or service so that they can get their jobs done.

Why is the JTBD framework useful?

The Jobs-to-Be-Done framework helps you understand what your customers want to accomplish.

For example, customers of McDonald's wanted to have something for breakfast that would sufficiently quench their appetite and wouldn’t bore them entirely while driving to work. This was the job they wanted to get done_ having a convenient breakfast.

Clayton Christensen, a Harvard Business School Professor, then came up with a plausible solution to this_ why not sell thicker milkshakes that would last throughout the customers' long commute?

"[...] understanding the job to be done, we found, really helps us in making innovation predictable. [...] And if we make the job so that it does it better, we can predict that the customers will buy it." - Clayton Christensen

Right after the company started implementing this idea, they saw a 7x increase in their milkshake sales.

5 tips to lure repeat restaurant customers using JTBD

In the same way, you can use the JTBD framework with these 5 tips to understand how to turn your first-time restaurant customers into repeat ones.

1.    List your restaurant on ‘Google My Business’

The job: Finding a good fine-dining restaurant nearby.

The solution: Picture this: when people enter “best fine-dine restaurant near me” on Google, your restaurant business pops up on their screens. Based on how close your restaurant is to their location, they’re more likely to drop by your restaurant. Once they experience commendable customer service at your restaurant, they decide to revisit you. How cool is that? And how strategic, too.

According to Google's Annual Report 'Year in Search_ India', the number of "near me" searches rose by 75% from 2017 to 2018.

Are you going to use that to your advantage? Yes!

The ‘Google My Business’ platform gives you a chance to boost your local presence online. Listing your restaurant on this directory after completing the verification steps makes it show up on Google Maps as well.

But that’s not the best part. No, the best part’s that since people trust Google a lot, they’re more likely to trust your restaurant business when it shows up on local search. Plus, they can see how much your existing customers have rated your services, so, this adds to your credibility.

2.    Offer ‘Happy Hours’

The job: Getting combo offers of the best drinks with finger-licking snacks.

The solution: Launch a ‘Happy Hours’ program to make your customers happy and keep them coming back for more!

Whether your ‘Happy Hour’ is scheduled for a few hours every day or once a week, you can create a special menu for that special time. A mixture of exclusive mocktails, food, and cocktails will get your 'Happy Hour' sparked up in no time.

Offer these combinations in a way that still lets you make profits. For example, if you offer a couple of drinks for free, you can cover the costs by increasing the prices of your best-selling items.

The more attractive items you keep on your ‘Happy Hours’ menu, the more repeat customers you get via word-of-mouth.

3.    Reach out to new and existing customers on social media

The job: Availing discounts, deals, or coupons while dining out.

The solution: Leverage social media to reach new and existing customers.

Of course, you can send an SMS to each of your regular customers to spread the happy news. But that’s quite time-consuming. And you certainly don’t want to bore your customers to death, sending them the same kinds of SMSs without any images or videos.

So, how can you let your customers know about the deals at your restaurant without boring them? It’s simple_ leverage social media platforms.

For this, Instagram and Facebook leap to the mind, but you can also use other social media sites like Snapchat. You know that a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, a social media post is worth a thousand SMSs, if it might be said so.

Social media lets you reach out not only to your regular customers, but also to entirely new ones. With so many people using social media these days, you can’t fail to get your message out to your audience, who’ll then tell others about your coupons and discounts.

As a result, customers will repeatedly be knocking at the doors of your restaurant!

4.    Create a website or update an existing one

The job: Having a hassle-free online food ordering experience directly from a restaurant’s website.

The solution: Instead of entirely relying on third-party online food delivery systems like Zomato or Swiggy, spark up your own branded delivery system too.

When it comes to improving your customers’ online experience related to your restaurant, nothing beats an exceptionally-designed website.

Make it easy for your customers to order food from your restaurant’s website via their smartphones, tablets, and computers. Also, ensure that your website sports a responsive design.

You can allow your customers to track the status of their orders, or even recommend your food to others when they’re ordering food from your website.

You must’ve noticed that after you read a blog post somewhere online, the blog features a ‘Related Posts’ section right at the end of the post. And if you think of Amazon and Flipkart, even these websites show you a ‘Related Products’ section once you add a product to your shopping cart.

The result? Both Amazon and Flipkart have thousands of repeat customers who want more suggestions about products that can help them in some way or the other.

Well, then, what’s stopping you from doing the same thing on your restaurant’s website?

After your customers select the food that they want to order, you can suggest to them a couple of items that go well with the chosen menu.

For example, if a customer chooses Dal Makhani, encourage her to select Parathas or Butter Naan as well by featuring these under a ‘Related Items’ section. And because people need help while buying something, and your customers find that you’re helping them in this regard, they’ll visit your website again and again. Exciting, right?

5.    Personally engage with your customers

The job: Dining at a restaurant with exceptional service.

The solution: While marketing your restaurant business for gaining repeat customers, the personal touch is the Midas Touch.

Treat your customers the way you’d want to be treated. All it takes is getting to know them personally_ their birthdays, and even their kids’ names. Make them believe that you’re interested in them not just as your customers, but as human beings.

But how do you do that? Well, politely ask each of them for his or her feedback. People want their opinions to be heard, so you need to listen carefully to what they have to say about your restaurant.

This way, when you make your existing customers feel special, you get to know more about what they like and dislike. Then, you can incorporate their favourite items on a special menu on, for example, their birthdays, and let them know about it.

Imagine their excitement when they hear of this! They’ll be sharing the news with their friends and family members, who’ll be sharing the news with theirs, until your existing customers become your regular ones.


These 5 ways are going to ensure that your customers have a compelling experience at your restaurant, and thereby, get their jobs done.

When they find that your restaurant is the best one that gets their jobs done, they can’t help but become repeat customers of yours!