How My Mum Built A Six Figure Restaurant By Keeping Her Customers Happy

Aladeloba Babatunde
3 min readMar 22, 2024

For ten years, from 2004 to 2014, I had the privilege of working alongside my mom at her restaurant. It wasn’t just any eatery; it was a thriving establishment consistently leading the pack in sales, customer influx, and even garnering multiple awards from beverage suppliers.

But the real secret sauce? My mom’s unwavering commitment to creating happy customers.

During our quarterly review meetings, the topic of growth and sales inevitably came up. Every time, my mom would advocate for the same core strategy: prioritize the customer experience. Simple, yet undeniably effective.

Here’s the thing — happy customers are loyal customers.

They keep coming back for more, sing your praises to their friends and family, and ultimately, fuel your restaurant’s success. This translates to not just booming sales and satisfied patrons, but financial security too.

In our case, my mom’s approach turned into a six-figure annual income for the restaurant.

Now, let’s dive deeper into my mom’s golden framework for creating happy customers, a framework applicable to any business, big or small.

Perfecting the PMF

Every business thrives on addressing customer needs. This is the essence of PMF — Product Market Fit. Your product (or in our case, the food) needs to solve a problem, satisfy a craving, or offer a unique experience that resonates with your target audience.

In our restaurant, my mom made it a point to listen to customer feedback and adjust our menu and service offerings accordingly.

By staying in tune with our customers, we were able to continuously meet their evolving needs and preferences.

Making Payment a Breeze

Imagine a bustling brand with happy customers ready to pay, but the payment process is slow and cumbersome. Frustration sets in, and satisfaction plummets.

A seamless payment process is crucial for a positive customer experience.

Making it easy for customers to make purchases is crucial in today’s fast-paced world. Whether it’s a simple checkout process online or a hassle-free payment experience at a brick-and-mortar store, businesses should aim to remove any barriers that could deter customers from completing a transaction.

At our restaurant, my mom ensured that our ordering and payment systems were quick and efficient, allowing customers to enjoy their meals without any unnecessary delays.

A Great Customer Experience

Providing top-notch customer service is key to building lasting relationships with your customers. From the moment they walk in the door or log onto your website, to the moment they leave, every interaction should be memorable and enjoyable.

Here’s how to ensure a frictionless experience:

  1. Establish a clear system for orders to be communicated effectively.
  2. Double-check orders to ensure accuracy. Mistakes can be frustrating, and timely rectification is key.
  3. Strive for timely order fulfillment. While quality shouldn’t be compromised, aim for fast service

Resolving Issues Promptly

Even with the best planning, things can go wrong. How you handle these situations speaks volumes about your commitment to customer satisfaction.

When a customer has a concern, actively listen and acknowledge their frustration. Work swiftly to resolve the issue, be it offering a replacement, a discount, or a sincere apology.

In our restaurant, my mom empowered our staff to address customer complaints promptly and effectively, turning unhappy customers into loyal advocates for our business.

By following these four frameworks, my mom turned our family restaurant into a local favourite, securing not just loyal customers but a thriving business.

Remember, happy customers are not just good for your business; they’re the foundation for long-term success.