Are you being sincere in your messaging? Think about the last time you said "Thank You" to a guest. Did you really mean it, or was it the habit of being polite? Or, was it the habit of social norm, not even politeness?
Here's a concrete example of something ran into recently. I have an associate that I work with over email quite a bit (don't worry, I got his permission before writing about him). In his email signature (you know, the blurb of text people put at the bottom of every email they send), he puts "Thank you, Dan." He saw it as a way around having to type it each time he wrote an email, and it "seemed polite." Well, as I worked more with Dan, it became glaringly obvious that he was not writing this each time and it started to show up in emails where it was not appropriate. His Thank You's then started falling on deaf ears, and he was missing any way to make an emotional impact on me by saying Thank You.
So, are you doing the same? There's a good chance that you have a "Thank You" sign on the back of your door. In Dan's words, this probably "seems" polite but you're missing a great opportunity to leave a real impression on your guest. Take that sign down and focus on giving your guest a sincere thank you. Now, you've also got their attention, take the time to ask them to come back, ask about their experience, ask them to refer you, etc.... A good example is my local Jimmy John's. Every time a guest leaves, the entire staff stops to thank them for coming in. When they capture a positive reaction from the guest, they often remind them that they'll see them next week.
This concept extends to all of your marketing. Are you taking the time to really appreciate your guests. You can do this is a variety of ways. Here are some suggestions:
1) Thank them with a referral program
2) Customized messaging in marketing
3) Engaging with them in your establishment and with social media
4) Get to know your guests and their interests
5) Taking the time give a sincere thank you and inviting them back
What are you doing?