Think back those bleak lockdown moments.
Finally pulling those Findus Crispy Pancakes out from the depths of the freezer. Attempting DIY triple-cooked chips and beer-batter cod, only to end up with a smoked-out kitchen, a shedload of washing up and a pile of mush to show for it.
How many times did you think “I could physically murder some pub grub right about now”. Now that UK hospitality is back open, we’re all back in the game.
Though we have our part to play as customers in keeping UK hospitality open.
Lockdown is over, but the risks aren’t.
While it’s your right to reacquaint yourself with much-needed hospitality leisure time, don’t let a tipple or five cloud your judgement.
Just one covid case in your favourite hospitality hangout could close its doors temporarily, or for good.
For now, pub and restaurant ‘covid passport’ regulations in the UK have been scrapped, though venues are free to impose their own requirements.
If you’re not comfortable with the level of covid regulations for a particular establishment, go somewhere that suits your preferences, know the rules and stick to them.
If you’re a pub, bar, cafe or restaurant operator, ensure new customers and arriving customers are quickly briefed on exactly what you expect of them.
Don’t feel pressured to do the bare minimum. Design covid-regulations you think are necessary, though try to strike a balance. Too much red tape will either drive away custom, or take the shine off of service and experience.
Don’t overwhelm customers with ‘thou shalt nots’ - your customers are coming to enjoy hospitality, so be hospitable. Be politely vigilant and ensure your team knows how to deal with rule-breaches diplomatically.
The most successful pubs, bars and cafes don’t need to do much advertising because they thrive through earned media.
What is Earned Media?
‘Earned media’ is easier to give than it sounds. Effectively, it’s any form of free advertising, like word-of-mouth, for example.
Besides providing your much-needed custom, earned-media is perhaps the best way you can help keep UK hospitality open.
Had a great eating-out experience? Shout about it.
Earned media isn’t just word of mouth, it can also be online reviews and social media comments that other people who you don’t even know will see and act on.
This particular study, for example, found that:
“higher Yelp scores helped restaurants sell tables 19 percent more frequently during peak periods.”
Your shared experiences as happy customers really do translate to positive commercial impact that can help keep UK hospitality open.
The obvious answer is ‘by delivering standout hospitality experiences.’ As a hospitality operator, you don’t need us to remind you what that takes.
Though you might not have thought of:
Asking for reviews directly
If customers volunteer praise, remind them which review sites you have presence on, and express your appreciation if they’d consider publishing positive feedback.
Asking for reviews via card & receipts
Give customers your High Table, Yelp or TripAdvisor details on a little card attached to the bill, or print a call-to-action message requesting reviews on the receipt itself.
Offer ‘reviews’ perks
Incentivise customers to share positive experiences. Ask them to email you a screenshot of their positive online review. Then reward them with a voucher discount if they return and spend a minimum you decide on.
Try the Growyze App and get two months free and stay 5-star-review-worthy and get more ‘earned media’ from customers. Do stock, waste, and ordering on-the-go while staying customer-focused.
When it comes to reviews, there is a risk/reward tradeoff. Yes, provoking reviews can trigger negative feedback. Though the net benefit on business over time is positive according to any and all analyses you’ll come across.
Besides, even negative feedback can highlight areas you need to improve on.
Pre-Book & Order What You’ll Actually Eat
Be it fast-casual or fine dining, if you've ventured out, post-lockdown without booking, you’ll have likely learned your lesson. Appetite for eat-our experiences is high.
Pre-booking helps hospitality
Pre-booking to get a table, though, isn’t just a wise tactical manoeuvre from the customer angle. You'll also help hospitality stay open by reducing the amount of on-the-spot prep and reactive service hospitality establishments have to undergo.
Ordering just right helps too
Hospitality food-waste is staggering. Waste as a business cost alone can be the difference between staying open and closing for good. As a customer, don’t let your eyes get bigger than your stomach.
You can always order more later. Ordering just right will help keep your favourite eateries financially healthy.
Get two months free of the Growyze App. Take stock, manage waste, track your orders and more, right from your phone. Growyze collects critical business data you can use to make big growth decisions to stay open and really thrive.