Who would have guessed that the year 2020 would have us in lockdown? That businesses would be pressed to close their doors and that the days as we once knew them would come to a sudden halt? This is, unfortunately, our current reality and it’s a harsh one for all of us. It’s not the end, however. With some positive thinking, innovation, and strategising – you can still make a success of your hospitality business despite the current and seemingly unyielding “downtime”.
If you’re not furloughed, then the following tips are great for those who are in the hospitality industry. These ideas will keep you productive and they will help you to best prepare your business for when your doors open again.
We’re starting with the most obvious and possibly most dull (for some) idea. While your venue is not seeing any foot traffic, you may as well use the opportunity to give it a thorough clean. This is especially important during this time when cleanliness and hygiene is the number one priority. Many readers have probably already done this. But it’s important to keep it up, as dust will gather even with no one visiting.
Disinfect the nooks and crannies that were low priority before, deep clean cupboards and shelves. Pull everything out of these storage places and get stuck in. Even the staff only areas.
At the same time, you may also want to look into creating a new schedule and cleaning tasks for staff going forward. New expectations and measures have been put in place when it comes to cleanliness and these should be added to your regimen.
Tackle Staff Training
Platforms such as Skype, Zoom, and Google Hangouts make it possible for staff members to meet and collaborate online. This means that staff training doesn’t pause if employees are furloughed – in fact getting those staff training is encouraged.
You can use the new found time on your hands to compile training material. Alternatively, you can browse the internet for information to be passed onto your staff that can improve their skills.
Once you have your training material ready, set a meeting date and time that everyone can commit to (giving everyone time to set-up the conference application of choice). You can then continue with your staff training online. This is also a great way to encourage a positive outlook and to keep employees in good spirits during a period of uncertainty.
Update Your Website and Social Media Pages
Now’s the time to make those changes and updates to your website that you just never get to. You can:
- Make sure all of your contact details are still correct
- Test your contact form to make sure it’s still working
- Add new and more recent photos to your gallery
- Write blog posts for your blog (content is a key component when it comes to SEO and online marketing)
- Contact your web designer for an upgrade or a new user interface design
- Add an E-commerce module and create an online store
The same applies to all of your social media pages. You can make sure your details are correct across all of the platforms and update your “About Us” sections with recent news.
Downtime is also perfect for planning future social media posts. You can compile content and post ideas to schedule for the coming months.
Update and Optimise Your Directory Listings
Most hospitality businesses recognise the importance of having listings on both offline and online restaurant, travel, and entertainment directories. While you have some time on your hands, why not make sure that the information on these directories is still correct? Perhaps you can respond to customer reviews too and better your reputation across all channels.
You may also want to do some research to see if there are any new directories that you have not been listed on. During strenuous times for businesses, you want to make sure that your brand is advertised well and even the smaller directories could give you extra exposure.
Work on Your Marketing Approach
Just because you’re not receiving customers, it does not mean that you should stop marketing yourself. Continue with your social media campaigns and start strategising for the weeks and months ahead.
An event – such as the Covid-19 pandemic – can change how the world reacts to your brand and your advertising methods. Now may be a good time to strategise how you market yourself. For example, the current lockdown has emphasised how important the digital world is. It provides a portal where many businesses can continue to trade or at the very least, engage with customers. Perhaps it’s time to consider improving your email marketing and digital customer communications? Or maybe you want to make more of a prominent appearance on social media?
Adjust Your Strategy
When a stick gets thrown in your works, then we encourage you to embrace the event as an opportunity to learn and grow. Do what you can to ensure that your business is stronger and more prepared every time something drastic and unforeseen occurs.
When it comes to adjusting the strategy of a restaurant or hotel, for example, we ‘ve got the following suggestions:
- You can take your business online and create an E-commerce store where you sell your recipes, secret ingredients, cooking lessons, and vouchers.
- Create a delivery service to get meals and drinks to your customers’ doorsteps.
- Offer your services to those in need. If you have available hotel rooms, you can offer them to those who need to self-isolate or to those who cannot find a flight back home. If you’re a restaurant, you can use your resources to make food parcels for the hungry. This way you can continue to serve your community and you will be remembered for the role you played in giving-back.
On an end note:
When you’re stuck at home, why not use the time to get to know your customers better? When you know your customers – you know your business. At Stampede, we provide smart technology so that you can connect and communicate with audiences. Helping you to learn their behaviours and expectations with data driven insight. Ready to contact us for more information?