We’ve recently read how Inception Group, a London based experiential bar group, plans to weave reopening regulations and measures into the guest experience as they look ahead.
They are taking the current guidance and putting a positive, branded spin on it rather than just following a tick-box exercise for reopening their themed venues. Mannequins dressed to match the themes as placeholders, bee-keeping suits and even vintage gas masks are all in the mix to comply with regulations.
The concept has rightly received coverage and praise across industry media. Adapting the measures to differentiate themselves and create memorable customer experiences is a great initiative.
The team at Inception Group talk of how the concept aims to avoid creating environments that look too sterile and take away from the atmosphere and experience in their venues.
Their example points to the need for venues to find that balance between hospitality and hygiene, personality and PPE when planning for reopening. Consumers will want to see the measures in place but at the same time they would probably appreciate some escape from the constant reminders. It’s a tough compromise.
There are lots of images of waiting and bar staff in surgical masks on the web right now, and it looks sterile in every sense of the word. It looks clean but impersonal.
According to Google Trends, searches for “branded face masks” have – perhaps unsurprisingly – been on the rise in the last 6 weeks. Visually this is one of the first things that comes to mind when considering customer service in the near future. But how many operators are going to consider adding branded PPE to existing workwear? And what further adaptions of the possible reopening measures could be made to help venues strike the right balance between peace-of-mind and brand personality?
As we edge closer to a reopening date for hospitality venues, it will be interesting to see how necessary safety measures are incorporated into customer experiences.
Inception Group mentioned that they will keep developing their concept as regulations are clarified, and we look forward to seeing the eventual outcome.