It’s been an incredibly tough year for many businesses, especially those in the hospitality sector. So now, as we emerge from (hopefully the last) lockdown, what can you do to make the most of the predicted staycation boom? Discover six things you can do now to get ready for business.
The hospitality sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. Many restaurants, hotels and sporting venues across the UK have stood empty since last December. And employment figures throughout the pandemic have continually shown it to be one of the worst-hit sectors. As of November 2020 — before the latest lockdown — 600,000 hospitality jobs were furloughed and thousands of businesses were forced to shut.
So everyone – businesses and customers alike – are excited about the arrival of May 17th. We’ve started to see some football matches taking place and the crowds really went wild to be back together.
We conducted some research on people aged 20-50, and discovered that the majority of people simply can’t wait to book holidays, be inside their favourite restaurants and just get on with life. However, there is still some nervousness and trepidation.
How do you feel about hospitality being back from May 17th?
According to www.visitbritain.co.uk the 2021 forecast is for a recovery to £61.7bn in domestic tourism spending in 2021 (up 79% compared to 2020). They are also forecasting £18.0bn in domestic overnight tourism spending (82% growth on 2020).
New research has found that 83% of British travellers would prefer a UK staycation than travel abroad this year. The vast majority (68%) want to stay in Britain this due to fears of being stranded abroad, medical issues and quarantine issues on return. And this trend is set to continue into next year, bringing a boost to the country’s hospitality sector.
So as we head into half term and the summer holidays, the UK hospitality market will be getting ready for a huge boom.
How are brands talking about opening up?
Creating the right buzz about being open and ready for business in order to generate energy and excitement needs to be balanced with a sense of precaution and realism around the situation.
We love what these guys have been doing – the tone feels right, full of energy and empathy.
However, we think that some brands have become overly functional, removing the emotion behind the ‘experience’ and have become all about rules and regulation. In terms of customer engagement, they no longer create excitement.
Six things you can start doing now to be ready for business
So what can you do to be ready for the spring/summer staycation boom? How can you be on top of things? Here are six things we recommend doing now.
1) Invest in your brand
Your brand is represented by every single touch point – from your booking system, to your menu, to the way your staff present themselves on the ‘shop floor’. So ensure you invest in this. With brand loyalty becoming harder to attain, understanding your brand and being able to communicate this to your customers becomes a priority.
2) Use imagery
Create emotion through imagery. You need to create an all singing, all dancing reflection of what you offer: the best food, service and your personality. Consider using video to showcase your venue and staff, and what there is on offer. Make what you look like on camera part of your planning.
3) Leverage your social media channels with rich content
Alongside using your fab photography, ensure that you use your social media channels to really drive engagement. Consider behind the scenes footage, staff profiles, instagram lives, competitions, polls – the list is endless but your social media is a visual representation of who you are ( and the perception that you want to create). As you open, create your own unique campaign and get customers to upload and share, to continue the great news that you are open again and what your unique offering is.
4) Be ahead of the technology
Digital ordering technology has reshaped the customer journey when it comes to ordering food. Digital ordering is here to stay and investing in your own tech infrastructure is critical. Make sure you are on top of it, and also look into how you can collect data and create or grow your email base.
5) Reinforce your safety procedures
We aren’t out of the woods yet and customers will still be wary. Make sure you are clearly communicating the dos and the don’ts, but please don’t become a record of information without the fun – we can’t wait to be back on holiday, so make us feel excited!
6) Review your Google My Business
Make sure your Google My Business page is optimised and remind customers to leave reviews when they’ve visited you. And don’t forget to monitor the comments and reply.
Need some extra help getting your marketing optimised? Give us a call today on 03330 22 00 22 or [email protected]
OnBrand are a St Albans based marketing agency, working across digital and brand strategy, social media, events and PR. If you’re in the area, we’re at the top of Victoria Street and are now open for business (and coffee!)