Tips for Getting into the Hospitality Business at This Time
When it comes to the widespread impact of the global pandemic, it can be argued that one of the hardest-hit areas is the hospitality industry. In our previous post ‘How Will Hospitality Operate Post-Lockdown?’, we looked ahead to post-lockdown and predicted that many pubs and restaurants were likely to generate a large proportion of their income through online sales and pick-ups. Fast forward to now and in-venue table service is now starting to pick up, despite social distancing restrictions. It's clear that the hospitality industry is going to take a while to bounce back to its previous levels. However, for the savvy and innovative, it is still possible to get into the hospitality business at this time and succeed.
Invest in technology to limit human contact
Social distancing has an important role to play when comes to limiting the transmission of the virus. For pubs and restaurants, reducing total capacity and keeping music at a low level should be a priority. This will prevent people from needing to shout, which can spread germs. In addition, offering a pre-booking service for tables will help address crowd control. Those who are considering becoming involved in the hospitality business at this time should keep updated with the latest guidelines when it comes to contact tracing and other key safety measures.
Start a mobile delivery service
If you’re looking to break into the restaurant industry, offering takeout can be a great low-budget option before you segway into a fully-fledged business. All you need are a few tools to help you get started. This includes a mobile ordering service that can help you keep track of your online orders and customer details. It can also help to streamline the placement of orders and shipping process. If you’re stuck on ideas, think about selling your favorite dish. For maximum versatility, you can invest in a small rice cooker that can make a variety of grains, pasta, veggies, and even pancakes for your food business. Depending on your financial constraints, finding one that suits your budget shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Click & collect
For venues that have limited resources to facilitate deliveries, click & collect can provide added convenience for customers. They can pick up their food order in their own time by selecting a specific date or time slot. In addition, those in the hospitality business can also reduce costs. Fuel costs, vehicle maintenance, and the need to hire drivers can be trimmed down or eliminated entirely. In addition, brands can collaborate with other non-competitive businesses to provide a variety of pickup locations in addition to their brick-and-mortar locations. Some mobile providers such as also offer features like app-less mobile ordering, so that customers don't need to add yet another app to their personal devices. They also offer affordable fees that compete with the sky-high costs of using mainstream providers such as Just Eat or Deliveroo.
For every hospitality business, paying attention to basic hygiene is essential. Nowadays, many UK restaurants are replacing laminated menus with disposable menus, offering sachets instead of shared condiments, and looking for other ways to reduce human contact. Taking a cue from health services will help businesses get off to the right start. This means making use of UV sanitation methods, wearing full protective gear, and looking into air sanitation systems. In addition, regularly disinfecting countertop, door handles, and light switches should be considered.
Build a relationship with your customers
Finally, building a relationship with your customers is the key to ensuring future success in this industry. An article from Big Hospitality suggests taking an omnichannel approach to target the most customers. Instagram and Facebook are great ways to draw attention to your brand. Offering limited-time promotions can help you get the ball rolling. Engaging with your followers by replying to their comments and addressing their concerns as soon as possible will also help build the reputation of your brand by showing customers that you care. By getting reviews from real people, you can also gain valuable feedback and generating more interest in your business.
Breaking into the hospitality business in the current climate will be a challenging process; however, promoting sufficient safety measures to your customers with mobile table ordering, online delivery or collection services, and social distancing protocols - these will go a long way towards ensuring customer confidence and in turn future success. In addition, opening a place with access to outside seating will help customers feel greater comfort when it comes to air circulation and social distancing guidelines.