Al Fresco In April: Ways To Take Advantage Of Outdoor Bookings

April 7th, 2021 Stefano Mocella Hotel PMS, Online Bookings

The hospitality industry has certainly been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, but it looks like hope is back on the menu.

As part of his roadmap out of lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that hospitality venues will be able to start offering outdoor al fresco services again from April 12. With indoor hospitality hopefully following soon afterwards on May 1.

While everyone is eagerly looking forward to drinking in beer gardens and dining on rooftop terraces again, hoteliers and publicans should use this time wisely to ensure their venue is adequately prepared.

With that in mind, we’ve created this post-COVID post to help hospitality businesses survive until they get back on their feet.

Market Your Venue Effectively

Reopening your venue in any capacity is great news, so make everyone knows what to expect when it happens. Remember that guest engagement is important. So make the most of social media by using all of your channels to announce your return to business. Use social media to update consumers with all the details that they need to know, such as outlining any special offers and explaining how restrictions work.

With so many in the hospitality industry opening up at once, effectively marketing yours is essential to success.

So, make sure to align your marketing by updating websites and all social media channels, because your online presence should always be totally consistent across all platforms. You can also engage with your existing customer database via email marketing, or even try to attract new business by advertising in your local area.

Check Stock & Revamp Menus

A stocktake will most likely be a priority for many venues, especially those which have had no choice but to shut down completely.

Remember too that not only does a good PMS track your inventory for you, but can also help with reopening during this time. Since you’ll be operating at a limited capacity with fewer staff than normal for a while, it makes good sense to trim down your menu for the moment. With less options on the menu, you can have more quality-made and authentic meals.

Not only will a smaller and more manageable menu makes it easier for everyone, but menu reinvention can also change the long-term performance of a venue. So start by offering core comfort foods as a priority, and concentrate on maximising profitability by adding your historical best-sellers and high-margin meals.

Prioritise Your Loyal Customers

If you already have a loyalty program, make sure to treat members as a priority.

If you don’t have a loyalty program, you can think of your followers on social media as having loyalty membership until you create one. Because loyalty equals trust. If these customers already trust your brand, are familiar with your offerings, and happy with your service, then they’ll be the most likely people to make a booking or visit your venue during this time.

Contact your loyalty members and encourage them to make a dinner reservation or to book for lunch with exclusive offers. Entice them with new meal and drink promotions, or simply offer a discount for their next visit.

Offering these price reductions may seem counterintuitive right now, but by rewarding your repeat customers will actually prompt them to keep coming back, spend more money, and invite their friends as well next time.

Food for Thought

Just because something has always been done a certain way, it doesn’t mean it’s the most effective way of doing it.

So instead of aiming for business as usual during the recovery period, you can use this opportunity to leverage the situation by updating procedures and streamlining operations. By finding new innovations during this new normal, you’ll end up creating the *next* normal.

With some careful planning and a little foresight, you’ll make sure that your venue operates better than ever in the post-COVID future.

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InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management softwareroomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMSCloud PMSChannel ManagerHotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.  

Call us today on +44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@innquestemea.com. We will be happy to walk you through InnQuest’s solutions.  

For US, please call +1 813 288 4900 or email sales@innquest.com.