How to Attract Customers to Your Hospitality Business Post-Lockdown

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COVID restrictions have hit the hospitality industry pretty hard, to say the very least. Many businesses like yours still face paper-thin margins. Loyal customers often work from home or may live too far away to support your business during this time. Our web experts offer some suggestions to adapt and creatively encourage customers to support your local hospitality business if you’re opening back up.

The importance of local businesses

The hospitality industry you need catch your customers

Local businesses are the heart of your customers’ communities. For cafes and restaurants, these are the places where locals come to catch up on local news, sit and read the paper and meet with friends. But the hospitality industry offers more than a place to sit. Your business creates jobs for locals and supports the economic wellbeing of the community. In hard times like this, small businesses can band together to support one another by exchanging ideas and encouraging customers to buy local. Here are a few creative ways you can do this.

Support local causes

Advocating things that matter to your customers might be the best way you can get them to support your business. Most areas will have a local sports team that you can help promote when a big game comes up. Get banners flying, fundraise for new equipment or offer a special deal on the day. One of the ways you can show that you’re getting involved with local community is through the Galleries feature on your Top4 microsite.

Top4 advert profile Jabiru nundah

Another great way to help locals support one another is a pay-it-forward scheme. Customers can choose to pay for a stranger’s food or drink in advance, which puts money in your pocket and contributes to a stronger community. A strategy like this shows your customers that you are engaged with them and can offer them something valuable during this hard time.

Get creative with loyalty programs

A loyalty program, when done right, can be an effective way that can save your business. Most cafes and restaurants benefit more from customer retention than customer acquisition. This means creating an effective loyalty program will encourage new faces to become regulars. Try offering an up-front reward like a discount or complimentary drink for first sign-ups to incentivise customers. This way, they get a little serotonin boost and you get a repeat customer!

Promote specials and upsells

Specials and upsells are an effective way to increase revenue and customer satisfaction. Encourage your staff to tell customers about weekly specials and any upsells that go with their orders. If the fish and chips are special, let them know that ginger beer is a popular pairing! You can also do this through a digital menu, website by highlighting any specials and pairing suggestions.

Other than menu pairings, you can also create special offers for groups. Remember that once restrictions lift, there will be a huge demand for in-person gatherings. Take advantage of this by advertising it through your website and social media channels for maximum exposure. And of course, don’t forget to maximise the use of our Promotions feature on your Top4 microsite!

Promotions as useful, relevant content

Takeaway packs and pantry items

Make it easier for customers to support you by offering takeaway packs and pantry staples. Broadening the goods you offer can increase the average spend per customer. Someone who comes in for a coffee may end up leaving with eggs, a loaf of bread and freshly made pasta. In this scenario, the customer has more than doubled their initial spend. Look at what your business makes and see whether you can sell raw ingredients, such as pasta sauce or fresh produce. This is also an excellent opportunity for you to support other local producers such as bakeries and farmers. Everyone loves a win-win-win situation!

Pre-bookings for Christmas dine-ins

Demand for in-house dining will skyrocket once hospitality businesses can open fully. Make sure you’re prepared by promoting pre-bookings for Christmas, New Year and other festive holidays now. You can save your customers from the disappointment of missing out! What’s more, it’ll give you an idea of what to expect for the festive season.

Gift vouchers

Give the gift of giving! Gift cards are one of the most underrated ways to increase revenue and customer engagement. They make fantastic birthday or Christmas gifts. They can also increase exposure to your hospitality business. And since dining is a social activity it’s almost guaranteed the recipient will bring friends or family to redeem their gift card. This means increased profits for your business!

Merchandise

If your business has an interesting aesthetic or distinctive branding, you could benefit from offering merch. Baseball caps, bucket hats, T-shirts, mugs or tea towels can all be printed with your designs or brand and sold to customers. It’s a great way for regulars to show their support. What’s great about merchandise is that they also come with the perk of free advertising!

Make sure your merch caters for your audience. If you serve mostly uni students, then try a hip, urban look. If your building is near a landmark or has an exciting style, incorporate it into the design. Let customers know you’d love to see them wearing your merch with a hashtag. Increasing your online exposure is never a bad thing!

Encourage families and groups

You’ve created specials for group dine-ins, great. But there are other ways you can appeal to families and group outings. Make sure your business is equipped to cater for families, playgroup outings and birthdays. Early dining discounts, kids’ menus and a kids area will encourage families to visit your establishment. Showcase photos of your interior and features in your restaurant on your GMB listing.  On your Top4 microsite you can do this through the Galleries feature. A bar venue or the smoking area will give additional details of your business that might attract certain potential customers.

Top4 advert profile of Jabiru Nundah

For birthdays, work functions and other large groups, offer a set menu that includes drinks and an optional dessert. You can do this by leveraging the Menu feature on your Top4. This creates a minimum spend and encourages larger groups to dine at your business.

Add separate menu item and section for special offer like birthdays

These straightforward strategies can serve as a way to thank your customers for supporting their local businesses. Give these tips a try and who knows, maybe they will also encourage them to keep coming back.


To find out how we can help you with your Website + Marketing, using our unique location marketing platform called Top4, get in touch today at www.top4marketing.com

Add separate menu item and section for special offer like birthdays

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