With hospitality businesses experiencing a surge in coronavirus cancellations, marketing expert Mark McCulloch shares his 13 tips for presenting your business positively during the crisis.
- Push what you are doing to step up cleaning in-venue, including kitchen, cutlery, tables, crockery, team, food hygiene and toilets.
- Promote what you are doing to step up training and shift briefing for teams.
- Post positives about guests who are visiting and what they are saying. Get vox pops and talking heads from them and post these lots.
- Emphasise any changes you are making with regard to social distancing, such as halving the number of tables or removing queuing in-venue.
- Push delivery and collection for people want low or no contact.
- Promote private rooms or areas that are bookable for lower numbers.
- If you are a local venue work even harder to attract those that will be nearby as it looks like people are staying more locally at present.
- Suggest guests might wish to buy gift vouchers for future use when looking to cancel, or even as a show of support for trhe business.
- Be proactive about contacting those who have booked and try to either confirm, land a future date or convert to a gift voucher.
- Create a Just Giving page for your true brand fans who will want to see you stay in business or send your team a tip to say thanks.
- Think about how you can serve your local community best in the next 12 weeks. Can your venue adapt into something else for the short term or have a dual focus, such as click & collect, offer essentials you can get through your wholesale suppliers, if really empty can you become a testing centre / medical facility?
- Can you help support local NHS, emergency services, carers or teachers if possible?
- Can you send out hampers or packs to those in need?
Action these across all your media channels – owned, paid and earned – via social media, in-venue, digitally (website, email database and SMS) and good old fashioned phone.
Overall, try to be positive, be kind and be yourself – it is why customers love you anyway. Stay away from seeming opportunistic and be sure to judge the level of jokes, as this is serious for many.