Free Download Guide – Give your hospitality business an online presence
Posted: 30th March 2020
With the roadmap out of lockdown firmly underway, many hospitality businesses are preparing to reopen. Customers are anticipating returning to their favourite spots, and one pub lover has even created a One Way Road to Beer website – a sort of advent calendar for Great British grown-ups who can’t wait to have a pint with friends.
Although it may be possible to have a physical presence once again, those in hospitality with an online presence may fare better in this new climate.
It is not yet clear how the hospitality sector will fare. Many hope that trade will return to normal. Some predict a ‘roaring twenties’ atmosphere during which punters will enthusiastically make up for the lost time by supporting their favourite watering holes.
Whilst trade may eventually return to normal, lessons learned throughout the last 12 months may not be forgotten. For some businesses, the need to adapt to survive has changed their business model forever, revealing new streams of income or a new business model that may have previously seemed unviable.
For many in the hospitality sector, the pandemic was a chance to step up and try new things. Many took to social media to reach new audiences. Some created seemingly unlikely collaborations, and others remained closed but used their online presence to share messages of support to the industry and their customers.
However you plan to use your online presence, there is no doubt that as a hospitality business, you need one. If you need further convincing, here are some ways in which those in the hospitality industry have used their online presence to support their business during the last 12 months.
There are many ways to use your online presence to support your hospitality business. Whether you are looking to add extra revenue streams or create an online portfolio, your online presence should be an extension of your business values.
How to use an online presence to support your hospitality business:
- As a shop window
- To sell products
- To provide information
There are many ways of harnessing your online presence to serve the needs of your business and in some cases, you may even discover new streams of revenue.
Use your online presence to diversify your streams of revenue and become pandemic-proof
Pre-pandemic, the idea of sending luxury items such as cocktails and Michelin starred cuisine to customers to eat at home was not a mainstream concept. However, during the last 12 months, many in the hospitality industry have relied on this to remain afloat. The Cinnamon Club in London has been packaging and sending fantastic ‘finish-at-home’ feasts to customers around the country, expanding the Cinnamon Club’s brand awareness and reaching an entirely new customer base.
As the hospitality industry begins to reopen, Cinnamon Club owner and head chef Vivek Singh has said that the meal kits will continue to be prepared and sent to customers alongside the restaurant’s fine-dining offer in Westminster.
By optimising his website for e-commerce, Singh has created a pandemic-proof stream of revenue that could sit alongside the Cinnamon Club’s in-person offering once the restaurants reopen. Offering at-home fine dining during the lockdown months may have also earned the Cinnamon Club more brand recognition and loyalty from a previously unreachable demographic.
Whilst many businesses use Uber Eats or similar delivery services to sell their products outside of the restaurant, this set up does not suit many in the hospitality industry. Whether you want to sell products via Instagram Shopping or through your website, optimising your business for e-commerce ensures that you are reaching new customers and offers another stream of revenue.
Allow customers to take a peek through the shop window without having to leave home
After twelve months of furlough, dining at home and not visiting a restaurant or bar may be enough for some consumers to spend a whole load of money on eating and drinking out.
However, the reality is that unemployment is high, and disposable income is tight for many people. By creating a strong online presence for your business, consumers can window shop before visiting. This is something that Exeter and Taunton based Eat The Bird does well. Semiotics and messaging matches across social channels and their website.
The website features an image-led restaurant menu, which is perfect for giving customers a taste of what they’re getting and offers prior warning to those with dietary requirements. There is also an Eat The Bird playlist on the website, providing customers with a chance to experience the sounds of the restaurant at home.
Across their social media platforms, Eat The Bird’s image led approach continues with oozy burgers and shareable content, which will have customers saying ‘I can’t wait to go here!’. Entice customers with hunger-inducing imagery and ensuring that they know what to expect when they visit your restaurant is a sure-fire way to beat the competition.
Will we ever be back to normal?
There is currently no telling when we will be ‘back to normal’ and the last year has taken a particular toll on the hospitality industry. The current government road map states that regular service will eventually resume within the hospitality sector. However, by building a robust online presence, you can support your business to weather any further storms.
A Free Guide
We know things are tough right now, and you’re probably eager to hit the ground running. We have created a handy free guide for those in the hospitality industry. In this free guide, you will find impartial advice about how to get online in a way that works for you and your business.
To download our free guide, simply fill in your details, and we’ll send it straight to your inbox. If you have any questions about this guide or are looking for further advice, please get in touch with a member of the team.