Our third (and hopefully the very last!) lockdown is starting to come to an end, with beer gardens and terraces now open for business. There’s still a huge number of venues waiting for May 17th, but excitement is building for life to return to normality. Hospitality businesses should be aiming to hit the ground running in May.
We’ve come up with a few different easy-to-implement ideas that will drive customer visits, increase app usage and boost your business for when you can proudly open your doors again.
For merchants, of the most powerful tools you have for engaging and retaining app users. After users have downloaded your app and opted in to receive marketing messages, push notifications give you a direct channel of communication straight to the pocket of your app user.
For the modern consumer, their phone is always just an arm’s reach away, so let customers know about new opening and closing times, any offers or deals that you’ve launched or even just let them know how excited you are to welcome everyone back.
Customers want to know the benefits they’ll receive from choosing to opt in. Make sure they know you won’t just be spamming them with messages that may not be relevant. Communicate to your users that your notifications will give them exclusive offers and updates.
Running app exclusive offers is a great way to encourage customers to return to your venue after reopening. Perhaps offer a ‘Happy Hour’ every Friday between 6-7PM, where certain drinks are 2-for-1, or a 15% off voucher for loyal customers to use between Mondays and Thursdays.
Make sure to communicate the expiry dates on offers - it makes them feel even more exclusive and creates a sense of urgency to redeem.
Customers using your app will feel valued for receiving offers or discounts, and in turn will be much more likely to want to return… who doesn’t love an exclusive offer at one of their favourite pubs, restaurants or coffee shops?!
Our client Young’s do app exclusive offers brilliantly, sending out ‘monthly treats’ that everyone looks forward to! On the day that the ‘free pint’ or ‘gin & tonic’ is sent out, they always see a huge spike in footfall.
One of the best ways that you can welcome customers back, is by adding additional items onto your menu that are only available to order through your app.
This could be a special flavour of a drink you offer, or even brand new food items that you’re wanting to introduce and trial. Exclusively offering these items only on your app will build excitement for customers, because it is the only way they’ll get to try these items on your menu!
It also gives them the feeling that they’re ‘in the know’ - creating a strong sense of allegiance with your brand. This will certainly encourage more customers to download and use your app in order to gain access to these ‘secret menu’ items.
Platforms like Pepper give you the flexibility to easily build your secret menus, and set them to be available at certain days of the week, and times of the day.
Offering food bundles or set menus helps to simplify the ordering process for customers and means that they get greater value for their money. For example, offering a sandwich or wrap, a side order and a drink as a bundle for a slightly reduced price is always enticing to customers.
It’s also a great way to drive average spend amongst customers who might otherwise not have added that side or extra item, that gives you great GP.
Providing good value will increase customer satisfaction and drive loyalty. Additionally, set menus with limited changes and customisations can make life easier operationally in your kitchens. It’s a win win!
Make sure to advertise your set menus and bundles both in your venue and on your app, so that your customers are aware of what exactly you are offering.
Nothing we’ve said above is anything that the hospitality industry won’t already know - what we love to do at Pepper is bring that marketing and menu expertise into the apps and web-solutions that we build.
As mobile ordering and loyalty become even more integral to both the in-store customer experience and the marketing capabilities at head office, make sure you’re working with your digital partners to really maximise the opportunities your app affords you.
At Pepper, we know that every business is different - and we’re coming out of the toughest year the hospitality industry has ever faced.
Implementing any new technology can feel daunting, so if you have any questions, or even just want a chat about what’s going on for your brand or business in 2021, we’d love to hear from you.