Preparing for the reopening of hospitality

Here at Pepper, we’re keeping everything crossed that this will be the last time hospitality will be leaving a lockdown - and we’ve come up with our key learnings from last year.

The hospitality industry, and the British public, are counting down the days until April 12th, when beer gardens, terraces, roof-tops, pavements and the great outdoors will be opening up again. 

The 10pm curfew has been abolished, no one need debate whether sausage rolls constitute substantial meals and if this good weather continues into April, the outlook will be sunny for the industry.

Unfortunately, after 2020, operators are all-too used to the rush of getting everything ready for re-opening. Here at Pepper, we’re keeping everything crossed that this will be the last time hospitality will be leaving a lockdown - and we’ve come up with our key learnings from last year. 

Killer offers

Reopening your venue is big news, so make sure you let your customers know! Email marketing, social media, local newspapers - all are important tools to spread the word.

Sending push-notifications to app users is a quick and easy way to keep them updated in the run up to re-opening. Businesses that run push notification campaigns have a 3 times higher retention rate and 88% better app engagement (Localytics, 2018), so re-engage customers with thoughtful reminders and personalised offers for when they return. 

As consumers look to decide where they’ll visit, exciting offers are one way to secure footfall over competitors.

A 10% discount to customers who visit within the first week of you reopening, or 2-for-1 on certain drinks every Friday for the first month back - simple but powerful offers could be one way to bring people into your outside spaces this April. 

It’s also the prime opportunity to leverage your app or web-based ordering platform. Customers still need to stay seated at their table, so app-only offers encourage maximum adoption of your platform. More importantly, they free staff up from taking table-service orders, meaning they can concentrate on getting drinks out quickly and keeping visitors happy. 

Loyalty should be rewarded 

There are no downsides to a loyal, engaged customer base. Every vertical of hospitality benefits when their regulars feel they’re getting a personalised experience that recognises their value to the business.

Pepper has worked on a variety of loyalty programmes over the years - including stamp cards, pseudo-currency, loyalty points, special offers and ‘surprise and delight’ schemes. Our team is always happy to dig down into your brand and work out what might suit your staff and customers best!

Paired with ordering - it’s easy to grant perks based on what your customers buy, bringing them back into the venue to burn those rewards.

If you’ve already got a scheme in place, now is the time to review it and make sure it’s working for you.

Black Sheep Coffee Loyalty Card

Efficient operations 

We’re asking the staff in hospitality venues to do more than ever before - as well as offering great customer service, it also has to be safe customer service. 

Digital ordering and loyalty, when well-advertised and widely adopted, should form a crucial part of the operation of any hospitality venue. Therefore, it’s key that staff are offered refresher-training on how to run an efficient shift.

It’s your greatest marketing tool: team members who are experts on how to use the app, how to position it and incentivise customers to sign up. 

Before re-opening, staff should know what promotions are set up, how to answer frequently asked questions and how to ensure the operation runs as smoothly as possible. Through internal comms, training sessions and guidance from managers, the app can launch with a bang in April.

The non-digital (but important) stuff

The essential and robust measures to enforce social distancing within venues will be back for the foreseeable future, so ensuring that one-way systems are signposted before reopening is key. Review where staff will be travelling to deliver orders, and look for efficiencies.

PPE, the correct informative POS and a deep clean of the premises will all need to be in place before re-opening. Whichever steps you implement, completing a run-through with your staff before April 12th should throw up any issues and better everyone’s understanding of the procedures.

And as customers are welcomed back with enticing offers and deals, why not extend the same hospitality to staff? Incentives for hitting sales targets or app downloads can leave staff both motivated to push your initiatives, but also rewarded for their hard work. 

We’ll see you there

Pepper was founded out of a love for the hospitality industry, and our staff are passionate about our technology and the businesses we work with. It’s been a long lockdown, and we’re itching to get back into pubs, cafes, restaurants and bars. 

If you’d be interested to hear more about how we could work together we’d love to speak to you. Just be aware that post-April 12th, we may be conducting our Zoom meetings from local beer gardens...

Apps for Itsu, Dirty Sixth, Rick Stein, 200 Degrees and Young's Pubs