There’s no point in beating around the bush, Covid-19 continues to make life very difficult for businesses in the hospitality sector.
With the introduction of Tiers in England, and now Scotland, lockdown in Northern Ireland and a fire break in Wales, a lot of businesses are worrying about the impact it’ll have on sales. But, the good news is the demand for goods is still high.
Consumers are continuing to eat and drink out, and they're turning to their local businesses for help, so any hospitality business that can make a quick pivot and re-brand their establishment as a takeaway or delivery service could get their share of this.
Remember, it’s not just your cash flow that needs looking after through the pandemic, but the vulnerable members of society, not to mention the (quite frankly heroic) key workers conducting essential work to keep us all healthy and supported during this unprecedented time.
We have introduced a brand new product, Order and beepaid, to help make offering a collection or delivery service easier. They scan a unique QR code, browse your menu, place an order and pay. Here's how it can help in a nutshell:
Order & beepaid means you can quickly adapt to a collection and delivery service to keep your business trading.
We just need a copy of your menu and we'll upload it and generate a QR code for you. You can print it off, place it around your business and your customers can start ordering.
It's affordable and simple. Unlike most competitors, you'll only pay for rental and card processing fees.
Menus can be time configured to only show when they're available. E.g. breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even Sunday menus, can be shown at specific times.
As the owner or manager, you can log in to any internet enabled device, from anywhere to keep an eye on your business.
Whether that's drinks to the bar or food to the kitchen, where they can be viewed on a phone, tablet or laptop.
Add one contact per table to help you take part in the government's Track and Trace scheme.
Find out more about it here.
Good to know: while this guide is set out to assist hospitality-based businesses, there’s no reason the likes of retail companies or anyone who serves food and drink can’t adapt this to suit their needs.
That's payments covered, so let's get to out 8-step guide.
In the face of potentially large-volume deliveries, you want to make your life as easy as possible so you can nail your orders every time.
So, if you currently have a menu packed with variety and options, go back over it and condense these down into a handful of stand-out dishes that can easily be packed up into containers and sent out on the road.
Decide off the bat whether you’ll only allow pick up, turn some of your staff into delivery drivers, or hire one temporarily. Remember, Order and beepaid can help you with the ordering and payment side.
Naturally, consumers are extremely tense during these uncertain times, so it’s more important than ever to offer a smooth and seamless customer experience and that means knowing exactly where you’re up to with stock so you don’t over-promise and under-deliver.
So, be sure you know exactly how much you’ve got and what and when you’ll need more - and don’t forget your suppliers might be faced with challenges right now too, so keep in regular contact with them throughout.
It might sound like we’re stating the obvious but remember that a lot of businesses are likely to be doing the same thing right now.
Your local wholesalers could be your first port of call if they’re still open. If you’re struggling, consider the less obvious sources like Amazon, or even your local supermarket.
While people are stuck at home they’ll be turning to your virtual store as their first port of call, so now’s the time to create or update your website so it’s giving across the right first impression.
If you’ve never really needed a site before, check out our beginners guide to creating one for your business, and remember we’ve got a team of developers who’ll be ready to help when it comes to the payments side of things.
Now you’re all set to go with your revised menu, systems and supplies, it’s time to start shouting about your takeaway service.
Use all the tools at your disposal - including SMS, emails and social accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), you need to make it clear exactly what your new offering entails, and it’s always a clever idea to get people over the line by offering promotions.
For more help with it comes to promoting your takeaway check out our comprehensive guide which comes with templates you can tweak to suit your business.
Hitting up your existing customer base is a great place to start, but you also want to get the word out to new ones. Making use of resources like local groups and forums to spread the word is a good idea, and also including hashtags referencing your location across social media should get you noticed by locals on the lookout for a takeaway.
You could even try our Facebook advertising to reach more people. Read our guide here.
If you’ve got the time you could also consider delivering flyers to your local area - Vistaprint are offering 25% off orders of 1,000 at the moment. There’s never been a better time to post something through people’s letterboxes because there’s a very high chance they’ll a) be at home, and b) fancy a break from dried pasta and rice!
Building loyalty is one of the most effective ways to increase consumer engagement and encourage repeat custom, so do your best to boost it by offering a blanket discount on all first-time orders using your takeaway system, and collect names and email addresses while you’re at it.
Once you’ve got your hands on this information you’ll be able to see who your best customers are and send them special offers and discounts, you’ll also be able to let everyone know about new dishes and discounts going forward - after all, we don’t know how long this might go on for.
Remember, we’re here to offer support and do our bit to keep you profitable during this undoubtedly difficult time, so for more help with any of the points raised get in touch on 08082 398172.