“Panic is more infectious than any virus”
I’m not usually one for quotes but I think this sums up the situation perfectly. As the world around us panic’s we need to be the rest bite people need. If we can offer clean and safe spaces for people unwind, they will keep coming.
You will have received a document outlining what actions you can take to help support your business, that is all great practise but if know one knows you’re open and trading is useless.
Below are a few tips to help market your business and keep the pints flowing.
- Push what you are doing to step up cleaning in-venue, including kitchen, cutlery, tables, crockery, team, food hygiene and toilets. Make a set of house rules and post them on social media, that way everyone knows what to expect. Make sure everyone knows these steps are being introduced to keep both staff and customers safe. (See example below)
- Promote what you are doing to step up training and shift briefing for teams. Communication is key, let everyone know you are on top of the situation.
- Take images of customers in your venue, let everyone know other people are there. Most people will be worried about making that first step but if they see other people are already there, they will be more likely to come down.
- Emphasise any changes you are making about social distancing, such as halving the number of tables or removing queuing in-venue. This links back to the house rules but it is always worth emphasising that you will expect people to spread out. It might come to the point you need to turn customers away to keep everyone safe.
- If possible, offer a delivery/pick up service. This is a lot easier with food offers but if your license allows offer drinks packages as well. Just because people are social distancing or self-isolating doesn’t mean they don’t want to enjoy their favourite burger and a few beers. If you can deliver it will help keep a member of staff busy.
- Promote private rooms or areas that are bookable for lower numbers. If you have a function suite remind everyone know it’s there. If people want to come to the pub but are worried about social distancing this is the perfect solution. Remember and keep the numbers low, otherwise it defeats the purpose.
- 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.
- Offer gift vouchers to anyone wanting to cancel a booked table or event, this way you’ll get their custom when they are ready to come back.
- Create a Just Giving page for your true fans and locales who will want to see you stay in business or send your team a tip to say thanks. In times of crisis people are more likely to donate, make sure they know it’s to help cover wages of staff.
- 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? Adapting your business model will help you stay open longer. Do as much as you can to support your community and they will support you in return.
- Can you help support local NHS, emergency services, carers or teachers if possible? Offer reduced prices, this might seem like a hard thing to do when sales a down but offering 10% or 20% off a food bill will help drive custom, you’ll get some extra covers you wouldn’t of before.
- Can you send out hampers or packs to those in need? Support those in need anyway you can, set up a Just giving page so people can buy hamper to send out. Use you suppliers to buy in toilet paper, hand wash, sanitiser and dried food that you can send to those that can’t get out or need to self-isolate.
Example House Rules
- Reduced capacity
- No standing at the bar area
- Card payments only
- Please wait to be seat
- No dog’s
- Return all glasses to the end of the bar
- CATCH IT, BIN IT, KILL IT!!
- If you feel unwell in anyway or showing symptoms of Coronavirus (Covid-19) please stay at home
Most importantly keep calm (another saying I hate but it’s true) if we offer a sense of normality it will benefit us all.
If you need any help with social media graphics or any point of sale contact your BDM.