To our MyGuestlist and Sprout community
As our industry goes through one of the toughest challenges in recent times, we want to let you know that we are here to help and support you.
No doubt one of your biggest missions has always been to give your customers the best experience. This mission has an even stronger meaning today. We are confident you will continue to adapt in the current environment and make any necessary precautions to offer the best experience there is.
Communication is paramount and we are here to help you reach out to your customers whom you already have a relationship with to provide a brief, sincere and honest message
Even though you will be reassuring your customers and your teams that their safety and welfare is your highest priority, we are also here to let you know that you are also our highest priority and are here to support you in planning, strategising and communicating with your customers. In light of this, we are vigilantly assisting all in our community with communication guides, around-the-clock assistance, strategy and sharing documents such as these with what other venues, industry leaders and hospitality experts are doing to respond and adapt.
If you have any questions or need any assistance in developing your communications plan, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Our industry has overcome many challenges in the past.
Together, we will ensure that we get through this so that we can grow stronger over the longer term.
MyGuestlist and Sprout
If you haven’t done so, reach out to your customers immediately.
Include the following:
- Whose direction you are following (e.g. ‘We are following the direction from the NHS / Government, Public Health guidelines’)
- What steps you have taken / are taking (e.g. ‘We have placed additional hand sanitiser stations at all entrances and other locations’). ‘Door handles, taps and other contact points are cleaned every 20 minutes’. ‘Tools and machines for payment are cleaned after each use’. ‘Our teams wash their hands with hydro-alcoholic gel every 20 minutes, in addition to very strict hygiene measures, always applied by us’
- Communication to raise awareness of the recommended best practice rules is displayed everywhere in the venues, i.e. entrance, toilets, point of sale. Perhaps as part of the customer service experience, hostesses / servers / waiters to reassure customers when they arrive, sit down for their meal
- Consider informing customers about your employee sick leave policy. One of the biggest concerns has to do with kitchen or other staff coming to work when they may be sick, i.e. ‘we have implemented a protocol for staff screening if they feel unwell and any staff that maybe returning from affected areas will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to work’
- Update all your communications channels to reflect your policy – website, social channels, database and continue to update with progress / changes
- Where to go for more information (e.g., link to the NHS website, as appropriate—a local authority is better for this purpose) or who to contact with questions’
adjust behaviour to reservations & Bookings
Confirm your reservations or bookings by phone.
For any cancellations, aim to first provide an adjusted offer such as:
- Matching value with a voucher redeemable today (F&B product via pick-up, drive-through or delivery, as appropriate for your business)
- Matching value with a voucher redeemable in the future (event, class, experience)
- Matching value for a digital experience now (e.g. executive chef shares how to make key restaurant recipe via web stream)
- Postponing function event date rather than direct cancellation. This is to ensure you preserve your relationship with the customer and maintain a future touch-point
- Discounting is always an option as a means of ‘recession proofing’ though be cautious of the long-term effect that will have on your brand and public perception once the industry recovers
Consider innovative adjustments
There is an increased demand for pick-up/to go, delivery, drive-through, at shelter and deliver-to-car experiences. If you’re considering a transitional pivot to any or all of the above models, revise your menus.
It’ll be crucial to sustain the next few months.
Where possible, consider introducing:
- New balanced menus which maximise margins and have meals that travel well.
- Looking at cost savings in menu revision
- Sanitary changes such as paper cups/cutlery
- More outdoor seating
- Offering further distance between inventory / tables / booths / areas
- Offering digital experiences such as the example provided above ( executive chef shares how to make a key restaurant recipe via web stream)
- Offering subscription services to customers for regular F&B product delivery
- Offering purchasable items not usually available of champion products (e.g. a restaurant selling pasta packs, another venue selling home support packs)
Don’t panic and think about the future
We are all in this together and will get through the challenging times.
How we choose to communicate to customers now is the foundation that we build on for when the industry bounces back.
Take care of yourselves and your staff.
Take care of your customers.
Communicate clearly to all and inform them of changes or updates
Demonstrate visible, increased sanitary behavior from staff
Honour existing vouchers, bookings, etc
Remember, this is not a time to go dark on your audience. This is a time to connect.
Reach out to us for support. We’re here to help.