How To Reopen Your Venue Successfully.

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

April 12th may still sound like a long way off, but you know what they say; if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail! (Thought you’d heard that for the last time when you left school? Us too, but here we are). So, the one question that remains is… is your venue prepped and ready to reopen?

We’re not just talking screens and hand gel to keep everyone as safe as possible. We’re talking systems and capabilities that are going to enable you to cater to a whole new level of customer expectation in the post-Covid world. Happy, returning customers are going to be the key to a successful reopening and recovery, so here are some things to consider as you prepare over the coming weeks!

Out with the physical, in with the digital.

48% of surveyed Brits have said that they will actively avoid touching physical menus when they return to hospitality venues from April, and if we’re honest, we’re with them!

I’m sure we’ve all been to a pub or bar where the laminated menu is slightly sticky, and the corners are grubby and beginning to peel. Gross at the best of times. But as customer expectations are now set to reflect a massive increase in hygiene awareness across venues of all kinds, providing a more hygienic alternative is actually going to determine the overall experience of your customers, and therefore the success of your business.

Providing an online digital menu is the way forward. Not only does it keep everybody happier by cutting out contact with potentially unhygienic physical alternatives, it also means that your customers can browse and order via their own mobile device, an option which 59% of consumers would now prefer.

Plus, it stops that awkward moment where someone at the table ‘accidentally’ starts looking at the drinks menu to decide what they want for dinner...

Everyone loves an online order.

And no, we’re not referring to the Amazon addictions that we’ve all developed over lockdown (it’s okay, you can admit it). We’re referring to the 69% of consumers who have said they actually expect online ordering to be available in bars and restaurants from now on.

Social distancing measures have been with us for some time now, and even once they’re gone, your customers are likely to be left more aware of their proximity to your staff members. And let’s be honest, there’s a whole lot of people who are going to want to eat and drink out the second that we’re allowed, so you’re going to be busy. Unless you employ an octopus to serve your tables, online ordering is going to come in handy.

75% of consumers have said that online ordering would, most importantly, make them feel safer. So, giving them the ability to sit down and order from their phones straight away, with minimal contact with your staff members, is a sure way of kicking off their experience in a positive light. Pair this with the fact that they won’t have to wait to be served and can order at their own pace, and you can guarantee that they’ll be back for more seamless dining experiences with you.

Contactless is key.

We all know cash has been dying out for quite some time now, but the number of consumers wishing to avoid touching physical money when paying their bill in any venue, currently sits at around 42%.

We’ve spent the last year being told to wash our hands, so when you think of how many grubby paws a bank note can potentially pass through in a single day, it’s not difficult to see why people aren’t too keen to be handling them right now… especially whilst sat down to eat (excuse me while I go wash my hands, again).

Add to this the health and social distancing anxieties that will undoubtedly remain post-Covid, and you’ll discover that a massive 71% of consumers now say they would rather pay their bill remotely, than wait for service from a staff member.

Even having to wait to touch their card to a reader being held by a member of staff is going to shadow the experience of some of your customers, who of course want to leave feeling as safe and considered as possible. The Answer? Online, self service payments at the point of sale. And don’t think this means you’ll be missing out on service charge or tips, because both can be provided as part of the payment process, if you use the right system (wink, wink).

So, a successful reopening is going to come down to key preparations that will enable you to create a safe, memorable and easy experience for your paying customers.

EMenu has been specifically designed to provide venues with all of the above, and thanks to funding from the UK Government and Innovate UK, we are currently able to offer free 30 day trials!

We are also the only system in the UK which connects instantly with your existing POS hardware, saving you thousands on integration and purchase costs. So, check out our free trial, and let’s get you back to business.

Sources: Kantar Wi5 2020 Report, Wi5 audience poll 2020, MCA for Ordamo June 2020, Wi-Q 2019, Mckinsey - Coronavirus poll 2020, Ipsos Coronavirus polling 2020, YouGov Coronavirus survey 2020.

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