5 ways to make the most of the shorter festive period
Christmas is looking a little shorter, tiered and definitely less jolly than we’d hoped for.
The tiered and protection level systems in place in England and Scotland leave the hospitality industry in a difficult position this Christmas. With Wales expected to follow suit with a similar system, we appreciate if you’re feeling frustrated and nervous about what this usually plentiful period will bring you.
With that said we want to help you make the best of the festive period…whatever tier or level you’re in. There are solutions to help you generate an income in tier 3 or in protection level 4 and we’re here to help you make the most of the trading time you have.
We do have some good news though, 68% of UK consumers have recently said that they’re not concerned about the cost of Christmas this year.1 A little ray of light for our industry as the public seek a way to live and breathe the Christmas we have all been dreaming of. Taking advantage of this Christmas cheer is crucial and converting it into spend is a different challenge completely. We’re here to help you, and we’ve put together some advice on how to encourage your customers to spend more with you throughout the next month.
1. Whatever area of the UK you’re in, let your customers know Christmas is still on!
Christmas isn’t cancelled so let’s advertise your offer far and wide. If you’re in lower tiers or levels, you can start with getting your decorations up (if you haven’t already!). This will help advertise that you’re open and ready for Christmas. For those offering takeaway and deliveries as you’re in the higher tier and levels, why not put some outdoor decorations or even some in your window to show you’re open to potential passing trade.
Let’s also get your audience in the Christmas spirit by using your social media platforms, local press and the good word of your customers to pass on the message that you’re ready to celebrate this Christmas. Showcase what fantastic dishes you have on your menu, give them a sneak peek into what delicious festive delights await them and make sure they know they can enjoy these seasonal treats at home if they have to. We have some recommendations to help you if you are looking at a take-away Christmas.
2. A jolly careful Christmas was the instruction so let’s help your customers feel as safe as possible
Create a ‘COVID-Secure’ setting and then don’t be afraid to shout about it. The more comfortable your customer’s stay with you is, the longer you have to sell to them so it’s about driving that spend per head. Help your customers feel more at ease by advertising what you’re doing to keep them safe (check out our product guides); social distancing, table service, hand sanitiser on every table, one way systems, contactless payment and the list goes on.
3. Maximise your outdoor space – even more crucial if you’re in tier 2 and below in England or protection level 3 and below in Scotland!
Since lockdown has lifted in Australia, Melbourne has seen over 1,000 of its hospitality businesses apply for permits to increase their establishment size with some opting to turn their rooves, front porches and even car parks into seating areas.2
Although we definitely don’t have the balmy climate of Melbourne this time of year why not try and create a Christmas grotto to add further covers to your operation. Covered tables, heaters, fairy lights, table dividers and your great service is what could be on order this Christmas. You could also launch an outdoor menu too with a BBQ and festive alcoholic and soft drinks offer! Visit our Christmas hacks for more outdoor recipe ideas.
4. It’s not ideal but if you’re in tier 3 or protection level 4 then let’s create the best Christmas on the go possible!
Unfortunately, it looks like consumers taking advantage of their Christmas bubbles between 23 and 27 December will not be able to visit hospitality in that bubble. This means we need a plan B to reach your customers. Offer your festive menu in a take-away format through a Christmas hamper or delivered meals. 27% of consumers are interested in Christmas hampers3, so it’s definitely worth looking at how you can create a Christmas at home experience with your delicious food and maybe even some party hats, crackers and bubbles too! You should also review whether you can offer a fixed price delivery menu to tempt consumers with affordable Christmas treats.
5. Go all out – whatever the tier or level you’re in!
Despite concerns around Brexit, spending on Christmas purchases is likely to increase in the UK this year, with more than a third (37 percent) of consumers planning to spend more than they did last year.4 This means the time to upsell is more relevant than ever so go all out and offer the full festive experience with seasonal cocktails (or mocktails!), lavish side dishes and even more indulgent desserts. Help your customers forget about the challenges 2020 has thrown at them whilst they dine with you, whether that is at home or in your venue… treat them to the Christmas experience they are all wishing for this year.
Everyone deserves the Christmas of their dreams this year and we wish you the most prosperous and jolly festive period possible. If you do need further support with the festive season, check out our Christmas pages that showcase our full range, takeaway tips and recipe inspiration.
No one knows your business like you do but we are here by your side to help you plan for the challenges this Christmas brings. If you are thinking about becoming a customer, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch and register for an account here!
- Reach Analytics, 2020
- Melbourne News, 2020
- Bidfood Christmas Research, 2020
- Accenture Holiday Report, 2020