A comprehensive marketing strategy for hotel-based food & beverage offerings in the digital age (Final)
Table Management Systems a.k.a. The Magic Sauce
Solutions for point-of-sales have evolved tremendously from simple accounting and reporting to sophisticated business intelligence (more on that later) and integrated Table Management System (TMS). A TMS allows an outlets inventory of seats to be maximised and available for sale.
The latest solutions are simple and easy to use using touchscreen devices, giving real-time updates so your hosts can focus on building relationships rather than juggling tables. Furthermore, an advantage of a TMS means that your guest data is protected. There is a rise of data privacy legislation, including the EU’s GDPR. Therefore by having electronic records with capabilities to honour their rights means you will keep those fines at bay and satisfy compliance requirements.
Tip: It is time to ditch that pencil, eraser and diary book for something electronic like a sleek iPad. No more printing out reams of paper and floor plans, saving cost and the environment. Something to add to your green credentials.
Many online platforms list your business from global powerhouses like Google My Business, TripAdvisor, regional players like Chope to country or city-specific sites like Wongnai for Thailand or OpenRice for Hong Kong. Many of these platforms offer paid listings where you can further customise your content to be an extension of your brand. Before you invest hard-earned cash on this, ensure you tailor your strategy to suit your market segmentation. For example, try asking these questions.
- Do you cater more to couples, families or corporate clients?
- What occasions do people celebrate at your establishment?
- Do you attract a lucrative wedding crowd or popular post-work drinks?
Ask the platforms to give you statistics on their clientele to see if you are the right fit.
Tip: You can also control heavy promotions on platforms like Eatigo to yield effectively. Limit the availability or discount level during peak hours and take back control of your profitability.
More and more people enjoy the convenience of dining on restaurant-quality meals in the comfort of their own home. The food delivery market stood at €83 billion worldwide as of 2016 and is only growing. If you are a restaurant that has a thriving takeaway market or you wish to expand into delivery, consider listing on aggregator apps. For instance, Foodpanda, UberEats or GrubHub, enable delivery depending on your market. Moreover, each are supported by their own logistics networks. The days where your restaurants’ invests in an army of drivers and delivery vehicles are of a bygone era.
You should be wary, though, of the pricing structure. Although you may receive your standard share of revenue, if the mark-up is too great for customers, then your listing becomes unappealing. It is recommended you invest in creating a very appealing food brand rather than discount. Otherwise, the cost of food delivery will eat your profits. You can factor in the savings from labour for a delivered meal and the potentially lower experience of the meal received. You should also consider investing in special delivery packaging. Also important is to trial a dedicated service flow to avoid hold-ups to regular service.
Tip: Delivery isn't for everyone. If you feel that delivery is not conducive to your brand, then forgo this service altogether if you can afford it. During the current pandemic this can be hard to do.
CRM for Customers for Life
It costs 20 times more to acquire a new customer than to market to an existing guest. Create a customer relationship management strategy to safeguard your continued survival. A memorable experience needs to be paired with timely reminders. For example, show that you are ready to welcome them back to that mouthwatering dessert. Understand the value each customer brings which is a crucial step to success.
Take ownership of the customer relationship by curating their experience and recognise them. 56% of diners want you to know where they prefer to sit. Do they want the same quiet window seat as last time or a centre-of-attention prime position? Do you have a way of offering only relevant specials to a customer with a peanut allergy? No problem. A CRM records any guest preferences and makes personalisation of their experience a cinch.
Communications go beyond a stock standard monthly newsletter. There are many CRM platforms on the market where you can build your database of customers without breaking the bank. A good CRM will capture important dates like birthdays, proposals, anniversaries and communicate a relevant offer.
The key to optimizing your CRM use is to ensure that the data you collect, use and store is clean and complete. Optimise your data strategy with automated transfers so you can build up a comprehensive profile of your diners. This is particularly important for hoteliers where you provide a range of services from accommodation to spa and therefore generate even more useful guest data. Having this connectivity will only enrich your database allowing you even better targeting and decision making.
Tip: Elevate your marketing with dynamic templates that adapt your message based on the customer segment you are targeting so the offer you present is more relevant to them.
Measure, Manage, Materialise
Once you have your customers sorted, it’s time to focus on the books and continuous improvement. Business intelligence (BI) has evolved beyond fancy pie charts and lengthy monthly reports. Your focus should be on driving the business forward using data as the foundation of decisions made. As they say, “what gets measured gets managed”. Have you considered what you’re measuring in your business?
Some Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that you should be looking at include: occupancy, cost and revenue per seat or seat hour, return per square metre and average check, among many others. An integrated POS with TMS will give you these statistics without manual calculations. Thereby giving you insight into business trends so your tactics and strategies can adapt with agility.
Customised dashboards will also help provide you snapshots of performance at-a-glance so you can deploy promotions and discount deals in a timely manner. You can measure the ROI on these campaigns to determine their strength and see if they are worthwhile to be rerun.
Furthermore, your outlets should engage in demand forecasting to plan sufficiently ahead. This in turn ensures precious resources from ingredients to labour are ready for service and wastage is minimised.
Tip: Automate reports, so you make it a habit to review the statistics regularly and watch your profits materialise.
You can’t turn back time; this is the digital now. Those of us with savvy foresight can ride this wave of rapid disruption. There is a wide selection of platforms out there on the market with each claiming it performs best in its class. Take advantage of their expertise and build your own digital ecosystem to see your business thrive. Remember that automation and connectivity are critical to a successful strategy. With the right APIs and integrators, you can ensure a seamless digital experience for your customers, staff, and owners.
Happy customers equal better profitability. Now that’s truly tried and tested!
To tailor a digital strategy to your business, talk to us today.Share this article