How to pivot your hospitality business: marketing tactics to survive and thrive in COVID-19
Wednesday, April 15th, 2020 – 4pm GMT+1
In this unprecedented time, at Flipdish we want to provide hospitality businesses with practical advice on how to survive and thrive through the Covid-19 pandemic.
This webinar is open to all hospitality businesses, not just those who traditionally offered online, takeout or delivery services.
You do not need to be a Flipdish customer to attend – everyone who feels they can benefit are welcome to join.
Co-Founder and CEO
Co-Founder and CCO
Global Head of Customer Success
Good afternoon everyone, thank you for joining us. I’ve been working directly with customers across the world over the last couple of weeks on what they can do to stay open, to stay in business, to stay profitable and to stay positive in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic.
I’m really pleased today to be able to share those learnings and the practical action steps with this wider audience and so now I’m sure I’ve made you all very excited, you’re probably wondering, what brilliant solution is Flipdish going to tell us about what we can do to help our business?
There is no magic pill for this pandemic. Just like the advice for stopping the spread of the virus, our advice is all about doing the basics well, consistently and follow the advice of our health professionals. Right now we’re being told, wash your hands, sneeze or cough into a tissue or your elbow, keep your distance. None of this is new or revolutionary advice but it is working, as we see China is coming out the other end of the pandemic and the curve is flattening in Italy and Spain. Equally our advice is about doing the basics well and consistently. I firmly believe what you do consistently is more important than what you do every now and again and this leads me nicely into one of the first points that you guys can focus on.
Train your staff:
It’s not about training yourself to do the right thing, it’s about training them so they can’t get it wrong. We need to be taking every precaution that we possibly can right now – wearing face masks, making sure that people are hand-washing regularly, proper ventilation, impeccable hygiene is crucial right now and we need to be doing everything we can to inform both staff and customers if they’re coming into your stores that this is something that you’re taking very very seriously.
Now is a time for action. It’s the time for people to speak up so you’re absolutely welcome to ask your staff to report problematic behaviors either from other members of staff or from customers so around the concepts of hygiene or social distancing.
I’m making sure that we’re all doing everything that we can and perception is as powerful as reality so it’s really important when either your delivery drivers are dropping food off or people are coming into your shop they feel really confident and reassured that you’re following the government guidelines. As much as we’re talking about keeping businesses alive, our health is our real wealth and that needs to be our top priority.
These, as we know, are extraordinary times that we are living through and you know this isn’t business as usual. We need to change, we need to make hard decisions and we need to take action and we need to take action now. One way you can do this is focus on the basics and do them well. So for a lot of people, that could be looking at your menu and revising it. So now is the time to be creative we’re not just eating for now, it’s not just your Friday night pizza or Saturday night takeaway. We’ve seen the empty shopping aisles across Ireland in the UK last week. People aren’t thinking about what they’re gonna eat for the next little bit, not just about what they are going to eat tonight.
So I’ve seen customers you maybe have pasta dishes offer like a larger bulk size portion that’s really easy to reheat and reheats well so it doesn’t compromise your food quality or your brand perception either.
Everyone’s at home together, the kids are off school, Mum and Dad are at home, working from home, so making sure that you have family-friendly options is really important as now the whole family is home together and before kids meals are kind of do something we throw on a menu it’s not really very important now the kids are also at home and like I said Mum and Dad are trying to work from home so maybe having an option to order in their lunch is actually quite attractive. Also maybe you want to look at slimming down your usual menu so maybe thinking about which suppliers are being more reliable and consistent right now. Start looking at what items you have a good margin on, so you’ll know selling items where you have a very poor margin is probably not what is best for business right now. Like I said earlier, now is the time for caution not choice and it’s also the time to get rid of a few of those items on your menus that aren’t really the best seller. Here at Flipdish we’re actually able to help our customers with data on what are the best selling items.
Change your Offering:
I know we’ve lots of our customers here and some who aren’t on this webinar today so anyone who has online ordering or is with Flipdish online ordering you know you guys are ahead of the curve here, you’re at an advantage. But for anyone who isn’t, don’t worry. I love the proverb ‘The best time to plant an oak tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is today’ so if you’re not online already, today is the day to go online and we’ve helped multiple businesses across the UK and Ireland to over the last week ten days to get online quickly to allow their business to survive. Our Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, gave a State of the Nation Address on St. Patrick’s Day and one of the major things he said as a tool and actually beating theCOVID-19 was shopping online from local businesses so you know our world leaders are essentially telling everyone to order online. It’s really important now that you’re giving your customers that option.
When you’re online there’s lots of advantages. Click and collect for example, it means people aren’t queuing in shops and it’s reducing wait time. It also allows you to get creative about how you get that food to people as well. Online deliveries have never been so important, when you look at the situation like in France or Italy they are in lockdown, they’re actually not allowed to leave their houses, so they’re very reliant on the delivery option and then there’s in store digital ordering tools like self-serve kiosk and again these are really useful because you don’t need to stand near people in a queue and there’s no need to handle cash. Obviously I understand you need to touch a kiosk but it’s entirely within the customer’s control to wear gloves and to wash their hands afterwards. Whereas if you’re in a queue you’re not really in control, someone else might sneeze or cough on top of you.
The high hygiene standards that you’re asking of your in-store staff and your delivery drivers to adhere to, they would equally apply if you did have a self-service kiosk. Wiping after every use, having gloves and hand sanitizer available beside them.
So I talked about how you get your food to your customers, and for maybe some folks or perhaps restaurants or bars or cafes on the line, this might require you to rethink your business model.
Think about how you’re actually allowing your customers to get access to your delicious food. One major trend that we’ve seen is this concept of “contactless” or “no touch” delivery adhering to social distancing guidelines where we’re trying to limit the amount of physical contact. So this is where maybe you’re asking customers to pick up their food from a designated location outside their house. If they’re living in an apartment block you’re leaving it in the lobby you’re making sure that your delivery drivers are leaving that two meter distance between them and the customer, and that’s what we’ve been trying to do here at Flipdish as well. Help our customers, let their customers know about this. Many people have been writing requests in the “notes for the chef” section for contactless delivery so it’s definitely something that consumers are looking for right now.