5 Marketing Tips Hospitality Businesses Need To Know


We know getting back to business for the hospitality industry is hard work. You’re busy, you’ve got lots of bases to cover and on top of menu planning, ordering supplies, spring cleaning premises and sorting out staff rotas, you know you must talk to customers too.  Bookings are rolling in, but, whilst initially you might be stacked out, predictions are that once the initial euphoria is over, customer demand might fall back and you will need to work hard to tempt them in on a regular basis.

No matter how small or large your business is, here are five tips to keep your messaging and marketing up to scratch and ensure those tills keep ringing throughout the summer.

  1. Reassure your customers – although restrictions may be lifted and we are desperate to get outside, customers are bound to be cautious. You’ll need to tell them what you are doing to keep them safe. As well as following all government guidelines, tell them and keep telling them what you are doing.  Put up posters in your window and around your premises reminding them of how important they are to you and what precautions are you taking.  Put this on your website so visitors see it as soon as they land on your page.  When you send out marketing emails, include this in your bulletins and keep telling your customers via social media.  Just because you’ve told them once doesn’t mean they will have seen it or retained it – keep telling them.
  2. Loyalty card – there’s no need to discount when you are at your most busy, but now might be a good time to introduce a loyalty card so that customers can build up points for a ‘treat’ later in the year when things quieten down and you need to tempt them back – and it’s a great way of capturing data for your email database. Don’t forget to ask their permission to send emails.
  3. Email marketing – if you have a database now is the time to be emailing customers with your menu, booking system and encouraging bookings. It’s also a great time to update your database as people will have moved on and away during the past 12 months and so keeping your data clean and up to date is a good idea. Don’t bombard people – it’s a good idea to send one good looking, concise and well written email a week with all your information on it. If you don’t use Mailchimp now is a good time to sign up and use this emailing facility to talk to you customers – the analytics in this kind of software help you understand the best time of day/day of the week to contact your customers and you can see who has opened and who has clicked through to your website.
  4. It’s all about the ‘gram – get the kitchen team in and cook through your menu, taking mouth-watering pics of your menu items to post on social media. If you can take a good selection you can keep using the photos for posts right up until you change your menu again.  Make sure you tailor posts to Insta and Facebook rather than just replicating the same content. Make sure you do a push in a month or two on LinkedIn and Twitter as people return to the office – tempt them in for a long lunch or a team brunch!
  5. Day of the week, time of the day – although you’ll be mad busy as soon as the doors open and then again on 17 May (all being well) you’ve got a lot of downtime to make up for.  Extend your days and your day-parts when regulations allow – can you serve delicious brunches in the morning?  Coffee and cake deals?  Light lunches outside the mainstream lunch menu?  Bring in afternoon tea?  Have a long hard think how you can drive business to maintain momentum outside of the magic hours of 12-2 and 7-9. Think about your customers and what they need – Tuesday chat time for Mums and buggies?

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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