As the government’s Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme kicked in this week, many hospitality operators were delighted to report an uplift in business.
James Brown of BrewDog, for instance, shared a table of his branches’ rise in sales on LinkedIn, and passed on his thanks for the initiative.
Meanwhile, The Times reported booming business at Dishoom, the Indian streetfood operators, and also provided a national list of Michelin-starred restaurants taking part in the initiative, including Hawksmoor.
We’re thrilled that all the excellent businesses named use Aloha restaurant management software by NFS – and they are showing the kind of initiative that’s helping the best establishments ride out the coronavirus storm.
So what else has been working, for our clients and for others across the industry?
- Dishoom, during tight lockdown, pioneered an impressively successful takeaway model using Deliveroo to deliver to customers’ homes and businesses.
- With home cookery the nation’s new hobby, food kits to prepare in your own kitchen proved a smash hit for companies including MyLahore – theirs ranged from BBQ boxes to kits for the end of Ramadan.
- With guest safety at a premium, many restaurants and bars used tableside ordering and payment to maintain reassuring social distancing between diners and staff.
- Some major operators including Oakman Inns and Stonegate Pub Company set up their own discount schemes ahead of the government version.
- Coca Cola launched its Open Like Never Before marketing campaign on 1 August to run for a year, donating a budget and advertising space to hospitality venues to advertise they are open for business.
- Pub giant JD Wetherspoon is using Eat Out to Help Out to offer meals at less than the price of a supermarket meal deal.
- Increased outdoor seating is proving a massive hit in London’s Soho, with restaurant owners asking for it to be made permanent.
Chris Cartmell, NFS Head of Sales for Aloha, said: “Times are still incredibly challenging for all hospitality businesses, but these success stories are all rays of hope.
“Now is the time for restaurants and bars to make the most of everything at their disposal in the fight to survive and thrive – and it’s good to see so many responding with innovation, courage and action.
“Many establishments are trying out business-boosting techniques including discounting, takeaway, online ordering, loyalty and reward programmes to encourage customers to get back into the swing of eating out.
“We’ve enhanced our Aloha restaurant management software to respond to these changing needs and demands, and we’ll continue to do so as the situation develops, providing our clients with 24/7 helpdesk assistance and the technology to support all of their efforts.”