Not everybody is ready to come back to your premises.
That may seem like a strange thing to say after a few months since we ended locked down, but it’s a fact.
It’ll tend to be the older generation perhaps, but it might be for various reasons they haven’t come back; some might have complex medical needs which makes them very wary about going out generally, it’s probably nothing to do with your venue per se, it’s just a general thing that they still don’t feel safe going out.
But that doesn’t mean you should abandon them, and the things that you were doing during lockdown.
A lot of hospitality businesses changed what they were doing, they didn’t just sit there and decorate or not decorate and just keep the doors locked.
Most looked at what they could do and started doing takeaways, and it might be takeaway meals, it might have been takeaway drink, where they were allowed to because not everybody seemed to be allowed to.
Have you kept that going?
If you haven’t kept it going it means that you’ve got a section of customers that were probably ordering from you during lockdown, because they love your product, whatever your product was, whether you served it ready cooked and it was just like getting the takeaway delivered to your house or whether you had a meal box where you got detailed instructions, you got the ingredients and you cooked it at home.
If they’re not coming back out, and you’ve stopped that service, you’ve lost their custom, you’ve lost their loyalty.
So my advice is where possible continue whatever you changed to doing during lockdown, keep that going as well as doing what you now do, what you did before covid which was you know, serve people face to face in your premises whatever that premises is.
If you just leave them, you’re not getting two bites of the cherry, you always need to look be looking forward, you were forward-looking with the way you swerved your business, you changed your business, you’re agile and now if you’ve just gone back to the way you were before, then you’ve, as I said, you’ve lost out.
There’s a market there that you’re not catering to.
How are you getting this message through to them that you are safe? Trying to encourage them back in?
Are you putting articles out in your local village magazines or your local community magazines?
Are you doing it on the local community websites?
Are you posting videos and it’s not just showing a video of somebody sanitising a table, you want it a bit more interesting than that – walk around at your premises showing them what the bits you’ve done.
So my advice, where you can, keep going with the services you were doing during lockdown in addition to now serving people face to face, and that way you will keep your your revenue going, you will increase your revenue and you will start to make up for all the extra spending you had to do to make yourself covid safe and to get back to where you were pre-covid.