Level 1: Hospitality bounce back time and how you can capitalise

Sunday, June 21, 2020

New Zealand’s hospitality industry is on the rise again free to enjoy unrestricted trading under level one. Savvy operators can now make the most of the welcome return of customers. With a changing business landscape, cafes and restaurants can meet the odd curveball that might be heading their way through some smart thinking and innovation.

In fact, a new survey by the Restaurant Association has shown that many businesses are reporting only small falls in foot traffic compared with the same time last year. In particular, when it comes to bars, pubs and clubs, Kiwis clearly missed them given that 35 per cent of businesses in this category have reported higher trading revenues than for the same period last year! In Canterbury, suburban eateries have been revelling in increased customer numbers with people continuing to work from home.


While the news does vary from one region to the next, now more than ever is the time to shrug off the clutter and challenges of recent months and cut a pathway through to renewed business success.


Wage Subsidy

If you need that financial helping hand, don’t forget to apply for the Wage Subsidy Extension. Applications are open until 1 September and funds will help to cover employees’ wages over an eight week period. Jump on line and head over to the Government’s wage subsidy website where you can find out more and fill in the online forms.



You know that you offer great food so sell it! Encourage staff to tempt customers with delicious treats, items from the menu or even that extra cup of coffee. It’s okay to ask, in fact you should, because if you don’t then you could be missing out on that extra sale.



Push Repeat Business

Entry and exit points are all great opportunities to sell your venue. Brainstorm with your team and others to discover those little things you could do or say to create a greater connection with customers. For example, is someone visiting to celebrate a special occasion or are they eating on the run before heading back to the office? Celebrate those special milestones with them in a small way and encourage that office worker to return with their colleagues for a special Thursday happy hour and tapas tailored just for them.


Don’t forget, as people go to pay you can ask to stamp their loyalty coffee card, offer them one if they don’t have it and upsell them on your next special offer or new addition to the menu.


Drive weekday traffic

The move toward working from home could be impacting city centre businesses set up to service the midweek work crowd. If you’re an inner-city business impacted by this, you may need to get creative about ways to drive weekday traffic. Do your homework and find out who is back in the office. Drop off special offer pamphlets tailored to attract those people to your café or restaurant. Team up with other local businesses near you to offer special joint deals e.g. lunch and a quick beauty fix. Make sure you also promote these to local suburbs within easy driving distance.


Winter warmers

With winter now in full swing here in New Zealand, hospitality sales are typically slower than during the warmer months. Celebrate the cooler months with hearty winter warmer offers plus the lure of delicious soups and artisan-style breads.


Hammer social media

Load up your social media accounts with lots of upbeat ‘back to business’ posts. Include special offers e.g. arrive in the next 20 mins and the first coffee is on us when you order something from the menu! Promote your business and offers by using the boost feature on Facebook and make sure you target it to people in your area.



Don’t forget the kids

Get creative with the kids’ menu as it will help to bring parents in the door. Can you offer something really different that stand outs from the standard hamburger and chips or a fun loyalty card for those repeat junior customers.



Lastly, don’t forget to keep the hand sanitiser handy plus a big welcoming smile ready at the door