11 top tips to prepare for the Christmas period and maximise turnover in hospitality
Hospitality business owners are so busy with the day to day running of their venues they might not always have the time to take a step back and review each part of their business.
This is so important as you need to ensure you are doing the right things to make your inputs and costs as efficient as possible, whilst also driving custom and income up. This has been particularly pertinent during Covid with all the additional requirements and red tape enforced by the various restrictions imposed throughout the period.
With a lot of noise in the media about potential supply shortages over Christmas industry advisor Martyn Vevers and I have put together some tips to help hospitality businesses prepare themselves for the festive period and beyond. The supply chain may cause significant headaches over the next few weeks so business owners must be prepared and calculated with their procurement processes.
Prepare for the Christmas period
- Good supplier relations – keep in regular contact and place orders in plenty of time and have your customer representative numbers handy, making calls early morning or late at night to receive a quicker response.
- Back-up plan - have backup suppliers in place in case you have any issues with your main suppliers and remember wholesalers, cash and carries and supermarkets as emergency options should you have any immediate gaps in your stock.
- Stock up - if cash will allow, it is better to have too much beer, wine and spirits – items with long shelf lives - for the festive period than it is to run out at your busiest time. Stock sufficiently on your best sellers , along with glassware, beer mats and bar runners during busy periods.
- Offers - take full advantage of special offers available from suppliers. If a supplier is offering ‘buy four get one free’, make sure you purchase in multiples of five to obtain the lowest unit cost.
- Be flexible - Now that the Government has made face coverings mandatory in shops and on public transport in response to the new Omicron variant, it is worth being prepared in case restrictions – whatever they might be - change again.
Once you have streamlined your inputs and costs as far as possible, and once this is as lean as it can be, you can then focus on how to increase your income.
Maximise your turnover
- Price promotions – be sure the increased footfall and unit sales it generates outweigh the loss in profit margin.
- Customer service - ensure well-trained staff give the best customer service possible so customers want to stay for longer, driving up the average spend per head.
- Cleanliness - make sure everything is spotless to encourage customers to spend more time with you.
- Quality - too much on a menu can result in a drop in quality and therefore customer satisfaction. A streamlined food offering also reduces waste.
- Bar variety - have the right mix of drinks available, with different strengths of beer and cider and a good range of non-alcoholic options
- Know your customers – what would draw more people in? A quiz night, pool table or Sky Sports?
The pandemic has tended to change some people’s behaviours when it comes to eating and drinking out. It may be that some businesses need to work harder than ever to tempt customers out of their homes and into hospitality venues.