With both indoor and outdoor dining now reopen, hospitality venues are seeing bookings return in numbers as the pent-up demand from the last year of lockdowns has made everyone in the UK eager to be out enjoying food and drink with friends again. As venues get busier in line with restrictions continuing to lift, it is important that venues can adapt and accommodate in a post-covid world, especially while they are limits on social contact. We have listed below some great ways that venues can adopt to see them through the post-covid transition period maintaining safety for their customers… while also taking advantage of new customer behaviours.

1. Try a mobile table service app!

After the pandemic shut hospitality and created a now well known phrase “social distancing”, venues have been faced with a challenge to keep their customers happy while maintaining distance where possible. A mobile table service app is a great way to allow customers to order safely from their table while also being able to browse a digital version of your menu. ROUND – the UK’s favourite table ordering app, was created in 2018, two years before COVID-19 arrived. The pandemic created a surge in demand for table ordering apps but ROUND serves both the customer and venue a benefit. For your customers, it is as easy as a few taps on the app to place an order. For venues, they are able to track and understand their customers in more detail than ever with real time reports of customer spends, favourite products and more. ROUND serves as an end-to-end solution for venues to understand their customers more, while also allowing customers to order safely and conveniently from the comfort of their table.

2. Be innovative with table plans

Making your venue covid compliant can in some instances mean sacrificing tables to allow for easy and spacious passageways in-venue to exits and public areas such as toilets. However, this doesn’t mean that covers have to substantially decrease as tables can be put together in instances where groups of six would like to book. It also means having a table plan that is flexible and allows for quick changes as service shifts, with maybe an alternative day seating plan compared to one you may choose to adopt in the evening that would allow more bookings to be accommodated with quicker turnover times for each seating. ROUND can help you understand customer spending behaviour which can influence decisions on what group sizes actually make more revenue for your venue e.g three tables of two may spend more on average than one table of six. We send reports daily to you and your team, as well as access to webinars where we educate on how to use ROUND and extract increased revenues during the post-covid era with the help of our app!

3. Walk-ins can support no-shows!

Operating a strict bookings policy is a way for venues to ensure that peak hours are maximised and aren’t let down by no-shows. However, in scenarios where bookings don’t turn up and leave you with a spare table to fill, be confident to accept keen walk-ins who would love to take advantage of someone else’s poor planning. Walk-in policy is accepted as part of covid-compliance and isn’t against government guidelines. ROUND can also help increase exposure to your venue as it’s “nearest venue” feature allows app users to see venues to eat and drink in near them. With over 500,000 app users nationwide, your venue has increased chances of being found and visited through ROUND, which in turn can help increased footfall and demand in times where a spare table may be available.

4. Improve your outdoor space

As of April 12th this year, those with outdoor space could reopen for dining. This meant venues who previously hadn’t utilised potential outdoor space instantly moved to organise areas for customers to eat and drink until indoor restrictions were lifted. Now indoor dining is open that doesn’t mean focusing less on the outdoor spaces you have since created. Further improvement and impetus on the outdoor areas you now have will give customers an outdoor option they love rather than just to-suit. It’s also a great way of showing your commitment to staying covid compliant and offering enjoyable outdoor spaces for customers who still would prefer not to sit inside. If increased outdoor space combined with indoor dining creates an organisational nightmare, let ROUND help with a mobile table ordering solution that will take pressure off service staff while also maintaining a socially distant option to ordering.

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