As the government’s Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme kicked in at the start of August, many restaurant and bar operators were delighted to report an uplift in business.
James Brown of BrewDog, for example, shared a spreadsheet of his branches’ rising sales on LinkedIn, and passed on his thanks for the initiative.
Meanwhile, The Times reported that business was doing well at Dishoom, the Indian streetfood operators – and the newspaper also provided a national list of Michelin-starred restaurants taking part in the initiative, including Hawksmoor.
We’re delighted that all the great businesses named use Aloha restaurant management software by NFS – and they are showing the kind of robust initiative that’s helping the best establishments ride out the coronavirus storm.
So what else has been working, both for our clients and for others across the industry?
- Dishoom, during the lockdown, pioneered a highly successful takeaway model using the Deliveroo service to deliver to customers’ homes and businesses.
- With home cookery one of the nation’s new hobbies, food kits to prepare in your own kitchen were a smash hit for operators including MyLahore – theirs ranged from BBQ boxes to kits for the end of Ramadan.
- With guest safety top of the agenda, many restaurants and bars used tableside ordering and payment to maintain confidence-building social distancing between diners and staff.
- Some national operators including Oakman Inns and Stonegate Pub Company set up their own discount schemes before the government version.
- Coca Cola launched the Open Like Never Before marketing campaign on 1 August to run for a whole year, donating a budget and advertising space to hospitality venues to advertise they are open for business.
- Pub group JD Wetherspoon used Eat Out to Help Out to offer meals at less than the price of a supermarket meal deal.
- Increased outdoor seating is proving a huge hit in London’s Soho, with restaurant operators pressing for it to be made permanent.
Chris Cartmell, NFS Head of Sales for Aloha, says: “Times are still very challenging for all hospitality businesses, but these success stories are rays of hope.
“Now is the time for restaurants and bars to use everything at their disposal in the fight to survive and thrive – and it’s great to see so many responding with innovation, courage and action.
“Many establishments are trying business-boosting techniques including discounting, takeaway, online ordering, and loyalty programmes to encourage customers to get back to eating out.
“We’ve enhanced our Aloha restaurant management software to respond to these changing needs, and we’ll continue to do so as the situation develops, providing our clients with 24/7 helpdesk support and the technology to support all of their efforts.”
Learn how Aloha restaurant management software can help you now: