Hospitality is a competitive business
Anyone who runs a pub, restaurant, hotel, cafe, bistro or club will know how demanding customers are and how difficult it is to encourage them to become regular visitors.
Not only that but you have to cope with the seasonal ebbs and flows of trade so that you continue to provide outstanding service at all times of the year.
The key ingredients for satisfied customers are the ambience and comfort of your rooms, the quality of your food, excellent and welcoming service, competitive pricing and of course location.
Most importantly, you need to be found and this can be a challenge if you’re in the perfect rural setting but a bit off the main highways for attracting passing trade.
Fortunately, there are now many cost effective ways to make sure that you are on customers’ radar.
In the hospitality business your website is an important part of your marketing and a good web developer/designer should be able to advise you on marketing and SEO to help you get the best from your website.
It acts as a showcase for what you offer – that means the best quality pictures, of the interiors, friendly staff, the surrounding environment displayed as enticingly as possible.
If fine dining and seasonal local produce are major selling points you need to be able to display your menus and have an easy way of changing them whenever you need.
You may also want to have a section where you can publicise – and change – special offers, whether it’s a Christmas party deal, a Valentine special, catering for a wedding reception, or a staff special outing.
Then you need an easy way for customers to book in advance, and increasingly they expect to be able to do it online.
A web address, SEO that includes location and a link to a map are all essentials that will help customers find you.
Above all, your website needs to be easy for visitors to find the information they’re looking for and these days that means it needs to be user friendly from a laptop, a tablet and a mobile phone – it’s called responsive design. One additional thing we hear a lot from our research is customers want to see a menu online. It speeds up your times to serve them as usually they know what they want before they get to you.
So the key ingredients for the website are stylish design, an easy to use content management system and a site that’s easy to navigate showing why people should see you, for example your menus.
Increasingly, mobile phone apps that help customers locate you geographically, make bookings, even make payments and download offer vouchers are all part of the mix in your website and expected by customers, especially if they are in the area visiting.
Apps are fantastic tools for instantly getting a message out as a push message. These are free to send and as far as hospitality marketing goes they are one of the best tools in your arsenal. By using ‘Geolocation’ you can increase your mobile or hospitality marketing by reaching people as they pass near to your premises. You can also send them your latest offers, which is a great tool for the impulse buyer.
Security and support
Last but not least you want your website to be there at all times and to be protected from malicious invasions that could lose you business. That means reliable, secure support, back-up and hosting and a service that is there for you when you need it.
With PC Futures you can get hospitality marketing done right, first time.