5 simple but effective ways to capture domestic travellers this holiday season
Although this year has been an especially tough one for hospitality, one thing all regional operators (and those near tourist attractions) agree on is that the closure of international borders could be be good for business over the next few months.
With international travel off the cards, many wealthy Australians who usually spend up on expensive overseas trips are planning holidays closer to home and directing that money into regional destinations. On top of that, as many people delayed taking annual leave this year, holidays are predicted to be even longer than ever before as people look to take an extended break from a strange year.
Some destinations are tracking to hit record numbers of travellers. Traveller reports that The G'Day Group, which runs 280 holiday parks around the country, is predicting that regional Australia will have its biggest influx of Christmas visitors on record. Compared with this time last year, the group's holiday park bookings are up 180 per cent in NSW, 130 per cent in Victoria and 200 per cent in Queensland.
So, if you are looking to recoup some of the losses from a year of lockdowns and restrictions, what can you do to attract the holiday crowds that will likely descend between Christmas and mid-January? We have put together 5 simple but effective ways to make sure diners choose you when they are looking for food…
Update your Google Business listing
This may seem like a no-brainer but keeping your Google business listing up to date is the best way to ensure diners know you are open for business. Google is often the first place people look to find an appropriate venue for their group and if you don’t pop up in that search (or your opening hours are incorrect) then you’re missing out on valuable revenue.
Ensure your website has a menu
Many purists believe having a menu on your website is unnecessary and takes away from the experience. But those purists are becoming more scarce, and it isn’t unusual for diners to already know what they will be ordering before they even step foot through your doors. Allowing diners to check there is something for everyone before booking means you’re more likely to get their business.
Call out gluten free/vegan
If you don’t have your menu online, you need to make it clear whether or not you’re able to cater for gluten free, vegan and vegetarian diners. Most diners with restricted diets research venues before making a booking to ensure they’ll be able to order with minimal fuss. If you don’t call it out, you may miss out on large group bookings who are nervous that some of their diners won’t have much to choose from.
Allow online booking
Many venues have already implemented an online booking system to handle the influx of bookings that occurred when restrictions were lifted across the states. We hope that it is here to stay. Online bookings allow diners to book at any time without having to call the venue. This will free up your staff to tackle other tasks and ensures that your dining slots are filled efficiently.
Encourage street traffic
Although the vast majority of diners will likely come from bookings in the new “COVID Normal”, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t encourage street traffic, especially during the quieter moments of the day. Signage calling out all day breakfast, fast takeaway burgers or excellent coffee will draw crowds in.
We hope this holiday season is a busy one for all our customers and friends across the hospitality industry. If you’re looking for products to make your life that little bit easier during the busy Christmas period get in touch now.