This month I am sitting down with Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality to explain why the new Campaign ‘No To Last Orders’ is so important. To be honest, Kate already knows, which is why she and UKHospitality are backing it, along with some of hospitality’s leading experts, including Airship, Toggle, Wireless Social, KAM, Datahawks, My Yum, Zonal, and Feed it Back. A formidable lineup designed to help venues stay open amidst high energy costs, staffing shortages, and the cost-of-living crisis.

Why should you take notice of this campaign?

Because it will help you identify your gaps and opportunities. Keep you on track and give you the resolve and tools to secure guest loyalty, increase spend per head and build business resilience to ensure you meet the challenges of 2023. Kate Nicolls is backing the campaign because she has also been clear about the need for the sector to survive the current challenges and allow it to thrive into the future; delivering much-needed economic growth and job opportunities. I honestly believe that you can do this despite the crisis engulfing many in the sector right now. So let me tell you a little more about how this campaign will help:

The ‘No To Last Orders’ campaign enables you to capitalise on the good news rather than the bad, such as the fact that many customers are still prioritising their spending on hospitality, and we are seeing many brands preparing to open new venues in anticipation of the upturn which will come, such as the café-bar group Loungers. Their pace of expansion is phenomenal. It has just opened its 200th venue and has expanded its roll-out plans to 30 sites a year, up from 25. They are benefiting from changes in consumer behaviour, with more people staying and working local, as well as demanding exceptional service with professionalism and a smile!

If you take the time to look at the Campaign, you will find FREE access to:

20-minute webinar to be released in March outlining quick wins and easy to implement solutions across Sales, Systems and Marketing. I urge Hospitality venues to engage with this free webinar, which is full of proven and inexpensive methods to attract and secure customers during the crucial Winter and Spring trading periods. Venues will also be given ideas on how to capitalise on special occasion bookings. I am convinced that there will always be something new for venues to take from this forum, giving participants an edge over their local competition and helping to secure much needed profits going forward.

Digital Guide giving operators guidance and support on a range of issues, top tips and opportunities to increase revenue. This is a MUST for all venues, who will be able to take away many practical and inexpensive ways of getting them through the Winter and Spring trading period with more customers and their ongoing loyalty.

A series of short
interviews with leading hospitality suppliers, including Zonal, Mr Yum, Wireless Social, Airship, Toggle, Datahawks, Feed it Back, KAM and Bums on Seats. This unique Series (again – totally FREE) will feature a wealth of knowledge and experience to help venues get the best out of their opportunities as well as their systems, processes and marketing and sales strategies. Access to this FREE quality of support and guidance is unique. Simply not to be missed by anyone in the sector!

It’s no wonder so many are taking part in this campaign. The backing of UKHospitality and others is set against a backdrop of a broader economic downturn; rail strikes costing the sector an estimated £100m a day; and venues hamstrung by loans they took out to survive during the pandemic. Further evidence of the crisis facing the sector was provided last week by the biggest pub company Stonegate who have not ruled out selling up to 800 pubs from their 4,492- strong portfolio. Headlines like these make me miserable, yet more determined to pass on how more closures can be avoided. I am at the sharp end of the hospitality business, working with many of the big names who have entrusted my company to drive their organic growth into the future. And we are succeeding! This campaign pulls together all the stuff we know that works, designed to help operators use innovative ways to encourage guests into their venues and drive loyalty, as well as take a ‘team-centric’ approach to staffing which boosts recruitment, contributes to the guest experience, and has a positive impact on overall revenue. Best practice examples also include venues that have understood the advantages of diversity, bringing powerful benefits such as talent, competitive advantage, and a wider appeal.

I cannot emphasise sufficiently why everyone should take note of this campaign and how it can help. It will ensure that your sales strategy is both commercially viable and aligned with trends and consumer behaviours for long term success, as well as secure more pre-booked sales. I also know from experience that more productive use of social media is the key, especially now that over 60% of customers research and book online. This rate is much higher for Generation Z, and venues can make quick changes to provide this important group with their required ‘Instagram’ moment, as well as use the data they collect to stay in touch with their customers to offer incentives to return.” 

A recent survey revealed that Gen Z are prioritising their nights out in hospitality over spending on other things – even things for their home. According to Barclaycard spending is up overall compared to last year. You can capitalise on this by giving them something they can Instagram about. Similarly, many bookings are only made if the digital journey for the customer is quick and attractive, helping them envisage what their experience will be like.

Even if you are too busy to note everything within the campaign, at the very least I urge you to consider the easy win of embracing Tik Tok. The opportunity to grow and connect on this platform is a lot easier than it is on Instagram so it’s something brands need to be capitalising on. Additionally, we know that social media is shifting more towards authentic ‘in the moment’ content – which is great as it doesn’t require expensive photographers to curate imagery! Finally, there are huge opportunities for brands to show their authentic experience on social media and engage with a new audience.

All of us involved in the ‘No To Last Orders’ Campaign are convinced that it will help you identify facts like these to support the changes you need to secure your venue’s future. You really have nothing to lose – and everything to gain!

Please look at the the Digital E-Guide (and secure access to the Free webinar) which is available to download via the Bums on Seats website.