Taming the Christmas Crowds with Technology
Christmas festivities are in full swing and it won’t come as a surprise to learn that people will be spending a lot more time and money eating and drinking. In fact, a typical household in the UK spends over £500 more in the month of December, with an extra 20% spent on food and 30% spent on alcohol.
Not only are people eating out prior to Christmas but the number of people opting-out of cooking a traditional Christmas meal at home is increasing. In 2016, online reservations site Bookatable recorded a 32% rise in Christmas Day bookings. OpenTable, meanwhile, saw a 43% increase over the same period. This trend is set to continue into 2018 with many restaurants and hotels revealing their special Christmas day dining options, from Toby Carvery’s £59.99 Christmas day lunch menu to the Ritz’s indulgent Christmas day dinner starting at £325!
It’s not only restaurants and hotels that peak in sales over the Christmas period. Fast food chains and quick-serve outlets, such as Costa and Starbucks reap the benefits from the crowds out shopping for Christmas gifts. During Starbucks September quarter in 2016 profits surged by 12% to $5.37 billion. People now recognise the launch of the Starbucks festive cups as a sign that the Christmas period has started, like the Coca-Cola truck and the John Lewis advert.
To stay competitive, hospitality providers use several initiatives to attract the crowds over Christmas, including:
- Festive drink and food menus
- Events including live music and Christmas stalls
- Dining room and catering
- Special promotions that only run through December
- Dressing and Decorations
What are the Challenges Facing Hospitality Providers over the Christmas Period?
With this sudden surge in demand comes the potential for a huge revenue boost for hospitality providers. However, to reap the benefits, staff must be extremely organised to manage the crowds efficiently whilst providing a great customer service. But this can be much easier said than done…
Staffing can be a major issue and a costly expense for hospitality providers. Existing staff are likely to want at least one day of leave (unless terms are stated otherwise in their contract). If not on leave, they will be subject to higher pay. For some, hiring temporary staff to assist with the extra workload is a necessity, however, this means supplying some level of training before they start. This can be time-consuming and comes with no guarantee that the new staff will get to grips with the general operations before they dive into the deep end.
During busy spells staff are also likely to find it difficult to keep up with the constant flow of revolving customers, resulting in long queues and lengthy waiting times. This will inevitably lead to unhappy customers and even worse… a bad review.
Control the crowds and manage orders with wi-Q’s app free platform that puts the ordering and payment capability in your customers’ hand with a simple, attractive interface, that can be tailored to your brand. With no app to download, your customers just connect order and pay using their smartphone. This frees up time for staff to ensure the customer experience is just as efficient, if not better, during the busy Christmas period.
Learn more about wi-Q here.