To say that these are times of vast change – and worry – in the UK would be quite the understatement. With the sad passing of the Queen coinciding with a change of leadership in parliament.
As the owner of a small hospitality business, whether that’s a restaurant, coffee shop or takeaway, the chances are that you will be particularly concerned about the prospect of a recession right now.
Data recently reported by The Guardian indicates that the UK is now on the brink of an economic slowdown, amid declining business activity and soaring costs. Meanwhile, another report – this time from City A.M. – has suggested that a third of Britain’s small businesses could be set to close if they are unable to access finance by the end of 2022.
These are not enviable circumstances for any UK Prime Minister or business owner to find themselves in. Here at Slerp, we stand ready to help hospitality firms like yours through the coming storm. As part of this, we want to encourage takeaways, restaurants, bakeries, and other hospitality firms to diversify their business models, so that they are more robust and better able to withstand the downturn.
Let’s be frank: a recession is coming, and the impact on the hospitality sector looks set to be severe. A hospitality industry that was already having to deal with record-high personnel shortages has also lately been buffeted with rising costs, and a prolonged recession will likely only exacerbate existing issues and send many firms to the wall.
There’s not much that your hospitality business can do to control the economy, but what you can do, is control your own business’s controllables. That means being prepared, for example, for a UK in which many more people are anxiously watching their pennies, and are perhaps therefore less likely to eat out as often as they previously did.
So, what will you do if you do see a noticeable drop in the numbers of people visiting your physical premises? Is your current business model a sustainable one in such circumstances? No hospitality firm wants a recession, but it could at least present you with an opportunity to re-evaluate your business model and consider whether it is still fit for purpose.
Slerp are all about helping restaurants, cafes, and other hospitality businesses like yours to transact directly with customers; that means them ordering directly with you, and you delivering their order directly to them.
We can provide your business with the complete restaurant or takeaway ordering system, so that the customer can order from you wherever they are. At the same time, you will have your own efficient and sophisticated online ordering infrastructure set up, reducing your reliance on third-party marketplace apps.
With an online ordering system in place from Slerp, you can be helped to overcome the following challenges:
As we touched on above, the ‘old ways’ in which your business attracted and engaged with customers might not work so well amid the looming economic slowdown. If, for instance, you’re unsure whether you will be able to keep the lights on at your high-street premises due to escalating energy bills or an inability to find the right workers – or even just lower numbers of on-premise customers – it would be handy to have a well-developed website, app and online ordering system to take some of the strain so you can keep on providing your customers with a professional, slick, and responsive service, and the food and drink they love from you.
We know that hospitality businesses are continuing to struggle to attract workers. Recent figures indicate that the sector has been experiencing an 83% higher number of vacancies than was the case during the March to May 2019 period, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The coming recession looks set to ‘bake in’ that problem. With a pivot to a greater emphasis on online ordering, though, you can help reduce the numbers of workers you will need to have on your diner premises at any given time. We can handle the logistical arrangements, so that you don’t have to spend energy-sapping time dealing with the multiple couriers you may have partnerships with as a means of getting your goods to your customers.
It has often been said that it costs a lot more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing customer. While the extent to which this is true is often disputed these days, at a time when fewer people might be making a beeline for your brick-and-mortar premises, you will definitely want to cultivate loyalty among the customers who were already buying from you before the recession. Look at it this way: customers may reduce how often they eat out or order takeaway, but when they do decide to treat themselves, you will want your takeaway or eatery to be the first one that they think of. Here at Slerp, we can integrate a loyalty programme with your ordering system and app, so that whether the customer orders from you at your high-street location, on a ‘click-and-collect’ basis, or for delivery to their home or office, they can still be rewarded.
Even putting all the above to one side, partnering with Slerp simply makes sense for your restaurant or takeaway’s bottom line. With click-and-collect commission starting from 2% when you choose Slerp, and delivery from 6%, we can help you say goodbye to those punishing rates of commission you might presently be having to deal with on third-party marketplace apps.
As you can see, direct-to-consumer ordering isn’t a mere ‘nice to have’ or even a novelty of 2022 – it could quickly start looking like an essential for your hospitality business as it looks to navigate the very serious challenges of the fast-arriving recession. Enquire to Slerp now, and we can discuss how we can work together to help your eatery not just survive, but thrive for a long time to come.