I have a deep love and admiration for the hospitality sector. It supported me through college and graduate school and helped to finance my wedding and first home. I don’t know how I would have grown to be the person I am today without the endless bar shifts, tips, and years of planning and managing events.
It’s easy to give up in times of panic and uncertainty. But, in order to keep this sacred industry alive and well, we must work through the madness. I’m sure right now you’re just trying to figure out how to navigate our temporary world, and booking events is probably not on the forefront of your mind. But, for when the time comes, I wanted to share with you a few tips on how Tripleseat can help you stay on top of your game and prepare you for the coming months.
Reschedule events and add a lost reason
First and foremost, the leads will keep coming in. The vast majority of us are hopeful that come late spring, we’ll be over the hump and finding our way back to some normalcy. Consumers are still planning late spring and summer events. Those that had events already booked for March or April will try to reschedule to a later date. As event professionals, you can be a beacon of hope for these people. Get their minds off what they’re dealing with by planning and looking forward to a future happy event.
The ease with which you can reschedule events on the Tripleseat platform and keep track of new incoming leads is sure to streamline the difficulty of this process and help you respond quickly. If you have events that want to cancel altogether, you’ll want to be able to differentiate them between events that were lost for regular reasons versus those pertaining to this specific situation. We recommend marking them as lost, but adding a new dropdown option for “lost reason.” To add a new dropdown, simply go to Settings> Preferences> Dropdown, and click to “add another.” If you’d rather not create a new dropdown, you could also add a note to the event title itself to help you navigate the lost reason more easily.
Be strategic by using reports and nurturing customers
Treat this time period similar to how you deal with holiday event campaigning. Pull reports from Tripleseat to identify your corporate clients, and start outreach via email or social media. Offer them a bounce-back initiative. For example, if they purchase a $100 gift card, they’ll get an additional $20 free.
For your social clients, offer them something that’s useful right now. If you’re able to do takeout and delivery, this is a great way to reach smaller groups and families. A popular restaurant in my hometown that is used to dealing with mainly private events switched gears and sent out an email encouraging neighbors to call in for takeout. They offered family meals for a discounted price and a buy one get one free deal for couples’ meals. With every meal purchased, they are including a flyer listing all of their private event packages and specials in order to remind customers of what they offer.
Nurturing customers with these offers is a great way to stay on their radar so when the time comes to start planning events, they’ll remember and appreciate your venue.
Use Tripleseat tools to manage takeout
If your venue is new to takeout, it’s easy to use some features in Tripleseat to help you manage the workload. First, you’ll need to create an event type in Tripleseat for takeout. Next, you’ll add a new room in Tripleseat also named takeout. This way you’ll be able to easily create and identify “events” the same way you always do and clearly designate them as takeout orders. I wrote an entire blog post dedicated to using Tripleseat for takeout orders; you can find the full post here. Check out this quick video tutorial created by Product Specialist Nikki Perry on the steps to set up your Tripleseat account for takeout:
We’re here to help
Tripleseat was built for you, with your industry in mind. If you have any questions about what I talked about in this blog post or anything else at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out. If there’s anything that we can do to help you, we will. As you are here to serve your communities, we’re here to serve you. As Danny Meyer, who decided to temporarily close down all 19 of his Union Square Hospitality Group’s restaurants due to the outbreak, recently tweeted, “We are in … A blizzard with no snow. A hurricane with no wind. A tsunami with no water. A forest fire with no flame. A flight without a compass. A stopwatch with a twitchy second hand. This is new territory for all of us. Lead with both your heart and your mind.”