This summer is an opportunity to build back better after an incredibly tough year. Whether you’re operating a pub or a garden centre, a hotel or a bed and breakfast, a theme park or a petting zoo – make sure you’re all set to make more from the domestic travel boom with our 10 tips to enhance guest experience, drive footfall, increase spend and boost profitability.
1. Businesses with a complete Google My Business profile are almost twice as likely to be considered reputable by customers
Optimise your digital presence so that potential customers can find you in the first place – starting with Google’s ‘My Business’ (GMB) feature.
GMB is a product from Google that lets you create and manage a free ‘Business Profile’ that appears in search results. Have you ever searched Google or Google Maps and seen a business pop up at the top or on the right-hand side with pictures and reviews? That’s the one.
Is your business optimised with Google?
Discover how to make the most of this simple marketing opportunity with our free guide.
2. Customers are still looking for reassurances on safety and hygiene
Covid restrictions may be relaxing, but that doesn’t mean that fears regarding safety and hygiene have gone away. Your customers still deserve to know that you are taking all precautions to ensure the cleanliness of your food, utensils and kitchen, as well as your front of house. Check out our hub of advice on food safety and hygiene practices for further support.
And, of course, don’t forget the hand sanitiser!
Your customers will feel reassured by well-known, trustworthy brands, such as Lifebuoy. Unlike a liquid product, the gel texture of Lifebuoy Hand Hygiene Gel allows a controlled dosage and therefore more efficiency on the palm by limiting the risk of spillage. It’s also quick drying, has a pleasant scent and is available in a range of formats designed specifically for businesses. Even better, you can try Lifebuoy for free! Click here to get your free sample.
Use our branded point of sale solutions and demonstrate that you're doing your bit to keep your customers safe. And don't forget about your younger guests this summer too, keep the kids entertained with this downloadable colouring sheet.
3. Ice cream is scientifically proven to make your customers happy – and offers you great cash margins too
Ice cream is also a key part of any holiday or day trip – especially during the summer months.
Wall’s is the market leader in impulse ice cream, with 11 of the top 12 selling ice creams in its portfolio. What’s more, 12 impulse ice creams are sold every second in the UK during the summer months – which is a whole lot of ice cream. And in a category that offers great cash margins, that’s a whole lot of profit for your business too! So make sure you’re stocking the household brands that will drive sales, including Magnum, Solero, Cornetto, Twister and Calippo.
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4. Burgers were the most missed dish to eat out of home during lockdown 
Your customers have missed burgers, so make sure they’re a key feature on your menu this summer.
If you’re in need of some burger inspiration, get creative and maximise your burger sales with advice and recipe videos from Big Boys Fine Burger Co – winners of the Best Burger Chef award at the 2020 National Burger Awards. Make sure your plant-based burger offering is on point too, with inspiration from The Vegetarian Butcher.
We believe that a great burger is a sum of parts...
– whether veggie or meat, each component must work together to deliver maximum flavour satisfaction. This also includes the condiments that your customers choose to finish their burger just the way they like it. For ultimate guest satisfaction, make sure you’re offering condiments from Hellmann’s. Hellmann’s complete range is now available in hygienic sachets – which you can sample for FREE! Click here to request your free samples now.
5. Diverse menus that include veggie and plant-based dishes will open your business up to a wider audience
The demand for plant-based dishes on menus has increased significantly in recent years – and this is one trend that isn’t going anywhere. Even if your menu is traditionally meat-orientated, there is no underestimating the importance of plant-based or vegan dishes as part of your offering.
The good news is that you don’t need to sacrifice anything to serve up great tasting dishes that tick all the texture and flavour boxes for vegans and meat-eaters alike. The Vegetarian Butcher range cooks like meat, tastes like meat and has the texture of meat. To make their point, The Vegetarian Butcher team put their products to the test with four of the best chefs in Manchester – and in true northern style, they didn’t hold back. Click here to see how events unfolded.
6. The British weather could literally do anything!
Let’s face it, the British weather is much less reliable than that of the Costa del Sol. And whilst many of your customers might take a stoically British ‘keep calm and carry on’ approach to their staycations, it’s always worth being prepared for any eventuality – including a rare heatwave too!
Why not have a dedicated weather forecaster within your team? Assign a team member to keep tabs of both the long- and short-range forecasts, so that you can be as ready as possible for that impending heatwave – or to ensure you don’t over-order on the Pimms if August is looking like a washout.
Sunshine incoming? Get ready for ice cream fever with Wall’s.
7. Research has shown that well-shot food pics can increase sales of a menu item by up to 30%
Social media is a great tool to drive engagement with your business and show potential customers what you have to offer them, from new dishes to your bestsellers. But if the whole thing feels a little overwhelming – not to mention time consuming – there are things you can do to simplify social and help your business to stand out from the crowd.
Start with getting the basics right....
....using our free guide to social media for restaurants and hospitality businesses.
It’s also worth teaching yourself and your team how to capture great content. Customers, after all, eat with their eyes. Check out our guide to perfecting social media food photography for some great tips and expert advice.
8. Delivery and takeaway still offer a significant incremental revenue opportunity
Demand for delivery and takeaway saw a spike in 2020 when dine-in hospitality was forced to closed. Many businesses pivoted to delivery to maintain cash flow and, for some, this revenue stream was a lifeline. With hospitality back open once again, it may be easy to forget about the commercial benefits that delivery can offer. But demand for delivery remains high and, with Brits looking to kick back on our own shores this summer, many will be looking to delivery and takeaway options to give them that ‘holiday at home’ feeling. If you didn’t take the plunge in 2020 then we’ve got plenty of advice for setting up a food delivery service.
Alternatively you could consider setting up your own ‘dark kitchen’ specifically for delivery. The Vegetarian Butcher’s Ding Dog concept is a plug-and-play delivery solution where all the hard work has been done for you. Click here to find out more about building Ding Dog into your offering.
9. Over half of Brits take their own tea on holiday – so make sure your cuppas can match up
After a tough year for everyone, it’s the small and simple pleasures that your customers will really value this summer. A great cup of tea can really help to elevate a dining experience – so make sure you’re serving the nation’s favourite tea from PG tips.
PG tips are the first major tea brand with 100% biodegradable tea bags.
For foodservice alone, by switching to PG tips biodegradable tea bags together we can reduce the amount of plastic used by 26 tonnes annually – that’s the weight of four and a half elephants!
10. Consumers are more environmentally aware than ever before
According to research from Deloitte, consumers are more environmentally aware than ever before.
In the past 12 months up to March 2021, consumers have changed their behaviours specifically to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle:
- 61% have reduced their use of single use plastics
- 49% have bought more seasonal products
- 45% have bought more locally produced goods
There’s so much that hospitality and foodservice can do to support and build on these wider efforts. For tips on making your business more sustainable this summer, from reducing food waste to using more sustainable ingredients, visit our Sustainability Hub.
 Kantar Food On the Go Panel L12 WE 11.09.16
 Diner Track, Out of Home Recovery Report conducted by Street Bees for Unilever Food Solutions, 25th April – 26th May 2020, n=123 respondents.
 Nielsen Total Tea Volume Sales (kg) MAT 16.05.20
 Major tea brand refers to those with > 10% Share of Sales Value (%) Nielsen Total Tea MAT 26.12.2020
 Based on 2019 Unilever sales volumes