Tourism is big business and something every country relies on heavily. For food service businesses it is essential that you plan and respond to peak seasons and trends in the industry to maximise your profits during this time.
‘2022 inbound forecast for UK: For the full calendar year, inbound visits are forecast to increase to 21.1 million, and spending to £16.9 billion. These are 52% and 59% respectively of the visits and spend levels seen in 2019’. Visitbritain.com
We all know that going on holiday is about experiencing the life and culture of the country we are visiting, well it’s no different to those that are coming to the UK for their holidays – they want to see and experience all the wonderfulness we have to offer and dining out experience is a huge factor in this.
We have some tips on how you can maximise your profits during peak tourism seasons.
Restaurants & Cafes
This is the perfect time for you to offer tasty local cuisine as this will draw in the curious tourist, keen to immerse themselves in the local culture. You should spend some time researching local delicacies and locally produced ingredients and, if there is one, create the local dish, for example, Stargazey Pie, found in Cornwall, Haggis dishes, found throughout Scotland, Bedfordshire Clangers, from…Bedfordshire! Welsh rarebit from South Wales – the list goes on and on. Getting creative with these dishes and shouting about their history will encourage people to give the dish a go.
You could also offer a tasting menu with local cheeses, meats, veggies or sweet treats and, whilst we are talking sweet treats, don’t forget the classic Afternoon English tea – not just an absolute hit with the tourists but still a firm favourite of our very own. You can always add a twist on the classic and serve Champagne tea – add a glass of champers to the standard afternoon tea, Cream tea – only include scones with jam and clotted cream alongside the tea or consider a Gentleman’s tea – where you offer something a little heartier like pork pies, scotch eggs and meat-filled sandwiches.
Afternoon Tea can be offered by restaurants and cafes alike – depending on the establishment and the location the price can vary – it is really important to remember to serve your Afternoon Tea from quintessentially British vintage crockery, it all adds to the experience and ambience! The addition of champagne or Prosecco as an option will add a little decadence to the experience.
If there are events taking place during tourism peaks it is always good to offer a ‘themed’ meal or if you are a cafe ‘themed treats’ for example decorated cakes and cookies (think the Queens Golden Jubilee).
Oh, the great British pub!! Peak seasons are your time to thrive, with so many incredible English ciders, craft beers, ales and gins available from around the country it would be a shame not to have some of these beverages on offer to entice in the tourist trade. The ‘Ales’ is unique to the UK and a huge part of the pub culture so by celebrating this you can bring in tourists looking for a real English pub experience. You can also offer a delectable menu of locally produced/homemade meals.
People are always interested in the production process of gins, ciders and ales so a great way to generate some extra income would be to offer tours of the breweries – giving an overview of each step of production and a taster of the product after the tour – offering a small discount on any purchase made after the tour is also a nice touch and encourages the visitor to tell their friends and family (who could potentially visit) about their experience.
Live music is always an option to pull in the punters and the tourists! Consider inviting local musicians along for a live performance at your venue – you will need to think about the type of music on offer to make sure you draw in the right crowd. Tourists will be looking for events to attend in your area so this is a great way to attract them to your pub – sometimes bands will play for free to get exposure and will often have their own loyal following and this following will be sending money in your pub. Live music is usually always a winner so this is something you consider adding as a regular event.
Hotels and B&B’s
The hospitality industry is a competitive market for hotels and B&Bs, especially during peak tourism seasons, so you need to make sure people can find you – this means investing in your marketing and providing a great service so that previous guests will recommend you, your hotel and your food. Your marketing should include running paid ads on search engines and social media platforms, these ads will drive people to your website where they can book direct, once they are on your site you can also entice them with special offers. You should also be leveraging the power of online hotel booking engines to drive your bookings.
What do tourists want? Things to do! Make sure you offer an overview of things to do in the local area and offer excursions and outings and day trips that include a picnic or dining experience as well as an entertaining or educational day.
Finally, spread the word! Whatever you organise you need to make sure your plans are visible to tourists, whatever your speciality make sure to share your business on social media, post guest/visitor reviews, take pictures of your wonderful food, unique locations and experiences – make sure your cafe or restaurant has a visible menu available or an a-board to promote your daily special. You can also speak to your local tourist information centre and align a partnership.
At the heart of all of this, maximising your profits during peak tourism seasons usually starts with offering a wonderful and enticing menu – before you can even begin to think about your menu, cocktail list or Afternoon tea you need to ensure you have a perfectly performing food service operation running in the background, your commercial kitchen is your livelihood – if you are considering a new or redesign of your commercial kitchen we’d love to hear from you.