Four ways F&B tech can help Holiday Parks prepare for a rise in cost-conscious holidaymakers

Amidst the current cost-of-living crisis, holidaymakers are expected to look closer to home this year, when planning a getaway. In fact, recent research suggests that 90% of travellers will plan a domestic trip in the next 12 months, with some planning shorter breaks to help keep costs down.

With activities such as caravanning, camping and glamping all popular staycation choices for holidaymakers, how can Holiday Park operators better utilise tech in the F&B arm of their business to capitalise on the opportunities the staycation boom brings, whilst also ensuring they are safeguarding their businesses for the future? Here’s just some of the ways that tech can help.

1. Pinpoint peaks

Despite economic uncertainty, recent data suggests that holiday retail spending will rise this year, and with more and more guests deciding to spend their holidays in UK holiday parks, operators that plan ahead and iterate on previous years’ successes can expect to see results. Technology can play a key role in helping you to achieve this, particularly in your F&B offering. With a fully integrated suite of technology in a park’s restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes, it’s easy to identify what worked well the year before during peak times – from what products sold best in the on-site bar, to what discounts customers took advantage of in the restaurant – providing detailed insights into what your customers respond well to in your hospitality facilities, and helping you to identify opportunities to increase spend. It’s also just as important to identify what didn’t work to ensure you’re offering products your guests want to buy, and that you’re not over-stocking on products that won’t sell well.

However, it’s not just your peak times that you should be looking at – data collected during quieter trading periods can also yield some really useful insights. This data will provide you a complete picture of how your business has been performing, during both the peaks and the troughs, to enable smarter, data-led decision making – such as ensuring you always have your most popular food and drink in stock at the right times, or planning more effective promotions to drive more revenue during the less busy trading periods.

2. Look at your environmental agenda

Consumers are becoming more eco-conscious and as result, expect the businesses they buy from to be more socially responsible too. However, when you’re faced with an increase in visitors and a busy park, how can you ensure you keep on top of demand while also prioritising your environmental responsibilities, such as reducing waste? By investing in an effective digital stocktaking solution for your F&B facilities that allows you to look at what’s not being ordered, what’s being wasted in the kitchen and what’s coming back on the plate, you can monitor portion sizes and reduce over-ordering of ingredients. Keeping on top of waste not only helps the bottom line but also helps to achieve sustainability ambitions, as well as ensuring you’re able to keep the value of your offering as reasonable as possible for guests in a year where costs will be front-of-mind when deciding where to spend their holidays.

3. Real-time, seamless data sharing

It’s no secret that data is at the beating heart of any hospitality operation, with holiday parks being no exception, bringing operations together and providing all the tools you need to manage your business successfully and efficiently. It connects the dots between your front and back-of-house, as well as helping you to easily generate an overall picture of your business, delivering you complete operational control – so it’s important that it’s being analysed and used correctly. For example, back-of-house tech that is integrated with EPoS can identify when the kitchen is too busy with in-venue diners and cut off takeaway or click & collect orders automatically, ensuring your in-venue customer experience isn’t affected. This real-time data can also have tangible benefits for your customers during the order journey itself. Fully integrated technology will push live stock availability to all your ordering channels whether it’s a till, handheld ordering device, or online ordering channels, meaning both your staff and customers will always know what’s available to order and what’s out of stock, eliminating a major bugbear for customers before it’s even occurred. A win for both you and your visitors!

4. Reward and incentivise returning customers through loyalty schemes

A tech-enhanced experience is crucial in achieving a loyal cohort of guests, as it helps in encouraging customers to return to your holiday park. Our research has shown that fewer than one in five (18%) of holiday park guests are currently signed up to a loyalty initiative, but of those who aren’t, nearly half (45%) say they would be interested in signing up to a scheme. With the cost-of-living crisis still impacting overseas travel, here is your opportunity to reap long-term benefits, starting with a loyalty scheme. Investing in an integrated digital loyalty solution will help gain valuable insights that can be gained from harvesting guest data. Visit frequency, guest preferences and spend can all be collected, so you can send tailored deals and rewards to each customer, driving more engagement and sales and increasing the value of your offering to your cost-conscious guests, something that’s sure to keep them coming back year on year.

Zonal has a wide range of technology solutions designed to increase efficiency and help holiday parks become more profitable. Find out more here!

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