With operational costs soaring and a cost-of-living crisis affecting both businesses and consumers, it is vital that holiday parks are able to drive spend per head across all parts of the park. Technology will be key to this, opening up opportunities to encourage up-selling and add-on sales, rewarding loyal guests and perhaps even creating new sales streams. Here’s how tech can keep the tills ringing over the next few months and beyond.
Bookings boost sales
The habit of pre-booking to secure a table when eating out may well prove to be a lasting legacy of the pandemic, and it’s a legacy that may well prove to be a valuable one for hospitality operators of all kinds.
While some level of flexibility on holiday will always be welcome, enabling guests to reserve a table on occasion will reduce both the risk of dissatisfied customers and the length of queues. A digital system that enables this will streamline the whole process for both staff and guests, show availability in real time, and allowing guests to amend or cancel bookings simply and easily – something which our research shows more than half of consumers (58%) desire.
A digital booking system offers other benefits too – providing operators with the opportunity to engage guests and tempt them with promotions and up-selling offers. These can include things such as balloons or cake to celebrate a special occasion, pre-dinner drinks ready at the table, or pre-ordering dishes from the specials board that may otherwise sell out.
Much of this applies beyond F&B operations as well. A digital booking system for attractions and activities across the park will help drive spend in a similar way. As with pre-booking a table, queues will be reduced, guest frustration and disappointment avoided, and the business can make the most of the up-selling and cross-selling opportunities offered.
Did you know that over that half of consumers say they are attracted to hospitality loyalty schemes and yet our research into the holiday park market shows just 18% of guests are members of a holiday park loyalty programme?
Implementing a digital loyalty scheme will help operators extract maximum value from such an initiative. Aside from the more obvious practicalities – digital schemes ease the burden on staff and are less easily lost than cards by consumers – they also offer the ability to tailor promotions to individuals.
When integrated into EPoS for example, a digital scheme can pinpoint frequent activities, preferred dining venues and other personal preferences. It can then automatically target guests with on-site offers and promotions based on those likes and dislikes. This not only encourages spend but gives guests a more personal experience – something which we know is a growing preference for hospitality customers right now.
There is also the opportunity to keep engaging with guests and targeting them with bespoke offers once their holiday has ended, encouraging them to return once more.
Did you know that just 30% of holiday park guests used an on-site takeaway at their last visit? This contrasts with the 56% find the idea of breakfast in bed delivered to their accommodation appealing (both stats from our consumer report into technology in holiday parks), both of which indicate a thus far untapped opportunity for holiday parks to encourage F&B spend on site.
While the complexities of adding a takeaway/click and collect option to on-site restaurants may seem fraught with risk, tech can help minimise operational stress and maximise sales. 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 orders automatically. Alternatively, it can be set up to only take eat-out orders at certain times of the day or days of the week, easing pressure on back and front-of-house staff and reducing the risk of guest disappointment.
With guests likely to be looking for more affordable treats in the short term at least, this could be a valuable tool to recoup otherwise lost spend.
Any operators considering the above should first, however, ensure their tech offer is useful, relevant and widely available across all parts of the park. Our recent research into the sector found half (53%) of holiday park guests said tech was widely available across the park on their last visit and only 56% reported that the tech they used was useful and relevant to them.
For more information on how our technology can help holiday parks, visit our dedicated sector page.