Ready for the Christmas party season? It's already started!


Ready for the Christmas party season? It's already started!

Ready for the Christmas party season? It's already started!

The Christmas party season is an opportunity to make some serious cash, and while there can be no doubt that the Christmas period can be an extremely profitable time for the trade, we would urge publicans and restaurant owners to tread carefully, as mistakes in this period can be costly in both the short and long term.

We recently conducted a survey of customer expectation in the lead up to the party season which threw up some interesting results.

The key point to note is that you need to be thinking about your Christmas arrangements early, and by that we don't mean sitting down to think about it now, because customers are already starting to make bookings for Christmas parties. Our study of 278 diners revealed that 24% of people are planning to make bookings in October, so it is essential that you have arrangements in place for Christmas and are ready to receive those all-important bookings.

Of those surveyed who said they would be booking Christmas meals for groups, 69% indicated that they would be doing so over the telephone. This 'phone call will be the first part of their customer experience so it is important that the first impression is a good one. With only 11% of those surveyed saying that they will chose a venue for their Christmas party on the basis of having been there before, it is highly likely that this phone call will be the customer's first contact with your venue.

Remember that you need to keep your staff up to date with what's going on! For those early phone calls to your venue, you need to be confident that whoever answers will not be caught off guard with a Christmas booking. Our survey revealed that if staff didn't have information to hand on that first booking call, 84% of respondents said they would expect the venue to get back to them the same day, and almost half within 4 hours.

Don't forget that we can help publicans and other hospitality operators through our mystery call service. This service helps businesses to improve their telephone booking system by giving an independent appraisal of the service they receive over the 'phone when booking a table. Give us a call if you would like more details - and if we don't have the answers to your questions we'll get back to you within 4 hours...

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