Posted on: 03 July 2020

Organising your bookings for reopening

On 4th July 2020, hospitality businesses in the UK, such as pubs, restaurants and hotels, and personal grooming businesses, like hairdressers, will finally be allowed to reopen following months of lockdown. Whilst there isn’t any government guidance on how you should take bookings, there are plenty of reasons why taking bookings ahead of time can keep you organised and prevent a second wave of COVID-19.

Take a look at the below tips on taking bookings for your hospitality or personal grooming business for when your business reopens.

Why take bookings when reopening

Tracing customers

Whilst advanced booking isn’t specifically part of the government’s guidance, keeping a record of any visitors to your business, if possible, is advised.

When you take a booking for a customer, you should ask to collect their contact details. This means that if someone who has visited your business contracts COVID-19, you can contact other customers who were on the premises at the same time to warn them that they may have been exposed to the virus.

Manage visitor numbers

Before you reopen, you should know how many customers can fit onto your premises whilst safely social distancing. If you allow more visitors than can be accommodated safely, you may increase the risk of the virus being spread.

You should discourage walk-in sessions, as walk-in customers could exceed the limit on customers who are booked in and you can safely service.

Arranging staff

When you take advanced bookings, it will allow you to appropriately plan the number of staff you require to serve the customers that will be arriving to your premises.

When arranging staff for a sitting, ensure that you have the minimum amount necessary to keep your customers happy and safe, whilst being able to offer your usual customer service.

Coordinating times

When you have a booking system, you will be able to manage the time that you need to give your customer a COVID- 19 secure experience.

The time that you have for a booking will need to include time for them to get settled, enjoy their experience, whether it is a treatment or meal, leave the premises and then the time that you need to clean down anything that they have touched and change your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The best ways to take bookings

There are plenty of ways that you can take bookings online to manage customers that visit your business premises.

Facebook

Facebook is a fantastic tool that helps you communicate with your customers, but did you know that you can also use the social media platform to take bookings?

Setting up a “book now” button on Facebook is a straight forward process. Simply follow this link to find out how to add a booking system to your business’ Facebook page.

In the booking’s settings, you can change an option to allow double bookings, which will allow more than one customer to book into the same time spots, depending on how many staff can safely work in your premises.

Designated Online Booking System

If you are looking for a more specialist, comprehensive booking system, you may consider an online booking system. These kinds of systems can either be free or come with a cost, so you should weigh up your options in terms of suitability and cost to see which booking system suits your business.

Some of the available booking systems include Welcome Table, Booksy, Restaurant LiveSimply Book or Open Table.

You can also use Microsoft Bookings as part of the Microsoft 365 package which will link with your Outlook calendar.

Diary

The old fashioned way; taking a booking over the phone and writing it down in a diary. This way of booking in customers will be the cheapest, and because you’re not relying on computer systems, there is little that can go wrong.

Make sure that when you are taking bookings with a diary, that any entries are written clearly, including the names of any customers and their contact details, in case you need to refer back to the information at a later date.

COVID-19 business guidance

For further guidance on how you can keep yourself and your business healthy as COVID-19 continues to be a threat, take a look at some of our articles by following these links:

Business insurance with Premierline

It’s important to make sure that you have the right insurance in place to protect the business that you have built.

Every business is different and has its own business insurance needs, which is why we work with some of the UK’s most well-known insurers to make sure that you are getting the right insurance cover for your business.

To help you and your business during these unprecedented circumstances, Premierline has taken steps to ensure that we can continue to offer our award-winning service.

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