Posted on 30th March 2019
Remote working is on the rise in the UK. There are more self-employed people choosing an office on the move along with employed workers who are working more flexibly and remote working on an occasional or regular basis. According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of self employed workers increased from 3.8 million in 2008 to 4.6 million in 2015. Other ONS figures show that around 15% of workers now enjoy some home or remote working.
These workers need somewhere to lay their laptop, tap into Wi-Fi and to stay refreshed, so are you taking advantage of remote worker trade? Solo traders like Drinks Trade partner Social Vine frequently choose to make a watering hole or restaurant their office for the day, so today we’re looking at how you can feel the benefits of the remote working revolution. Often, very few changes are required to do this; it’s simply a case of knowing your customer and how you can best serve them.
Last month, Brewdog announced the introduction of DeskDog, a hot desking initiative encouraging remote workers to make a BrewDog their office for the day. For a £7 fee, workers can enjoy unlimited coffee along with a pint of PUNK IPA. This deal has been rolled out at four locations with plans to extend to more soon. Brewdog knows that coffee and Wi-Fi are top of most worker’s want lists when it comes to selecting a work location so introducing a bottomless coffee offering is pretty smart. They’ve added in a refreshing pint to lure potential customers away from coffee shops and they’re showing they are remote worker friendly by packaging it as a deal.
If you offer Wi-Fi for guests in your pub or bar, chances are you’ve had a few remote workers wander in. Could a similar coffee offer see your day trade rise? Remote workers may typically buy a few coffees during their visit, so by offering a bottomless version you add perceived value for a fee of around the cost of the beverages they would have bought. This can encourage them to spend more freely on other items such as cakes or snacks, lunch or dinner. Take a peek at our post on the UK’s love affair with coffee, for more ideas on why you need to make this hot beverage part of your menu.
You could just find that by offering a deal for remote workers you win some loyal customers too. Those remote workers may come along to enjoy your daytime deal and like your food and service enough to bring their family back in the evening or to plan future business lunches with you. There’s also the chance they’ll learn about upcoming events you have or spread the word about your great deal.
Building relationships with remote working customers and ensuring the benefits they enjoy are balanced against spend and future custom is key to making the most of the trend. Here our three top tips for making it work for your business:
Brewdog has been welcoming remote workers for some time but by making if official they’ve won themselves a nice bit of publicity. Let customers and potential customers know that you are remote worker friendly. Share your friendliness with a chalkboard on the wall, let people know via your newsletter and on social channels too. And don’t just stick to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – this is the kind of information you ought to share on LinkedIn too! Advertise any special deals or lunch menus along with Wi-Fi availability plus news of any loyalty schemes and you could really give your day trading a boost.
Remote workers wandering into your pub or bar will want to get comfortable quickly then get cracking. Pop a note on the menu or on a board to help them to access Wi-Fi right away. Let them know where any charge points are for laptops and give directions to the toilet. Make sure they know about any special offering you have and let them know when you’ll be back to check on them. Be sure to give details of where you or other staff can be found the rest of the time too. Got a cake stand? Sell scones and sandwiches? Sell some cool homemade bar snacks? Let them know! And whatever you do – don’t forget to take them a lunch menu and offer drinks other than coffee, that’s how you’ll really boost your takings.
You don’t want the fact you’re attracting new daytime customers to alienate the people currently providing any regular daytime trade. The good news is that with a bit of forward thinking your regulars and remoters can happily co-exist. While remote workers will expect a bit of noise when working in public locations, it’s wise to steer them towards quieter spots. Ideally, you also want to avoid a situation where regular customers claim an area as their own and thus put remote workers off. Be sure to brief all your staff on how to help and seat remote workers to avoid this happening.
If you do decide to offer something like a bottomless coffee option, make sure the deal is open to all customers. By doing so you could find your offer helps to win you a regular visit from the likes of a group of local mums or a sports group enjoying a post workout wind down, who will hopefully become loyal customers too.
Have you noticed more remote workers using your venue as a base? What do you do to ensure you’re offering good service while increasing their spend?