The rules have suddenly changed for small hospitality businesses. Occupancy for small restaurants has dropped by half nationally as many establishments have been forced to close their doors due to regulations to help prevent the coronavirus spread. Small hotels have also seen a decline in business.
This downturn has prompted many small hospitality businesses to do more with less and make the most of their available resources. The good news is this crisis won’t last forever and whether you are a small business that has adopted sustainable practices in the past or are doing so now to weather the ever-changing economy, you will see benefits in the future.
As a small hospitality business owner, here are ideas for overcoming challenges, making a green-friendly sustainable difference and continuing to offer excellent customer service.
Online Marketing: A Timely and Green Way to Promote Your Hospitality Business
Now more than ever, small hospitality businesses are seeing the benefits of online marketing. For small restaurant owners, online orders through your website mean you’re always open even when your dining room is not and allow you to provide drive-through and curbside service to hungry customers who are ready to support your efforts. You can also list specials and sales on your website to attract more customers. Small hotel owners can attract more travelers by promoting special rates on their website and make it fast and convenient for customers to book or modify reservations online with an easy access eCommerce section.
In addition to helping you stay connected to your customers, online marketing also offers green-friendly and efficiency benefits. It saves paper, ink, electricity and delivery costs, reducing your carbon footprint with no printed materials required. Online content you develop can easily be used to create and update marketing content on your website and in your social media posts and email campaigns. You’ll save time, money and labor while effectively building customer engagement.
Sustainable Practices You Can Start Now
As you look toward the future, you can begin taking action now to help your business – and the planet – thrive. Take a fresh, healthy look at your small restaurant business. Start by partnering with green suppliers and asking for quotes on things like biodegradable paper straws, energy-efficient lighting and solar panels that can provide significant business tax benefits. Purchase foods and supplies locally to reduce carbon emissions created by extensive distribution networks and to support the local community.
Small hotels that encourage their guests to reuse their towels and linens during their stay collectively save 200,000 liters of water and 1300 liters of detergent each year worldwide. Implementing water filtration systems and providing guests with green-friendly paper cups eliminates the need for millions of plastic bottles. Contact water filtration companies in your area for a quote and to estimate potential water savings. Refillable soap and shampoo dispensers on shower walls eliminate millions of plastic containers. Contact green-friendly suppliers like Dispenser Amenities and Mayfair for options. Finally, plastic room keys are being replaced with wood-, paper- and composite-based materials that are durable and better for the environment. Learn more by contacting companies like Ucard and Sustainable Cards®.
Tips for Getting the Word Out About Your Green-Friendly Hospitality Business
Highlight that you are a green company on your website and in your email and social media campaigns to attract environmentally conscious food lovers and travelers. Don’t have a website? Web.com makes it easy to create one with website packages featuring an easy to use DIY website builder. If you need professional assistance, Web.com’s Professional Services can capture everything that is unique about your hospitality business and design a site for you.
Potential customers may search for “sustainable”, “environmentally friendly” and “green friendly” in online directories when looking for a local restaurant or hotel. Include these search engine optimization (SEO) terms in your website content to help your business rank higher in online search directories to make it easier for travelers to find you. Web.com has a Simple SEO tool that provides advice for implementing and improving your SEO plan.
Also include phrases like “A Green-Friendly Hotel” on your key cards and “An Environmentally Conscious Restaurant” on your napkins to help brand your green-focused hospitality business. If you use any type of printed materials, clearly indicate that they are recyclable. Call attention to your green-friendly initiatives by celebrating Earth Day and offering your guests discounts and incentives.
As we all continue to navigate the current economic challenges, now is a great time to reevaluate your business and determine how you can operate your business more efficiently. Hospitality businesses that adopt green practices help their guests feel like they are making good choices and a sustainable difference. Going green is good for the environment – and good for your business, too.