In 2019, Paul and Melissa bought Tŷ Mawr hotel in the Welsh village of Brechfa – the dream hotel they’d long been seeking. Then, in 2020 came the nightmare of Coronavirus and closure. Despite the setback, they’ve found ways to keep doing business and making profits.
Their response began when Paymentsense called to offer BiteBack, the online toolkit that helped them start trading as a takeaway and bakery service, without the expenses of online ordering apps.
We spoke to them to find out the challenges they’ve overcome, how BiteBack helped them transition their offerings, and why the pandemic has brought some positive outcomes.
How did Coronavirus change your business outlook?
“It’s easy to overthink these things. We’ve had to take a leap of faith though and make choices outside our comfort zone. We’ve never run a takeaway before, but you just have to take action. It’s definitely paid off because this approach has brought in £10,000 worth of business.”
In it together
“The local community really helped. People would say, ‘How can we support you? What can we do?’ So we’ve returned that support by sourcing produce from the local honey suppliers… and the fisherman who’s lost most of his business… and the beef farmer struggling to sell livestock.”
How do you take safe payments for deliveries?
“Vulnerable customers pay upfront and want the food taken to the car. Others use contactless cards on pick-up. Some older customers were initially apprehensive, but they’ve now really embraced it.”
The hotel has been reconfigured with, open doors, minimised touchpoints and helpful signage so customers can enter, tap and go. “We’ve expanded from contactless payments to what one reviewer called an ‘amazing contactless experience.’ It was that lady’s first trip out in ten weeks and she felt really safe.”
What are your plans post Coronavirus?
“A lot depends on how quickly guests return. If we can balance it all, the takeaway service could pay for us to hire a Sous Chef.”
“Payment will be completed and information sent out beforehand to reduce queues. We’re also looking into restaurant payment directly from customers’ devices.”
If you’re in the hospitality industry and you’re looking to reopen safely on the 4th July, see our latest guidance here.