Managing customer footfall on your site can be a key challenge when running a pick your own PYO business, but with planning this can be easy to overcome.
As well as making sure you can maintain social distancing a booking system will offer a number of additional benefits to make sure your customers are satisfied and that you get the best returns on your produce. For example, managing footfall can be essential in ensuring a good customer experience by making sure your facilities are not overwhelmed (such as car parks) and to avoid disappointment caused by having to turn people away at the gate. This can also help to match supply with demand by matching footfall with the availability of ripe fruit or pumpkins in the field on a given day.
While online prebooking has become commonplace, you will need to have clear messages about the booking processes, especially if you are only allowing online bookings to be taken. It is also highly recommended that customers are charged to prebook to reduce the risk of no-show bookings and to help you recover the costs of the booking system. However, many growers offer an exchange system whereby customers are given vouchers for the price of the ticket which can be redeemed against the same value of fruit at the tills. Clear communication of the booking process will help to make sure that your customers have an easy and enjoyable visit to your site.
It can be quick and easy to set up a ticketing system, and while this may need a small amount of planning on a week-by-week basis this can quickly become a routine part of your business, and fits nicely with any existing website or social media communications you have with potential customers. While this approach will provide a good solution to the current social distancing requirements you are likely to find the wider benefits of a book ahead system more than sufficient to keep the system running in the long term.
This toolkit provides an overview of how you can start an online booking system for Pick your Own: Technical Advice Sheet Online Booking Systems for Pick Your Own
Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information and recommendations given in these notes, with information provided correct at the time of writing. The material given above is provided for information only and is not an endorsement or promotion of the services described. Growers are recommended to full research and price out ticketing options before implementation. Website and businesses development mentoring is available free of charge for eligible growers through the Tyfu Cymru program, please contact us to arrange an appointment – email/telephone advice is also available.
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