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A sign of the times

05 October 2020

How one client kept customers coming through the door during Covid

One of our clients recently acquired a new business: the Avon Lodge truck stop and café at Avonmouth. For many years, the on-site café had been serving fresh, home-cooked food to truck drivers who broke their journey there, but it was not well known or visited by people working in the area.

Plans put on hold

Before the pandemic put the nation into lockdown, our client had ambitious plans to upgrade the facilities at the truck stop with on-site conference facilities and office space, as well as a complete makeover and rebrand of the venue. With their major plans on hold, the Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme provided a fantastic opportunity for the café to encourage customers to eat there after the Covid-19 lockdown. 

Promotion in a pandemic

To promote the café, the team at ie designed and developed eye-catching external signage, along with door-to-door leaflets to be distributed within the immediate vicinity. We also helped arrange communicating with owners and managers of local businesses via email to raise awareness even further.
 
The leaflet distributors did not just drop leaflets but, at our suggestion, made a point of speaking to receptionists and workers to explain about the café and their involvement in the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ offer – and got a fantastic response. By the Thursday of the first week, numbers were well up and, interestingly, this trend continued even on the days that the offer was not running.

Realising potential

General truck stop manager at Avon Lodge, David Hatherell, who has plenty of experience in running successful truck stops including Chippenham Pit Stop said: “We were very pleased with the Eat Out to Help Out promotion since it introduced our spacious café to an entirely new audience locally. This venue has great potential – we want to continue to raise our profile within the local community and hope to welcome many more businesses and their employees through our doors in the coming months.”

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