Covid-19 Playbook: Tips and tricks to help your business

First off, we hope this finds you safe and healthy.

We're continuing to push out some updates that we hope you'll find helpful.

Many of you have reached out in the last few weeks to share your tentative plans for reopening.

We're also hearing that some of you are feeling overwhelmed and unsure what to do next.

With that in mind, we thought it might be helpful to provide a Covid Playbook with a few steps you can take to improve your business from now until the season picks back up.

Play 1

Continue the conversation with your customers.

Now's a great time to send an email newsletter to previous customers.

It may be too early to start selling or offering discounts, but it's a great time to share photos, remind them of the fun times they had with you, and give them something to look forward to when things open back up.

If you haven't sent email newsletters in the past, we strongly recommend that you use a professional e-mail service like MailChimp to help you stay compliant, improve deliverability and track email activity.

Starboard Suite has built-in integrations with MailChimp and Constant Contact to keep your mailing list automatically in-sync.

Play 2

Improve your cashflow by issuing gift certificate refunds instead of credit card refunds.

When cancelling an event or reservation, consider asking customers to accept a credit for a future event, rather than a credit card refund.

You can use the "convert to gift certificate" button to refund the entire reservation as a gift certificate, or meet customers halfway with a 50% system gift certificate and a 50% credit card refund.

Play 3

Reduce the capacity for any subset of events.

Some jurisdictions may allow you to reopen, but require you to temporarily reduce your capacity.  You can address this constraint by overriding your default capacity.

By default, Starboard pulls the event capacity from your Resource, but you have the ability to override this default for any individual event by entering a Max Guests number in the event editor.

Want to change the capacity for a group of events in batch (e.g., all events in May)?

Just head to Events->Edit Multiple Events to override the default capacity for any group of events.

Play 4

Use the "Table Number" feature to create safe zones for social distancing.

If you're not in the habit of assigning tables, you may not know about our Table Number feature which can be handy for managing zoned seating for social-distancing as well.

Enabling this feature will give you flexible, auto-saved fields where you can enter a table number, zone number or any other indicator that would be helpful to track.

Play 5

If you're expecting a ramp-up period for your season, use event "Auto-Activation" to open up new new events as needed.

Auto-activation allows you to hide some of your events, and automatically open them to the public as prior events start filling up.

This is one way to avoid committing your business to a full schedule if only a few customers are ready to book.​

Of course, every play may not make sense for every business, but hopefully we've given you a few ideas for ways to leverage some of the tools available to you.

Our thoughts are with you in this difficult time.