You do! Thank you to everyone who entered our awards programme. Entry is now closed, but we’d love it if you continued to share your best hacks. See below for a great range of hacks showcasing the small things people do to perfect processes, elevate experiences, and make their businesses better. Our winners can be found here.
Changing the way you do things, particularly within a hospitality business, is no easy effort – but you’re not alone. Join the Cornwall Hospitality Leaders Network (CHLN) to gain access to a wealth of knowledge. With around 100 business leaders and established links to high-profile industry players, the CHLN supports its members to unleash their potential.Enter your hack
Collaborate with younger customers as a form of market research
Always provide a 5* service to enhance the customer experience
Creating a warm atmosphere for your customers will make a big difference
Stay open and supply your local community
Pay above the minimum wage – show you value your staff
When Beach Retreats surveyed our guests in 2017 for their favourite beach, thousands voted and chose 79 beaches around the Cornish coastline. It was a…
If you look after your staff, your staff will look after your customers.
Make sure the basics are set up to be efficient and save time i.e. use shortcuts on your keyboard!
Make sure you know your USP and stand out from the crowd
Out days involving all staff lets them see where our produce comes from before we start our menus.
Prioritise local events, especially if they are a favourite amongst the locals
We have a separate vegetarian fridge.
At the St Michaels Resort, we recently reopened the health club after an extensive refurbishment. To make booking classes more convenient for our customers, we started…
Make your staff feel secure by cutting zero hour contacts and introduce full time (even in off season)
We use photo competitions as they are a great way to obtain quality photography.
Respect for staff roles and responsibility is very important
Hire a team of people who are passionate about the product – it’ll sell itself!
Have a diverse range of products on offer to cater all types of customers!
After beach cleans we give free cake and coffee
We have combined food with the fun activity of pottery painting
Identity your USP and promote it
Invest time in your staff and your loyal customers
Always offer great discounts for your local community – this small investment creates more business!
Provide customers with discounts with a value that equates to something significant in real terms.
Create loyalty cards and offers to reward returning customers
The Old Quay House is a boutique hotel and restaurant in Fowey. We are lucky enough to have a fantastic head chef, Richard Massey. Richard…
You have the chance to be educated by your staff and customers every day.
What else can your business offer that is unique?
Not having food in our cinema helps cut costs and customers appreciate this and give us great feed back.
We make personalised cards with names and tailored welcome messages for particular guests to make them feel at home.
A good strong, loyal team is led by a great manager
Use Unfold to stay on brand and consistent with Instagram.
Employ the right people for the job and train them in their field to do the best job
Offering a 25% discount for people who bring re-usable containers for take away in promotes sustainability and increases profits.
Use positive language to increase customer experience
We have created a campervan cardboard model of “Ivey”, our branded split-screen VW camper.
Excellent customer service is a main priority
Use your location to your advantage
Some forward-thinking around the purchasing of vital business consumables freed up funds to invest in a bigger project that meant we could stay open later…
I work on a disused railway line. I have an old phone box and will be interviewing a driver, then I will use this recording…
Collaborate with local schools and colleges and partner with careers-related organisations
My wife Erica bakes delicious lemon drizzle cakes for our guests to enjoy on arrival.
Changing language can be key to setting up the future sale of a business
Build a social media following and use it to promote your business
Hire staff who’s focus is customer service and are able to represent the brand
All of our rooms include a book shelf with a good selection of paperbacks.
Be open to review/change your operations to improve your business
Make the work environment a happy place by being flexible with staff needs
Communication is important – make sure you can stay connected even in poor signalled areas
We provide a “forgotten essentials” box in each of our guest bedrooms.
We take on our difficult guests and I challenge staff to turn them round by the end of their stay.
Get to know your customers and build a real connection with them
Give customers time to talk to you and engage.
Make sure you are using your cafe/business space to maximise profitability!
Engage with your audience quickly and regularly so you can create a rapport with customers
I meet with every guest on arrival and give tailored tips and hints
Look for the next big trend in the hospitality industry – and introduce that into your business
Employ from all over the world for a breadth of experience
It’s important to create a valued company culture for staff to enjoy the working environment
To engage people with the farm we have a blackboard that we update daily with what’s happening.
We serve food but if the kitchen is closed, it’s BYOF (bring your own food)
We created Martha’s Orchard-branded “bee friendly” seed packs – encouraging guests to take our “values” as well as our “brand” home with them.
Be creative with your waste – the bin is not always the final destination
Reply to email enquiries as fast as possible (within one hour) even if it’s just to acknowledge the email and say you’ll reply later.
Treat your staff well, they will then be the smiley face of your business and spread the love of your business.
Listen to the needs of your local community and make positive environmental changes where possible
We’re providing the tools necessary for staff to spend more time with customers, and less hiding behind a counter or till.
Speak to your customers – don’t rely on a machine
Do an Easter egg hunt around your property at Easter.
As described in the video, we’re turning animal bones into charcoal for cooking – creating less waste product and enhancing our nose-to-tail ethos.
Prawn on the Lawn is a fully licensed fishmonger and restaurant in Padstow. Eating shellfish can, of course, be a messy business – so we…
Quality over quantity – make sure you have maintain the quality of your service
Provide guests with super pet friendly properties
Make sure staff fit culturally into the business
Consistent food quality is everything
We are putting chalkboards in our lodges so housekeeping can leave a personalised message
Barnaby’s is a cosy, relaxed restaurant situated in the heart of Padstow in a former Victorian tearoom. Our menu is built around sharing, and we…
We teamed up with a local business to coordinate supplies and delivery of up to 150 welcome packs a week.
We have separate menus for specific dietary requirements i.e. vegan, dairy free, gluten free
Our day starts walking Cornwall, we have selected a few different locations in North Cornwall for you to walk Cornwall, have a fresh pasty and…
Hire staff that are passionate about the brand and enjoy talking about the products
We always think about our customers’ needs to make their stay as simple and enjoyable as possible.
Take time in hiring the right person for the position and the brand to make a great company culture
A great picture will go a long way
We have a local legend, boxer, he’s 82 who works here and people always come just to see him.
Collaborate with other businesses to promote your own
Get names of children and dogs staying in your cottage and leave them a present.
Complaints are important to improve and to care from your customer
Use the power of social sharing online promote your business, powered by your customers
Employ volunteers as there is a lot to learn from them
Provide the highest quality food to get customers wanting more and coming back
Create a subsidised lunch menu for your staff
Hire people who are passionate about the business
Treat customers as you would like to be treated and provide great service
Give out free samples to promote the business and to test what customers like
Grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs.
Use a digital communication platform to share information amongst colleagues
Use WeTransfer for transferring large files for free!
Never refer to the company’s employees as “staff”, they are your team.
Collaborate with your business neighbours
Think about the overall experience for your visitor from the first interaction to potential follow up opportunities.
Use local suppliers to support your neighbouring businesses
Spend time with your staff to understand what improvements can be made in the business
Each month offer your staff a variety of incentives to drive motivation and keep up moral
Always put the customer first – what are they looking for and what can you do to solve this gap
Build a relationship with the local community
We serve Cornish cream tea on arrival for our guests
Be proactive with feedback and gratitude to provide added value and get repeat business.
Speak to your customers, know what they want and provide what they are asking for! Always chat to them with genuine care!
We provide doggy bags for all customers that bring dogs
Go Green where possible
At Good Vibes cafe most of our staff are trained to work both front of house and in the kitchen.
Build a genuine rapport with your customers
Provide high quality linen and bedding to give guests a good night sleep.
We make sure we meet and greet all guests either on arrival day or very soon after.
Letting my staff see the company P&L sheet gives them a full understanding of the costs associated with doing business.
Keep up to date with apps and social media in order to promote your business and keep up to date with current trends!
We listened to guest feedback to make welcome packs not only more luxurious, but more convenient.
When starting out or any time really, understanding your MVP (minimum viable product) is essential.
We create mind-blowing, plant-based desserts and treats including cheesecakes, cakes and slices.
Invest in company culture for returns on a better business
Research your competitors price list as a benchmark
It’s important to look after and listen to your staff properly so they are able to do their job
Put fresh flowers and greenery in every room. Lots of greenery, not too many flowers, works just as well and is cheaper!
Be open, every day. You never know who, how and what will come through the door.
Through the powers of Twitter, and using the term “Coming to Cornwall” in the search box in 2013, I came across a gentleman that my…
Use other sectors websites to look for trends.
At Una Kitchen – part of Una St Ives – we recently changed our restaurant’s layout to create an ‘open kitchen’. As well as creating…
We’re using leftovers to make dog biscuits, iced coffee and home brew beans.
Encourage feedback from customers for the best business improvements
Beach Retreats each year produces a staff survey to monitor trends within the work place and find out how employees view the company.
In my experience of working for a variety of successful businesses, I’ve seen managers and owners try to emulate other places but at the cost…
We check everything is ready – from the heating being at the right temperature to the appliances all working properly.
Re-purpose space to your business advantage
Utilise online platforms such as Whatsapp, Facetime etc to connect with colleagues
Listen to your community for feedback
Encourage customers to review on Google, as gold stars draw the eye when Googling and searching online.
The Beach at Bude is hosting five wine tasting dinners throughout the year in collaboration with its wine supplier.
We provide a “top ten” list of things to do/places to see for our guests.
We love to use our imagination and our staff’s talents to make the cafe a lovely space.
Letting team members have ‘their thing’. This means allowing us to explore areas of the business we’re interested in, and giving us the confidence and…
We make our fudge in front of people in the shop
Think of other ways your business can serve the public
Invest in your business for a beneficial return
Boost posts that have already received more attention than others.