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Click and collect sounds like a process dream, it sounds efficient.

My mind goes straight to the character Gradgrind in Charles’ Dickens’ novel Hard Times. You don’t have to have read the novel to get my point. The name of the character and novel is enough. Google ‘Chapter 2 – Hard Times’ – and you’ll really get the picture.

Here is a summary of my current Level 3 Hospitality Experience:

How to Order:

  1. Text [number]
  2. Provide your name; your order; pick up time.
  3. We will confirm your order via text.
  4. Pick up here and pay contactlessly

Okay, after I snobbishly corrected their written English in my head [the ex-HOD of English is hard to escape] – I thought great, at least they will have my name to use for a moment of connection?

Sadly no, the name was for transactional purpose only. Zero hospitality provided, as if arrested somewhere within post-covid anxiety for all forms of social distancing. 

Big mistake.

The post-covid world is challenging, but the importance of connection and relationship building with your ‘guests’ is as important as ever. 

Remote, contactless delivery does not mean zero hospitality.

Here are some core hospitality principles that remain true even within click & collect culture:

  1. Hospitality is present when the process is relationship driven. The customer is a person with a name not merely a commercial transaction.
  2. Hospitality is present when it is customised and unexpected. Have a system that collects names & then USE the person’s name.
  3. Hospitality is present where there is eye-contact and an effort made to provide attention.
  4. Hospitality is present when your guest is provided with something more than product. They’re offered a lovely and warming moment in their day.
  5. Hospitality is present when texts, instructions, phone voices ooze warmth and encouragement. If your process makes the person feel like part of a process, then hospitality is diminished.
  6. Hospitality is present when you share your personality! Embed your creative ideas and optimism in ALL your communication – including your text messages.
  7. Hospitality is present when you connect names with phone numbers. Use wisely. Add a voice option, and if they call again – make sure you have the name logged by NAME – then you can greet repeat calls by name. Record order history on your database.
  8. Apart from one client from Hamilton, I received ZERO correspondence from Hospitality venues that I visited frequently pre-covid. Make sure your guest relationships outlive the coronavirus.
  9. You’re still trying to be the favourite click & collect, remind your team to humanise all guest experiences that best they can – remind them to be curious. Look at the customer’s dog, child or fancy umbrella – ask questions and have a laugh. Wow moments need only be a few seconds long.

This is what I wanted … we are all prima donnas:  

 Hey special people! Welcome back to the world.

Here’s how we will look after your crazy coffee cravings:

  1. Either text at [  ] or call us [  ] we can’t wait to hear from new & old friends.
  2. Please provide your name, text/say ‘old friend’ or ‘new friend’, list your desires and choose your pick- up time.
  3. We will be ready and will confirm your order and visit time.
  4. Payment is safe & contactless, but our hospitality remains warm & our enthusiasm to be back is real.

Hey Alexis, it’s so great to see you back … and wow your umbrella is different, why is it covered with horses?     

So easy – and I wouldn’t bother going anywhere else.


Alexis O