Less than a week to go until freedom. Well, the freedom to freeze at an outdoor table while you eat your supper, anyway. I have to admit that the sight of a snow flurry in London yesterday morning was a bit of a reality check, but at least someone else will be doing the cooking and the washing-up. I’ll take that for now.
The papers are going to be desperate to find interesting ways to tell the story of this first loosening of restrictions so make sure you’ve got an up-to-date contact on all the news desks (it will be their beat rather than mine, and besides, this time next week I’ll be taking a sneaky four-day break in the Lake District so it’s no good tapping me up for coverage).
So what will journalists want to hear about? It will be too late for listings of lovely terraces or pubs with the biggest marquees. Stats will be your friend. How many burgers did you sell on the first day? How many pints of beer or bottles of prosecco? How long was the wait for walk-ins? Was there already a queue when you opened for breakfast?
These are the things that will give life to a story, and those with the quickest access to the most up-to-date or impressive figures will reap the rewards – so prime your restaurant clients now. (Des Gunawardena, CEO of D&D London, has already won impressive coverage for his stats about the number of bookings his restaurants have taken).
I also guarantee that someone somewhere will be writing about the number of no-shows as well, so don’t be shy about sharing less positive news either. In a week of bumper sales, the story of a poor restaurateur left with empty tables can be used to your advantage as well. All news is good news next week.
What Tony thinks…
“April fools stories are always tricky to judge. You don’t want them to be so convincing they end up being published as it just makes the journalist feel stupid. I thought this was a good effort, though.”