Category: Licklist

Halloween is over, and once you’ve put your costume away, thrown out the gradually rotting pumpkins, and eaten all the trick or treat sweets, it is inevitable that your mind turns to… Christmas. To say that there’s a lot of pressure on Christmas this year would be an understatement. I think it’s fair to say that we were all starved of a bit of festive spirit last year, so now everybody is looking forward to making up for lost time.

There’s so much you can do to make sure you don’t miss the Christmas rush this year. There are so many opportunities to boost your profits, and make sure that your venue is doing everything in its power to get people into the Christmas mood. Let’s look through a couple of the best ways you can max out on Christmas this year.

Remember Christmas parties aren’t just for the evening

Over the last few years, going out has shifted from being purely a night-time activity to happening in the day too! The arrival of the ‘bottomless brunch’ has meant that people are willing to spend big money going out during daylight hours. This is great for your business because it means footfall remains consistent throughout the day, instead of the usual 9pm peak. This is perfect for Christmas time because it means that you can host champagne brunch or a bottomless festive afternoon tea, as well as the usual is likely to go just as well as the roast turkey dinner parties.

Use data effectively

Christmas is a remarkably busy period. In practice, this often means that venues forget about the final changes in the last-minute rush to the finish line. However, it’s these minute details that can make or break your festive period. Most venues have a database, but often forget about it at this time of year. Your database contains your failsafe secret weapon to increase revenue at this time of year. By targeting specific demographics, personalising your marketing content, or simply pushing more email content that reminds your previous customers about your festive packages, you can increase your pre-2022 revenue.

Reward, not discount

Since the pandemic, the public have been made more conscious of the impact of their spending. Consumers are now more likely to shop at independent retailers rather than chains, more aware of the welfare and needs of hospitality staff, and more willing to spend more to help keep the economy afloat. You can capitalise on this by subtly changing for nature of your exclusive offers and deals over the festive season. Rather than give your customers heavy discounts on your food, drinks, and products, why not offer them points instead? Not only will it increase your profits, but it will also encourage brand loyalty that will keep you going well into the New Year.

Here at Booked it, we can help you manage the run up to Christmas without ending up run off your feet. Not only can our booking system assist you in hosting more ‘bottomless brunches’ over the course of the day and well into the evening, but it can also help you collect data that will help you to understand your customers better, and finesse the fine details of your marketing strategies. Our loyalty scheme will also help to engender a sense of customer loyalty without making your business model untenable with happy hours, free drinks, and deals on food packages.

The night time economy has been one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic- with doors firmly shut for the entirety. This £66bn industry is the fifth largest industry in the UK employing around 8% of the UK’s workforce. A massive 60% of town centre revenue is generated after 6pm, and for every £10 spent in a live music venue, £17 more is spent in the local economy. Nightclubs, festivals and live music venues like yours are desperate to get back to doing what you do best- creating the best events and experiences. Here is our 5 step guide for reopening.

1. Turn on bookings now. As much as nightclubs, festivals and live music venues are chomping at the bit to open up again, your customers are just as keen to get back to partying. Nothing can replace that feeling of anticipation for a live event, festival or night out, getting it booked and looking forward to it for weeks, and even months. So give your customers something to plan for and turn on bookings. With Booked it’s booking and reservations system, you can take bookings quickly and easily, as far in advance as you like. 

2. Build up to the opening. Clubs are set to open again in June. In a normal world, you’re so busy with the day to day running of your events, having the time to create truly spectacular campaigns is thin on the ground. But here, you have an opportunity to plan a campaign around reopening, building momentum and excitement for opening day.

3. Start selling gift cards. With everyone locked down for months on end, the one thing people want as a present is an experience. Sure, they can’t experience your venue right now, but what they can have is a gift card to experience it in the future. The gift card market in the UK was worth a huge £7bn in 2019, and the demand isn’t going anywhere soon. With your own gift card, people can buy packages, tickets or just spend it on drinks on their night out. Booked it can help you to introduce your own gift card- improving cash flow now.

4. Listen to customer feedback. Feedback from your customers is some of the very best business advice you’ll ever get. Use the time between now and reopening to review the customer feedback you’ve had over the last few years, sorting through what’s important with what’s not and implementing the relevant improvements.

5. Work on a sustainable model. As well as the reopening, think longer term too. Every nightclub, festival and live music venue will be a sell out when the doors open, but the challenge for every venue is how to sustain the interest when the buzz of not partying for 18 months inevitably fades. Think about your CRM and loyalty, what will follow your reopening campaign? Answer these questions and you’ll have a sustainable model for the future.

Talk to Booked it today for a range of technology solutions designed for the night time economy.

Social Platform Licklist is widening its market with the rebrand of its b2b arm to Booked It ahead of a £1.75m funding round. Licklist was founded in 2015 with a focus on the nightlife industry, providing solutions for organising a night out. The platform has over 600,000 users, annual gross sales over £6m and 6000 nightlife venues listed on its app.

Licklist will rebrand its Licklist for Business b2b arm to Booked It in early August 2020, enabling the London based tech firm to better serve the wider hospitality market.

The change comes in response to evolving market conditions during the coronavirus pandemic which has seen Licklist work with hospitality venues in the UK to introduce mobile ordering technology. Over 300 hospitality venues in the UK are now using Licklist mobile ordering tech.

Licklist is part of the PWC Raise Programme and is heading for £1.75m Series A funding in November as part of a pitch day with 60 plus investors. This follows Licklist’s successful seed rounds in November 2016 and January 2020. The Series A funding will be the first venture capital funding for the business.

Licklist secured £103,288 Seedrs funding in November 2016 and £140,727 through an Angels Den funding round in January 2020. The PWC Programme prepares scale up businesses to secure their Series A funding. Requirements for the programme include a strong management team, UK presence, £1m upwards of annual revenue and defensible differentiation.

Brad Nobbs, CEO and co-founder of Licklist commented:

“We’ve seen massive demand for our mobile ordering tech since the pandemic began. Effectively we’ve widened our market from 6000 nightlife venues to 150,000 hospitality venues. Going forward, and we see the b2b side of the business through Booked It to be a growth area for us, alongside our respected and profitable consumer focused Licklist brand.”

“In 5 years, we’ve been able to build Licklist some really impressive stats. Photography is a core for Licklist and over 6 million photos have been taken and uploaded onto the platform. With the Series A funding, we will continue to drive growth for Licklist and further develop Booked It. Funding will be split evenly across sales, marketing and development.”

“Booked It is positioned to the needs of the larger hospitality industry. We’ve been working with hotels, cafés, pubs, coffee shops, even cricket clubs and golf courses, getting them up to speed with mobile ordering, obtaining data for test and trace, and understanding how to drive loyalty through data.”

“Clubs and bars in the UK remain closed with an anticipated reopening of November 2020. We were fortunate in that we had already developed our mobile ordering tech, so were well placed to pivot our business to focus on the b2b side when the pandemic hit.”

“Even though hospitality venues in England were able to open from the 4th July and Scotland from the 15th July, lots of have delayed opening until the 1st August. In Wales, venues are just approaching the 3rd August date when they can reopen fully. There is still much for us to do to support the hospitality industry.”

One such business supported by Licklist is Canterbury pub The Unicorn Inn, part of leading UK pub business Ei Group. The manager of The Unicorn Inn said the tech had enabled them to open on the 4th July.

“The Unicorn Inn is a traditional village pub with beams at the ceiling and craft and real ales on tap. During lockdown, we started to offer takeaway and had a special blend from Hopdaemon Brewery that we called Lockdown Ale. This was really popular on our takeaway menu alongside our Pegasus Beers and pork scratchings.”

“Licklist have helped us with table bookings, integrated into our website and mobile ordering too. We’ve got a limited food menu and are asking customers to order their food and drinks using the QR code that Licklist set up for us. Our customers have adapted to the changes really well. For a small country pub, table bookings and mobile ordering have helped us get up and running again with the minimum of fuss.”



We caught up with Brad Nobbs, CEO & co-Founder of Licklist, to talk all things from bringing tech into the nightlife industry, to helping venues re-open safely during COVID-19… 

Tell us about Licklist

Licklist is a social platform that we founded in 2015 for the nightlife industry, making it easier for customers to organise and enjoy a night out. Five years later and we have over 600,000 users on the platform, 6000 venues listed on the app and £6m gross sales annually.

We offer services for before, during and after the night out, like booking, loyalty offers and photography. For the venue, getting listed with Licklist means greater exposure, increased attendance and revenue per head, plus sophisticated, data-led loyalty tools.

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

I’m 29 now but one of my first jobs was running events in nightclubs. It gave me an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by the nightlife industry. Their main challenges were ticketing and filling a venue, promotion and loyalty- all of the challenges that Licklist now successfully overcomes for them. I saw an opportunity to bring the nightlife industry into the 21st century with tech that would both enhance customer experience, and make venues more efficient and profitable.

In the initial planning stages, that first-hand knowledge of what I wanted from a night out was invaluable too. How much time I’d be willing to invest in research for a night out, what the booking process would have to be like. This all fed into the concept. Although Licklist was founded in 2015, the idea came before 2015 but took time to come to fruition.

Since then, we’ve developed new tech-based on what our venues and customers have asked for through our in-house development team. Our whole platform was built through customer feedback.

How has the company fared during the pandemic?

In 2019, we developed Licklist for Business for the b2b market and introduced mobile ordering tech. The take up for our mobile ordering tech wasn’t huge but when the pandemic hit, interest went through the roof. It was something that every venue needed, alongside table booking and loyalty initiatives. We widened our focus from nightlife to the hospitality industry and worked with cafes, restaurants, hotels and pubs. In effect, we’ve widened our market from 6000 nightlife venues to 150,000 hospitality venues.

Through our tech, these venues have been able to re-open safely, in line with new regulations for test and trace, managing visitor numbers and reducing face to face contact with mobile ordering. Over 300 hospitality venues are using Licklist for Business tech now, and they’ve been really appreciative of what we’re offering. As well as meeting regulations, the tech is a great way for venues to undertake tailored marketing and initiatives, using data in ways they may never have done before. It’s really satisfying to see these small independent businesses marketing themselves effectively. Loyalty will be more important than ever post COVID.

We’ve been extremely fortunate that we had this technology ready and developed which has enabled us to focus on Licklist for Business at this time. Nightlife venues closed overnight and we anticipate they won’t open again until November. When they do, Licklist will be ready to support them. 

What can we hope to see from Licklist in the future?

Licklist were successful in gaining entry onto the PWC Raise Programme, which helps scale-up businesses prepare for their Series A funding round. The pitch day was planned for earlier in the year but got put back to November due to the pandemic. We’ve got a strong brand in Licklist, and we’re seeing fast growth with our Licklist for Business brand too. The Series A funding will help to drive that growth even faster. Our aim is to replicate our UK success in Europe. To better cater for the hospitality market, we’ll also be re-branding our b2b Licklist for Business brand to Booked It over the coming months. As a leading tech firm in the UK, we’ll continue to listen to our customers, innovate, develop and grow, responding to and anticipating the next big trends in our industry.

Now is the time for businesses in the nightlife and hospitality industry to prepare for a post-COVID-19 reopening. 

After more than two months of ‘lockdown,’ whispers are in the air of loosening some of the measures. And the minute the go-ahead for reopening is announced is not the time to be left behind.

But how do you prepare your hospitality business for a world that has undeniably changed over the last few months? And how do you encourage and reassure customers that they can visit your venue as safely as possible?

Essential hygiene measures for nightlife businesses in 2020

If you’re finding it difficult to know how to prepare your business for post-COVID-19 life, you’re not alone. 

But one thing’s for sure, hygiene and ‘slowing the spread’ will likely be at the forefront of your customers’ minds… as well as vital to the success of ending the lockdown measures. 

As an industry, we need to do all we can to get it right the first time, and working together is undoubtedly the way forward. 

Here at Licklist, we’ve been working behind the scenes to make it all as easy as possible for businesses. 

One way we’re doing this is by partnering with LocoSoco. This innovative company is committed to helping businesses optimise their full potential while moving towards a more sustainable future.

And together, we’re making available a variety of effective, non-toxic products and hygiene measures that you can put in place quickly and easily… enabling your customers and staff to have confidence in attending your venue. 

(It’s worth highlighting that what we’re discussing here are both effective and non-toxic measures – we want to be part of the solution, not the problem.)

These measures include: 

  • systems to sanitise surfaces quickly across large areas
  • equipment to safely sanitise and screen people entering your venue
  • surface and skin sanitisers
  • personal protective equipment
  • contactless ordering and payments

Let’s take a look at these in a little more detail, starting with preparing your venue:

Purus Air Fog System

This fantastic system creates a fog that sanitises all the surfaces it touches across 1000sqft in just half an hour. It can drastically cut the time manual surface sanitisation processes take, and in addition to being non-toxic, it is also FDA approved.

Surface sanitiser

As with the other solutions we’re offering, you and your customers can have confidence in this surface sanitiser. It effectively kills viruses and bacteria on all surfaces and is skin-friendly.

Gowns and face masks

Over the last few months, we’ve all become more accustomed to people wearing personal protective equipment. So your visitors and staff may well appreciate the extra level of safety you offer by providing gowns and masks, particularly around food and drinks.

Foot handles

Ingenious little tweaks like foot handles can make a huge difference. By adding foot handles to doors, the need to hand-touch surfaces that many others have already touched is significantly reduced. This helps to reduce cross-contamination.

Hand dryers

We love these hand dryers – they are effective and efficient using 60% less energy than conventional hand dryers. (Plus they have a digital display that can be used to show health and safety messaging or generate advertising revenue.)

And now, turning our attention to your customers and staff.  

Over the last few months, we’ve all become acutely aware of the need for hand sanitisation and hand washing. Most people will undoubtedly understand the need for sanitisation measures upon entry to your venue but let’s also give them confidence that these measures are skin-friendly and non-toxic…

Sanitisation booths

These walk-in booths will safely sanitise the clothing of those entering your establishment using the Air Fog or other non-toxic mist. (For more information about Air Fog, see the “Purus Air Fog System” section above.)

Hand sanitiser and dispensers

Having LocoSoco’s recommended skin-friendly hand sanitiser in appropriate places around your venue, your customers will be safer and feel reassured. 

This hand sanitiser effectively kills viruses and bacteria, and you can make it available either via the sanitiser bottles or add dispensers in places, such as on entry, toilets, and bars.

No-contact thermal recognition

Many places and countries are checking people’s temperatures as a precaution. And with this equipment, your door staff will be able to do the same quickly and easily without any personal contact.

Contactless ordering

Simple and efficient, contactless ordering minimises direct contact between your staff and customers. Simply upload your menu to the Licklist app and customers can order and pay using their phone from their table.

Widgets for bookings and takeaways

Installing Licklist’s widgets to your website and social media is super-easy. And they will cut the need for time-consuming phone calls for bookings and delivery services. 

As a nation and an industry, we are facing unprecedented challenges, but… we are also at a time in history when advancements, innovations, and technology are available to help us overcome these challenges.

If you would like more information on any of the measures discussed in this article and how they can help you prepare your business, please fill in the form below. A member of the Licklist team will get back to you shortly and will be glad to help and advise you.