Top 6 areas to focus on to grow your hospitality and leisure business

3-minute read

With a turbulent time on the minds of many hospitality and leisure businesses, taking every opportunity to give guests and consumers a smooth, enjoyable experience is arguably more important than ever before. A connected, efficient payment strategy is one area of immense opportunity. Read on for more information, or request a call back from one of our payment specialists. 

Value added services, hospitality business, customer experience

The hospitality and leisure sector is critical to the UK economy. According to the Raise The Bar campaign, the hospitality and leisure sector is worth £241billion to the UK economy (leisure - £111billion and hospitality £130billion1).

Consumer confidence and satisfaction is central to the success of this combined sector, so we’ve put together six areas to focus on if you’re looking to grow your hospitality or leisure business.

Six areas of focus for growth in hospitality and leisure

1.  Customer experience: How can you improve customer experience?

Technology plays a big part in customer experience. We’ve seen the rise and rise of solutions that minimise friction, contact, and queue times, and that speed up and mobilise booking, ordering and paying. Things like pay at table apps, digital receipts and even the rise in the contactless limit have changed customer expectations and there’s no turning back. Did you know that since the pandemic started, 17% of businesses introduced new smartphone offerings2?


You don’t want customers to remember their payment experience, if they do, it’s unlikely to be for the right reasons

Kirsty Morris, Managing Director of Specialist Sales

2.  Knowing your customers: What data do you have access to and what actionable insights can it give you?

Data has always been a powerful business tool when it comes to understanding buying trends and customer preferences. With more data available, and by studying payment data trends, it’s possible to manage peak demand and seasonal changes, deliver personalisation at scale and truly understand what your customers want at every stage of their purchasing journey.

3.  Control and reconcile employee spend: Are your margins or team morale being damaged by employee fraud?

Did you know that employee business fraud costs UK businesses more than £40billion a year3? This isn’t just damaging to margins, it can really harm team morale and brand reputation. That’s why it’s so important to have an employee spending policy and employee fraud protection in place. Look for a payment provider that offers you control tools such as spend restrictions and protection from third-party fraud.

Value added services, hospitality business, customer experience


4.  Working capital: Have you looked at ways to efficiently unlock cash flow?

With more than half of hospitality businesses having between zero and three months of cash reserves4 , working capital management and analysis is critical to success. It’s important to know your options when it comes to unlocking cash flow for the sake of your own business, but also for the sustainable health of your supply chain.

Our consumer spend data, combined with your own data can give you real insight into your business’ health, and that of your supply chain

Linda Weston, Head of Core Product

5.  Compliance: Do you have the expertise and right support to keep your business and customer payment details safe from fraud?

Staying compliant when it comes to payment data, while also making checkout easy for shoppers, can be complex. Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) is one example. From 1st June 2021, issuers started requiring additional authentication for online payments. Retailers who weren’t ready with a 3DSecure solution may have noticed an impact on their bottom line. The hard deadline to be SCA ready is 14 March 2022, but we recommend getting expert support straight away, from our security and fraud experts.

If you’re a company card programme administrator, you need to make sure your cardholder details are up to date – our Head of Digital Product, Sheldon Chuan, explains why in our 'digitising payments' article.

6.  Value-added services: What can your payment provider do for you outside of payments as a utility?

The role of your payments provider has transformed in the last five years. Once merely a utility, payments can now help you create customer journeys that build loyalty, give you control of employee spend via apps, replace plastic with virtual cards, and much more. The benefits of value added services for merchants should not be underestimated.

So, whether you’re looking to make settling the bill quicker, manage travel spend, offer Digital Receipts, or just find out more about our specific value added services in the hospitality industry, your Barclaycard payment specialist will work with you to find the right solution for your business.

1 2020
2 Barclays research, July 2020
3 Future Shock – Issue 5, UK Hospitality
4 Office of National Statistics, 2021


Value added services, hospitality business, customer experience

Looking to create smoother guest experiences?

Whatever needs and ambitions you have for your hospitality or leisure business, our combined capabilities for making and taking payments could create smoother and more convenient guest experiences to help your business grow and thrive.

Request a call back to find out more.