Keeping customers after the summer

Posted & filed under Top Tips.

As the summer months fizzle out with less predictable weather there are bound to be a few nights when numbers will have dwindled and the draw of the garden is less appealing. We’ve compiled some hints for livening up the indoor bar area and maximising the interest in your business.

Community charity events

Remaining central to the local community is one of the reasons that successful publicans secure steady trade throughout the year. According to PubAid, 77% of pubs raise money for charity which last year totalled £100million. Hosting charitable community events is a way to attract potential customers by showcasing your very best food and drink offering while simultaneously supporting good causes. By focusing your efforts on creating strong links in your specific geographical area or community you create a foundation that puts you at the forefront in the minds of your target market and will assist future outreach in the longer term.

In March 2018, PubAid are once again organising the Worlds Biggest Quiz offering all kinds of establishments the chance to be involved in a huge charitable event that takes the pub quiz to a national level.

Greater interactivity

While we are on the subject of pub quizzes, it may be worth looking at the latest developments in the realms of quizzing. No longer undermined by “Google-happy” contestants and the potential for cheating, Speed Quizzing embraces the phone in your customers pocket to create an up to the minute version of the beloved pub quiz format. The pub quiz has never been so much fun, with buzzer rounds, multiple choice and picture questions all displayed on smartphone screen.

Some years ago, when we at Beer Piper were just fledgling beer connoisseurs, the quality of a pub jukebox was an important consideration in the selection of a venue, after the ale on sale. We wouldn’t be seen in a place that offered sub-standard records for an evening out enjoying our favourite brews. Luckily, the modern drinker has a world of music available at their fingertips and thanks to systems such as Rockbot, landlords can ensure everyone’s musical taste can be indulged. Picking a tune can be done via smartphone app and importantly, playlists can also be approved / edited by landlords in advance – grandma may not be so happy to hear The Prodigy “smacking anyone up” during the dessert course on a Sunday lunchtime…

Open mic nights

Inside many a bedroom-based musician is a legend dying to get out and bring their homespun lyrical and musical creations to the ears of an adoring public. Free entertainment for you in return for exposure could well see your bar profits increase on those otherwise quiet nights especially if performers bring their long-suffering friends and family with them. However, if the thought of having to listen to the strangled strains of “Blowing in the Wind” performed by a frustrated folky with a badly tuned guitar fills you with dread then perhaps a stand-up comedy night would be more entertaining. If you have a small corner, it is simplicity itself to set up a lightweight PA and microphone to pull in the crowds. You never know, you might discover the next Jack Whitehall or Michael McIntyre sitting in your midst…

Get creative with hosting events

From food and beer pairing evenings to theme nights there are many tried and tested ideas that publicans have used to increase their footfall. Offers for local interest groups such as historical societies, community action, debating societies and so on are always welcome and great additions to a pub roster of activities. And, because they are regular, they can be an ongoing source of income. Traditionally, the pub sat at the centre of current opinion and in certain quarters this is still the case. The Elephant & Castle in Lewes, East Sussex, for example, hosts the (almost) monthly meetings of The Headstrong Club, a group formed in 1987 in honour of the original club (which met during the time of Thomas Paine dedicated to debate. Guest speakers provide discussion topics but all paying attendees are encouraged to join in. Why not instigate a meet up of your own based on the interests of your clientele?

Whatever your chosen activity, serving the finest beer has a huge impact on whether customers will return. As important as the atmosphere you create is the quality of your products. The cleanliness of your beer lines is a talking point among customers and your good reputation is vital to survival in the quieter periods. Call Beer Piper today to discover how we can positively influence your cellar cleanliness and ultimately your profitability.

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