How can pubs draw in more customers?
All manner of businesses have faced intense financial pressure over the past few years, but I think there is perhaps no sector that has been affected as hard as the pub industry. Not only have many consumers seen their disposable income fall, but pubs have had to contend with constant increases in beer tax and the impact of the public smoking ban. There are, however, plenty of things that can be done to get people through the doors of your establishment.
Work on your image
Many pubs – in particular those located outside town centres – rely on support from their local community, making it vital that you do everything possible to ensure you are perceived in the best possible light. Some pubs can have a reputation for being intimidating, even though in most instances this isn’t actually the case, so I suggest you put on community events that will give people of all ages the incentive to check out your establishment. This could take the form of a family funfair with a bouncy castle and face-painting for little ones, a barbecue or a charity carwash that raises funds for a local good cause.
I also suggest you do everything possible to ensure staff make customers feel welcome. Even something as simple as greeting drinkers with a friendly smile can create a good atmosphere in your pub, while ensuring workers have a smart uniform can give the impression your establishment is professional and keen to offer the best possible service to customers.
Good-quality promotional polo shirts are one item that can help you to do this, not least of all because they offer space for your pub’s logo to be printed or stitched on them – something that can help boost brand engagement. You can find out more about polo shirts by clicking here, though you might want to get branded aprons and shirts for staff too.
Be more than ‘just’ a pub
As odd as that sounds, offering more services beyond that of a basic pub is a good way to bring in more trade, particularly among non-drinkers. Having a dedicated area with free Wi-Fi could attract self-employed people who are looking for a quiet space to work away from home. While these customers are unlikely to want to drink alcohol as they work, you could serve them hot drinks, sandwiches and snacks.
If you have sufficient space in your property, meanwhile, it might be an idea to convert part of your pub into a bed and breakfast. This could prove a particularly good source of income for country pubs situated in pretty rural locations during the summer months.
Put on theme nights and special events
Obviously, reasonably-priced drinks and a comfortable environment are essential elements of all successful pubs, but if you’re looking to bring in more drinkers, I also suggest you put on theme nights and special events to generate interest.
The traditional quiz has long been a popular way to get people in (particularly on weekday evenings when many pubs tend to be quieter), while pubs that serve food may wish to put on theme nights. This could take the shape of a weekly promotion where dishes from a certain part of the world are offered as part of a set menu. One week you could put on tapas, with Chinese fare served up the next, for example.
It’s also a good idea to research your customers’ hobbies and interests. For instance, if you know that lots of your customers enjoy watching and playing sport, it may be an idea to set up a Sunday league football side, or see if they would be interested in forming a pool or darts team.
What steps are you taking to make sure customers come to your pub? Leave a comment below and let us know.