The increase of pubs opening in the UK

British pub numbers have been in decline for a period of years, if not decades, with BBPA statistics showing the number of pubs in the UK down from 60,800 in 2000 to 48,350 in 2017.

During that period there wasn’t a single year when the number of pubs in the UK went up – but the times, they are a-changing.

The latest ONS figures under the heading ‘Economies of Ale’ show the sector finally found some forward momentum in 2018-19 for the first time in at least a decade.

Because of the different methods used in their research, the ONS figures are lower overall – putting the number of pubs in the UK around 52,500 in 2001 and 39,000 in 2017.

Since then, the ONS report counted 38,815 bars and pubs in Britain in 2018 but a slight increase to 39,130 in 2019.

Where is the growth?

The good news is, growth in UK pub numbers is being seen across the industry, including small and larger pubs alike.

Among those with fewer than ten employees, growth was 0.4% in 2019, with a net increase of 85 new venues opened over the preceding year – the first positive growth in this category in the past 15 years of ONS measurements.

This was part of a 0.8% growth rate for the wider industry, as a net 315 new bars and pubs opened their doors for the first time between 2018 and 2019.

How are pubs succeeding?

It’s been a turbulent time for the pub sector since the start of the century, and many venues have worked hard to update what they offer to customers.

In 2014 ONS figures showed an almost identical proportion of bar and pub staff worked in preparing and serving food as worked in traditional bar roles.

Since 2015, foodservice roles in pubs and bars have consistently outnumbered those whose main duty is to serve drinks – a sign of how venues have diversified to cater for customers who want to eat out rather than those on a night out drinking.

With trends like ‘Dry January’ gaining in popularity year by year, pubs are also doing more to serve non-alcoholic options not only for designated drivers, but for those who are trying to cut down or eliminate their alcohol intake entirely.

What else can pubs do?

At Manco Automatics we continue to see pubs thrive by offering diverse entertainment, including traditional coin-op pub machines like fruit machines and pub pool tables.

Quiz machines have become a familiar fixture over the past 20 years and continue to offer new gameplay thanks to the ability to update the games and titles via a network link.

Finally, modern pub jukeboxes no longer just play music. They offer both music and video, along with interactive entertainment like automated pub quizzes that can keep customers engaged for longer.

All of this adds up to a diverse range of pub entertainment at a time when the sector is finally finding its feet once again, and we would urge all interested bar managers and pub owners to get in touch with Manco today to find out more.

 

 

Prepare for the new year with pub fruit and quiz machines

A new year has begun and as business returns to normal, it’s a great time to consider installing pub fruit machines and quiz machines to attract more punters during the remaining winter weeks.

There’s nearly three more months of winter still to come, followed usually by a rainy spring, so indoor entertainment can play a big part in keeping people on your premises for longer.

If you have the floor space, you could opt for pub pool tables as a way to entertain customers while adding a new revenue stream to your business.

But if floor space is at a premium, pub fruit machines and quiz machines create instant entertainment without requiring a very large physical footprint.

Just place them against a wall, up against a pillar or in a quiet corner and you can add an immediate revenue stream to a part of your premises that has perhaps been underused in the past.

Why fruit machines and quiz machines?

It’s not just about the amount of physical space they need. Pub fruit machines are a familiar fixture in many establishments up and down the country and having the latest titles installed can help your premises to look upkept and up to date.

Quiz machines are an even more modern addition and cater for small to medium-sized groups of friends who either take turns or designate one person with the authority to touch the screen.

Together these coin-operated pub machines raise revenues, provide entertainment for customers and help your premises to look relevant to present-day punters.

Revenues without the risk

If you want a low-risk way to add to your revenue streams, opt for a quiz machine or pub fruit machine on a profit-share arrangement.

This means instead of paying a fixed rental fee for the machine, you instead pay a percentage of any profits you make.

You get to keep the rest – so in a good month you make more, and in a slower month you pay less.

In this way, you get added peace of mind that your operating costs for the fruit machines and quiz machines on your premises should be more than made up by your profits.

Add fruit machines and quiz machines to your venue today and you can immediately start to benefit from this direct revenue stream, as well as the indirect increase in food and drink sales as customers stay for longer during each visit.

 

If you’re looking to hire a fruit machine or quiz machine for your venue, call Manco Automatics today on 0161 870 7777 or ask for a quotation via our contact us page.

The advantages of electronic pool tables

A pub pool table is a great way to get customers to spend more time and money on your premises, but not all coin-operated pool tables work in the same way.

The older style of a coin-op pool table is mechanical in nature. Put the right denominations into the metal slots, push it in and the balls dispense.

Coin push pool tables are still very common, but they do have some drawbacks, and it’s worth considering electronic pool tables as the modern alternative.

Here are just some of the main reasons why electronic pool tables have the edge over manual pool tables in the battle of the coin-ops.

1. Reliability

A good quality coin push pool table shouldn’t need too much maintenance, but the mechanism inevitably needs care and attention from time to time.

Whether due to wear and tear, or unscrupulous customers trying to use other items to trigger the dispenser and get a free game, there are several reasons why you might face downtime with a manual dispense pool table.

Electronic pool tables have fewer heavy moving parts and a coin slot that’s harder to con, so they tend to go for longer without unplanned maintenance.

2. Mixed money

A mechanical pool table usually requires specific coins to dispense – for example, two 20p’s and one 10p for a 50p game.

With an electronic pool table, you can accept a wider range of denominations, so if a customer has a pocketful of change, they can put it all into your coin-op pool table and still get a game.

3. Multibuy

The more versatile coin slot on electronic pool tables also allows you to offer multibuy options, whereas on a mechanical pool table the price per game is fixed.

For example, you could offer pool at £1 a game or £2 for three games, making it much more likely that players will choose the higher priced option due to the better perceived value.

4. Happy hour

Electronic pool tables come with a freeplay switch, so if you want to offer completely free pool during happy hour or for any kind of events, you have that option.

5. Future proof

Mechanical coin slots rely on the correct size and denomination of coin still being in circulation.

In the 1990s several lower denomination coins were made smaller, and in 2013 both 5p and 10p coins were made more than a tenth thicker when they were first minted from nickel-plated steel instead of the old cupro-nickel.

Most recently, the introduction of the 12-sided £1 coin caused major headaches for all kinds of coin-operated equipment as it required coin slots to be updated to accommodate the new shape.

Electronic pool tables are much better equipped to deal with any further changes in the future, as their coin slots often just need a software update, rather than a hardware change to account for changes in size, thickness or shape of the coins used to pay to play.

How pubs and clubs bring people together for the holiday season

This holiday season, many of us will be spending time with friends and family, whether at home or going out to a local venue to escape the chaos back at the house.

It’s a time when homes are full to the rafters with guests, gifts and gourmet foods, and with the usual household chores put firmly on the back burner until January, it’s important to get some time out of the house here and there.

Pubs and clubs are the perfect place to do this. The UK’s pub culture is unique in the world, offering a home from home and a place to catch up with friends, neighbours, and visiting family.

Members’ clubs even more so are a place to see the same familiar faces and celebrate the season with a group of friends who share your interests, whether that’s a particular sport, hobby or just geographical location.

Both pubs and clubs can cater for the larger groups of the festive season by installing some modern entertainment in the form of quiz machines, jukeboxes and pub pool tables.

Go beyond fruit machines for festive success

Fruit machines are the default entertainment option for many licensed premises. They have a small physical footprint, good revenues and they only need one player.

But if you want to attract larger groups, especially at Christmas when your customers are likely to be a mix of different ages and interests, there are a few good ways to do this:

  • Pub pool tables can be enjoyed by players of all ages, four (or even more) people can play in pairs and small groups, and customers nearby can watch the game too.
  • Quiz machines can be enjoyed by individuals and by groups, with customers 2-3 deep around the screen all offering what they think is the correct answer.
  • Jukeboxes have little to no floor footprint as they’re wall-mounted, they keep your music varied with no manual intervention from staff, and they can support other entertainment features like pub quizzes and bingo.

Any one of these is a great addition to pub and club premises but together, two or more of them alongside fruit machines give you a great variety and wide appeal to customers of all ages – even young patrons can play pool with parental supervision.

We’re moving rapidly into the new year, but all of the above holds true all year round, allowing you to accommodate different groups of guests whether it’s Christmas lights or summer sun shining down on them.

Entertainment for young adult pubs and clubs

There’s a growing trend in the north-west and beyond for pubs and clubs for young adults, giving people in their late teens somewhere to go have fun.

Venues like Roxy Ball Room in Manchester are still over-18s only, but they offer more than just a place to sit and drink.

While they and others like them, such as Warrington’s Fat Cat Ball Room, may serve craft beers, cocktails and other alcoholic drinks, they offer a more rounded and rich experience.

That includes a range of entertainment that varies between establishments but includes things like:

It’s not just a good way to help young people enjoy their afternoons and evenings out, but it’s also an excellent way for venues to diversify what they offer in a competitive market.

And in an era when customers are much more likely to be asked for proof of age, it’s a good way for 18-year-olds to start going out to licensed premises without feeling like they have to drink excessive amounts of alcohol.

How to add entertainment to smaller pubs and clubs

Not everyone has room for an 18-hole mini golf course or international competition standard shuffleboards, but there are ways to add entertainment to small pubs and clubs too.

Some of these still take up a certain amount of floor space, but there are wall-mounted options that need little to no space in real terms.

Pub pool tables obviously take up a physical footprint plus cue clearance around them, so we can help you to decide if you have a space big enough to fit one in.

It’s still worth considering, as they can be an incredibly popular addition to your premises and may be worth sacrificing a few tables for, even in smaller venues.

Fruit machines and quiz machines are very efficient in terms of floor space, thanks to their upright shape and players’ tendency to stand rather than sit at them.

Jukeboxes can be even more efficient as they just mount on a spare section of wall to add instant entertainment value, along with interactive options like pub quizzes and bingo.

Finally, traditional pull-tab machines can be mounted in a little-used space like a hallway or corridor and give players the chance of an instant win, creating a new revenue stream in a part of your premises that normally goes unused completely

Manco Automatics Ltd
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