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.

Keep a crowd in for autumn with pub quiz machines and jukeboxes

Autumn is an unusual season for pubs and clubs. There are the isolated events such as Halloween, Bonfire Night and the run-up to Christmas, but you need a strategy for the weeks in between.

It’s seven weeks from November 5th until Christmas Eve – realistically giving you six weeks in between to host any events you might have planned to draw in the crowds.

A regular schedule can be a big help at a time of year when the nights are drawing in and many people are looking for ways to brighten up their evenings, as well as to start getting into the seasonal spirit.

Here are just a few ways pub quiz machines and jukeboxes can help you to do just that, keeping customers on your premises for longer and encouraging them to make the cold journey out into the autumn evenings from home.

Pub quiz machines keep pals entertained

Pub quiz machines are a great way to entertain groups of friends and family, and although in theory only one person can play at a time, you’ll see patrons stood two and even three deep around your quiz machine at times.

Anyone within arm’s reach of the screen can lean in to tap the correct answer to a question, so this kind of huddle is not unusual.

It’s also an easy way to introduce trivia into your establishment – so even if you’re not holding a full-blown pub quiz at the time, customers can still challenge their wits.

Jukebox bingo and pub quizzes

Another low-effort way to offer pub quizzes and even bingo is to install a pub jukebox such as the Sound Leisure VenueHub.

It features free, professionally recorded pub quiz and bingo audio, plus other marketing capabilities like the ability to display adverts for upcoming sports events you will be screening.

This of course is all in addition to its functionality as a pub jukebox, playing music as audio and/or video to generate an additional revenue stream from customers who want to choose a song.

Pub pool tables and fruit machines

Finally, give pairs and individuals some entertainment by installing pub pool tables and fruit machines, again allowing customers to play whenever they want.

Coin-operated pool tables are a great source of revenue and can keep customers on-premises for longer while they complete a game, increasing the chances of them buying drinks, snacks and other products in the meantime.

Compared with leaving to head home in the cold, dark and probably wet conditions of an autumn evening, any of the above can provide a compelling alternative to keep patrons on-site and purchasing for longer.

 

https://soundleisure.com/digitaljukeboxes/products/venuehub/

What are the most popular tunes for juke boxes?

In 2022 the UK music charts reach their 70th anniversary – that’s a lot of music, so what are the most popular tunes for juke boxes?

The answer isn’t an easy one. It can depend on your particular clientele, the quality of new music releases, and even on the day of the week.

Because of this, Manco Automatics provide audio and video juke boxes for pubs and other venues that give you plenty of ways to customise and update the music you offer.

One example of this is the Sound Leisure VenueHub Digital Jukebox, known as VHub for short, which offers exclusive access to regularly updated UK Singles Chart music.

Give it an internet connection and it will update on a weekly basis, so whatever the most popular UK singles are at the time, it should have them available for your customers to choose.

Networked jukeboxes can also offer vast libraries of on-demand music, so you can give far more choice than what’s stored directly on the digital juke box hard drive.

Even if you don’t have a suitable internet connection, digital juke boxes have as many as 30,000 songs and albums stored internally – plenty of choice for your customers.

Improve what you offer

As soon as your digital juke box is installed, you can start to improve the music library you offer – which can mean making it smaller, as well as bigger.

Some tracks might not be suitable for your venue. These can be removed from the library or from the menus and search results on the juke box so they can never be selected by customers.

Some songs might only be unsuitable at certain times of day – for instance, you might be happy to offer songs with swearing in them later in the evening when no children are around.

Dynamic profiles can be created that automatically adjust the availability of those songs over the course of the day, so you don’t have to manually switch profiles every evening when your family friendly hours end.

VHub even supports soundjack, an app that means customers can choose songs directly from their smartphone – reducing congestion around your juke box and allowing more songs to be queued overall.

By combining all of these techniques, you can create a music library that is perfectly suited to what your customers want, whether that’s the latest chart music or the old classics dating back 70 years or more.

New Year New You

After the busyness of Christmas and New Year’s Eve, it can be easy to accept that January is a quiet month and rest on your laurels. However, if you want 2018 to be your best and biggest year, you should use the next few weeks to give your pub a makeover.

Could your seating be improved?

Think about the layout of your pub, especially if you’ve not adjusted the seating for many years. Would another configuration work better? Would you benefit from having a couple of poseur tables and stools by your windows? They can make your pub always seem busy, drawing people in off the street.

If your chairs are ripped, consider replacing or recovering them. Outside seating mightn’t be a priority at this time of year typically, but if you have outdoor heaters, you should make the most of this space. Smokers in particular will appreciate having comfy seating to sit on while they chat.

Are you offering the whole package?

It’s vital that you keep your punters entertained when they come back in their droves following a ditched dry January. Give them the freedom to decide what music is played with a video jukebox, install a quiz machine and have a pool table or two. Hiring the equipment you need can cost less than you think, when you turn to Manco Automatics.

Pool tables can be a welcome addition to any pub or club as they allow groups of friends and family members to compete against each other, and you could arrange regular pool competitions too. Those playing will spend longer in your establishment, so are more likely to order extra drinks and food… which will keep your tills ringing.

Do your walls need a lick of paint?

It’s amazing the difference a coat or two of paint can make, whether you decide to stick with your current shade or opt for a different colour completely. You want to make a good first impression so make sure your entrance area is looking smart. Toilets shouldn’t be overlooked either. If they look dirty and uncared for, punters will find this off-putting and they may decide to go elsewhere.

For more tips on increasing your pub’s profits in 2018, click here >

 

Drink Industry Trends 2018: Time To Plan Ahead

It’s a good time to plan ahead as the drink industry trends for 2018 start to take shape in the run-up to Christmas, so what will customers be looking for over the next 12 months?

The Waitrose Food & Drink Report is one of the main areas of insight, and this predicts some important regional differences, as Scotland sees an increasing focus on locally brewed beverages while Wales has a growing thirst for detailed knowledge about wine.

Different drinks categories are also blurring the boundaries, with ale casks used by Glenfiddich to add a hint of hops to their whisky, and if this continues throughout 2018, the next big trend in fusion food could actually be drinks.

Repeat custom is crucial

If you’re still looking to capitalise on festive trade, industry analysts CGA recently put out a trend report that should be on your reading list in the run-up to Christmas.

This predicted that, like in 2016, the coming holiday period will see fewer people go out to eat and drink; but those who do go out will do so more often and spend more.

Repeat custom is crucial in this climate, so make sure your premises are a fully fledged entertainment destination complete with gaming machines, pool tables and juke boxes to keep customers interested.

Premium picks

Looking long-term, CGA have also found a trend towards premium products among British consumers, so those high-priced brands should sell well in 2018.

This applies not only to spirits, but also to beers, where craft ales and other premium beverages continue to gain ground.

The end of ‘ice and a slice’?

The Morning Advertiser recently reported on another premium trend – the tendency towards more specific garnishes and mixers in gin and tonic.

As more premium brand-name gins appear behind the bar even in local boozers, customers are increasingly expecting the right garnish to go with it, whether that means juniper berries, mint, grapefruit or cucumber.

It’s a challenge for operators to keep on top of a larger number of perishable ingredients, but it’s also an opportunity to justify premium-rate pricing on an otherwise simple G&T.

Brand-name mixers like Fever-Tree tonic complete the offering, taking the trend beyond the simple question of slimline or full-fat tonic.

It’s not only G&T that’s seeing increased customisation, as champagne and prosecco cocktails are also on an inexorable rise – and for many customers a glass of fizz is now incomplete unless there’s a shot of something fruity in the bottom of the flute.

 

Manco Automatics Ltd
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