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.

 

Quizzy Rascals

The nights are drawing in, and although getting more people into your pub or club for a quick one is good, ideally you want them to be staying longer, so your tills keep ringing. The winter months tend to be cold and wet, so making your establishment as attractive as possible, with plenty going on, is essential, in order to draw people in and keep them there.

Quizzes

The pub quiz is a British institution, and if you don’t have at least one quiz a week running, you need to get this sorted ASAP. Quizzes bring together groups of people that wouldn’t normally meet in everyday life.

Mondays to Thursdays are the most popular days to have a quiz, and new faces could quickly become regulars, if they like what they see. Your quiz will need at least one good prize on offer, and it’s always fun to have a booby prize for the worst team. Offering drinks coupons redeemable within the next week are a good way to bring people back in without costing the face value of the voucher.  People who play quizzes tend to drink a lot more than people who come in to watch football matches, surprisingly, and get through snacks like nobody’s business!

As well as having a weekly quiz, you could consider installing a quiz machine or two, that can be making money for you, every day of the week, especially if you position them near the bar. Students and punters in their twenties in particular, are fans of quiz machines. Quiz machines bring out the competitive side in people, and they’re legally defined as games of skill, as there is no element of chance involved.  If you contact Manco Automatics, we can install a quiz machine for you for FREE with no monthly payments, based on a profit share.

Themed nights

Having themed nights running throughout the winter months is essential, and if you have space, entertainment. Whether you book a local band to play, or an Olly Murs tribute act on X Factor final night, for instance, you’ll get people excited and make your pub or club the go to place for people in your local area.

Don’t let restaurants be the only ones to profit from all the work Christmas night out dos, in the run up to Christmas, have happy hours and experiment with different offerings. Could you hold your own gin festival or cocktails and tinsel nights? If you have a competent chef, could they put together an enticing set menu, with a drinks package? If so, why not contact local businesses now and get some booked in, whether for a special lunch or evening do.

Pool competitions

Always popular, pool tables again bring out people’s competitive side. Could you organise a charity pool competition and get teams to sign up? You could have stand up bingo and a raffle too, to make a real event of it. If you don’t currently have room for a table, maybe it’s time to rearrange your seating?  Hiring a pool table could cost less than you think. If you contact us today on 0161 870 7777, we could have one in place in a few days.

 

Trend – weekday pub visits up, weekend visits down

Did you notice a difference in the amount of visits you had this summer? Across the UK, pubs and clubs have reported that weekend visits dropped slightly, but weekday visits were up.

Food continues to draw people

If you offer an attractive, budget-friendly menu, you’ll be well aware of how good food can keep people coming back week-in week-out. Whether they’re couples on dates, families enjoying a meal together or groups of friends celebrating a big birthday, 1 in 3 visits to pubs in the UK are driven by the food on offer.

Do you offer breakfast, lunch and dinner? If you don’t, but would like to, you’ll have to increase the number of staff you have during these shifts as your punters will expect a fast service. If you’re hoping to attract workers, they often need to be in and out in less than forty minutes, if they get an hour lunch break. This means that your staff need to be on the top of their game and you’ll have to well stocked, so you can cope with demand. There’s little point having a ‘burger and drink’ deal on a Tuesday if you run out of burgers by half twelve, likewise, a full English breakfast can’t be lacking in bacon or sausages, if you want repeat custom.

Attracting more people at weekends

For many people, weekends are family time, as they’re so busy in the week, they find it hard to spend quality time together. If you want to encourage them to step over your threshold, why not have a dedicated family area? You could have a pool table for older kids/teenagers to play with their parents, board games and toys for younger ones, and if you have a large beer garden, you could consider putting up a bouncy castle on dry days.

Special events such as charity days, family fun days and BBQs might take a bit of organising, but the potential gains are huge. Battle of the bands competitions and pool competitions can be a way of drawing people in on a Friday and Saturday night, when there aren’t big sports events on. (If you don’t currently have a big screen showing sport events and matches, you should rectify this as soon as possible.)

If you want to get a pool table or juke box, quiz machine or tab machine, hiring one could cost less than you think. Click here to find out more and get a quote >

 

Dog friendly pubs and other ways to make your pub stand out from the crowd

Did you know in the UK 1 in 4 people own a dog and the dog population stands at an impressive 8.5 million? Many dog owners would love to enjoy a tipple with their favourite doggy companions, but can’t because their local pubs don’t allow any dogs except for assistance dogs.

What’s your dog policy? 

Is your pub dog friendly or are dogs barred? Perhaps you don’t mind dogs visiting, but haven’t made a big deal of the fact that they’re welcome, so your punters and potential punters aren’t aware. If so you could be missing a trick. Big chains such as Wetherspoons, don’t allow dogs to come inside or sit outside in their pub gardens, so why don’t you make the most of this? By placing up a sign saying you’re dog friendly, having a couple of water bowls and a jar of dog treats on the bar, you’ll be making your place much more attractive to dog owners.  Within a matter of weeks, you could find your pub listed on the doggypubs website, a review site that you can’t pay to feature on, but will be listed if a happy dog owner leaves a review.  

A barber pub? 

It might sound crazy, but could you offer haircuts in your pub one afternoon a week? Perfect for a quiet afternoon as the people waiting, will be inclined to have a drink while they wait, and play a game of pool, and they might stay for one afterwards too. The barber may give you a share of the profits or you could let them set up for free, because of the increase in footfall. 

Mums and tots group 

If you have a nice, clean carpeted area and can make space for toys, perhaps with a small playground outside, your pub could be used to hold a mums and tots group one morning or afternoon. If you have a nice family-friendly menu, some may be encouraged to stay for lunch.

Get crafting? 

Another idea for a quiet afternoon slot is a craft, knitting or crochet group. Perhaps you could do a special deal on a cuppa and a biscuit? There are plenty of other community groups that would be glad of somewhere to meet for free.

Need more ideas 

In making your pub or club the centre of your community, especially during quiet times, you should be able to boost your profits. If you’re looking for more entertainment ideas, or want to hire pool tables, juke boxes or quiz machines, please get in touch by ringing 0161 870 7777 or by checking out our website.

 

 

Manco Automatics Ltd
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