Easter Will Be Here Before You Know It

It’s not too early to start thinking about Easter and getting prepped for the bank holidays. This year, Easter is early with Good Friday on the 30th March, Easter Sunday on the 1st April and bank holiday Monday on the 2nd April.

Something for the whole family

When the kids are off over Easter you have the opportunity to run some family events. Easter egg hunts are always popular, why not hide laminated Easter egg cards around your beer garden and reward any children who go on the hunt with a chocolate egg at the end? Alternatively, you could hide lots of real chocolate eggs but this could work out more expensive and a couple of older kids could end up snaffling all of them, leaving younger ones disappointed. You could have a hunt on more than one day to increase trade, parents might appreciate something to do mid-week and may even stop for lunch/a cheeky half.

An Easter fun day could go down a treat with everyone, you could have an egg hunt, egg and spoon race, bouncy castle (if space allows), family quiz and pool competition. If you don’t have a pool table already you could order one from Manco Automatics. Renting a pool table or two could cost less you think and can be a real asset to your pub or club. You may find that there’s demand for it long-term and it could help keep your tills ringing.

Think about the music

To make your pub or club the go-to destination over the bank holiday weekend, consider having live music. It can really draw in the crowds and get people buzzing. You could have one band or act on, or consider having a mini-Battle of the Bands competition. If you turn it into a charity performance, you could raise some vital funds for a worthy cause. Why not ask your regulars what they think?

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


How hospitality apprenticeships can bring in quality staff

The hospitality industry is all about positive interactions, whether it’s a chat over the bar between a bartender and customer, friendly service from a waiter, a profitable partnership with a supplier or even the kind of virtual interaction you get from putting money in a quiz machine or jukebox.

So it makes sense that hospitality apprenticeships that allow young people to work directly within the sector as part of their vocational training are increasingly being recognised as a great way to not just recruit quality staff, but to coach new entrants into the industry in their early years.

Last year this was highlighted as part of National Apprenticeship Week with a showcase at the House of Commons, and MPs were so impressed with the inaugural event that they are set to welcome young people from the bar, pub, casual dining and brewing sector to Parliament once again this March.

Hosted by Pub and Bar Careers, the one-day session on Tuesday March 6th will involve apprentices from some of the biggest names in the sector, such as Fuller’s and Stonegate, along with their parents and employers, for a joined-up and interactive presentation and a look ahead to a career in hospitality.

Andrew Griffiths MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, recalled last year’s event, and said: “It was by far the best event we have held in the House of Commons. It gave Ministers and MPs the opportunity to talk directly to young people who work in the sector, to hear their views and career aspirations. It was informative, interactive and fun, and certainly made an impression in the House.”

Hospitality ranks as the fourth-largest sector in the UK in terms of employee numbers, with an abundance of diverse career opportunities, so it’s fantastic to see the industry getting the recognition it deserves, with a particular focus on the talents of the 1.6 million people who work in hospitality roles in the UK.

It’s also good that parents, employers and MPs are on board as part of the drive to recognise that hospitality is not just a Saturday job for students, but a legitimate career choice for life, with plenty of ways to progress.

At Manco we already know how passionate those who work in hospitality can be – as well as how positive the partnerships are that we build in the sector, whether through our profit-share arrangements on pub fruit machines, ongoing maintenance contracts to keep pub pool tables and jukeboxes in good condition, or just keeping in touch with friends we have made through our work with hospitality establishments over the years


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.


Let us look after you and your machines

You wouldn’t get a car and not service it, and the same should go for the machines you have in your pub, club, amusement centre or bingo hall. If you don’t get them checked and maintained, there is a high chance you’re going to run into problems, and a broken machine means missed opportunities, as you can’t make a penny from a machine that’s out of order.

Here at Manco Automatics, we have decades of experience and intimate knowledge of slot and gaming machines, and we offer what we consider to be unbeatable customer service. With our help, your machines will be performing to the best of their ability, which is definitely good for business!

Experts in the machine world

We are professionals, we diligently follow a program of planned, preventative maintenance (PPM), and we have a close relationship with manufacturers, so we can make sure all game enhancements and security updates happen as soon possible, so that your machines are the best they can be.

All of our engineers are friendly and committed to their roles, not to mention highly skilled. Installing and maintaining these machines isn’t a job that can be done by amateurs with limited knowledge, it takes a special kind of engineer.

Want to boost your profits?

If you ever have any questions about your machines, or how you can make more of them, to drive sales, our engineers will be happy to provide the answers you’re looking for, as they service hundreds of machines a year, so they’re the experts. You’d struggle to find a question that they don’t know the answer to.

They’ll happily show you how to use the data provided to maximise your machines’ performance, and security, which is all so important these days.

To find out more, or to get a quote for our maintenance service, don’t delay, give us a call on 0161 870 7777 or fill out an enquiry form.