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 >

 

Switch gaming machines to polymer £10 notes by March 2018

With the new year nearly upon is, it’s time to consider the sense and sensibility of switching gaming machines to accept the Jane Austen polymer £10 note.

The Austen £10 launched in 2017 and the polymer banknote has since replaced any lingering paper £10 notes in most people’s pockets (although paper £10 notes are currently still legal tender – more on that in a moment).

Remember too that the polymer £20 note is coming, although it’s not due to arrive until 2020, while the £1 coin changed from its historic round shape to become a 12-sided coin in March 2017.

All of these changes need adjustments to coin and note-operated gaming machines, and you may have already had pub fruit machines adapted to the polymer £5 note when it launched in autumn 2016.

But the £10 note launched much more recently – only in autumn 2017, in fact – and its paper predecessor ceases to be legal tender from March 1st 2018 as, ironically, the Charles Darwin £10 note becomes the latest victim in the evolution of British currency.

If you have not yet had your pub fruit machines, pool tables, quiz machines and juke boxes, along with any other note-operated gaming machines, adapted to accept polymer notes, it is time to do so.

Some machines, especially more modern fruit machines and quiz machines, may only need a software update, basically so that they recognise the dimensions of the new £10 note and how it differs from the old version.

In some cases, especially on slightly older gaming machines of all kinds, a hardware upgrade might be able to replace or augment old note slots not only to recognise the new note, but also to be able to grip the smooth surface of the polymer without any problems.

Unfortunately in some cases older gaming machines will not be suitable for an upgrade either by updating their software or adjusting their hardware – but Manco can at least advise on a suitable replacement machine if you need one.

Whatever situation you find yourself in, the important point is that the old paper £10 note, which is already relatively scarce, will cease to be legal tender completely from March 1st 2018, and updating your quiz machines and fruit machines is about more than just lost earnings from people trying to play using the new note.

By leaving machines with note slots that accept the old £10 and recognise it as legal tender, you are at risk of paying out to a player who has paid with a banknote you can no longer cash – arguably an even more significant reason to have the work done ahead of time to accept the new £10 note and crucially, to reject the old one.

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.

 

How to maximise the appeal of your pub

According to a new YouGov poll of 2,000 house hunters on behalf of property website TheHouseShop.com, 1 in 4 people want their new home to be within a 15-minute walk away of a good pub. They were happy for banks, schools and churches to be further away.

For landlords, this survey confirms how important pubs are to communities and it also highlights how important it is to attract people who have just moved into your area to your pub. After all, you want them to become regulars at your pub and not at a competitor’s down the road.

Judging a book by its cover

The outside of your pub is very important as you want to impress people, whether they’re driving or walking past. Make sure your outside space is clean and tidy at all times. It needs to be well-light, with smoking shelters and heaters. If your paintwork is looking drab, now is the time to consider repainting. Posters should be fresh and appealing, enticing people in with special offers and meal deals.

Consider your drinks range

Do you offer anything other pubs in your area don’t? For instance, do you have new speciality beers every month or hold craft beer events? Why not see if your current regulars have got any recommendations.

What entertainment do you offer?

As well as offering a wide selection of drink and food, you need to think about installing a pool table if you don’t have one already. They can be hired from Manco Automatics for a very reasonable price. Every time they’re used, you’ll be earning extra money and if you hold regular pool competitions you could create a real buzz in your local area.

A digital juke box is another way of generating extra income and drawing people in. Having the latest songs available (as well as classic tracks) will mean that every kind of music lover is catered for. Fans of pub quizzes will love playing on quiz machines and fruit machines might be something you want to consider too.

At the end of the day, you want your pub to offer the whole package so that it’s at the forefront of people’s minds next time they want to meet up with friends or enjoy a night out.

 

Challenges and opportunities for the pub and club trade in 2017

Pubs and clubs have had a rollercoaster ride in recent years, but for those that have weathered the storm, 2017 is likely to bring a return to better conditions.

After a challenging 2016, many Britons are looking to have some good simple fun, and the UK’s pubs are renowned the world over as being a uniquely British place to relax with friends.

To really make the most of this, pubs and clubs need to be ready to embrace new customers, with enough entertainment to keep people occupied when they need something more to do than just sit, drink and chat.

Pub gaming machines are the perfect way to do this, and even just a few fruit machines placed around your bar area will soon engage customers and start adding to your takings too.

But to cater for a larger audience, there are other options to consider, such as pub pool tables which can entertain two players, or four playing doubles, plus their spectators.

Quiz machines also tend to attract groups rather than individuals, and there’s no limit on the number of people you’ll see huddled around these gaming machines, as long as they can all see the screen!

And finally, jukeboxes are a sure bet in the most literal sense, as customers who don’t like gambling can instead put their money in the jukebox and know exactly what they will get in return.

They give you some insight into the kind of music your patrons most want to hear, put your customers in direct control of it, and have the further advantage that when one person pays into a jukebox, everybody gets to enjoy the music.

With many pub fruit machines and pool tables available on profit-sharing arrangements, rather than a fixed rental fee, you don’t have to face the challenge of paying upfront until you are certain of how much profit your gaming machines will make over the long term.

This makes them a win-win for you, just like the jukebox is for your customers – a no-risk investment with the promise of an immediate return.

Whatever the next 12 months might bring for British pubs and clubs, you won’t get too many opportunities to make a positive return from a no-risk investment.

And there’s no better time to install pub gaming machines than in the brief post-Christmas lull, so they are ready to welcome your customers back once the turkey has settled and the tinsel is packed away.

Manco Automatics Ltd
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