Putting pub pool tables outside for summer

Putting pub pool tables outside for summer

We’re often asked about putting pub pool tables outside for summer, and despite the notoriously unpredictable British weather, the answer is yes, you can.

However, there is, of course, some care and attention needed to make sure you don’t end up with flooded felt or boggy baize following a seasonal downpour.

The Manco Automatics team have got you covered – and your outdoor pub pool table should be covered too, just in case!


Outdoor locations for pub pool tables

Most of the rules of outdoor locations for pub pool tables are the same as for indoor pool tables, including:

  • Relatively flat, level, stable ground.
  • Adequate cue clearance on all sides.
  • Not blocking emergency routes or creating a hazard.

If the basics are all accounted for, then there’s usually no reason why you can’t put a pool table outside in a beer garden or on a terrace.

And by doing so, you can also free up the equivalent space inside, which is ideal if you plan to screen major sporting events this summer or just want the floor space for tables.


Extra considerations for outdoor pool tables

You may have seen outdoor pool tables at pubs and bars in Mediterranean holiday resorts, but it’s important to realise that the UK is unfortunately not a Mediterranean country.

Our climate means it is very likely, if not inevitable, that the summer months will see heavy rain – and our clients in Greater Manchester will know that more than most!

Because of this, you need to take some precautions if you want to put pub pool tables in the beer garden or elsewhere outside.

A suitable shelter or canopy is essential. Ideally, it should provide a permanent cover to protect the table surface against rainfall, allowing for the fact that rain can blow in at an angle in squally weather.

For security reasons, coin-operated pool tables should ideally be in an enclosed area such as a fenced-in beer garden and/or supervised directly from the bar or via CCTV.


Need help with an outdoor pool table?

We’re happy to help you decide if an outdoor pub pool table is a sensible decision for your premises and to troubleshoot any additional preparations you should make before installation.

Our team can deliver and install an outdoor pool table or if you already have one of our pub pool tables indoors, we can come and professionally relocate it to your beer garden.

To find out more, contact your Manco representative today and we’ll get the cue ball rolling.

Why you should hire a fruit machine for a social club

We’re all familiar with pub fruit machines, but you might not realise that you can hire a fruit machine for a social club, members club, or any other kind of club for that matter.

Many people also don’t realise that because you only allow members onto your premises, the rules that apply to social club fruit machines are not so restrictive.

Because of this, and the other reasons we’ll look at below, hiring social club and members club fruit machines can be a great idea to keep guests entertained and bring in extra revenue.


Rules on social club fruit machines

You can have the following members club fruit machines on your premises:

  • One B3a fruit machine with jackpot up to £500
  • Up to three B4 fruit machines with jackpots up to £400

There’s a limit of three machines in total either way – so if you choose to install a category B3a fruit machine on your premises, it must substitute for one of your B4 fruit machines if you already have three of those.


What will it cost upfront?

You might be surprised to learn that you can potentially install a hired fruit machine in a social club at zero upfront cost.

Manco Automatics have members club fruit machines to hire on profit share agreements – that means rather than paying a fixed rental fee for the machine, you share a percentage of any profit with us.

That means you should always come out in profit overall, and all of our hired fruit machines include ongoing maintenance as and when it is needed, again at no cost to you.


Do I pay VAT on takings?

There is no VAT on the takings from gaming machines – this was replaced in 2013 by Machine Games Duty, which must still be paid.

For clients on profit share agreements, you pay VAT to Manco Automatics on our share of the profits; however, because the vast majority of private clubs fall below the de minimis threshold for VAT, you should be able to reclaim the tax paid on this portion.


Putting you in control

We believe in giving you control over how much money you make from your hired fruit machines – so we offer a free consultation to decide the best fruit machines for social clubs like yours, from the branding right through to the stakes and jackpot payout.

Our rental fruit machines can even be equipped with note feeders, allowing your members to stake using the new polymer banknotes and making sure they don’t take all the £1 coins from your till!

Christmas Countdown

December is often the biggest month of the year for many businesses and keeping your staff motivated is essential for making the most of this busy season!  

Reward your staff

If your staff work hard, they should be able to earn something in return. This doesn’t need to cost a lot, perhaps those who’ve performed the best all week can stick their hands in a lucky dip box on a Friday afternoon and see if they get a comical gift or something special? A few bottles or a takeaway pizza makes a good treat if targets are hit.

Inject some fun

Christmas is a jolly time of year and you don’t want your staff to feel like you’re Ebenezer Scrooge. Have a Christmas tree, plenty of decorations, wear Christmas jumpers (if suitable) and have the radio on. Bring Christmas to your workplace.

Give them the gift of downtime

You don’t want to push your staff to the point where they’re stressed and unable to work. They must be able to have lunch breaks and rest breaks or they’ll burn out. If, for instance, they spend 8 solid hours staring at a computer screen with no break, this can be so damaging physically and mentally.

Set up breakout areas if you don’t have them already and encourage them to be mobile-free zones if you can, as you don’t want your staff swapping one screen for another. Installing a pool table or two can be really refreshing. It encourages friendly competition between teams and there’s bound to be plenty of banter. Maybe you could have a Christmas leader board, with prizes for the winners?

Comfy seating, magazines and table football could also help make your breakout area a hit with your staff.

Get in touch

Renting a pool table can cost less than you think .  To discuss prices and what’s available, please give Manco Automatics a ring on 0161 870 7777.

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 >


Warning re fake sports packages

When running a pub or club, you need to be on your guard. Many publicans are being tricked by fraudsters into purchasing illegal sports packages, which can cost them dear. The fines can run into the thousands, with one publican recently fined ten thousand pounds for showing a Premier League football match illegally. Could you afford to pay a fine like that? It could close your business down.

How to spot a fake sports package deal

If the offer sounds too good to be true, the alarm bells should be ringing. Even if the person/company you’re talking to sounds legit, and has some fantastic promotional material, they could still be a conman. If they can make over a thousand pounds per establishment, they’re bound to lay it on thick and do all they can to get you to hand over your hard-earned cash.

The best advice we can give you, is to always go to the official provider, whether it’s Sky or BT Sport. There’s simply no other way to legally show sports packages. You must get a commercial viewing agreement or you could be prosecuted, fined or sued.

When you sign up with Sky, through Sky Business, you’ll get a Sky licence to display in your window and from time to time, a pint glass will show up on your TV/big screens, to show that you’re legit. If you suspect that another establishment is showing matches illegally, you can report them by contacting Sky Business or BT Sport, who will put their fraud teams on the case.

Other ways to entertain your punters

As well as showing matches on your big screens, if you want to boost your takings, why not start holding pool and darts competitions, if you don’t already. Holding them on the same nights as big games, could encourage your customers to stay longer, which has to be good for business. Hiring equipment for your pub, whether it’s a pool table, juke box or fruit machine, doesn’t have to be expensive, when you hire from Manco Automatics. Why not give us a ring today on 0161 870 7777 and see what we can do for you.

Manco Automatics Ltd