Running a pub is no different from running any other business; requiring a strong sense of what your customers need from an establishment and delivering the experiences they crave.
Despite the pub trade suffering in the last few years with many factors impacting the industry; uncertainty surrounding MRO ruling, rises in duty and falling attendance among pub-goers, recent news suggests that the sector is beginning to stabilise with fewer pubs suffering the outrage of closure. Among the more entrepreneurial and market savvy publicans, business is positively booming thanks, in no small part, to the continued growth of interest in craft beer and appreciation of locally sourced produce.
Become your own local hero
Many landlords are now able to source their beer from micro-breweries on their doorstep much to the delight of their ale-worshipping clientele. Evidence suggests that the numbers of small breweries opening up has increased year on year; by 8% in 2016 to an estimated 1700 in the UK. The opportunity to make contact with local breweries that are creating interesting ales has never been better and the terms at which these ales can be purchased offer real potential for profit. Bringing those interested in ale produced in the locality to your bar is a great way of keeping the tills ringing.
Greene King is among those large owner breweries perfectly in tune with market forces and some years ago gave the opportunity for tied landlords to capitalise on the demand for craft and locally sourced beer by introducing the “Local Hero” package – a deal where up to 50% of cask ale can be obtained free of the usual tie conditions. The initiative has seen some great successes on a local level and is believed to help the local economy beyond the pub doors. Of course, you don’t have to be a Greene King tenant to start thinking about how you can assist your local brewers and food producers.
Take pride in your produce
It is not just the local beer that will help you find a dedicated customer base. A study released by Mintel has discovered that 89% of respondents to a survey of pub visitors go with the intention of eating while on the premises compared with 79% who go to drink only. It is clear that a good dining experience is fundamental to a customer’s visit and locally sourced produce provides a pedigree that alludes to freshness, sustainability and green values that are increasingly important to customers.
Finding your local brewer
Unless you have been ensconced underneath a very large mushroom for the last few years you will have seen a farmers market wherever you reside in the UK and many are filled with micro-brewers looking for a wider audience. With an opportunity to get up close and personal with the brewers behind the beer, there is an easy opportunity to discover the passion that drives the industry forward and get some tasting tips for your customers. If you’re truly stuck, search via british-beers.co.uk and discover the talent in your county.
At Beer Piper, we’ve been advocates for keeping beer as the brewer intended for over 30 years. By providing busy publicans with the means to sell virtually all the beer in the lines before cleaning, we feel we are making a contribution to the profitability of pubs across the country that are utilising our unique system. Not only do we believe in keeping our customers happy, we want your customers to be just as overjoyed with the quality of beer you serve. Take a free trial now and experience the difference.