How can I attract more customers to my pub?

If you have a dart board and a pool table, it doesn’t mean you can’t put some effort into the décor and food. Why would you shun two-thirds of your local community by making your pub less welcoming to them?

Think filters not demographics: 

I have been asked many times over the years to send in mystery shoppers of the ‘right demographic’ and who the owner-operator thinks is their target market, but this usually translates as “people who see the world as I do”.

We all have different filters. In dining experiences for some of us, the service is the most important aspect, for others it’s the food and for others, it’s the ambiance.

Get one of these things right and the people who have that preference will come, get two right and you’ll double your footfall and three?!! Well now. That is difficult to do if you are an owner-operator with only your preferences to draw on and believe me you will lean toward one, more than the others EVEN if you don’t think so. We all do. How many times have you been into a pub or restaurant and said if only they did this, did that, etc?

Why it’s easier for bigger brands to get all three?  

Getting all three is where the bigger brands are more successful. They have multiple employed specialists who are experts in their preferences for interiors, food, and service. Think The Ivy Collection or Cote. Although, when one of these starts to fall by the wayside then so do the customers. We have often seen new brands come out of the market in a blaze of glory just to fizzle out when the funding runs out to keep them ahead of the game.  Think Pontins who were bought out by Britania Hotels.

Remove the blinkers. 

So, whether you are an owner-operator or a group, what can you do to make sure you aren’t filtering out two-thirds of your customers?

Find out what it is you need to do differently and do it.

Ask for feedback no matter how uncomfortable it is to swallow.

Which brands struggled in 2023

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