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A pub environment isn’t solely a place for drinking anymore with an ever-increasing number having unique offerings, activities and local projects for customers to engage with. Developing your community impact in the current market is something not to miss out on.
Pubs are at the centre of many communities; a central place where people come together and experience a sense of place and identity. Here are five practical ideas to keep in mind when improving or embracing a community-led approach within your business.
Allowing time to build local relationships and grow within a community is part of settling in and growing your business. Making sure you’re visible to people is an excellent way to improve and help support your immediate area.
Recently the Black Dog pub in Oswaldtwistle joined CAP (Community Alcohol Partnership). Attending meetings with other local licensees and authorities, including the council, trading standards and police, it’s an initiative to tackle and prevent the issues around underage drinking and younger drinkers (aged 18-25).
“It’s been great to see the community come together and focus on making Oswaldtwistle a safe and great place to visit again. Having the support of fellow local publicans is important as we’re all striving for the same goal.”
The aim is to work together and build relationships so that local knowledge is developed and shared in the attempt to stop minors purchasing and drinking alcohol. Connecting businesses together can strengthen customer spirit and appreciation, and hopefully reduce alcohol-related incidents.
“It’s about rebuilding the community with good values and providing customers with the confidence to keep coming back, and also impress those who are coming for the first time. The monthly meetings with licensing and trading standards are instrumental in keeping the momentum going.” – The Black Dog, Oswaldtwistle
In raising standards across the community, police have found that crime goes down whilst footfall increases. Licensees need to continually monitor and review to maintain a safe environment and manage the barrier between customer and business. The CAP approach is a flexible model making it perfect for a variety of different communities.
Set the scene and atmosphere of your pub from the moment your customers enter. Excellent customer service and positive experiences speak volumes and help to create a great first impression. Being friendly and welcoming in your approach will maximise your appeal.
Are you evaluating every aspect of your business that a customer wants? How can you help your team? Staff can be an influencing factor and an important factor that customers remember from their visit to your establishment so;
• Keep them informed and fully trained on products and offers
• Encourage personality and character
• Let them talk with customers naturally as this will encourage further interaction
• Be engaging, approachable and friendly
• Acknowledge customers while they’re waiting for service with polite gestures and friendly interactions
A pub can be the centre of a community where customers come together to connect, be entertained and enjoy life. Increasing customer interaction will only inform you about what ultimately works for your business.
Look at the possibility of organising an event such as a mini-festival, summer fayre or themed event, and how your business can host it. Find out what local groups are doing in the area and offer them help. It’s an opportunity to bring together all elements of your pub, maximising exposure, and positioning yourself as a focal point of the community.
It’s good to remember that regulars aren’t the only customers that enjoy your pub. Think of ways to grow your customer base and your perception in the community. Families can be a great demographic to develop. Are there times when your pub could benefit from added footfall in the afternoon, or can you offer attractive deals that will pull in additional customers?
Loneliness is an epidemic in many communities and being aware of its impact can be a great way to bring a positive spirit into your pub while also providing more isolated members of the community the opportunity to get out into a safe environment and socialise with fellow customers.
It’s a business model that can bring a great variety of people together with the common goal of having a great time. Make yourself aware of all types of customers as you build your community and ultimately reach out to them.
More than ever, customers are looking for experiential activities when spending their money. Live music nights are one of the most popular ways of getting people together. Revamping and coming up with different ideas around it can be an easy yet effective way to build on your customer base and make them more likely to return.
A monthly schedule is a great technique to keep customers coming back. Spotlighting local talent is also a nice community touch. Why not integrate karaoke nights to offer something different, plus having more interactive features can create memorable sharing moments which customers are more likely to invest in.
Elevate your promotions to include more premium options and unique offerings that customers can only get at your pub. Remember, at a Thwaites pub, the exclusivity of serving Thwaites beer is a fantastic and unique pulling factor which customers are always looking for. Build experiences around your new drink offerings such as tasting nights for customers.
Try and work any of these five ideas into your pub and see if you can improve your community approach or bring something new that customers, staff and yourself will enjoy.
Take a look at our current vacancies and the communities that they are in. Talk to our recruitment team to enquire further.
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