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As the warmer weather fast approaches, (and hopefully brings a repeat of 2018 summer temperatures) people are starting to think about planning their holidays. With bank holidays also imminent, there’s plenty to capitalise on with extended weekends and the potential of mini getaways. The addition of rooms at your pub can offer an additional way to increase profits. Rooms can be a strong revenue source and can add a sustainable element to your business.
With the uncertainty of Brexit looming and the withdrawal extending past summer, many customers are skipping a holiday abroad and choosing a staycation instead. With a wealth of destinations to discover and explore in Britain, popularity is continuing to grow.
A pub with rooms is an excellent accommodation option which offers value for money and individuality that many chain hotels can’t compete with. Customers want to spend their money on experiences that offer something other than the standard night away, and that’s where your pub can excel.
For pubs with accommodation, it’s essential to know the local market and the level of demand. Location is the most important factor when planning a night away. Are you in a village, or located near any landmarks? Are you situated close to areas of beauty, or conveniently nearby bustling shops? These are all reasons for someone to book your property, so make sure to highlight the area.
At Thwaites, we have over 20 pubs which have rooms including the Gamecock in Austwick, a Thwaites Pub Award Winner for Warmest Hospitality and also the Lancaster Guardian Pub of the Year, voted for by the people. There’s also the Eagle and Child in Ramsbottom, with its award-winning food, Gateway Inn at Kendal, and Higher Buck Inn in Waddington all showing how a pub with rooms can succeed.
For any tenant thinking about adding or redeveloping an area for rooms, keep these tips in mind:
The rooms have to stand out. Even though customer expectations tend to be more relaxed, comfort, style and uniqueness are the driving factors of the experience. Customers still have specific standards from flat-screen TVs to powerful walk-in showers and premium mattresses.
Build on these with individuality. From fun patterned wallpaper to quirky designed room accessories, make it a boutique space. If you’re going to take on a refurbishment, make sure your rooms are appealing.
Your customer is already through the door, so the opportunity to increase your food and drink sales is there to take. With customers having the option to stay over, the time spent in your pub will undoubtedly grow, so make the most of all the extra time you have with your guest.
You need to know what you’re taking on if you decide to add rooms. What’s the ideal number of rooms for your property? Remember not to lose sight of what makes a pub with rooms unique. Individuality and cosiness are the driving forces, so if you add too many rooms you’ll lose the feel, look and experience that customers are seeking.
Stay realistic about how many rooms you can manage and maintain. Ultimately, your business has to be doing well, as adding rooms will increase not only your revenue but also your operating costs.
Understanding the need and demand of your market is important to keep your business relevant and the interest there. Promoting affordability to the cost-conscious customer is essential in today’s market. Provide high standards across the whole business from your service to your food and drink offering.
The best way to accept bookings is to have an online booking strategy in place so you can plan and prepare for demand and seasonality. Have a clear understanding of your overall occupancy rate and make price adjustments accordingly.
Remember direct bookings are your aim as they reduce commission costs. People are looking for affordable rooms, so do your research, and compete with the market. A typical booking is most likely to be a one or two night’s stay in this market.
If it’s a viable option for you, it’s a project to bear in mind. With the current state of the UK holiday market, it’s an exciting time to be a part of it. The challenge of a pub is to stay sustainable, and with the additions of rooms, this can be a great way to provide some stability.
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