Four Ways To Increase Pub Sales


Pent-up demand for spending time with friends makes going to the pub more attractive than ever.

However, with other venues competing for those same patrons it is imperative for pub owners to keep ahead of the game. Attracting and retaining new customers with a range of activities and promotions can help to increase pub sales and turn your pub into a local social hub.

Let's take a look at four top tips that you can use to build your customer base and keep them happy.

1: Innovate, entertain and make full use of your pub space

Yes, many people still go to the pub to sip on a quiet pint, but increasingly pub customers are on the lookout for a more engaging experience. The more activities you put on and promote to your local community the better. Show your customers that you want them to have a good time and that you are willing to invest in their entertainment and they will appreciate you and your venue more.

You could: 

  • Encourage your bar staff to take up mixology and create drinks with passion and flair to entertain your customers.

  • Invite guest bar staff - e.g. local celebs and famous figures might be willing to tend the bar for a night, especially if this is linked to a local charity or good cause. (Don't forget to let your local media know!).

  • Introduce and promote other regular entertainments to draw in a crowd. Old-time favourites like a regular family-friendly pub quiz night or a happy hour with a free snack are tried and tested for a reason.

  • Plan ahead for all special occasions and build themed entertainment and menus : valentines, big sports events, mother's & father's day, etc.

  • Put on an open-mic night or invite local up and coming bands to play live music.

  • Plan comedy nights / games nights / poker & casino nights (as long as you follow the rules and no real money is used!).

With any of the above ideas the key is to be persistent. You want to position your pub in your customer's minds as a social hub. Not just a pub but a destination with entertainment and a fun time.

2: Build and retain your customer base - focus on customer service and nurture your evangelists

Positive word of mouth can spread like a wild-fire and your job is to fan the flames at every opportunity. Your current customers are your greatest potential route to finding new customers. They are also more likely to keep returning if you can build a great relationship.

The best strategy here is to find and nurture your 'evangelists'. Who are your happiest customers each shift? If possible you and your staff should engage with them a touch more. Find your customers that are clearly having a good time, and when the time is right, surprise them with something extra or unexpected on the house. Turn a good time into delight. Then encourage them to take a moment to share their experiences on social media, or to leave you a review on your Google Maps or Facebook page. 

You can make your happiest customers feel special and important to your business. Remember them. Message them on their special days such as birthdays and anniversaries offering them an exclusive discount or a free drink. 

Hand out small complementary items to your regulars each time they visit. This will show them that you appreciate their custom and loyalty, plus they will more than likely share this on social media, which will help to raise your profile amongst their networks.

NOTE: It should go without saying that negative word of mouth can spread even faster! So in addition to giving extra care and attention to your regulars and happy customers - keep an ever-present lookout for customers that are perhaps not so happy and do what you can to turn each negative experience into a good one. Many loyal customers will come from such pro-active problem solving and customer care.

3: Make your pub shine

One of the most effective ways to bolster your marketing efforts is to make your pub look good. Top to bottom / inside and out / online and offline.

First impressions count. Regardless of whether a new patron is walking up to the door for the first time, or simply clicking through some photos on your Facebook page - the way your venue is presented can have a serious impact on your ability to increase footfall and revenue.

Allotment Bar

Plants, artwork, a new lick of paint, clean signage, neat bars, spotless toilets, consistent and regular cleaning throughout (especially important now post-Covid) and so much more that can and should be done to keep your pub spick and span. The way your staff dress and present themselves is equally important.

Don't forget to get some professional looking photos done for your online presence. Spruce up your social media pages and website. Put your best foot forward at all times.

Time and money invested in kerb appeal and making your pub shine will pay dividends.

4: Use an efficient mobile order to table solution

While table service apps are becoming an increasing common way to order and pay for drinks in a pub, downloading an app can be frustrating and time-consuming. A much speedier and hassle-free way to take orders is to use a table ordering system that is app-free and simple to use. 

Your customers will be more inclined to come back to your pub if they can order through an online menu that instantly opens in a browser. If your pub currently doesn't offer an app, or your customers need to download an app to access your menu, then this can be very off-putting and may result in you losing out on repeat visits. 

By using ServedUp, you could increase pub sales by up to 30 per cent at a cost that is a fraction of the price of building and maintaining your own table ordering app.

Your customers will benefit by having a more enjoyable customer experience, you will have a speedy turnaround on your orders and you can easily highlight special offers and customer loyalty features that will keep your customers coming back for more. 

You can find out more about ServedUp or feel free to contact our friendly team who will be happy to help you!

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