The pub industry has taken a battering in recent years. The smoking ban, the recession, supermarkets lowering prices of alcohol, brewery closures, higher taxes on alcohol and increased energy prices have all contributed to a gloomy outlook for many pub businesses.
Pubs have been closing all over the UK, with the main victims being those which relied on local blokes popping in for a pint and a fag. Those pubs which offer food, accommodation, function rooms and appeal to families who like a smoke free atmosphere have, on the whole, fared much better.
If your pub profits have been falling in recent years, increasing what you have to offer to patrons is the key to developing a successful business.Pub Accommodation
If you have rooms above your pub and you're not renting them out as pub B&B accommodation, you're missing a trick. B&B pubs offer a great alternative to hotels and people love them because they are full of character and have an atmosphere that you just don't get with budget hotels.
Providing accommodation turns your pub from a 12 hour a day business into a 24 hours a day business, so you will need the staff for this. If you have guests arriving at 3am after a flight, you have to be there to welcome them. That said, if you market your bed and breakfast accommodation correctly, your potential for serious profit making will increase massively.Pub Food
If you‘re going to market your public house as a B&B pub, don't forget the second B – Breakfast! A hearty full English breakfast is essential, and you have to make it delicious if you want repeat business. Whilst you have a kitchen, don't underestimate the profits you can make from providing lunch and evening meals as well. If your food is good, people will come just for that, and of course they will buy drinks too. If your food is amazing, people will come to eat your food for birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. These people will drink even more drinks and may well stay over in your accommodation too!Pub Function Rooms
As the nation tightens their belts, more people are making use of the small function rooms that pubs offer to host birthday parties, Christenings and even wedding receptions. Whereas once they might have booked a large function room for 200 guests in a hotel, now many people are favouring smaller more intimate venues that have a more personal feel and comfortable atmosphere.
Hiring out part of your pub for private functions is a great money maker. You should aim to rent the room out for cheap, as the room hire price isn't where you'll make the money. The profits will come from selling drinks, providing a buffet and if you have enough accommodation, from party guests booking rooms.Pub Deals
When you consider how much money is to be made from pub accommodation, good pub food and function rooms, it's little wonder that pubs that only serve drinks have been struggling to survive. If you can provide all three then you're onto a winner. The reason for this is that each side of the business feeds the others.
For example, if you secure a booking for a party in your function room, you could instantly have 50 guests buying drinks and eating your food. If some of the guests stay over that means that they don't have to drive home, so they'll drink more. Whilst eating your delicious breakfast in the morning they'll be discussing what a lovely time they've had and will remember your pub in the future.
To encourage crossover between your drinkers, diners, overnight guests and party guests, you could offer great deals like these:
When people are in your pub, let them know what else you have to offer with leaflets on the tables. Promoting deals on your website can also be useful if it has the traffic.Pub Marketing
When marketing your pub, you need to think about your audience. If you can appeal to a wide a market as possible, that will increase the number of potential patrons. If your pub is dominated by old men in flat caps or young lads with tattoos, then this might put other people off, particularly if you want to market your pub as a B&B. Yes these types might provide most of the income for a drinks only pub, but for a multi-faceted pub with rooms and food, you want to be able to attract families, couples and business travellers as these will be the biggest spenders.Be Family Friendly
Now that pubs are smoke free, they are much more acceptable places to bring children. If you have a beer garden, a play area will attract families on sunny afternoons. Even if you don't have outside space, buying a few games like Jenga or snakes and ladders from charity shops will cost next to nothing yet keep kids entertained and parents happy. Make sure you have a decent children's menu too.
Offering family rooms in your pub accommodation is bound to be a hit if your pub is in a tourist destination. Rather than bunk beds, go for single beds, that way you can rent out the room to groups as well as families.Be Pet Friendly
Whilst virtually all pubs allow dogs in their outside areas and beer gardens, there is a distinct lack of pubs that allow dogs in the pub or in the bedrooms. Dog owners like to walk their dogs and stop for a drink in winter too! You will need to keep pets out of any area where food is served, but if you have a snug room with an open fire this would be perfect for winter dog walkers or couples who would rather not leave their pet at home when they go for a drink in the evening.Create a Romantic Atmosphere
Romantic breaks are big business, with couples amongst the biggest spenders. They can be hard to please, but if you have a lovely traditional pub, that's good news for you as here is one market where you won't be competing with budget hotels. Lovely beer gardens in summer and roaring fires in winter are what couples want, along with luxury bedrooms. If you have original features like beamed ceilings then great, but if you don't you can still create a romantic atmosphere with cushions on the bed, white fluffy towels and luxurious decor.Market Your Pub to Business Travellers
Budget hotels are the usual resting place for those staying away on business. But if they can stay somewhere nicer where they can enjoy a pint and a home cooked meal before heading up to their room, without spending any more money, then they'll do that, right? If you want to market your pub accommodation to business people, you'll need WiFi throughout and decent parking. If you have the space, adding a desk and trouser press to a few of the rooms will make your pub a businessman's dream place to stay.Advertise Your Pub Online
People rarely search for pubs online if they're just going for a drink. It's easier to just go wherever is nearby or go somewhere they have been before and enjoyed. However, with pub accommodation it's a completely different story. Therefore your pub marketing strategy needs to be different too.
When looking for a place to stay, the internet is by far the most popular resource to use. The majority of people we asked wouldn't even consider looking anywhere but the internet for accommodation. So you need to get a presence online. A cost effective way to do this is to advertise on the iknow accommodation website.
We offer free trials so that you can know for sure that you will get a return on investment from your advert before you spend a penny. Our team of expert copywriters will create a detailed advert complete with photos, contact details and a link to your website if you have one. You can update the advert as often as you like for free. If you feel that the advert isn't working for you, just let us know and we'll remove it at no cost and no obligation. What have you got to lose? You've worked hard to make your pub accommodation special, now make sure that everyone knows about it!
To join iknow today or to try us for free with no obligation to buy, please click the button below:I'm interested!