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The number of pubs is decreasing at worrying rate in the UK – we wrote an article about it last summer (read it here) – and pub owners around these fair isles are doing their best to keep them going and growing attracting business. Most pubs live on their regulars; the after-works, the sports fans and their neighbours, who come in week after week.

But the stats don’t lie – even the regulars are decreasing in number. A simple measure to keep your regulars is providing value. It is likely that one reason for the decline in pub-visitors is the economic climate – buying alcohol to drink it at home is cheaper. You must show them that the value they get from visiting your pub exceeds the tangible penny-saving; you must make it clear that their visit matters to you. Isn’t that part of the reason we go to pubs, to meet people, to feel part of a group?

Loyalty cards have been around for a while – but the standard paper or plastic ones are often more hassle than they are worth for the staff. Customers love the idea of getting rewarded – it makes them feel appreciated and that they are saving money. Our app is designed to give merchants an easy solution to this conundrum. You can read more about it here. So how might a loyalty program work for a pub, selling both drinks and food? Traditional loyalty cards often give a stamp per drink – and that’s it. Many newer solutions are fare more flexible – Loyalzoo included – and allows you to rewards for spend instead, giving you more options and freedom with how you want to reward them. You could give 1 point per £1 spent, and set up the rewards as follows: 10 points – complimentary bar snack, 20 points free pint of Becks/small glass house wine, 50 points – half price house bottle of wine. If you don’t want to give alcohol as rewards you could offer discounts on food as the reward, or even gift cards with third parties e.g. Amazon – 50 points – £5 amazon voucher, or 150 points – £25 Amazon voucher.

If you have any further questions don’t hesitate to get in touch – find our contact information here. We love a chat!

 

Groupon is tempting to many because of the potential of bringing in thousands of new customers. Instead of jumping into it, hoping for the best, here are 6 things to ask yourself before you go ahead to help you prepare for the cost and the benefits.  Read more

Earlier this week we came across some interesting facts that made us think about the advantages of being in a niche. To be one of few makes you more easily noticed – but it can also mean bigger difficulty in finding an audience. In business and retail this means market research is important; it means there is less flexibility than if you cater for all. Most importantly though, it means there is bigger opportunity to succeed. Market research done, product quality controlled, workload managed, niche defined – the audience is up for grabs. Without a tightly defined target audience, without a niche that differentiates you from the rest, chances are you’ll be just another fish in the sea.

But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Your idea doesn’t have to be groundbreaking, your product doesn’t have to be unique.  But it must be noticeable or memorable. Find a way of standing out either by quality or range.

If you’re one of four sandwich shops on a high street, take a step back and think – what can I do differently? Are they all doing standard fillings such as ham and cheese, chicken and bacon or smoked salmon? Try changing yours up. Have a look at trends in the market or ask your customers for inspiration. Why not look to a different cuisine for ideas? Or why not change your breads, your packaging, your offers. Try doing a weekly or daily special – a great way of testing a product with your customers.

By making sure you are different from the other sandwich shops, you are creating a niche for yourself. Why not offer a larger version of some of your sandwiches – calling them Manwiches?

If you’re a pub, try offering different beers to your closest neighbours. Give your customers a reason to choose you over your competitors. Set yourself apart as e.g. a micro brewery maven, and use this in your marketing.

Choose a brand persona and build around it. It can be as simple as ‘the friendliest shop in Blighty!’ – then stick a smile on yourself and your employees and make the statement true.

And the fact we read? American men taller than 7 feet have a roughly 1 in 6 chance of playing in the NBA. Compare that to the 1 in 100’000 that relates to anyone of average height, it’s a pretty impressive number! Therefore – stand out, have a narrow focus and follow through.

Edit: Seth Godin emphasised the point further in this brilliant post – Almost No One. Don’t try to cater for all. It is unrealistic and impossible. Find your audience and serve them well.

The last few decades have seen a rapid decrease in the number of pubs around our fair isles. A fresh report from Camra, Campiagn for Real ale, suggests that as many as 31 pubs close down every week. And the total number of pubs is at an all-time low – 54 490 across the UK. Still a high number, but considering a staggering 3% of all pubs in the suburbs have closed over the last 6 months, there might be reason to worry.

Historically, the pub was a place to go and socialise with the community. Pubs, short for Public Houses, served as a gathering point in a neighbourhood, a town or a village – a place to enjoy a drink in others’ company. Their function has changed slightly, but largely its position as a place to meet friends for a drink (or two – three – four!) has remained. In cities and urban areas the majority of pub-goers are workers – heading to their local after the day finishes to wind down. In more rural areas the traditional importance of it as a meeting point for the community is of higher importance – many places there are few other places to go, outside ones homes.

To have a place to meet, planned or at random, after work, an early afternoon or a late evening, is wonderful. You don’t have to commit to having people over, you can stay as long as you’d like, and there is an almost guaranteed great atmosphere. Whether it’s for sharing joys or worries, supporting your favourite team in whichever sport, or simply watching a game with everyone in the pub because you suffer from FOMO* – the pub is a great, social institution.

The decline is partly to blame on the economic climate of the past few years. Many people would rather buy alcohol cheaply from the supermarkets and consume it at home, than sharing a pint of craft beer in a pub. Independent pubs, or those ran by individuals, can’t compete on price. As their revenue goes down, and it gets harder and harder to justify staying open, there is little standing in the way of larger shops or supermarkets waltzing in and taking over.

We like pubs. We go there regularly, for one or two, with many or just a few friends. Sometimes for food, other times for drinks. Every so often for sports, with friends or family. Can you imagine your local community without the pubs? Even if you don’t go often yourself, there is no denying they bring life and buzz to the community.

On the facts-and-stats side of things, it becomes clear that pubs are worth keeping. According to Camra’s recent research, it is poor planning legislation which is the big bad wolf in the decline of pubs. They also claim that pubs account for more than a million jobs, and that each pub contributes an average of £80,000 to its local community each year. Can we really afford to lose anymore, only to see yet another cloned supermarket outlet in its place, losing not only the jobs and value from the pubs, but its social importance and historical value?

Support your local – and contribute to keeping your community alive. Cheers!

*FOMO – Fear of missing out. The feeling you get when your friends are doing something without you, even if it is an activity you don’t enjoy. ‘I hate rugby but I’m having FOMO because they are all there!’

It’s an unfortunate reality that British cuisine has been a bit of an international PR disaster. If you ask most people living outside the UK—and even many Brits as well—they’ll tell you British food is ‘boring’ or ‘bland’.

Well, at Loyalzoo, we have to disagree. Britain’s dishes may not pack the spicy punch of a Mexican burrito or have the artistic flare of a French pastry, but what’s wrong with keeping things simple, hearty and delicious? Read more