Christmas Crowd Pleasers
Christmas and New Year are critical times for the on trade. Footfall is high; there’s a happy party mood and people are willing to spend.
With this in mind, operators should focus on bringing as many people as possible into their outlet, encourage them to stay longer, spend more and make return visits.
To help you make the most of the festive season, Take Stock has talked to a number of high profile brands to get their top tips and advice…
Setting the stage
• Create the right ambience – these days, we all know it’s not enough to just be a venue serving drinks – competition is tight and customers expect quality across the board, so make sure your Christmas decor really stands out!
• Promote deals and special events well in advance – print posters with a calendar of events you’re holding and display them in prominent positions. Use social media as a means of engaging with customers.
• Book bar staff – your rotas should be confirmed well in advance to ensure you have the correct staffing levels. Recruit additional staff if necessary.
Spread the word
It may sound obvious, but making sure your regular customers and local area are aware of any special events is absolutely crucial to getting more people through the door. You can do this by:
• Displaying signs outside your premises detailing clearly what offers you have on, menu details and events you are running to draw people in.
• Create a festive atmosphere, whether that’s through decorations or real fires depends on your venue and customers, but make it clear inside and outside that your pub is a great place for a drink, some food and to relax in the busy holiday season. Visit our Deck the Hall feature for tips.
• Keeping your website and social media channels up-to-date so your customers know exactly what is going on.
Due to Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve falling on a Sunday, operators should look at the terms of their premises licence for Sundays now. There is a risk for those businesses who usually close early on a Sunday to miss out on crucial trading hours if their premises licence does not cover extended hours. Operators are being advised to check the terms of their premises licence for Sundays and if necessary apply for temporary event notices (TENs) to extend hours for the two nights.
Ensuring your team is delivering efficient service is crucial, particularly when you are likely to be busier than usual. To prepare, we advise that you:
• Have additional staff booked to work during times that you anticipate may be busy, to help reduce waiting and queuing time.
• Offer contactless payment options. Nine in ten payments in pubs, bars and fast-food outlets are made using contactless payments*.
• Offer a table service, as it is a really useful way to create a more efficient outlet.
Serve the perfect drink
You know what your drinks range is, so have all the essentials to create a ‘perfect serve’. Your check-list will include:
• Using the correct style of glass to serve the drink
• Using top quality ice and the means to serve it hygienically
• Garnish correctly and use cocktail sticks where needed
• Beers and spirits flights
• Have the relevant POS material
Serve buckets of premium lager and premium packaged cider. It will not only reduce queuing time but free up the bar area and encourage customers to trade up.