RH Amar – French’s & Frank’s

Aim for ‘bulls eye’

Introduce darts and see your profits soar!

Just like Wolfie, almost all of the game’s top players owe their success to playing and practising in pubs and clubs and on satellite tv, darts is second only to premiership football for viewing figures. Darts is a low cost way of boosting trade: all you need is a board and darts so why not capitalise on this popular sport and set up your own team?

The Coach and Horses in Shipston-on-Stour has done just this. Since taking on the pub 12 years ago, licensee Sheila Moore has built up 8 darts teams: three ladies teams and five men’s. As well as generating additional income, Sheila believes the teams are vital for enhancing he pub itself, ”we are a real pub and introducing darts has really built on the community spirit and feel of the pub. It keeps us a pub. Take away the darts element and I wouldn’t stay.”

Top tips

  • To be profitable, it is advisable to have two teams – otherwise you will lose custom from your players every other week when they are playing away.
  • Each team has six players and two reserves. However, enlist as many as you can to cover when certain players will be unable to attend.
  • Get your food offering right to capitalise on players and their supporters.
  • Try and get someone to run the teams – it really is time consuming. Sheila Moore says this is vital if you have a few teams.

The scale and potential of darts in pubs can be seen by the fact that this summer, more than a quarter of Punch Taverns’ 5,000 pubs are taking part in the UK’s biggest pub darts competition, the ‘Great British Pub Darts Classic.’ As Punch Buying Club director Andy Slee says, “the feedback from our pubs is that pub events like darts and quiz nights are a great way to drive footfall in to pubs because customers love the atmosphere and the sense of occasion. Both events deliver thousands of people into our pubs on the quieter week nights and create a real sense of competition as well as driving wet and dry sales.”

Fast facts:

  • Between the world wars, darts was banned in certain places because it was thought to encourage the ‘unruly classes’.
  • In 2005, darts was officially recognised as a bonafide sport by the sporting councils in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Despite campaigns for it to be an official Olympic sport, darts wasn’t featured at London 2012.
  • The history of darts is as colourful as some of the game’s leading players. The first recorded game is believed to have taken place in Dartford, Kent which is how the sport got its name.
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