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Keep Britain Buzzing

Having the World Cup, Tour de France, Wimbledon and the Commonwealth Games all in one summer created an unmistakable buzz in Britain.

Tourists and locals alike crammed into cafes, pubs, restaurants and hotels to soak up an exciting summer of sport. Le Tour inspired Yorkshire’s Angus Wood of The Fleece Countryside Inn to pour a
record-breaking 3,664 pint beer (one pint for each kilometre of the race). The Black Horse Inn was emblematic of many restaurants, creating its own ‘Le Tour’ menu and setting the stage for the tastiest tour in history – this side of the channel.

The World Cup wasn’t far behind on the food front: London Restaurant group The Diner created a selection of 32 burgers, each one coming with a flag and filling representing a qualifying country. The Commonwealth Games ended this spectacular sporting season with a culinary crescendo, typical of
Scotland’s vibrant gastronomy scene.

On a personal level, my local pub in Skipton created a World Cup themed hot dog menu, with six different frankfurters for competing teams. They went down a treat, and the talk of some delicious, and different, dogs certainly pulled in new punters.

Ideas like this seemed to pop up all over the country during the summer, and the results were clear to see: more customers, more revenue. And the reason for this? Simple: new ideas bring people in.
If I had to choose between a menu of round-the-world hot dogs or soup of the day, the German ‘Deutsch-Hund’ would win hands down!

So with autumn setting in and only winter to look forward to, smart business owners should look to the lessons of summer and turn to innovation to pep up trade in the pre-Christmas period and dreaded ‘dead’ months of January and February.

Get thinking, and preferably do it outside the box. All it takes to bring in customers is a new idea, something that will catch their eye, ignite their interest and give your business the edge. I’m not suggesting a gigantic beer or an international hot dog menu but anything from rejigging your regular dishes, a theme night or an offer could ignite some interest and recapture that summer excitement.

For inspiration and ideas look in your local newspaper, local or regional tourist information office and see what events are on the calendar. Go online and discover national or international celebrations
and festivals (Halloween, for example) or marketing-led promotions such as National Cupcake Week or British Food Fortnight.

Take Stock’s own Calendar should be your first port of call, of course! Tapping into these resources once or twice a month could offer inspiration – or even ideas to keep your offer fresh and excitingall year round. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers – loyal and new – and it’s easy to see that the
same menu for months could get monotonous. Offering them something new and exciting will not only keep them impressed and pleased, it will mean they’re likely to return, and prove we don’t need a summer of sport to keep Britain buzzing.

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