desperate pub/restaurant owner, uk

21 replies
how have have you guys helped clients with pubs or resturants who are not getting any customers through the door? SMS works great I know but tends to work better when you have some kind of customer base to build your list from.

Currently this guy is doing zero marketing online, but he maybe doing bits offline if any.

Any ideas? I am not sure withough throwing money at advertising where he can go.

thanks
#desperate #owner #pub or restaurant
  • Profile picture of the author MWGrubb58
    If the food is especially good, it always works to go to local business owners and just give away some food! Place a nice flyer explaining the history of the restaurant along with a menu and you'll plenty of customers soon enough.
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
      I'd do a similar thing to the suggestion already. I'd approach the large local businesses and offer them (and their workers) a special for weekdays lunch. Now the restuarant can either deliver it or give them a great deal to go into the restaurant at lunchtime. You could get paid a percentage of the profit increase you create.

      Rich
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    what is he based near to? (theatre, business park, industrial units,sports place etc)
    Why isnt he keeping any customers that do come through the door? is it a service, food, decor, layout , hygeine issue ?

    How long has HE been going at the place and what has he already tried and what results accrued (you HAVE to ask him this, it cant be guessed or assumed)
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    Mike

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  • Profile picture of the author tonyscott
    Distribute flyers in the local area offering some sort of deal - where is the local area btw?

    Tony
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    • Profile picture of the author MariusPrice
      Originally Posted by tonyscott View Post

      Distribute flyers in the local area offering some sort of deal - where is the local area btw?

      Tony
      Flyers with a x% off its the best deal
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      • Profile picture of the author hardyfella
        its a pub I go into now and again in Coventry, the food is excellent but he is struggling to get people through the door, seems to have little support from the brewery and there a couple of chain pubs nearby. The local businesses targetting is probably his only option at the moment. Unfortunately low balling food is the order of the day in somewhere like Coventry, where the standard of the sizzler type places isn't great.
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        • Profile picture of the author hardyfella
          @mjbmedia yeah these are things I need to sit and go through with him.
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  • Profile picture of the author Looking4Mentor
    Originally Posted by hardyfella View Post

    how have have you guys helped clients with pubs or resturants who are not getting any customers through the door? SMS works great I know but tends to work better when you have some kind of customer base to build your list from.

    Currently this guy is doing zero marketing online, but he maybe doing bits offline if any.

    Any ideas? I am not sure withough throwing money at advertising where he can go.

    thanks

    Hi hardyfella!

    1. I would make sure the Pub is indexed on local google maps. So when people type in Pub, Bar, and Restaurant, his business will pop up. Simple and very effective marketing!

    2. He should JV with another local business- let's say a quick stop oil change business. He would have coupon cards that gives 10% off at the Pub and the Pub owner will have coupon cards that gives 10% off for an oil change.

    3. I would say going to a local arena or theature and ask management if it would be okay for him and his staff to pass out 100's of free appetizers. And hand out flyers for an upcoming event for the following weekend; like live band, comedian, etc.

    Peace.
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  • Profile picture of the author James Black
    Banned
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    • Profile picture of the author SpiralX
      For some inspiration, watch Kitchen Nightmares, they are always re-launching struggling restaurants - some of the ideas in this thread are along those lines. Get some people all dressed up in strange costumes and go down the street in a busy are giving out food, while handing out fliers and coupons, to increase awareness, things like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author rugman
    What kind of beer does he carry? Anything special that the others don't have? Here in the U.S. some of the high end beer bars are doing beer and dinner nights. They charge a flat price - serve a four or five course meal and pair beers with each course. Place by me is sold out every time they do it at $50 a head!
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    Growing older but not up!

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  • Profile picture of the author terip
    The pub/restaurant can put out a promo for a day or two and start cold calling people within the area to spread the word. Hope this helps
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    • Profile picture of the author russkampmann
      I once owned a brick and mortar business. When I wanted traffic, I called the local newspaper, radio or TV stations and asked them to do a story on me. I didn't wait for them to discover me.

      Of course I had to have a hook. In the case of a pub, perhaps the place is haunted, or they serve a 24" tall hamburger, or make the only trapazoid shaped pizza in the world.

      Have you considered low budget entertainment?

      I have a friend who needs some exposure to his brilliant guitar playing and he would do it for free. Of course he lives in the USA, and you would have pay his round trip fare from New York. (That's a joke.....not the concept, though)

      Several of our local radio stations do remote broadcasts from various businesses. That'll draw a crowd.
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    He HAS to deliver better quality experience than all of his nearest rivals first off.

    Dont concern with all this GP, FB, SEO yet, get the basics right, you can get visitors to his place easily but first he has to deliver a high enough quality experience to ensure they keep coming back AND tell others about the great time they had there, sounds to me like he isnt achieving this yet so wasting time and money getting more people through the door is just a waste of effort until this is sorted .
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    Mike

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  • Profile picture of the author rugman
    Here is another idea - I have a friend that owns an Irish Pub here in the States. I came up with the idea of a "bagpipers night". Anybody that comes in wearing a kilt and sporting bagpipes gets a free pint. They are not coming in alone usually so their friends will pay for beers food etc. They ain't having just one pint either.
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    Growing older but not up!

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  • Profile picture of the author hardyfella
    all good stuff guys,have pubs been suffering in the US as much as the uk? You are right about the product if thats bad people wont come back. This guys needs something pretty quick.
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  • Profile picture of the author algrant
    Hi i have often wandered about this problem as one of my apirations was to own a bar in the future, but it would seem that the bottom has fell out of the pub industry. I think the problem is that people are too set on the same old, same old, we always have done it this way type analogy. Depending on the location of the pub, type of venue and what clientele he is trying to attract. i am supprised the amount of pubs that don't sell food 1st instance. I am also suprised that some times we just don't get it. Heres an example. If say you get a group of blokes in to watch the football, then the bar persons main focal point has to be on serving and retaining this group. As the pints are near empty get from behind the bar and become a waiter/waitress. You should be bending over backwards to retain whatever customers you have. Give away free salt food that encourages people to want mor to drink.

    Maybe you need some subtle changes from the daytime trading to night time trading, i was thinking along the lines of changing the pictures on the walls to fake wooden shutters and maybe calling it such and such mexican resturant.

    Does he have a special area for childeren? if not then noone will come in. Hold them nights. Father and son pool competitions, Ladies days, open for breakfast.

    The list goes on. I think he just needs to reinvent himself. He needs to get himself out there as a person that wants to help the community, youth nights (get the kids off of the street) when people see him as a publican that is not just in it for the money and the gain people will flock to the pub. Get new staff, Train them in customer service. Sorry there is so much he can do but it will envolve change. Spy on the competition.
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    Al Grant

    Creating | Wealth | Together

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    • Profile picture of the author hardyfella
      Originally Posted by algrant View Post

      Hi i have often wandered about this problem as one of my apirations was to own a bar in the future, but it would seem that the bottom has fell out of the pub industry. I think the problem is that people are too set on the same old, same old, we always have done it this way type analogy. Depending on the location of the pub, type of venue and what clientele he is trying to attract. i am supprised the amount of pubs that don't sell food 1st instance. I am also suprised that some times we just don't get it. Heres an example. If say you get a group of blokes in to watch the football, then the bar persons main focal point has to be on serving and retaining this group. As the pints are near empty get from behind the bar and become a waiter/waitress. You should be bending over backwards to retain whatever customers you have. Give away free salt food that encourages people to want mor to drink.

      Maybe you need some subtle changes from the daytime trading to night time trading, i was thinking along the lines of changing the pictures on the walls to fake wooden shutters and maybe calling it such and such mexican resturant.

      Does he have a special area for childeren? if not then noone will come in. Hold them nights. Father and son pool competitions, Ladies days, open for breakfast.

      The list goes on. I think he just needs to reinvent himself. He needs to get himself out there as a person that wants to help the community, youth nights (get the kids off of the street) when people see him as a publican that is not just in it for the money and the gain people will flock to the pub. Get new staff, Train them in customer service. Sorry there is so much he can do but it will envolve change. Spy on the competition.

      spot on al, alot the places in the uk are straight from the freezer and its low ball all the way. One of biggest issues even with good places is that the standard of the beer is normally really bad, but people seem to still drink it.

      Ramsays uk nightmares was great and normally involved a simplifying of the menu and getting the service right with quality food, always seems to work.

      I need to see how much of tie in this guy has with the brewery in terms of the menu, from the support he has been given so far, I am hoping he wont.
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  • Profile picture of the author malia
    Originally Posted by hardyfella View Post

    how have have you guys helped clients with pubs or resturants who are not getting any customers through the door? SMS works great I know but tends to work better when you have some kind of customer base to build your list from.

    Currently this guy is doing zero marketing online, but he maybe doing bits offline if any.

    Any ideas? I am not sure withough throwing money at advertising where he can go.

    thanks
    You should watch 3-4 episodes of restaurant impossible (food network) or kitchen nightmares (fox or BBC or BBC america). Probably restaurant impossible would be the more tolerable one. After 2 episodes, you notice a formula for offline restaurant marketing that I'm insure you can incorporate into your work.
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  • Profile picture of the author cma01
    hardyfella,

    Does he have any sort of marketing plan at all, or is he just hoping people will walk in the door?

    Sit down with him and get a calendar and a notepad.

    On the notepad, have him think of every single contact he has in the local businesses in the area, make a note of the the size of business, number of employees, etc.

    Then start a list of every single organization that is based in the area. Again list any personal contacts that he may have within them. Note their mission, activities, number of members, when they have their meetings, and any fundraisers/events they may have.

    Then take the calendar, and either you or he needs to sit down at the phone and start calling each of the contacts on the list.

    Tell them you would like to plan an appreciation night/special event/whatever with their business/organization. If they say no, ask them if they know of anyone who would be interested and get *their* name and number.

    If yes, get a date down on the calendar, get a plan for the night, and if needed, start promoting it.

    If no, thank them for their time, send them a contact request on LinkedIn, and then write a thank you card and send it to them.

    Once you start getting people in the door, he needs to have a plan for building a customer list. If he already has one, then it sounds like he needs to refine it.

    I think SMS is great for businesses. I get a text message every Friday on the current special from a local pizza place and a rental coupon most Mondays from Redbox.

    If he doesn't already have a Facebook page, create one. This is a Facebook page for a local night club. They don't actually do that great of a job using the page itself, but they do use Facebook events. I get a invite to something every week from the owner.

    If needed, get their Google Places in order.

    It's really not about online/offline/mobile/Facebook/Places marketing. Those are all just a means to an end.

    It's about offering a great product and customer experience, building a client base, and having a process and system in place for executing.
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    "Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."
    ~ Plato
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  • Profile picture of the author rugman
    Not sure about the UK - been a while since I have been there (family is from Scotland) but here in the US pubs are doing pretty well IF they are good. The one I go to has great burgers and good food all around. here is the hing - good economy or bad - people love a good burger and beer at a decent price.
    If the brewery is controlling his menu he is in trouble (doesn't happen here in the states). He will have to find another hook to get them in. Bad food and crappy beer just ain't gonna make it anywhere - nobody will come to a place like that if they can get the same thing closer to home.
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  • Profile picture of the author localvseo
    Trivia nights always seem to draw the crowds. Maybe you can look online for a twist to the normal ones. Offer to run it for him. Find a trivia nut, offer free drinks and food and a liitle bit of cash and you will probably have him bring in a lot of people himself. Great way to introduce people to the place. Advertise on forums for trivia nuts etc.
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