If you have recently began running your own pub or bar, then firstly congratulations! It is a unique but rewarding lifestyle – a lot of hard work and not the life for everyone, but to those who enjoy it, being a landlord is the only life for them! With Christmas coming up, every landlord knows that it is the best time of the year to get more people through their doors to enjoy a few drinks.
If you are new to the game, knowing how to make the most of the Christmas spirit and get as many customers into your pub as possible can seem a bit daunting, especially when you still have the day to day running of the pub jobs to contend with, changing the barrels, organising staff and dealing with orders such as food and post mix equipment.
Preparation and planning are key to making your pub the place to be at Christmas, so give yourself plenty of time in advance, don’t try to rush everything in at the last minute! The first thing you need to do is consider who you are trying to attract and what your pub offers – for example, if you run a popular sport friendly pub, play to your strengths, if it is a laid back country pub, it will be a completely different crowd that you will be aiming for.
Think about what you can do to attract customers over Christmas – food always goes down well, so it may well be worth preparing a Christmas menu for family meals, groups of friends and work Christmas parties. Be creative and ensure that you cater for vegetarian and vegans as well as meat eaters, as that way nobody in a party will be put off coming to you by a limited menu choice. Of course, you don’t have to offer a huge menu, just considering different dietary requirements can give you the edge on any competition.
Christmas party nights always go down well and can attract people form far and wide if you advertise well. If you have a function room, hiring it out for parties and discos is a great idea – you could supply a buffet and drinks package too if you like. Another option is to get in a good local band and run a ticketed event for the public. Make sure the band are good though or you might have the opposite of the desired effect!
Remember that if you are putting on party nights, then demand at the bar will hopefully go up, so factor in the extra bar staff and waiting staff that you will need over the festive season too!