Pub businesses face all the traditional marketing challenges typical of restaurants but come with some unique problems, including the risks of promoting excessive drinking and serving inebriated guests. Pubs also face the challenge of serving food in an environment that is often crowded, rowdy and unrelated to the kitchen.
Great care must be taken when selling alcohol so as not to conflict with local wine, beer and spirits laws. Many jurisdictions restrict the ability to advertise or offer incentives to consume and "happy hour" pricing. However, there are many ways around the problem, such as offering discounts on premium spirits, speciality drinks, and food discounts to complement beverage purchases.
The following tips should spark some creative marketing ideas:
1. Use Social Media
Social media platforms today connect people with similar interests in unparalleled ways. Millennials often build active social lives by connecting with people who live nearby through social media.
Social media marketing ideas for coffee shop operations include the following possibilities:
- Incentives for Social Groups
Advertising offers for specific social groups can magnify your social profile and broaden your reach.
- Incorporate User Created Ideas
You can host a user-generated competition on various social sites to solicit ideas for new foods, snacks, drinks, and themes.
- Cultivate Community Groups
Social media is the ideal platform to promote your pub space for community groups, fundraisers, casino nights to raise charity funds and other events.
- Connect with Local Celebrities and Influencers
You can use social media to reach out to local celebrities and influencers and persuade them to promote an idea, cause or product at your pub.
- Create Relevant Posts
Post photos, articles, tweets and videos that showcase your café's concept and clientele.
- Organise impromptu events
You can encourage your clients to invite their friends for impromptu get-togethers by running an informal contest to see who can get the most colleagues, team members or friends.
- Encourage Sharing
Encourage your guests to share photos of colourful food, appetizers, and drinks. You can share these posts on a digital bulletin board or big screen.
- Incorporate User-Generated Content into Your Marketing
Sharing photos, reviews, karaoke shows, and other user-generated content can attract favourable publicity, encourage positive reviews, and build customer loyalty.
2. Using Creative Food Trends to Attract Customers
Both pubs and restaurants generate publicity and attract customers by borrowing ideas from molecular gastronomy and mixology.
Other techniques have become common for creating foams, layered drinks, gels, and drinks that change colour as drunk. Drink mixing has become an art in the competitive world of pub promotion, and pub owners can entice millennials and urban hipsters with drinks that incorporate alchemical magic and artistry.
Trendy pub speciality equipment now includes liquid nitrogen, dehydrators, candy-making tools, caramel torches, ingredient moulds, and whipping equipment. Creative mixology often includes foams, jellies, edible cocktails, infused flavours, and liquids that can suspend solid ingredients.
3. Design Issues Affecting Pubs
There are several interior design issues affecting pubs, which savvy owners address to make the establishment more comfortable and appealing to customers. Decor for special occasions is essential, and cafes often install refrigerators and quick order prep areas to speed up food preparation for cafe patrons. It is also vital to locate the pub area near the toilets. The lighting is usually dim. If you plan to use karaoke or entertainment, it makes sense to install the infrastructure to create a stage and spread the sound.
4. Marketing GPS
Location-based mobile marketing is a powerful tool for pubs and restaurants. A survey in the UK found that 66% of marketers now believe that location-based marketing offers the best advertising promotional opportunities for using digital technology. For example, you can target people at a nearby theatre or sporting event right on their way out and invite them to stop by for a cocktail, dinner or snack.
5. Tasting events
Post-work drinkers, classy couples, and beverage aficionados enjoy tasting events, including beer, wine, speciality drinks, soft drinks, and even coffee and tea. You can get great self-promotion by hosting a world beer or craft beer-tasting event. If you carry craft beers, promoting them can appeal to millennials, beer enthusiasts, and people curious about the craft beer trend.
These tasting events can have a theme – such as a particular liquor, country of origin, party drinks, and other creative concepts. Menu-driven food-tasting events can also attract a convivial crowd, where guests can enjoy a variety of foods, appetizers, and beverages. Finally, consider the attraction of receiving a mobile invitation for a cocktail and tapas tasting just as you pass the pub making the offer.
6. Sponsorship of Local Sports Teams
Most pubs rely heavily on regular customers, and people can be very particular about the pub's atmosphere and their colleagues. One of the easiest ways to attract repeat customers who share one type of attitude is to sponsor a local sports team. You can choose pros, college teams, or even school groups. You could invite team members for a free meal or drink after a local game.
There are many promotional possibilities for local teams, including merchandise, pool games, live broadcasts, sporting goods and small sporting competitions. Your pub could host virtual sports teams and leagues, especially for league events.
7. Generate Publicity with Events and Tricks
Successful events for the pub include pub crawls, scavenger hunts, competitions, holiday events and entertainment. In addition, guerrilla marketing events – such as putting up signs on abandoned buildings, cleaning up graffiti around town, and having staff members show up in costumes for Halloween or a combination with a blockbuster movie or sports league – can generate a lot of internet and media publicity traditional.
8. Live Large with Instant Orders
The pub's profit is often concentrated in the few hours before and after midnight. This means expediting service, taking orders quickly, and still having time to engage customers and gauge each customer's lucidity is key. A simple, mobile interface can speed up the sending of drink orders to the bartender, reduce errors and increase the free time servers can spend with customers.
9. Recruit Your Staff
Pub staff members depend on tips, so every server is naturally invested in your success. Encourage your employees to share information about your pub's events, food and drinks on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. These posts don't need to be complex - waiters can simply state that they are working and that the pub has great service.
10. Take into consideration Local Laws
Regardless of your goals and strategy, you need to research local alcohol laws, so you don't get yourself into legal trouble. Remember that not all promotional ideas are appropriate for every type of bar. For example, hosting a vintage wine-tasting event might be inappropriate for a neighbourhood bar or steakhouse. You should always tailor any cafe promotion to your targeted customer, available space and price profile.
In today's connected world, pubs face extreme competition to attract stylish singles with high disposable incomes and business people who want to entertain their customers. As a result, pub operations must contend with hotel lounges, raves, privately hosted events and pop-up clubs.
However, developing creative ideas that resonate with your targeted audience can ensure a stable clientele, increase profits, and establish your pub as a popular local hangout for your targeted customer demographic.