Day in the Life: Morning

Related tags 21st century Alcoholic beverage

There have always been pubs that thrived on breakfast trade. Special licences were issued for those next to markets to enable the porters to slake...

There have always been pubs that thrived on breakfast trade. Special licences were issued for those next to markets to enable the porters to slake their thirsts with a beer and satisfy their hunger with a fry-up when their working day ended as most other people were just getting out of bed.

Those in the know were also able to complete an all-night session in these pubs after being kicked out of semi-legal drinking clubs.

But the morning trade for the 21st century pub is an altogether different matter. What's changed, perhaps more importantly than the licensing laws, is that pubs are in competition less with each other than with other places of relaxation and refreshment. There was always the café, but the new breed of coffee shops represent a greater challenge. As a relaxing, social kind of venue, they have doubtless hit pubs' lunchtime business, so you should feel no qualms about trying to steal back some of that custom around the breakfast and mid-morning opportunity.

Pubs have certain strengths in this respect. They have the space and the resources to deliver a much broader menu than the coffee shop rivals.

But it's no good simply opening the doors at 9am of exactly the same pub that closed its doors the previous night. You have to think not just about the menu but the whole atmosphere of the place. Your pub needs to say something different about itself as soon as that potential customer looks in the door. It needs to say loud and clear, "yes, you can come in for your morning coffee here".

As well as good signage, you might consider setting out a few special tables at the front of the pub, possibly laid with cups and plates. All should be bright and clean and free of the odours from the night before - the smoking ban will help with that, at least.

Go for table service. That will immediately make it seem different to going to the pub where you'd normally order a pint from the bar. Use the counter instead to set out your pastries and other breakfast cues - fresh fruit, maybe.

And think about the music. You could switch Wogan on but it's better to set up your own morning sounds, some laid-back jazz, perhaps?

Paying attention to all these details, as well as making sure passers-by can see you're open for business, could make your pub a natural place to stop off for a morning break.

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