Freetrade pubs join pricing scheme

By Robyn Black

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bottle

Buzz: low cost drinks scheme
Buzz: low cost drinks scheme
More than 500 freehold and free-of-tie pubs are trialling a scheme through cash and carry giant Booker on cheap drinks.

More than 500 freehold and free-of-tie pubs are trialling a scheme through cash and carry giant Booker that lets them compete on drinks prices with major managed operators.

Hosts must sign a contract saying they will offer the products at the prices set by Booker all day, every day and display posters and PoS to support the deals.

The "Buzz Bar" scheme lets licensees offer brands to drinkers at low prices while still making a minimum 50% GP per product.

Booker now plans to roll out the scheme further, the Morning Advertiser can reveal. The inaugural promotion sets the selling price of eight products as follows: bottles of Carlsberg Export, Coca-Cola and 25ml shots of Sourz are £1; a 25ml shot of Smirnoff is £1.25; a 25ml shot of Jack Daniel's is £1.50; a 568ml bottle of Bulmers is £2; a bottle of Peroni lager is £1.50 and 187ml bottles of Blossom Hill are £2.50. Each offer will consist of eight drinks and run for eight weeks.

The scheme costs nothing to join but hosts must make a minimum purchase of £200 at the start of each promotion.

More than 500 licensees have already trialled the scheme and have signed up to continue. Martin Edwards, of the George & Dragon, in Brentwood, Essex, has been running Buzz for a month and said Buzz Bar has been "fantastic" for his business.

"Bottled beers in particular are flying out of the door and overall takings have gone up from £4,500 a week to £5,500, resulting in a £500 increase in profit," he said.

Booker catering sales director Ron Hickey said: "This is about putting the buzz back into pubs and bars around the country.

"It's not just about being able to sell cheaper drinks but about driving footfall by offering prices on big brands just as attractive as the likes of Wetherspoon and the managed trade."

Hickey vows the scheme will be about more than just pricing: "For example, we raffled 10 signed Geoff Hurst (the 1966 England football hero) shirts to Buzz members before the World Cup.

"Each of the winning pubs created publicity and buzz by running competitions for customers to win the shirt. We will aim to do more of this sort of promotion."

A website —​ — to help punters find their nearest "Buzz pub" is in the pipeline. Campaigns on social networking sites are planned.

Hickey said: "We're committed to growing this."

Related topics: Legislation, Other operators

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