Future Pub conference: pubs with personality will win out

Related tags Capital pub company Public house Need

Young's Ed Turner says pubs with personality will win out
Pubs can regain the upper hand in the wider industry if they focus on providing personality, Young’s commercial director Ed Turner told last week's Future Pub Conference.

He pointed to some of the most successful operators of recent times including Geronimo Inns, RealPubs and Capital Pub Company, and highlighted recent initiatives such as the Scotch Egg Challenge in Young’s pubs.

“What have all these got? They’ve all got personality.”

Turner said there has been a view that what customers want is a gastropub experience. “Actually what people want is a pub with a personality. It’s the same as if you want a member of staff with a personality - that is what people are looking for.”

He also gave the example of a promotion at a Young’s pub where 86 customers paid £32 per head for a barbecue and craft beer event, “They believed in our personality, they believed in the track record we’d put together.”

Turner added: “If we get the personality right we can regain the upper hand.”

Among his predictions of future trends in the sector, Turner pointed to the increasing importance of “peer power” and recommendations from friends, and the need for “feet-up fun” as an “antidote to everyday stress” - giving the example of a pub that provides lego for customers.

He spoke of customers’ need for an “sensory explosion”, saying that people will “shop at the bottom end” to get an “occasional treat” - he said that operators “just playing in the middle, at middle price, middle quality, are going to lose out”.

Turner said there would also be more focus on “active well being”, with operators needing to “quietly” reduce the fat and salt content of products and look at areas such as skinny cocktails and advertising provenance of products.

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