That’s the Spirit!
Name and location of pub: The Orange Tree, Leicester, Loughborough & Nottingham, run by Orange Tree Group
Tenure: Punch lease in Leicester & Loughborough; Nottingham outlet is freehold
The idea: Held monthly on a Wednesday or Thursday at each site since May 2013, this event exhibits premium spirits from the bars, demonstrated through brand representatives, exclusive cocktail menus and live music in an advertised genre, such as Bourbon & Blues.
How it works: Free entry all evening, combined with discounted drinks and bespoke cocktail menu
Marketing: Advertised via website and social media. Posters are put up internally and throughout the city.
Be prepared: Space is needed for musical entertainment and PA system; brand representatives’ attendance must be confirmed and stock support negotiated.
Pay-off: Positive feedback from performers and customers, awareness of music events held at the venues increases and daily take rises significantly year-on-year.
Key benefits: Innovative combination of spirits and free entertainment promotes knowledge of spirits offered in the bars and brings in extra custom.
Advice: Focus on organisation, pay attention to detail in designing cocktails and ensure maximum promotional time and requirements are met.
Best outcome: Trade has risen by 50% on evening of the event
Coffee & Jackanory
Name and location of pub: The White Hart Barnes, Barnes, London SW13
The idea: Story time for children during quiet opening hours while parents enjoy coffee
How it works: Every Monday at 11.30am (and at 3.45pm on the last Monday of every month) a fully qualified teacher reads a fun story for children who gather around her feet on the pub’s ‘Jackanory rug’ while parents relax over coffee. The event is free and open to children of all ages. After the story there is often a sing-song followed by a colouring activity relating to the story. A children’s menu encourages families to stay for lunch.
Marketing:Pub website, in-house flyers, social media and word of mouth
Be prepared: Give children space to run around and expect to find crayons in every nook and cranny of the pub afterwards.
Pay-off: At an otherwise quiet time turnover is boosted and the pub is buzzing with local children. There are plans to host a Children’s Extravaganza morning in conjunction with St Christopher's Fellowship, a charity working with vulnerable youngsters.
Key benefits: Increased revenue on Mondays and higher profile for family-friendly reputation.
Advice: Engaging a professional teacher who is CRB-checked gives parents and landlords confidence that the children are in safe hands.
Best outcome: Reputation as a child-friendly pub has grown