Money Makers: Event and promotional ideas for your pub

By Alison Baker

- Last updated on GMT

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Game on: pheasant week was a big success for ETM Group
Game on: pheasant week was a big success for ETM Group
Pheasant Week

Where:​ Jugged Hare, Barbican, London and other ETM Group venues

The idea​: A week of exclusive dishes, bar snacks, promotions and competitions to raise the profile of pheasant as a game meat.

How it works:​ With most activity centred at the Jugged Hare, one of the main vehicles for generating customer engagement throughout the week was a social media competition which asked people to share their tweets, photos and videos of themselves cooking, eating or shooting pheasant using the hashtag #PheasantWeek.

Marketing: ​The week was promoted across all ETM Group venues with on-site posters, through an email marketing campaign sent to the group’s 60,000 strong database, on online listing channels via the Press Association and with a press release issued by the group’s PR agency, as well as across its social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.The group plans to grow the week next year to involve more restaurants and businesses, beyond its own stable of venues.

Be prepared:​ The group’s in-house designer developed a Pheasant Week microsite on the Jugged Hare’s website which carried all of the week’s activities as well as pheasant recipes and the purpose of the week. The pheasant used was sourced from Yorkshire Game​ Ltd in Brompton on Swale, who is the ETM Group’s game supplier of choice.

Pay-off​: Raises the profile of a much underused game bird; enhances both the pub and the group’s reputation for game; as the best known of the game birds, pheasant provided the perfect level of accessibility for first time game eaters.

Key benefits​: An average of 5% increase in traffic at the Jugged Hare during the week; 390 pheasant covers sold across all ETM venues; increased customer engagement via social media. 

Advice​: Jessica Dahlin, marketing manager for the ETM Group says: "As the premise of the week was to introduce more diners to pheasant, it was vital that the level of interaction with customers was high, ensuring that they were sharing and passing on this message. Social media played an important role in this; with the use of the hashtag #PheasantWeek we were able to track and monitor social interactions on Twitter and Instagram."

Best outcome​: 231 individuals tweeted about #PheasantWeek, reaching 600,572 people.


Deli bar

Where:​ Castle at Edgehill, Banbury, Oxfordshire

Twitter:​ @CastleEdgehill

The idea:​ The pub now offers its own deli menu featuring make-your-own deli platters, ploughman’s lunches, homemade sausage rolls and Scotch eggs, quiche, homemade breads,fresh salads and smoked fish.

How it works:​ Items are on display in the pub for customers to see and are also available to buy and take home. The deli bar is closed for the winter but will re-open in March with a full outside kitchen and an extended range.

Marketing:​ The menu is marketed internally, on chalkboards, and via the pub’s website and social media pages.

Be prepared:​The pub invested in a second hand display fridge and commissioned a local carpenter to build some cabinets which complemented the rest of the pub.

Pay-off: ​Offers a point of difference; encourages customers to try new food concepts; allows the pub to upsell; positive feedback from customers.

Key benefits: ​Allows the pub to offer food all day without putting extra pressure on the kitchen; increases covers during the summer months without causing delays in service; turns drinkers into diners.

Advice: ​Lessees of the Hook Norton Brewery site, Mark Higgs and Claire Cooper,advise: "Invest in really good training for your staff – food service is very different to waiting tables."

Best outcome: ​During the summer months the deli bar takes between £2,500 and £4,000 per week

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