The positive push for the trade will coincide with Alcohol Concern’s Dry January abstinence campaign and is pioneered by cocktail bar group Be At One’s plan to encourage guests to try new cocktails in its bars using a feature on their smartphone app called ‘Be Appventurous’.
The #TryJanuary hashtag has been brought to the wider industry by the Publican's Morning Advertiser in an effort to encourage people out of their homes and into their local hostelries during the start of the year and has been embraced by the trade.
Operators planning to take part in the #TryJanuary campaign include: Craft Beer Co, Meatliquor, Punch Taverns, North Bar, Dark Star Brewing Co, The Laine Pub Company and Charles Wells.
“Try January is all about encouraging people to try something new as opposed to abstaining completely in the month of January. Whether it is trying a different cocktail (staying away from your go-to choices), trying something non-alcoholic or letting the bartender choose something for you, we aim to get our guests to find their new favourite through experimentation.
We’re doing this through our Be Appventurous feature on our app and cocktail spinners and fortune tellers on the bar tops,” said Be At One marketing manager Sarah Swaysland.
Martin Hayes, Craft Beer Co managing director, said: "It's great to see the PMA leading this campaign. We're delighted to support an initiative that sets out to encourage consumers to explore the wide range of products now available in many UK pubs from our great craft brewers, artisan distillers and winemakers. It's a sentiment that is at the very heart of our business and the people we employ."
Rob Willock, editor of the PMA said: “January, historically, has been a quiet month for pubs and many people use it as a time to reduce their spending as well as their intake, but this sadly often means that people write off visiting their local pubs at all. It can, for many be a depressing time of year. We don’t think it needs to be.
“The Try January campaign aims to challenge people to simply try something new at their local. To step out of their comfort zone and, rather than ordering their ‘usual’ to go for something that they haven’t tried before. We think we can make January a month for discovering new favourite drinks and dishes and we also think the trade has a lot to offer its customers who are willing to challenge their taste buds.”
Other operators participating are urged to contact the PMA’s features editor Jessica Mason to be featured in the magazine.
She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01293 610 388.
Pubs, bars and customers can tweet and Instagram images of their ‘Try January’ choices with the hashtag #TryJanuary and the PMA will retweet, alternatively they can post a message on the PMA Facebook page.
Other ways to take part include:
- Throughout January, refer to any of your specials as #TryJanuary drinks or dishes. Whether that is on your blackboards, menus or simply by getting staff to mention them as such.
- Encourage drinkers and diners to tweet or Instagram from their phones images of the drink or dish they are trying using the hashtag #TryJanuary as well as your venue’s twitter handle/name/location.
- Ask front of house staff or kitchen staff to tweet using the hashtag #TryJanuary any new dishes or great drinks available throughout the month. Images to get people salivating about what they’re missing out on also would be good.
- Tell anyone and everyone what you are doing and why. Remind them it’s not about encouraging purely alcoholic intake, it’s a campaign to help people become more adventurous and experimental about food and drink. To push the boundaries a bit and to make January a better month for all. For those also doing ‘Dry January’, they could always participate by making choices or food options that’s not their ‘usual’ and still get involved in ‘Try January’.
- Make a note of any trade uplift you saw off the back of the campaign as well as any of your customer’s response to it. - Talk about the campaign, tell your friends. Encourage them to also take part and challenge themselves to take pictures every time they try a new dish or drink in January. Ask them to post it on Facebook or Twitter with #TryJanuary. Tell them to also tell their friends.