The Guv'nor

Pub closures: Avoid the 'inn reaper' by attracting Millennials

By Lee Price

- Last updated on GMT

Stopping pub closures by appealing to Millennials

Related tags: Public house

We live on a planet where the thrifty, mega-multitasking Millennial is constantly sprinting, wolfing down a grab-and-go meal as they frantically finger the latest smartphone for their fix of infomania.

A world in which beer-delivering drones are taking to the sky, discount supermarkets are launching online booze shops, and a growing number of coffee sellers are turning baristas into bartenders by adding firewater to their beautiful blackboards.

Along with threats such as changing social habits, dubious drinking guidelines, and the imminent effect of the national living wage, they are reasons why I failed to fall off my chair when recently reading a line suggesting the highest pub closure rate for more than 100 years.

Bars have to evolve, improve content, and remain adaptable to keep their concept relevant. Change is an ally in future-proofing British pubs, not the enemy.

Social media has shown it is not only the size of an audience that matters, it’s what you do with them that really counts; engagement is more important than enormity. As long as you continue to attract and retain loyal fans, a small but mighty group will do just fine.

The Millennial is prepared to permanently disengage with brands in a flash. Whenever real face-time is chosen, it is crucial to deliver a beneficial experience, since they are likely to select a pub that offers deals tailored to them. Authenticity breeds trust, and when you have a customer’s trust, it is easier to grab attention.

In the same way as modern marketing has evolved from connection towards conversation, personalising the guest experience will let everybody know how important they are, strengthen relationships, and bring valuable recommendations.

Fun places to work will always be fun places to visit. Passion in bucket loads from the very top quickly passes through the workforce and drip feeds to the clientele. It is critical to remember that the capabilities, skills, and personalities of the team are ultimately what bring cheeks to the seats.

Publicans are the most likeable people on Earth, and deliver an experience that cannot be found in cyberspace in a frosty front room. Their fascination for improvement, attention to detail, and dogged perseverance keep customers bouncing back.

Subsequent loyalty, combined with more splendid studies by the savvy scientists at Oxford University, will prove an ultimate weapon in defeating the ‘inn reaper’, and guarantee remaining pubs, along with those down the line, only close from dusk till dawn.

Related topics: Marketing

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