Licensees’ plan to attract 2,000 new customers a day

By Robert Mann contact

- Last updated on GMT

Smell the coffee: publican Sharon Hirons and fellow licensee Ian hope to use coffee to attract more custom (image: Penny Cross)
Smell the coffee: publican Sharon Hirons and fellow licensee Ian hope to use coffee to attract more custom (image: Penny Cross)
Owners of an historic back-street pub say they have dreamed up a “simple way” of potentially attracting 2,000 new people a day.

With as many as 18 pubs closing for good each week, the Firkin Scholar, Plymouth, Devon, is refusing to become just another statistic and has come up with a method to help its own, and other pubs, boost trade.

Their idea is to attract the younger folk – but the plan isn't to get them on the booze.

Move with the times

The pub has splashed out on a new coffee machine in the hope of wowing the younger crowd with a selection of lattes, flat whites and cappuccinos, which they can have alongside a selection of pastries.

Licensees Ian and Sharon Hirons said they are determined to "keep things fresh" and are confident that their new coffee-inspired idea will take off.

Ian said he believes it is exactly what the pub needs and will help to keep it "moving with the times".

"We’re going to be trying out barista-style coffee," he added.

"We get around 2,000 students walking by here every single day holding coffees so we thought, why not?

"We feel the pub trade has to adapt – but I don’t like the word café."

Experiment 

The pub is planning to open earlier every day, from 10.30am next week, in a push towards reeling in daytime trade, chiefly students and staff from the city’s college and university.

Ian added that other pubs need to "wake up and smell the coffee" and take advantage of coffee's increasing popularity.

"We really hope that this is going to pull in extra trade throughout the day," he added.