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Planning for a successful re-opening

By Molson Coors

- Last updated on GMT

We all hope that the latest re-opening of the hospitality sector will be a permanent move, with no false starts and/or further restrictions on trade
We all hope that the latest re-opening of the hospitality sector will be a permanent move, with no false starts and/or further restrictions on trade

Related tags Molson coors Beer Pub lockdown Coronavirus

Last year was undoubtedly one of the toughest on record for the hospitality sector. Less than a quarter of 2020 could be considered as ‘normal’ trade, with lockdowns and tiered restrictions being the reality from 20 March onwards and the disruption continuing into the first quarter of 2021.

The announcement of a roadmap for reopening the economy gave the hospitality sector much needed hope, while the strong bounce back in trade that pubs, bars and restaurants experienced following the first reopening from 4 July 2020 should also give us cause for optimism.

We all hope that the latest re-opening of the hospitality sector will be a permanent move, with no false starts and/or further restrictions on trade.  

As we gear up for the resumption of trade, we’re here to help you plan for a successful reopening.   

Countdown to re-opening 

Re-opening provides a great opportunity to reset your business, ensuring that the fundamentals are in place to help set you up for success.  

We understand that there are many things to consider when it comes to planning your reopening, so we’ve worked with Beer Marque to develop a step by step approach to help ensure that you’re ready.  

Our countdown to reopening starts four weeks from the big day, focussing on the following key areas:

  • Skills and knowledge​ - knowledgeable and passionate staff make all the difference when it comes to delivering a great quality experience for customers. Investing in this area helps staff motivation and staff retention.    
  • Stock management​ - having the right range is critical to attracting and retaining guests. Reopening is an opportunity to re-calibrate your range and ensure you’re maximising yield and minimising wastage.
  • Cellar management​ - focussing on good cellar management disciplines is critical to delivering great beer and cider quality. Time invested here is time well spent for enhancing the reputation of your business
  • Bar management​ - this is the frontline, it’s what your guests see. You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.
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To help you navigate the countdown to reopening, Molson Coors' on-trade category controller Mark Bentley and Beer Marque training manager, Annabel Smith, have prepared a series of short videos to walk you through the process. Find out more here​ 

Choosing the right range 

Having the right drinks range is key. Our top three tips can help you choose your draught beer and cider range which for many outlets will represent well over half of their drinks sales.

Match range size to available throughputs 

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Choosing the right number of draught beer and cider brands to stock is a critical part of ensuring great quality.

Too many brands on the bar means beer and cider is on sale for too long, which ultimately means higher wastage, reduced margins and/or lower quality for your guests.

You should aim to be selling a minimum of one keg per week for all draught keg beers & ciders, while for cask ales, the live and fresh nature of the product means that they should be on sale for a maximum of three days ​– if you’re selling firkins, this means your rate of sale needs to be 24+ pints per day for every cask brand on the bar.

Ensure you have the right balance across your range

The three key focus areas of energise, premiumise and inspire can be seen across the different sectors of the draught beer and cider category.

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  • Energise​ – the everyday, familiar favourite brands which are the “go-to” for most drinkers e.g. core standard lager brands like Carling and national cask ale brands like Doom Bar.
  • Premiumise​ – more premium options which appeal to drinkers looking to trade up e.g. premium 4% lager brands like Coors and Pravha as well as world lager brands like Staropramen and Madri.  
  • Inspire​ – brands which offer something interesting and different, meeting the needs of drinkers who want to try something new e.g. craft beer and/or locally produced beers from smaller breweries. An interesting and varied packaged range can be a great way to meet this need, enabling the draught range to be focussed on the best seller

Back the most popular brands which have broad appeal

The top 20 draught beer and cider brands were worth £8.7bn for the 52 weeks ending 21 March 2020 (Source: CGA OPMS data), delivering 69% of all draught beer and cider sales value in the on-trade – choosing leading brands from this list is a great way to ensure you have brands which will have broad appeal.

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Key:​ ↑↑↑- more than 10% growth  ↑↑- 5.1% to 9.9% growth ↑ - 0 to 5% growth ↓ - 0 to 5% decline ↓↓ - 5.1% to 9.9% decline ↓↓↓ - more than 10% decline

Reasons to be positive

The past year has shown us that hospitality is a robust and resilient sector.

We’ve reopened successfully before and we’ve shown that we know what it takes to see sales bounce back strongly.

If we need further reasons to be positive, CGA’s 2021 Hospitality Consumer Forecast provides plenty of reasons for optimism:

  • 29% of consumers stated that they would return to a venue within the first week of it reopening, while 51% of consumers stated that they would return to a venue within the first few weeks of it reopening – broadly the same levels of intention to visit as last year.
  • Confidence visiting pubs, bars and restaurants is predicted to outstrip concern once the vulnerable are vaccinated, with each major step towards normality bringing with it a boost in confidence.
  • 59% of consumers agree that pubs, bars and restaurants “positively contribute to their wellbeing/mental health."

We’re looking forward to playing our part in re-building the hospitality sector and are to here to help you as you plan for re-opening and beyond.

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