Finding new opportunities in the recession

Life has been tough for the pub trade with crack downs on drink driving, the smoking ban and then the recession eating into our disposable incomes. Many pubs have responded by cutting their prices, I even saw Sunday lunch advertised for £1.89 the other day! How can anyone make money at that level? Whilst the loss leader might bring customers in to spend more on drinks the likelihood is that cutting prices will lead to a price war with competitors, so nobody makes money. The growing toll of boarded up pubs is all the evidence we need.

What’s needed is some thinking outside the box to find something which will differentiate one business from another, something which will bring in new customers or get existing customers to spend more.

I heard a great example the other day. A country village pub is offering pensioners’ lunches. What’s different about that I hear you say? The difference is that the pub is providing a type of ‘meals on wheels service’. The pensioner telephones the pub in the morning to find out what is on the menu today and if they like it will place an order. The pub then cooks the order and delivers it at lunchtime. I’m sure that the pub is not making a fortune from this initiative but it is reaching out to a group of people who may not normally be customers and it has found another way to contribute to the business’ running costs. At the same time it is providing a service to its community and enhancing its public relations and opportunities for media coverage.

If you would like some help to think outside the box in order to identify new markets or new income generating ideas email glenda.shawley@thetrainingpack.co.uk or call Glenda on +44 20 8991 2767.

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