Marketing Pubs Bars

Marketing Ideas for Pubs and Bars in 2020

Its Easter time in 2020 and it is a difficult time for pubs and bars already, pubs especially. In desperate times, you have to use all of your wit and will to come out on top- which is how you’ve arrived at our post. Fortunately for you, there are plenty of great ways to market a bar or pub. These are just a few of them. But while around 18 pubs are closing down every week in the UK, turnover growth has skyrocketed in recent years, making it a lucrative opportunity for prospective landlords that know how to market their pub or bar. We have included some ideas for pubs to make money.

1. Take Advantage of Social Media

Our first tip for marketing ideas for your pub or bar is to start using social media to your advantage. If you’re not maximising the number of views on your posts or follows on your account, you’re missing out. Here are just a few of the best ways to take advantage of social media for your hospitality business:

  • Post a wide variety of content. This could be anything from videos to pictures, discounts, infographics on relevant topics… Anything, or at least anything that can grab a reader’s attention.
  • Use keywords in your posts. These are terms like ‘bars in Manchester’ or ‘pubs in Lincoln’. They’re going to help your Google search ranking, which will mean more people find you and come to you instead of a competitor.
  • Run raffles and prize draws through social media to create a buzz around your bar or pub, and get more people to follow or join your group.

Focus on just one or two platforms for the time being, and think of your audience when you’re considering which platforms to use. If you cater to a younger audience, choose Twitter and Instagram. If you’re thinking of an older audience, go for Facebook. We suggest go with all three and use a social media management app called ‘Hootsuite

2. Theme Nights Make Money

This is a classic trick to get people through the doors, especially on quiet nights. Having themed nights- whatever the theme might be- is going to put you on the radar of a whole host of new customers who might never have thought of visiting.

You have a choice when it comes to theme nights. You can either focus on one, and be the karaoke bar, real ales or the singles bar. Or you could have a rotating schedule, with Ladies Night on the first Friday of the month, and Karaoke on the second Friday of the month. Both approaches can work, so there’s no problem with just jumping right in and setting one up as soon as possible.

Live music is always a winner on the quite nights of the week, most up and coming groups would offer their services for free just to get the gig! Happy hour does it work? possibly if your bar is in a central location near offices and there is a good footfall.

3. Sell Unique Drinks

What you choose to sell is up to you. But the more unique items on your menu in your bar or pub, the better. The best way of making your establishment unique is by offering for and drinks that you can’t get anywhere else. Most drinks distributors offer free marketing materials and retail point of sale displays for pubs & bars, just ask all they can say is No!

As a bar, sell a variety of cocktails. Maybe even have some with secret recipes, so that your customers have to keep coming back for more!

As a pub, stock a wide variety of beers, not just Heineken or Carling. Give a chance to some local microbreweries to showcase their unique ales at your pub.

4. Pay-Per-View Nights Make Even More Money

Not quite a theme night, but just as important, Pay-Per-View can make your bar or pub a shedload of cash over the course of an hour or two. The cost can be hefty- a couple of hundred pounds or more- but the money you’ll bring in will dwarf that.

Take the David Haye v Tony Bellew fight last year: Sky estimated that 600,000 people watched the fight while they were out on the town. Some pubs report double, triple and even quadruple their normal Saturday night takings. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

The trick is to show fights (or whatever else might be on Pay-Per-View) regularly, rather than just as special one-off occasions. That way, people will know that your pub or bar is the place to go whenever there’s a big sporting event. The work cup was an amazing opportunity for pubs & bars across the United Kingdom to show what they could do with the help of a little marketing.

5. The ‘Shop Front’ is Key

Again, this is something that’s so important, that people just don’t think about. Your signage is the public face of your business and a great free marketing. It’s the first thing that people see before they come in, and the last thing they see at night. It’s also the only impression that people get of your bar or pub if they don’t come in.

Pubs are, funnily enough, the best example out of any industry. So many pubs have old, creaky signs, maybe one or two boarded up broken windows, and a desperate need for a lick of paint or two. When somebody walks past your pub, well, let’s not publish what they’re probably thinking!

Bars suffer from the same problem. If you’re marketing your pub or bar to a younger audience, it has to look good on the outside, well-lit and interesting. If you’re marketing to an older audience, they’re probably in the mood for a more easy-going time. Your ‘shop front’ can help you capture whichever market you prefer.

6. Develop your Business & Investment

Finally, once you’re on your feet, you might want to start thinking about developing your business further. Whether this involves taking on new pubs or expanding an existing one, there’s plenty of options. Whether you’re running pub quizes or booking events in the back room of your existing venue, or exploring the local chain model perfected by groups like London’s Antic Pubs, there’s a huge range of ways in which you can develop your pub, bar and its brand. All this comes at a cost sadly and to grow a successful pub or bar you need to make an investment.

Develop with other hospitality business owners with the help of your local council something like Newcastle does twice a year. Restaurant week Newcastle offers people the chance to try new food and experience when all the local food establishments join forces the offer the public a great experience.

Making a significant change to a business often requires an injection of capital. Up until 2008, most pubs and bars would have had relatively little trouble securing the necessary funding from their bank. However, as banks started to reduce their lending to SMEs following the recession, pubs and bars suddenly found themselves in the ‘high risk’ category. This meant that many pub owners were unable to secure the finance that they needed to survive, let alone thrive. Along came PDQ Funding, we offer funding to pubs and bars with its merchant cash advance product.

Over the years pubs and bars have chosen and trusted PDQ Funding as their finance provider. This is due to the speed and flexibility of our business loans for pubs and bars that provide the ideal fit for publicans. Funding solutions from PDQ Funding can be used for any purpose, from a major refurbishment to marketing of a new pub or bar. This all comes with flexible features as standard.

  • Pub & Bar Business loans of £5,000 to £200,000
  • Unsecured borrowing on a flexible term of up to 24 months
  • Apply online in minutes
  • Quick approval and funding, often within 48 hours
  • Repayment holidays and funding top-ups
  • No early repayment charges or upfront fees

7. Stay Consistent

This is more of an overarching principle than it is a strategy, but you’ll want to stay consistent. What you don’t want to do is post some half-hearted posts to drive engagement, get discouraged by no likes or comments, and go “what’s the point?” and let your content go stale.Staying consistent can easily be achieved by creating a content calendar that outlines what you’re posting each week and what the content should look like. At the same time, you’ll want to be consistent with content and frequency, you’ll want to be consistent with branding. Make sure every piece of content has some sort of visual uniformity for brand recognition and it follows that same tone.
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