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No football, no worries: How pubs can enjoy a super summer

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No football, no worries: How pubs can enjoy a super summer

No football, no worries: How pubs can enjoy a super summer

Pub landlords look forward to the summer more than most, with the sunnier climes almost guaranteeing a strong trade.

Last year was a particularly good summer for publicans, with a scorching temperatures and football fever emanating from England’s success at the World Cup driving up beer sales by 0.9 percentage points, compared with the same quarter the year before.

The boozy summer represented the sector’s first third-quarter growth in more than 15 years, according to data from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

However, with no major sporting event likely to drive people into pubs in their masses this year, the pressure is on the sector to ensure that people have a reason to spend their hard-earned cash on its food and drink.

So, what can pubs do to promote themselves this summer?

Align with the sporting calendar

Although there’s no big football tournament this year – bar the conclusion of the UEFA Nations League at the beginning of June which should draw a decent crowd – that’s not to say that you should ignore the sport altogether.

If you can hook a crowd in for an event, there’s a good chance they’ll want to see it through to its conclusion – drinking and snacking their way throughout.

This summer, there’s the Cricket World Cup (England are favourites to win the whole thing) and Wimbledon, of course, which have the potential to prove a big hit on a big screen – especially if the screen is located out in the pub garden. On a warm, sunny day, people won’t want to go very far very quickly.

But, it’s only worth showing the top sporting events if you’re going to let people know about it. So, start spreading the word now and build a bit of excitement.

Outdoor space

Speaking of pub gardens, that’s the only space people want to be when the weather’s nice. In the Bath area, every year the local newspaper – the Bath Chronicle – will update their ‘best pub beer gardens’ article because they know it’s going to prove a hit with their readers.

So, if your pub is blessed with a decent-sized outdoor space, ensure you’re making the most of it. Think about adequate seating, an area for families to keep their children entertained in, and a bit of shelter from the sun.

Install air conditioning

Ok, not everybody wants to be outside at the height of a heatwave – some people prefer to be sipping a cold drink in a comfortable temperature. You might call them the sensible ones…

If your pub gets unbearably hot in the summer, consider installing air con. You might find people popping in for a quick one to cool down… and then staying for the rest of the afternoon, grabbing a bite to eat before heading back out into the heat.

Seasonal drinks menu

If you’re selling the same drinks in the summer as you are in the winter, you’re doing it wrong. While some alcoholic beverages – the white wine and the lager/beer options – will be big sellers all year round, people want something a bit different in the summer.

So, mix up your drinks menu with some seasonal cocktails, mocktails, flavoured ciders and refreshing soft drinks. Make it known that these drinks will only be available during the summer months – a ‘limited edition’ always goes down well, especially on a cocktail – and hit customers with a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out).

Remember, whatever you do to position your pub for summer, make sure that you’re shouting about it on social media. If you can deliver on your promises, you could be in for a very nice summer indeed.

Ok, sun, do your thing!

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