Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Why are pubs empty while chain brands and independent restaurants are full?

Perhaps we should rephrase that as 'Do pubs care?' Look at the two photographs below - taken less than five minutes - and 200 yards - apart, one of a pub and one of a branded restaurant in exactly the same price bracket. One nearly full and and one echoing like a barn.

  A great pub with a good kitchen                                                           a chain restaurant

Let's look at their online presences. Do we see any marked difference between the branded chains and pubs?

No - if anything a significant number of the diners at the branded restaurant would have preferred another option - if only they had been given the confidence to choose it

So, we could draw one of two conclusions from this - either that reviews don't matter or that pubs need to work a lot harder than restaurants if they are to put bums on seats at lunchtime. Needless to say, we favour the latter - at least as part of a modern marketing strategy, especially in areas of high flows of tourists and or non-residential diners.

Action needed

A proactive review management strategy that only involves:
  • harvesting email addresses from diners
  • inviting reviews to the pub's own website and external sites that have influence - Google, Facebook and TripAdvisor
And what a great asset that list will be during quiet times when your marketing can tempt them back with an offer.

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