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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