It’s no secret that pub-goers are spending less on alcohol at pubs in the UK, so how can you ensure your pub stays profitable? If you’ve got the space, make sure your pub has accommodation options.
Pubs with rooms are one of the most profitable and consistent revenue streams for pub owners and managers in the UK. Why? You may ask. Guest rooms offer an additional revenue stream and can bring guests to your inn for food and beverages. They also don’t need to worry about booking a taxi to get home safely.
According to a recent Hospitality Investor article, pub owners can reap the benefits of a 90% gross profit margin from selling rooms, and in some cases, room bookings can make up to 40% of their business.*
Whether you’re thinking of offering rooms or starting a new pub business, follow our top tips and you’ll soon be on your way to running a successful pub business.
1. Understand Your Target Audience:
It seems obvious, but it’s always important to start off with who is your key target audience. Consider factors such as age, interests, and spending habits. For example, do you want to attract retirement age guests, who may be more open to staying at your pub during the week. This could bring in a steady stream of guests during your quieter periods.
Based on your target audience, make sure to tailor your offerings and atmosphere to continuously attract and retain your target customers. For example, you may want to host live music and events which appeal to your specific target audience. This could be folk music nights, quiz nights or a country-themed menu for specific nights, such as a tapas night.
You’ll also want to ensure your guest rooms suit the tastes and budgets of your guests. If you’re attracting higher paying guests, make sure you offer classy or modern decor. Go even further by purchasing high-end mattresses and focus on the finer details, such as a coffee machine per room, a bottle of wine on arrival and a welcome basket.
2. Craft a Unique Experience:
Differentiate your pub from competitors by offering a unique experience. Similar to what we have already mentioned, consider themed nights, signature cocktails and unique craft beers that set your establishment apart.
Make sure to spend time on creating an ambiance that reflects your pub’s personality and cultivates a memorable experience. Perhaps purchase loads of tropical plants, construct a selfie corner or create an awesome outdoor space with fire pits and deckchairs.
3. Offer Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner:
When guests are staying overnight, they’ll likely want breakfast in the morning. They may well go on to have lunch or dinner at your pub, as the convenience will often be very appealing to guests. It’s also a unique selling point over a standard Airbnb experience.
In addition, make sure to regularly review your menu offerings and ensure they align with current food and beverage trends. Consider incorporating locally-sourced ingredients, vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free options. It does sound like a lot to remember, however, making the extra effort will definitely pay off with your guests.
4. Collaborate with Local Businesses:
Fostering partnerships with local businesses is vital too. Team up with local food producers and tourism experiences such as mountain biking, foraging tours and local wine producers.
Make sure to collaborate on events and cross-promotions which will market both of your services to tourists and regular customers, who will then go on to spread the word about your pub.
5. Polish Up Your Rooms:
If you already have rooms in place at your pub, make sure they are always looking pristine. Ensure rooms don’t look tired or outdated. You can easily refresh rooms with a lick of paint, new bed sheets and towels.
You can also very quickly make your rooms look more upmarket by stocking high-end toiletries for your guests, as well as integrating coffee machines for every room.
6. Market, Market and Market:
Utilise booking platforms such as Airbnb, Booking.com and Expedia. They really are your best marketing asset when securing room bookings.
Make sure you post pictures of your rooms regularly on social media, get listed on local directories, and ask guests to leave reviews on TripAdvisor, Trustpilot, your Google My Business page, or specifically on the website where they booked a room.
Go even further by leveraging influencer marketing, and paid online advertising to increase brand awareness. Encourage customers to share their experiences on social media and offer incentives for referrals.
Do you need help with managing your pub with rooms, or perhaps you’re not sure how to get started? Feel free to contact us at Huluki Sussex Stays for a no-obligation chat, or view our management services.