How can licensees stay ahead of the competition in 2018?

January 23rd, 2018 | Posted in: Features,People

THIS MONTH WE ASKED SOME OF THE KEY PEOPLE IN THE TRADE TO TELL US THEIR PREDICTIONS AND VIEWPOINT ON THE YEAR AHEAD. THANKS TO:

Andrew Morrison, Sales Director, MAXXIUM UK; John Gemmell, Commercial Director, HEINEKEN (pictured); UK; Stuart Ellis, UK Sales Manager, Gordon & MacPhail; James Byrne, Retail Development Manager, Molson Coors; Steve Anand, Sales Director, Inverarity Morton; Alan Hay, Sales Director On-Trade, Tennent’s; Peter Risk, Senior National Account Manager, Diageo; Harry Greenhalgh, On-Trade Category Manager, William Grant & Sons UK Ltd. This is what they had to say:-

WHAT SHOULD LICENSEES DO TO KEEP AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION IN 2018?

ANDREW MORRISON: Understand what consumers need and what the consumer trends and drinking trends are not just now…but on the horizon. Never compromise on customer serve and retail standards and invest in staff training – they are the biggest influence in your bar.

JOHN GEMMELL: Have a very clear digital strategy. The world is changing fast. We used to say that the customer journey started outside of the pub, but it is now often on the phone. It is not enough to just have a website or Facebook site, you need to have a clear plan on how to capture customer insight and convert it in to a trading advantage. Taking advantage of true customer intimacy can be enhanced by technology.

STUART ELLIS: Continually reviewing products across all categories and being aware of what’s hot and what’s not, utilising the research and knowledge offered up by their suppliers is key to ‘keeping ahead of the curve’, these guys are there to help. As well as having a ‘core’ range of product, it’s important to keep each category fresh by continually reviewing new entrants to the market and understanding what their point of difference is and what that allows you to offer your consumers. Being independent makes you nimble and able to react to ‘new’ in vogue products quicker than the national competition.

JAMES BYRNE: Consumers are going out less, but spending more when they do. Offering drinkers a range of products across categories can ensure repeat purchases. Ensuring the experience is high quality can also encourage word of mouth; ensuring draught products are looked after with regular line cleaning and are served in a clean, branded glass.

STEVE ANAND: Licensees should continue to look at range and offer serves and experiences that customers cannot easily replicate at home.

HARRY GREENHALGH: With people facing growing economic pressure on their disposable income, they want to make sure they really enjoy their experiences when they do choose to spend. So getting the drinks offer right is key, especially with premiumising consumer tastes, but looking at other aspects of your offer, from food to activities and service, is also important.

ALAN HAY: Drinkers are discerning, knowing what they like, but often open to trying something different. When it comes to ranging, it’s about striking a balance between staples like Tennent’s Lager, Magners and Caledonia Best but also having options from around the world like Heverlee, Menabrea or Pabst Blue Ribbon.

PETER RISK: With consumers increasingly demanding better quality experiences, delivering superior service is now crucial to driving incremental sales. Under-par staff training or bar set-up not only affects profits but can also result in poor quality drinks and customer dissatisfaction. Improving staff knowledge, speed and efficiency will allow licensees to deliver a smooth service each and every time, to enhance customer experience and drive sales.

Consumers are increasingly interested in provenance, ingredients and the stories behind products and brands. They also seek out options which offer some form of customisation or combinations that they might not expect to see. The spirits category is able to tap into all of these – it is full of possibilities and therefore offers a real opportunity for licensees to drive spend in their pub or bar. Licensees can ensure that their outlet exceeds their competitor’s offering and make the most of any occasion by stocking up on must-stock premium variants as well as a wide range of the best-selling brands.

With 84% of UK adults using social media and with lots of people using the internet to find a venue, having an online presence has never been more important. As well as using it to recruit new customers who are looking for inspiration on where to go, digital channels are great for engaging with customers and getting feedback on your offer, all in a very cost effective way.

2018 will see several key sporting events including the Winter Olympics, Rugby Six Nations, Commonwealth Games and FIFA World Cup – providing a profitable opportunity to drive customers into outlets. Licensees can inspire customers by shouting about sporting events with promotions in-outlet and with the help of social media ahead of the fixtures. Taking table bookings or advertising sports packages in advance is a simple but effective way of positioning pubs as a sporting venues during these key periods.


Mitchells & Butlers’ shares surge on higher sales

Thu 23rd May 2019

Shares in Mitchells & Butlers have jumped more than 9% after the company reported higher comparable sales and profit for the first-half ... Read more.

The Macallan Distillery picks up another major industry award

Thu 23rd May 2019

The Macallan Distillery has received a recognition from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Scotland. ... Read more.

Wagamama acquisition helps surge in sales at the start of 2019 for owners The Restaurant Group

Thu 23rd May 2019

The Restaurant Group, which owns Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito, has reported a surge in sales at the start of 2019, helped by its acquisit... Read more.

Hello Bo & Birdy

Wed 22nd May 2019

Bo & Birdy. That’s the name of The Blythswood Hotel’s new £1m 146-cover bar and restaurant that re-opens this month after being closed... Read more.

Single-Use Cutlery and Straws made from the humble avocado stone are a reality

Wed 22nd May 2019

As the UK government announces new controls on plastic items to come into force in England by April 2020, with Scotland also taking steps to... Read more.

Trade body calls for action to tackle mental health issues

Wed 22nd May 2019

Fresh on the back of UK mental health awareness week ( 13-19 May 2019), more needs to be done to tackle mental health issues in the sector, ... Read more.

Borthwick Castle’s head chef to champion Scotland in National Chef of the Year

Tue 21st May 2019

Derek Johnstone, Head Chef at Borthwick Castle in Midlothian, is the only Scottish chef to have reached the semi-finals of this year's Natio... Read more.

DOUNE CASTLE IN STIRLING RENAMED TO CELEBRATE LEGACY OF GAME OF THRONES

Tue 21st May 2019

Pubs in Stirlingshire may get a boost from an influx of Game of Thrones fans making pilgrimages to the area.... Read more.

Plans submitted to re-open Glasgow’s Cabin restaurant

Tue 21st May 2019

Plans have been submitted with Glasgow City Council to re-open the Cabin restaurant on Dumbarton Road in the Whiteinch area of the city. It ... Read more.

Bloc+ pops up on former Nonya site

Mon 20th May 2019

Bloc pop-ups on former Nonya site John Burns, owner of Bloc+ on Bath Street in Glasgow has opened a Bloc pop-up on the site of the former N... Read more.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon officially opens new McQueen Gin distillery

Mon 20th May 2019

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially opened McQueen Gin's brand-new 6,200²ft distillery in Callander. ... Read more.

WINE AND TEA BAR OPENS

Mon 20th May 2019

The Chaumer is a recently opened teahouse and wine bar for Edinburgh’s Queen Street – with a very interesting back story. ... Read more.

New owners at Braeval Hotel

Thu 16th May 2019

Paul and Lyndy Geddes have taken over the Braeval Hotel and Bandstand Bar and Restaurant in Nairn. Lyndy was previously a director in an omb... Read more.

Max McFarlane joins the Ardgowan Distillery team

Thu 16th May 2019

Whisky maker Max McFarlane has joined the Ardgowan Distillery team – with a plan to create and release a new series of whiskies later thi... Read more.

McEwan’s Lager relaunches

Wed 15th May 2019

The new look McEwan’s Lager launches in on-trade this month.... Read more.

Today’s your last chance to enter the Glenfarclas Highland Single Malt 105’ Cask Strength Cocktail Competition!

Wed 15th May 2019

Today’s the cut-off for entering the Glenfarclas Highland Single Malt ‘105’ Cask Strength Cocktail Competition – so get your... Read more.

Brand News: Avva Scottish Gin

Wed 15th May 2019

CASK FINISH GIN FROM AVVA SCOTTISH GIN AVAILABLE TO TRADE CUSTOMERS FOR THE FIRST TIME The latest release of Cask Finish Gin from the brand ... Read more.

Brand News: Loch Lomond Whiskies

Wed 15th May 2019

Loch Lomond Whiskies’ Loch Lomond 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky has triumphed at the Bartenders’ Brand Awards, including the to... Read more.

Mixologists causing a stir

Tue 14th May 2019

Today we profile DANIEL ELPHINSTONE of Orchid in Aberdeen and DAVID GODDARD of Bar One, Inverness.... Read more.

Mixologists causing a stir

Mon 13th May 2019

Today it's the turn of DIMI SAVVAIDIS The King of Islington Dundee and DANNY MCMANUS Kelvingrove Cafe Glasgow .... Read more.