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Euro 2016: Keep customers coming back

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Euro 2016: Keep customers coming back

The Euros are upon us and while many publicans may be content with switching on the telly, sitting back and letting the business roll in, wise landlords should be looking to sustain that business once the trophy's been raised and the flags have come down.

Epos Now data shows there is a 63% uplift in drinks sales during match tournaments, so how can you ensure you get a piece of the action, and more importantly keep those additional customers coming back for more? Our data also showed the average pub is expected to see a 21% jump in takings during the England V Wales match on the 16th of June. This figure was verified by the BBC. View the information on their website here; bbc.in/1Y5VQFi

75% of pub goers watch football and other sporting events inviting friends and family along to watch with them. This provides a huge uplift in potential for first time customers. This is a great opportunity to make a positive first impression, establishing a valuable pattern of repeat custom.

First impressions count

Your die hard fans may be propping up the bar no matter what, but those flirting with football fever are unlikely to enter an establishment that looks unappealing or has a bad reputation.

Many locals are guilty of letting the frontage go, and with it goes the appeal to passing trade and potential new custom. A facelift can freshen up the place making it immediately more appealing. If the budget or time is tight consider other ways to brighten up the place, such as flowers or professionally written promotional boards.

A damaged reputation is more difficult to contend with. Many pubs, justifiably or not, suffer from the misconception they are unsafe and unwelcoming and it can cost you a huge amount in potential business, but the damage is not irreparable.

Being approachable to older patrons and families is proven to boost profits. These groups tend to spend more and return regularly if their needs are met. Consider hosting community events or supporting local causes to positively raise your pubs profile in your area.

Customer service is key

Customer service excellence is the aim at all times, as a single bad experience can lose you a customer for life. As a repeat customer is worth 10 times more than their value of their original transaction, losing custom through poor service is costly as well as careless.

The pub environment is traditionally more informal than other hospitality venues so staff can afford to be less rigid with their approach to customer service. Being friendly, affable and smiling may sound obvious but these initial interactions with your staff will determine the relationship between your establishment and the customer and whether or not they choose to return.

You won’t always have time to greet people as they enter or say goodbye when they leave, especially on match days but a personal service goes a long way. Remembering people's drinks shows your attentive to their needs as does dealing fairly and efficiently with any disputes that may arise. If there are multiple people waiting to be served at the bar acknowledge their presence. This lets them know you know they are waiting, managing their expectations, reducing frustration.

Returning customers play a huge role in promoting brand loyalty among their peers, organically generating new customers. Good customer service is the most cost effective way of ensuring customer retention.

Be prepared

Match days can conjure images of jeering crowds jostling for attention, waving wads of cash at frantic bar staff who have run out ice/glasses/larger.

This is not the lasting image you want new customers to go away with. Running out of stock shows you to be ill prepared, looks unprofessional and results in customer disappointment. The Epos Now system facilitates an automated stocking system, ensuring you never run out of your most popular items, with access to the whole inventory at the click of a button. If you're short on space, consider having extra fridges back of house to keep sufficient stock at the optimum serving temperature.

Additionally, having enough staff is integral to the smooth running of service. You need enough staff members to man the bar, clear tables and wash glasses. A delay at any stage of the process disrupts the whole operation, pressuring staff and frustrating customers which ultimately has a negative impact on revenue.

The means to getting a larger percentage of your customers to return is creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere, boasting a well managed and competently run service. Epos Now can help you boost profitability through streamlined customer service and business management solutions.

Euro 2016: Keep customers coming back


Erin Heenan

Erin joined Epos Now in 2016 as an in-house content writer for the marketing department, making use of 10 years experience working in busy restaurants. An avid fan of shopping and eating out, she is committed to helping retail and hospitality SMEs get the most out of their businesses.

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