I really love the outdoors; for me there is nothing better than a chilled glass of wine or beer outside a pub in the summer. As a keen walker and occasional cyclist the routes I choose are always combined with a visit to a country pub with a garden. The outside of a pub is as important as the inside. It’s a place we can meet friends and watch the world go by, and it’s so quintessentially British. Nowhere on this planet has pub gardens like us. So, with high temperatures set to continue, everyone will be embracing the great outdoors and our fantastic pubs need to make hay while the sun shines.
Just like we saw the rise in investment in home entertainment systems and wood burners which made more people choose to stay at home during winter months we are now seeing people improving their own outdoor spaces. Summer house sales have reached an all-time high, so pubs need be at the top of their game to get customers in their gardens this summer. It’s also a great opportunity to attract all the families that are choosing to stay home for the holidays.
It’s simple really and we don’t need to invest thousands to make our pub gardens places people want to spend their time. Just looking at how your customer base changes during the holidays and what they really need will enable you to hit the target.
For families holidaying or locals, you can introduce a quick summer menu with street food, hot dogs, burgers or pizzas which caters for families and reduces the wait time for starving, heat sapped kids. Take a leaf out of the casual dining and take-away chains and introduce party platter promotions e.g. two pizzas, soft drinks and ice cream at a set price. Always have ice creams and ice lollies on offer – happy, cool children mean happy parents.
If you plan a summer of events to encourage visitors out from their gardens or back from their days out promote the activity on social media where parents will be looking to see what they can do that day. And to protect against those little accidents the provision of sting cream, wet wipes and sun tan lotion to use or sell can be a life saver to any passing walker or bushed parent.
There’s nothing better than seeing a packed pub garden and this summer is giving us the chance to put the pub garden well and truly on the map, even more reason to love the great outdoors.
Pictured: one of my favourite beers in a pub garden; Black Sheep whilst walking in the Dales.