Golf in a pub? Stop talking crazy
Those avid, eagle-eyed readers among you may have noticed a rather striking spread that featured in our last issue. It announced the launch of our Try January campaign, which we’re backing with as much enthusiasm as your vacant customers on their Dry January health-kicks.
It was the first of five Try January articles that aim to encourage operators to treat Try January as they would any other crucial event in the calendar year. It can’t be utilised properly if a pub or bar is merely reacting to what’s happening on Twitter halfway through the month. This issue, you can read all about customer retention through the tediously dry month – flick to page 18 to read more.
A huge part of attracting reluctant pub goers through the month of January is to offer them experiences. We know that the generation coming through are all about these memorable moments as opposed to binge-drinking antics, so it’s down to the trade to adjust its offer accordingly. Previous January editions of Pub & Bar have highlighted activity such as film nights and supper clubs as inspiration for operators when compiling their New Year agenda. It’s all about looking at the retail space you have to work with and thinking creatively as to how you can put it to use.
Should you need some specific examples, then you might want to check out the work of Lyndon Higginson, who conveniently features in this very issue of Pub & Bar (page 20). Higginson runs some of the most popular venues in the country. Predominantly based in Manchester, concepts such as Crazy Pedro’s (pizza, tequila and mezcal), Cane and Grain (bourbon and ribs), and the Bay Horse Tavern (a modern take on the traditional boozer) have allowed Higginson and his team to form an estate of eclectic and experience-based sites. However, the arrival of Junkyard Golf really put his ideas on the map.
Snaps of the neon-drenched, booze-driven, music-pumping golf courses are endlessly uploaded onto Instagram by experience-seeking crazy golfers, contributing to the huge ticket sales seen across the three Junkyard Golf sites (Manchester, London and Oxford). While I appreciate that not many pubs and bars have a vacant warehouse at their disposal, it’s concepts like Higginson’s that are determining how and where your potential customers are spending their time, and, ultimately, what experiences they’ll choose to live out next.
Tristan O’Hana - Group Editor