Magazine Archive


What a crowd wants

A few years ago, Pub & Bar hosted a round table debate to discuss premium opportunities in the on-trade – we gathered together a mix of operators in a London venue to talk about where the areas of maximum footfall were over the coming months.

I remember Peter Marks, chief executive of the Deltic Group, rubbing his hands with uncontainable glee about the fact that Halloween fell on a Friday night that year. He told the room how he and his team had been watching and planning for that weekend since January, anticipating their most profitable night of the year across the estate… all because of a quirky American holiday.

Remarkably, a few of the operators in that room hadn’t quite realised just what potential celebrating the dead holds. I observed a few making notes as Marks explained the preparations that had been put in place when marketing Deltic’s activity around 31 October. Posters, competitions, drinks promotions, fancy dress, leading DJs… the lot. For the nightlife economy, Halloween is obviously big business, but each year pubs and bars across the UK are putting more effort into the occasion.

There’s good reason behind this surge of activity – according to Heineken’s 2018 Green Paper, one in five millennials went out for the night that year, suggesting 2019 could see similar, if not greater, numbers. Not every town in the country has a gigantic nightclub to accommodate these crowds of customers, so more pubs and bars are stepping up to the plate, coinciding with promotions for their own Guy Fawkes celebrations the week after. Turn to page 33 to read some top tips on both occasions.

If statistics and insight around consumer behaviour assist in your operational planning, then may I also turn your attention to a very useful conference that is taking place in London on 9 October. BITES Live, which looks at high street Brands, Insights, Trends and consumer Experiences, has a particularly impressive line-up of speakers this year, offering operators a great deal of information on precisely what a crowd wants. We’ve previewed the event on page 22. I hope to see you there.

Tristan O’Hana - Editor