Rebranding – the challenge for existing pubs

Speaking on 'Developing An Audience: Tips To Get Punters Back Into Pubs', John Geraghty of Publin, a Dublin pub price comparison and deal-listing website, asked those attending the Pubs Education Programme what they thought people were looking for from a pub today “… and are you providing it?” he wondered.

Apart from its location, a diversity of choice in beer, better quality food and a shift in attitude (introducing live music etc) had been adopted by most of the newer pubs who’d taken these three elements onboard. The availability of WiFi is also extremely important in a bar and the challenge for existing pubs is to rebrand and be open to doing something new, he stated at this year’s Alltech Craft Brewing and Food Fair.

There were lessons to be learned from successful bars such as BeerHaus on Dublin’s Capel Street, he said. This pub had a good selection of craft beers on tap alongside such unusual products as Glendalough Poteen and Teeling Whiskies. It was also doing a lot of live entertainment via comedy clubs, music, craft beer nights etc, he added.

Better-located bars such as the Bison Bar on the Quays offer good food and have developed a reputation for being good at a particular type of food, he said.

There again the Liquor Rooms were known for really good cocktails and the Tap House in Ranelagh for good craft beer and tapas.

Others such as Cassidys in Westmoreland Street and P Mac’s (the old Bia Bar) on Stephen Street are doing well but it’s hard to know what they’re doing well (other than just being ‘cool’ places to hang out), he told the audience.

“Get the atmosphere right and people will want to be there and will feel they’re getting value-for-money,” he stated, concluding that it’s important to decide what kind of a bar you run, whether it’s a traditional house, a sports bar or simply a place where consumer can have a decent chat.

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