If things are going as they should for the time of year, it’s likely that this represents the last chance to catch up with what’s going on in the licensed trade before the Christmas rush descends.
But for the vintner, Christmas can last another week to 10 days after Christmas Day itself – and that’s after a fortnight-long run-in as emigrants return to their families in anticipation of the Day itself.
This month we run features on the Irish Pub Awards and the Irish Whiskey Awards which define the very best in their respective industries.
What characterises both sets of award-winners is their optimism – and indeed effectiveness – in being able to go that extra mile and innovate their business to provide extra income.
No doubt all the Pub Award finalists will experience a busy Christmas but this Festive period offers everyone in the trade the opportunity to ensure ideal conditions for marketing their premises for the year ahead and growing custom.
For this is the time of year when families reunited in the spirit of Christmas might well consider it appropriate to spend a pleasant evening in their local. It’s a time therefore for putting out your best side.
It’s a time for avoiding the most common mistakes that put off prospective customers in the new year. Among the ‘Mortalers’ – failing to ensure that the place always looks clean, allowing glasses to build up or tables to remain uncleaned “because there’s a rush on”. Hire the extra staff. Look on it as marketing spend for 2019.
It’s a time for offering those coming into your premises prompt, warm and friendly service with a smile, not for keeping your customers three-deep at the bar and grumpily ascribing their wait to “We’re busy here”. Hire the extra staff and imbue in them the importance of courtesy and friendly service. Look on it as marketing spend for 2019 too.
In short, this is the time for putting forward your best side for your Christmas customers so ensure that the team knows what it must do and why it’s doing it. Set out to impress those coming down to your premises this Christmas with just what an enjoyable experience visiting the pub can be. It should pay dividends in the 12 months to come.
In that same spirit, we wish all our readers a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.