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6 Simple Ways to Optimize Your Pub

Running a great pub means providing exemplary service and a superior customer experience. However, there are real challenges in operating a food and beverage establishment. 

The hospitality industry has had to navigate changes to its typical crowd, while old processes may need updating to meet today’s business standards.

Help your pub get back on track and increase sales by optimizing operations from the inside out. Here are six ways to achieve this with little effort. 

Boost Your Marketing

One of the most straightforward ways of optimizing your pub is to strategize your marketing. Consider redoing your website and creating a social media platform to connect with local customers. Additionally, listing your pub on NextDoor allows people to review and recommend your business to others. 

These channels are ideal for advertising discounts and specials, menu highlights and changes to your business. 

Marketing has never been more important for the bar scene, in particular. With 10% reduced foot traffic to and from offices, pubs have seen a significant dip in lunchtime and after-work patrons. This rings especially true in Washington, D.C., where there’s been a 37% decrease in in-person work since pre-pandemic levels.

Reorganize the Workstation

If you want to optimize your pub operations, start with your workstation. Evaluate the current flow of movement — is the bartender bouncing from one end to the other? Is drinkware in an inconvenient location from where the mixing occurs?

The fewer steps bartenders take, the better. When skilled mixologists can avoid constantly moving around, they can serve customers better and increase your bottom line. 

Consider where you currently keep bar equipment, alcohol, ingredients, garnishes and drinkware. Then, rework the station to accommodate one or more bartenders during a shift. 

Streamline Processes

A fully stocked bar and kitchen — from inventory to supplies — are critical for streamlining operations and costs. New processes could include inventory forecasting, automated ordering and determining supply and demand. Also, ensuring your pub has backup suppliers and products in case of supply chain delays is equally crucial.

Transitioning to bulk beverage-grade carbonation is another way to optimize business and save money. These solutions avoid needing to replenish CO2 lines or pay for unused cylinders. Employees also no longer have to allocate time or risk injury by changing out the heavy cylinders themselves.

Improving your bar operations also entails training employees on new equipment or procedures for maximum efficiency.

Rework Your Menu

Target customers with a menu they can’t resist. As a pub, you don’t need to offer a restaurant’s worth of drinks and entrees, but your menu should stand out against other establishments in the area. 

Divide the drink menu sections into five to eight drinks so it is manageable for the customer — meaning if you offer 50 cocktail creations, you should organize them into about 10 sections.

Other things you can do to optimize your menu are to offer a signature drink, highlight the most popular beverages or create seasonal cocktails. For example, put a spin on the classic Moscow Mule during the holiday season with 1 ounce of cranberry juice, gin, rosemary simple syrup and rosemary sprigs for garnish.

Keeping your pub food menu simple is also important. Include pub favorites, such as chicken schnitzel or various finger foods — mozzarella sticks, onion rings, pretzels and beer cheese, nachos and wings.

Entice With Happy Hour

Most pubs offer a happy hour during the week. However, if it’s been a while, you should revisit your prices. The closer discount you give to half off your drinks, the more appealing your happy hour specials will be to customers. 

According to a recent study, casual drinkers doubled how many beverages they ordered during a three-hour happy hour period. Heavier drinkers consumed 2.3 times as many drinks during happy hour than those who drank at regular hours. 

Although you want to take advantage of reduced drink sales, you must be mindful of how much your customers drink and when they’ve reached their limits. Bars and restaurants may also fall under one of the 18 jurisdictions for alcohol control in their state, so it is essential to know the laws. 

Alcohol control regulations could impact your happy hour specials. For instance, North Carolina recently implemented a new rule prohibiting eateries from selling more than one drink for the price of one. This includes the ever-popular two-for-one drinks and bottomless mimosas many establishments like to offer. 

Decrease Waste

You may not realize it, but overpouring drinks could consume much of your expenses. For one thing, customers are not paying for the extra alcohol, while some bartenders pour the glass until it overflows. Both of these scenarios accrue waste every shift.

While mistakes happen, filling wrong orders is equally costly for pubs. Fortunately, there are ways to correct this.

Miscommunication could occur when the bar is extremely busy. Therefore, having two bartenders working during one bustling shift can prevent stress and, ultimately, ordering mishaps. 

Meanwhile, a jigger can help employees measure each shot of alcohol correctly to prevent under or overpouring. Underpouring is just as damaging as overpouring, causing a decrease in guest satisfaction. If you skimp on drinks, your establishment could end up with a negative review.

Optimize Your Pub With Minor Changes

Overhauling your pub operations for greater efficiency takes little effort. From marketing to creating a new menu, you can attract patrons to your establishment and improve your bottom line in numerous ways. 

Avoid overthinking your operations and make simple changes to boost your business. 

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