Owners of struggling pubs are often reluctant to spend any money on them. It smacks of throwing good money after bad – why sink more investment into a business that doesn’t seem able to pull in the customers, let alone make a decent return? Yet in many cases, the decision to bite the bullet and make the necessary investment has transformed the fortunes of local pubs.
The problem seems to be that many (not all) pubs don’t want the pub to change, they often want to stay traditional and a little behind modern time. Whilst this works for some, increasingly it does not. Young couples, families with children and after-work drinkers are looking for something a bit fresher. They want a pleasant, modern environment to enjoy their food and drink in.
Community to the rescue
There are more and more instances of examples where communities want to rescue their local pub from the threat of closure, and ges together to raise the funds for a overhauled refurbishment. This is great, as it means that from the outset, the new pub has a lot of community involvement, and can provide the type of drinks, food, facilities and decor that will find favour locally.
A kitchen refurb will update the food offer
Food is a vital ingredient in a successful pub. It may be just at lunchtime, or a section of the pub may end up operating as a full-time restaurant. Whichever, the food offer needs to reflect modern tastes – taking into account the growing number of younger people who are vegetarian for instance, or the wide range of spicy foods that people now eat, don’t forget catering for food intolerances is also a big player.
This may mean a full refurb of the kitchen to take account of modern catering methods that are much less labour intensive and less dependent on frying and boiling, with more char grilling, steaming and marinading. At the same time, it may mean transforming a dingy courtyard into a walled garden with decking, raised beds and a superb barbecue area.
Get advice on the interior and visit other pubs
Many pubs get a new lease of life by getting rid of the division between the old saloon and public bars, and using mirrors to create a large, open space filled with light. Pub refurbs need to pay particular attention to two things – lighting and music. These are the two factors that create the ambience and give people a relaxing experience.
Flooring is really important too, and sets the tone for the pub. Swirly carpet definitely not, but some laminates look great and are easy to clean. Real floorboards always look good of course and these are a perfect example of combing traditional with contemporary if mixed the correct way.
Pubs have many great futures – they just need a bit of loving attention to bring them into the twenty first century. With the help of this and community spirit renovating or overhauling your pub really could save your business.
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