The UK was home to around 69,000 pubs in1980 but that number has steadily declined over time – there were 58,000 left in 2006 and today around 48,000 remain. Business rates, the increasing prevalence of bars and a ‘drink at home culture’ has all impacted these numbers. It is clear in the current climate, pubs cannot afford to wait for customers to come to them and must think of innovative solutions to redefine the public house experience.
Comfort and convenience seem to be prevailing factors when consumers choose where to enjoy their next beverage, and one traditional style pub in Stratford-Upon-Avon has achieved success by tapping into this trend; offering a unique service to make visiting the establishment as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible.
The Millstone Hare is a £2.4m Olde English styled pub situated within the grounds of Dallas Burston Polo Club – the Pride of Stratford Awards Business of the Year 2018. Open to the public and non-members, the pub has state-of-the-art facilities, is full of charm and quirky characteristics, and provides incredible views over the polo grounds.
Many well-established pubs have helpful links with local taxi services, but it is rare for this to be run by the establishment themselves, and even rarer for the service to be completely free of charge.
Anybody living in Southam, within a 5mile radius of The Millstone Hare, can call in and book transport whilst booking their table. Customers are picked up and dropped home in one of two branded 9-seater mini-buses or a four-seater Insignia, depending on the size of their party and availability. The service is completely free of charge, the only condition is the group must be ordering either at least 4 main meals or 2 main meals with a starter/dessert.
Cameron Whitehouse, The Millstone Hare bar manager, says “Offering a door-to-door chauffeur driven service makes our visitors feel a little bit special when they go out. It allows everyone to have a few drinks over the evening without worrying about who is driving home afterwards. We have been running the service for a year now and in that time, we have had a lot of positive feedback from our customers.”
Dave Riches, Director of XReflow and a resident of Southam, commended the service saying, “When my wife and I go out, we often take it in turns for who drives and who gets to unwind. As it was our wedding anniversary recently, it was great that we both got to celebrate and let our hair down together. We wanted to celebrate at Dallas Burston Polo Club as it is where we tied the knot. Also, the food at the Millstone Hare is always exceptional and having a chauffeur service to take us home at the end of the night really made it feel like a special occasion”