With so many pubs, hotels and restaurants being closed for so long, opening back up can be quite a daunting thought – several questions and concerns have been raised.

HFE Signs are the UK’s preferred suppliers for Signs and PVC Banners – we contacted their MD Karl Hunter to see if he could help answer some common questions around re-opening.

Question 1 – If a pub has been closed for so long and been unable to trade, how can they regain the customers they have lost to surrounding pubs that have outdoor facilities?

Karl: With any marketing, psychology is key, you have to understand your market and analyse your competition. Who are your target audience, drinkers, families, couples or OAPs? With this information you tailor your deals & banners to be attractive to the desired audience.

Question 2 – What if we open and nobody come through the doors?

Karl: The main point here is to give notice, ‘warm up’ your customers, get them excited to come back and even offer some new deals. PVC Banners are ideal for doing this.

Question 3 – We have to increase our prices, but we’re worried this will put people off?

Karl: Price is always an important factor, but remember its not the only factor, if your staff are friendly, the environment is pleasant and your USP is matched to your audience you will easily be able to justify price increases.

Question 4 – We’re in a busy town, all the other pubs are fighting for trade and prices are getting too cheap, its hard to make anything nowadays.

Karl: You have to again think of your niche, a busy town will have lots of choices for the customers but likewise it has lots of customers too, don’t get drawn into the price. Essentially you are there to make a profit so offer something special to your customers. People are happy to pay more for something different – that may be nicer décor, relaxed environment, big TV’s, live sports, live music or barmaids in fancy dress! Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, its not all about the price.

Question 5 – What can we do to make people come back?

Karl: You can’t force people to come back and you can’t force people to spend money, people are there in the first place because you have appealed to them, you need to ask yourself what got them through the door in the first place and have you lived up to expectations? If the answer is yes, then they’ll come back. I would emphasise the importance of staff impression, this includes smart appearance bubbly personality and friendliness – your pub is bricks and mortar, your staff are your business!

Karl is the founder and owner of HFE Signs Ltd – HFE Signs have been printing PVC Banners since 1996 and have a dedicated online library for pubs and food. Currently HFE offer free UK delivery with any two banners and also a buy 2 get 3rd free (mixed designs). HFE also offer a free bespoke PVC Banner design service, no wonder people go to them!

Visit www.hfe-signs.co.uk