Star Pubs & Bars is launching its biggest-ever event support package for its leased & tenanted pubs to meet pent-up demand from consumers wanting to celebrate key occasions that were restricted last year.
After more than 18 months of disrupted trading, the programme is designed to increase sales in the fourth quarter of 2021. It focuses on sport, Halloween and Christmas, three major opportunities to drive footfall.
Star Pubs & Bars’ Head of Digital and Retail Marketing John O’Connor said: “We are starting to emerge from the most challenging period pubs have ever faced. Following all the closures and restrictions, licensees are concentrating on rebuilding their business. We are introducing this package of support to help our licensees capitalise on the golden sales-boosting occasions that will take place in the last few months of the year.”
Called ‘What’s the Occasion?’, the events programme is an easy access one-stop shop bringing together everything pubs need on Star’s licensee website. It features staff and licensee training videos on topics such as upselling and cross-selling, and a one-hour webinar on maximising Christmas retailing opportunities delivered by industry experts. There is also an extensive section of insight and stocking advice for all drinks categories. Marketing is another big component, with half-price point-of-sale material, free social media assets and free ready-made promotions. These range from a Halloween digital game for customers to play on their phones to a designated driver Christmas offer and New Year bounce-back activity.
Licensee Justine Cash of The Olympic Hotel at Draycott said: “Customers were desperate to get back to the pub and for a sense of normality when restrictions were lifted. Events are essential to community locals like mine, and regulars have embraced everything we’ve put on this summer from music nights to fundraisers. There’s been a lot more interest in what we’ve got planned for Halloween, Christmas and New Year and at a much earlier stage than one would normally see. I’m looking to these events to help balance the books, so this support package is very timely.”
Adds O’Connor: “People listed family, friends and the pub as the top three things they missed during lockdown*. Halloween and Christmas bring all of these together and will play a vital part in pubs’ recovery.
“The pandemic demonstrated the benefit of the leased & tenanted model with extensive rent reductions to keep pubs in business. We’re determined to build on that with additional help that will enable our pubs to rebound as quickly as possible.”