Last week there was a piece in the Morning Advertiser titled "Careless talk costs pubs" and on the page in the printed version is a big picture of supermarket own brand lager with large star badges proclaiming the 22.5p per can. Although this is a trade paper it does get seen by the man on the street, surely this is the sort of careless talk that does cost pubs. OK, so the picture may not be Rogers fault, I'm guessing he only provided the words.
Why are we, the trade, comparing 2% rubbish lager against the quality service that we provide? We shouldn't. The stuff in the supermarkets is often so rubbish that any price is too much. We need to get out and tell people how wonderful pubs really are. We should be shouting out that people should go to the pub because it's great and a service worth paying for. Lets stop this negative image we are all now projecting.
I firmly believe that we need to point out that pubs charge a little bit more because they are fantastic places to enjoy great products. It's about added value. No self respecting pub would want to sell a lager that is only 2% and tastes like fizzy water. The trade needs to stop talking down the industry and start showing customers how great the trade can be.
It's quiet for us mid week this time of year. We rarely take enough money to cover the overheads, but I'm not complaining. We're getting jobs done that we need to get done, like the new disabled loo and capping the chimneys. More importantly the phone has been red hot this last couple of weeks with people forward booking our rooms for later in the year. I really do think it's going to be the year of the "Staycation" holiday. All we need is a glorious summer.
If people are to stay at home this summer we need to entice them into the pub. If the trade keeps reinforcing the idea that everyone would be better staying in the back garden drinking 2% own brand lager then perhaps that is what they will do.
Pubs are great. Pubs are fantastic. I love going to the pub and always have. I believe many people do love to go to the pub and don't mind paying for quality, comfort and top class service. You can't buy any of that at the supermarket.