Four Walls Marketing: How to Save a Failing Pub

By smei

Posted 08/05/18

saving a pub

It is a difficult climate for pubs in the UK at the moment, with an average of 18 closing their doors for the last time every week [1]. Not only are they having to compete with new big money competitors such as Brewdog as well as niche pop-ups and microbreweries, they’re also competing against the local supermarket, with more and more people choosing to save money by drinking at home [2].

What is “Four Walls” Marketing?

It’s important to advertise your pub, but encouraging repeat business and customer loyalty is more valuable than enticing a new customer through the doors for a one-off visit. Four walls marketing focusses on improving the appearance of the business, the attitude of your staff and the customer experience in order to increase regular custom. So, how can you grow your loyal customer base and turn a failing business into a successful one [3]?

Profile Your Customers

Your main goal is to be the establishment that your target customers want to come to. With your regulars you can probably guess when they’re going to be in, and what they’re going to order. The key is to learn to do this with other customers (and even potential customers). If you’re based in a busy metropolitan area but your regular clientele is aging, you may want to start enticing more students and young professionals into the pub. Do some research into these groups and what sort of experience and products they want, and then see how you can cater to those needs [4]. There is a useful guide to profiling your target demographic here.

Find the Right Staff

Your staff are the number one way to create a great experience for your customers. They are bound to make an impression on them, and whether that’s positive or negative will depend on your hiring process. It’s important to find staff that are likeable, enthusiastic and a good fit with your customers and existing team members. You can train someone to pour a great pint and make cocktails; you can’t necessarily expect someone with the wrong attitude to unlearn that [5]

Train your Staff to be Even Better

As mentioned above, a lack of experience needn’t make someone a bad bartender – we all started somewhere! Your newbie hire could be the perfect recruit, but lacking in some key skills. Train them well and they could become your star bartender, the customers’ favourite or even your next manager. Providing training and potential career opportunities will foster loyalty and enthusiasm within your team [6].

Throw an Event

Is there an opportunity to put on a one-off event, such as a fundraiser – or even something more regular like a pub quiz?  Regular events are a great way to increase footfall on a day of the week that walk-in trade tends to be low. It’s also a great opportunity to encourage people to visit your pub who may not otherwise have heard of it. Don’t forget to promote these events online, in the local community (if possible) and inside your pub itself. How will someone who has popped in for a roast on a Sunday know they could win £90 in your Tuesday quiz unless you have posters up?

Don’t Forget that Looks (and Smells) Count

Four walls marketing is all about the look and feel of the pub, so before doing any of the above steps you need to make sure that your décor is suitable. Once you’ve profile your key demographic, you could target this to their specific needs. But this needn’t mean doing any major work. Most importantly it should be clean looking and smelling, and make sure the condition of the toilets doesn’t let you down!

Have you got any top tips for improving the success of your pub? For further information, read our article on improving customer engagement.  

If your looking for a new insurance policy on your pub, contact us about a specialist pub insurance quote.









Posted 08/05/18

Author: smei

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