Why are pubs empty while chain brands and independent restaurants are full?
Perhaps we should rephrase that as ‘Do pubs care?’ Look at the two photographs below – taken less than five minutes – and 200 yards – apart, one of a pub and one of a branded restaurant in exactly the same price bracket. One nearly full and and one echoing like a barn.
Let’s look at their online presences. Do we see any marked difference between the branded chains and pubs?
No – if anything a significant number of the diners at the branded restaurant would have preferred another option – if only they had been given the confidence to choose it.
So, we could draw one of two conclusions from this – either that reviews don’t matter or that pubs need to work a lot harder than restaurants if they are to put bums on seats at lunchtime. Needless to say, we favour the latter – at least as part of a modern marketing strategy, especially in areas of high flows of tourists and or non-residential diners.
A proactive review management strategy that only involves:
- harvesting email addresses from diners
- inviting reviews to the pub’s own website and external sites that have influence – Google, Facebook and TripAdvisor
And what a great asset that list will be during quiet times when your marketing can tempt them back with an offer.