Traditionally, a public house is a building licensed to sell alcohol to the general public. This traditional image has dramatically changed since licensed pubs were first opened. More common now are pubs/restaurants where the customer can buy meals as well as drinks.
Pubs also have televisions with SKY satellite systems to attract crowds when big games are played, as well as pool tables, jukeboxes, dart boards and fruit machines. I will be looking at whether opening a pub in the Wallingford area would be beneficial, if it would need any of these extra attractions or if people prefer more traditional pubs. I will try and find out what Wallingford doesn’t have, so I could have a unique selling point for my pub.The problem I face is finding out if there is a gap in the market for a pub in Wallingford area and if so where it should be, what features it should have and how it should be run. For the style and running of the pub, I will look at gaining a competitive edge over the local competition.
To decide on a location I will look at accessibility, the site and the competition. For running the business I will use questionnaires to try and gage the market trends in order to use these to my full advantage.SECONDARY DATAAs I live just outside of Wallingford, I already have some knowledge of the local pubs, so know the general style of pubs and what they offer. Using Multimap.com, I found a map of Wallingford and have marked where the pubs are.
I included Crowmarsh in this because it’s so close to Wallingford. I will try and use this map to find possible locations for a new pub.As you can see above, there are already ten pubs in Wallingford, which is a lot of competition unless I find an area of entertainment that they don’t cover. The two pubs in Crowmarsh are predominantly restaurants:The Bell was recently taken over by “The Hungry Horse” chain. It does fast cooked English foods – the quality isn’t high but it’s cheap and easy, so popular for food.
The Queens Head was recently taken over by “Thai Orchid”. It is expensive but is well worth the money, the people there are very friendly and give you free prawn crackers when they start to recognise you – this is a fantastic way to encourage loyalty. Both pubs used to be traditional old English pubs, serving home cooked foods.The Boathouse, across the river, is probably one of the most successful pubs in Wallingford – appealing to young and old during the day to serve food by the river, and young people in the evenings for drinking. At weekends they have DJs and Drum n Bass nights, which are very popular.The Dolphin has karaoke nights that attract young and old, and the rest of the pubs don’t do anything special regularly.The George is a hotel rather than just a pub, but it still proves popular with older people, as do The Kings Head, The Coach and Horses, The Coachmakers Arms and to a lesser extent, the Cross Keys.
Wallingford, although being a short distance from Crowmarsh, covers most things people want in pubs. Wallingford is a small market town halfway in between Reading and Oxford City, with a population of about 6000. From my map, I have decided that my pub would be best placed in Crowmarsh, as marked by the two black X’s.
The second X, nearest to the other two pubs, was originally a pub called The Gardeners Arms, so if I were to choose this location it would be easier and cheaper to convert it into a pub, than starting a new pub in a new building would be. Also, I don’t think the other two pubs would be direct competition as they are more restaurants than pubs. If my pub was here, I probably wouldn’t do much food other than bar snacks and small meals, such as chips and baguettes.
The first X is a few minutes walk closer to Wallingford which would be a bonus, as well as it being away from direct competition. But it would be close enough to the Bell so people would still go there for cheap fast food, or to the Boathouse for the foods they do there. I decided to go for the second X because the building already has parking space, a garden, and as I said could easily be converted. Also, most of the pubs in Wallingford are off the main road, whereas in Crowmarsh it would be on the crossroads of two main roads, being more obvious than others and drawing in more passers by.
The market for eating and drinking in Crowmarsh is small simply because it’s a small residential village, although as it is so close to Wallingford people will be drawn to pubs from there too. The market in Wallingford can be easily split into 2 sectors. These sectors are age groups – the more traditional pubs are attracting older customers over the age of 40, whereas the newer, more modern pubs are cashing in on the larger, younger market. The younger market will make up most of the market simply because they generally have more disposable income, they generally don’t have to pay mortgages and for children, and are more interested in activities such as pool and watching football and so are more likely to visit pubs and spend money. In Britain today it is a well-known problem that there is an idea that young people have to get drunk in order to have a good time, although this is a problem, I will be using this to my full advantage by making my pub appeal to these people.Pubs and restaurants also have a unique advantage in that they can attract families to there pubs for meals.
Families are the biggest sector in the market and if pubs can find a way of bringing families into their pubs than they can cash in on them. I think it is possible to attract young people as well as families, thus cashing in on the two largest groups of consumers. By having pool tables, dart boards and fruit machines as well as music in the evenings, young people will be attracted to my pub. During the day I plan to serve food and accommodate families with small children, but with nothing substantial enough to get in the way in evenings.The pubs in the Wallingford area can be broken down into two groups, the modern and the traditional. The traditional selling ales and beer with a smaller range of stock, and the modern with a wide range of stock, fewer beers and many spirits and drinks such as Smirnoff Ice and WKD.
In my research, I have worked out that my only real competition (pubs aiming at the same customers as me) are The Boathouse, The Cross Keys and possibly The Royal. As the Cross Keys is quite far away, I need to concentrate on the Boathouse.PRIMARY DATAI asked 15 questionnaires to people in the three pubs I just mentioned, so I could judge any trends in the market. These were my results:Age:718 – 24525 – 44345+Sex:7Male8FemaleWhich of the following would most likely convince you to visit a pub?4Restaurant facilities2Big Screen television3Cheaper drinks1Waterside location5Live MusicHow far would you be willing to travel to visit a pub?1Less than one mile31 – 2 miles52 – 3 miles63 miles+How far would you be willing to travel to a restaurant?1Less than one mile01 – 2 miles12 – 3 miles133 miles+When visiting a pub would you consider bringing children with you?3Yes12NoWould you prefer a pub that was child accommodating?4Yes11NoWhen you visit a pub do you consider a large product range to be very important even if the pub already stocks your favourite drink?10Yes5NoHow would you usually travel to a pub?5Car7Foot1Train1Bus1TaxiMost of the people I talked to were young, and from the last two questions I worked out that they used pubs mostly for drinking, although the most appealing things in a pub were live music and restaurant facilities. This all fits with what I had planned for my pub.
People only seemed to want the pub to be accommodating to children if they had children of their own, so I will be welcoming to children without having a swings or a slide in the garden, so they are not too rowdy so as to put off the majority of the customers. Few people I talked to travel by car, but as the pub I have chosen would be on a main road I would need parking anyway – as there is space available this is not a problem. All of the people I interviewed said they still considered it important for there to be a large product range even if their tastes were already satisfied. This would mean that by not doing this I could be losing out on some of my market by not supplying the drinks they desire.From these results, I have decided that my plans, as mentioned, should appeal to young and old, not go out of the way for children but still be very welcoming, serve food in the day and have live music at night. As young people tend to drink more and have less money than older people, I will keep drink prices as low as possible to attract people from further afield.
I would also like to have a pool table and a dart board, as well as at least one fruit machine. I think, from what I have discovered, another pub in Crowmarsh would be successful as long as it was carefully aimed at the right people.As I have mentioned above, prices are an important factor in making my pub a success.
From the prices of drinks in pubs around the town, I decided not to be especially cheap because I would make less profit, and not wanting to be expensive either I have decided to price my drinks at a fairly average price.DrinkPrice (approx)Stella Artois, Guinness etcï¿½2.50Cheap drinks, e.g. Castlemaine XXXXï¿½1.
50Real Alesï¿½2.30House spirits (double with mixer)ï¿½2.20Spirits (single with mixer)ï¿½2.20House wine (bottle)ï¿½6.00Others (WKD, Archers aqua, Smirnoff Ice)ï¿½2.75When my pub first opened I would have special offers on to attract more custom, and also Happy Hours and different drink offers on different days of the week.
This would bring in a wider variation of people and help word to spread further about what a fantastic pub it would be.To make sure lots of people knew about the opening of my pub, I would need to advertise. Many pubs have boards out in front of them so passers by can see what’s on offer, and as my pub would be on a main road I think this would be a good idea. Above the gates of the boathouse there is a wide banner telling people about the Sky TV and Christmas offers.
If I had a banner I could tell everyone when I was opening and I could try and beat the boathouses prices.I was unable to find on the internet what the council said about advertising, but leaflets and posters would be an option as well. They would say what would be happening in the opening two weeks, I would be able to get some live music at the weekend and have extended Happy Hours, as well as a free drink with every 3 you buy or something along those lines.
An idea for getting live music would be a small talent show – young bands are always looking for a place to play their music, and would be more than willing to play for a prize. These bands would also bring along their friends and family as support, and if they win they could play a few more times, bringing their friends again.I would need to advertise for staff as well as customers, and could use the local job agency (Second Site) as well as local newspapers to do this.
I think a big part of attracting customers is the atmosphere of the surroundings. Because I will be aiming my pub towards the same kind of people as the boathouse, I need to find a weakness of the boathouse. A major weakness is the happiness of the staff, after talking to them I found that they all feel that they are being overworked, underpaid and generally treated badly by their manager. By treating workers better, and making them happier at work, this spreads to the customers and they have a more enjoyable time.
I have also research the costs of advertising such as banners and posters, and using www.bannersuk.com the price of a banner for the front of the pub would be around ï¿½60 – ï¿½80, depending on the size. I also look around for the cheapest leaflet printers I could find, and found www.rcs.plc.
uk/start.asp who offer 500 leaflets for only ï¿½60.The only way I will know if my promotions were successful is by seeing the turnout in the first few opening weeks. Hopefully, with the special offers and music, it would be very successful.