6th July 2012
One of the presenters at the Tenanted Pub Summit last week made the point that pubs are missing out on serious upselling opportunities compared to fast-food outlets and coffee shop. She said that the average pub customer spends 78 minutes in a pub or bar at each visit. That compares to just five minutes in a “food-to-go” outlet where the average spend differs by just £1. She commented “It is worth reminding ourselves of this golden opportunity. If customers are willing to give us 78 minutes, then shouldn’t we be using them?”
Do customers really only spend £1 more in a pub vs a fast food outlet? I can believe the 78 minutes but only a £1 more? That’s a bit scary really- less than a 1p a minute for all the added value a pub can bring in terms of ambiance, hospitality, range and quality- in fact the whole experience.
It is food for thought. How can pub operators increase their spend per head without causing bill shock (like £27.50 for a glass of house champagne and an ordinary gin & tonic at The Grosvenor for the Cateys this week)? How can they nudge their spend per head up by a few % points and still be perceived as delivering outstanding value for money, customer satisfaction, recommendation and ‘repeat visit ’ scores?
Last week I went into the Apple store in Milton Keynes determined to buy the lot – a new iPhone, a new ipad, a MacBook Air and some snazzy new headphones to use on the plane on my next ALMR Chicago trip. I know everyone reading will have been in an Apple store but the level of customer service, genuine customer service, in there never fails to amaze me. They treat you with respect, they listen, they don’t belittle your (my) lack of technological skills and they don’t try and sell you anything. Ever. I begged and pleaded for a new iPhone and ipad but was told (nicely but in no uncertain terms) ‘I don’t really think you need new ones. These are perfectly ok.” They just don’t have to push anything. Customers spend regardless (or perhaps because of) a team who don’t sell to you.
I was wondering if there is any equivalent in our sector?
Signature dishes on a menu can make you feel like that. The mini burgers at the Opera Tavern, the eggs benedict at Cote, the Hebridean lamb at The Ledbury, the breakfast at The Riding House café, the porridge at the Wolseley and the Bacon and shrimp balls with grain mustard aioli at The Jugged Hare. I could go on. I want to spend money on dishes which are a joy and in places where I know they love the food they put in front of me- I am not counting the pennies then
Fantastic hospitality (as opposed to great customer service) can make you feel like that. I have had outstanding hospitality recently at Byron, the Delaunay, the Thatch at Adstock and the 3 Fishes near Oxford. I spend more then too.
We recently developed and delivered a ‘selling skills’ workshop for the Carluccio’s deli team which achieved a considerable, over budget sales performance for them. Sarah Murray, Operations Director for Carluccio’s said; “This was a really effective piece of activity which delivered a significant increase in like for like sales – so much so that we are committed to running it again this year!” It was a real opportunity to coach a team into delivering a whole retail experience that customers valued and then paid for (without having bill shock). Food for thought perhaps and worth more than a 1p a minute.