"Use this nationally advertised campaign to remind people pubs offer more than just drink."

It's October and I, like many others, am giving up drink for the month. I'd planned this a few weeks ago, as I've got a charity run on the Nov 1 so wanted to do 31 days of daily training, alongside saving some money to pay for the hotel and expenses of the run.

Last week I discovered that a charity is encouraging people to give up to raise funds for it. I won't get into the rights and wrongs of this, but it's made me think of pubs in a different way.

Some landlords, and I've been guilty of this in the past, on hearing of a local 'giving up' for a period of time would be working out the damage to the bottom line each week. And they might be thinking this Stoptober is going to do nothing but harm to the trade.

But let's look at it another way. People not drinking alcohol is not the same as people stopping going to pubs. Use this nationally advertised campaign to remind people pubs offer more than just drink.

Soft drinks offer huge GP over other drinks, and by putting on a couple of specials for the month this can be further boosted. It could be as simple as trialing some new soft drinks to see how they sell.

Others may opt for a popular Christmas special offer: reduced or free soft drinks for designated driver.

There's never been a better time to have a fresh look at your soft drinks offer. You don't need to look far to find a huge range, so it's easy to offer something other than the usual suspects. Many pubs seem to offer a choice of sugary soft drinks or cordial to those not partaking.
Those abstaining for health benefits won't be looking to replace their alcohol with sugar, A mixed box of herbal teas isn't going to break your bank, but they will gather dust if nobody knows about them.

Most importantly shout about it. The pub I'm in writing this now offers unlimited refills on post mix. This isn't something special for the month - they always do. They could be advertising it on an a-board, and with people thinking about what they can't drink, a little reminder that they can still visit the pub could get you a new customer.