If you have a play area or not, you can boost trade this summer by drawing in the families on school holidays.

With just weeks until schools break up, there is lots of opportunity to boost trade in your pub for summer.

According to Ron Hickey, Bestway Wholesale Catering on-trade sales director: “Parents often struggle to keep coming up with interesting things for their kids to do during the school holidays, so operators who create the right atmosphere and offer for families will be on to a winner.”

He suggests:

1. “Kid’s movie mornings will also bring in parents for coffee and cake.”

If you have a TV and some DVDs then this is easy. Plug it on social media and local Facebook groups. In this summer of sport, the kids can watch a film while the adults stay tuned to the action. 

 

2. “If space permits, offer morning activity workshops such as craft, music or cookery. Use local entertainers so staff can focus on maximising food and drink sales during and after the sessions.”

Many pubs have started operating like community centres in the day. It pulls in a whole new type of customer, keen to spend money on anything from coffees, to cake to workshops to keep the little ones entertained.

 

3. “Run an early week night pizza night for families during the school holidays."

He says, "Offer a ‘customise you own’ pizza option to engage younger diners, with them able to add toppings to their pizzas at their table. A ‘decorate your own’ cookie dessert option also helps keep young diners entertained.”

 

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4. “Promote play areas effectively on A-boards, website and social media.”

If you have something to entertain the kids this summer, plug it! Parents will welcome a place to relax with a pint while the children occupy themselves.

 

5. Get your kids menu right

A good kids menu can be the deal breaker for some families. Don't like the idea of a whole separate menu? Take inspiration from The Faversham, Leeds, who will happily adapt any dish from the menu into a child’s portion.

 

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6. Stock up on crayons, colouring books and low maintenance games

It's a classic, but it works. We all remember being handed a pen and paper to occupy ourselves when we were younger, and by providing this for kids it can make parents lives a lot easier

 

7. Get staff right

Families want to be treated with the same service as anyone else. Hold a quick meeting with staff about the importance of great service all the time, it could really make a difference.