Pub people are, by nature, resilient. Tough, no-nonsense, hard-grafters who know how to run a business on 4 hours sleep a night and still have a laugh.
Most have kept themselves busy during lockdown - repainting, planting, washing, re-designing. They've pivoted their businesses to deliveries, takeaways, shops and grappled with technology in a way and at a speed that they never expected. The pub is, after all, the original social network, where likes and follows happen in real-life and not on a screen. They've been welcoming their teams back with open (distant) arms, learning the new regs, re-stocking, getting ready to once again be the beating heart of their community.
But the last couple of weeks I've seen a complete sea-change in many who, up until now, have been putting a brave face on. Apprehension at how their re-opening plans will pan out. Fear of their business going under. Heartbreak at having to pour barrels and barrels of beer away. Sheer frustration at the communications from central government (did someone say 'last-minute'?).
But if you want an impossible situation sorting, an insurmountable problem resolved, a laugh to be found amid a sea of despair, there is absolutely no people better equipped to do that than pub people.
Pubs are going to be under immense pressure in every possible way, and in ways that other industries are not, but the alternative is stark. The industry can't fail, too many jobs rely on it. I really hope that people on social media support their local pubs like never before. They won't be the same - but nothing is, right now.
Good luck to every single one of you. "The best way out is through."
We know that the pub experience will be very different post-pandemic. We know roughly what to expect. Customers will be nervous/excited to get back into the pub. For the vast majority of punters their priority will be safety - can they trust that standards are maintained and that anti-COVID measures are in place to protect them as much as possible? How to allay their fears? As always knowledge is power, and forewarned is forearmed etc.
There's a growing number of customer comms coming out now from pub and hospitality companies, all (well, most) designed to build customer confidence in the 'new normal'. There's also an interesting number of internal communications (made public) about safety. I must admit I've accidentally stumbled over a few comms from some pub companies but it's been refreshing that so many are utilising their central social media channels.
I'll keep updating this post as I find more.
First up it's Brewdog. As you'd expect their video is clear, concise and hipster. You can view it here.
Greene King have released details of 'Pub Safe' - a new set of 5 promises to its team and customers - along with a video showing how their pubs will look. Click here to see more about 'Pub Safe' and click here to see the video.
Young's Pubs have also gone with a video cheerily declaring they've been Socialising Responsibly since 1831. In the video they explain exactly how customers can continue 'Socialising Responsibly' with them when they re-open (with a heavy emphasis on gardens). Warning: insanely catchy whistle throughout. Click here to view the video.
How are you going to communicate to your customers that you're open for business, and that you and your team are ready to serve them safely?
I understand pubs and I understand social media. This is a personal blog and doesn't necessarily reflect the views of any persons or companies I work with/for. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org