AIB’s outlook on the pub

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20 September 2013

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Elsewhere, AIB, having probed and prodded the on-trade’s bodily health via its 200-publican survey, has declared it to be like the parson’s egg, good in parts.

Having completed its physical checkup of the licensed trade, most of what it had to say in its summary report was already well-known. But there were some significant snippets.

30% of the pubs surveyed had experienced an increase in turnover while 52% of publicans are optimistic that their own business will be better in the next three years. That’s encouraging.

What also struck me as particularly interesting was how many publicans (43%) don’t target the under-30s market. Not only do one-third of a pub’s customers nestle in that under-30 age bracket, they also represent the pub’s only future as the rest of us begin to die off.

However, unlike callow youth, one of the benefits of age is that I can make any pub feel welcoming if I really try.

With a poorly-run pub as likely to survive in the present economy as Al Qaeda Luggage Packing Services, young people – well those under 30 – need to feel welcome in a pub. They need to feel that this pub is for them and not just for their elders (and betters). What are you doing about that?

By-and-large, pubs can be welcoming environments for their customers but this is not always the case.

Despite the recession, some pubs that I’ve ventured into of late have been less welcoming than a Ryanair hostess at the end of a double shift. That having been said, reports such as these serve to remind us that we remain far from the shore, a long way short of the runway – and if it stimulates some to fight against any temptation to return to the complacency of the 90s, then the AIB report has served its purpose.



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