Over the summer consumer spending in pubs and restaurants experienced a boost with like for like sales rising almost 5.5 per cent on last year. The World Cup was seen as being largely responsible for the uplift in pub sales, whilst the hot weather also encouraged people to eat out (literally). Despite the talk of continued fragile confidence people are continuing to go out to eat and drink; and if the latest Budget is anything to go by, will continue to do into Winter as a result of the end of austerity and freezes on taxes on spirits. However increased cost pressures; particularly from steep rises in business rates and food costs, mean that margins are being squeezed. Consequently, any way to encourage consumers to spend more or become a repeat customer over the Christmas period are very welcome.

Research shows that over the past 12 months consumers shifted their spending patterns in order to cut down on household expenses. People are becoming more energy conscious in order to save money and there has been a significant uplift in sales of cheaper, own-label brands, but this thriftiness does not apply to the bar and restaurant sectors. People are not cutting down on alcohol or food spending or swapping more expensive brands for cheaper ones.

A study by RSM shows that bars and restaurants that are developing exciting and affordable relationship building concepts are outperforming competitors and are attracting investors keen to support ambitious roll out plans. Creating a customer relationship management system is the perfect solution and could not be easier or more cost effective than it is today.

A data driven approach to customer management enables bars and restaurants to establish and build relationships with customers on an individual basis which engenders loyalty and repeat business.

For instance, using location based technology will allow you to deliver an in-app communication to a customer when they are close to the venue offering them a discount on a drink they regularly order or a two-for-one lunch offer.

Putting each customer at the heart of the business and making them feel special is the key to creating a thriving bar, pub or restaurant today. The only way to do this is through data.

Unfortunately over three quarters of organisations feel like they are not using their customer information effectively or that their existing database marketing approach is not performing as well as it should. Moreover, with the recent introduction of GDPR bars and restaurants remain nervous about what they are and aren’t allowed to do with their customer data and are taking a head in the sand approach by doing nothing. However, now that GDPR compliance has settled down and consumer spending is on the rise now has never been a better time to reassess the way data is used in the business and if necessary make changes that will earn significantly more incremental revenue.

If you want to know and understand more about the way data is changing the world you live in, or would like to know how data can add value to your business, please email me at david.gurney@alchemetrics.co.uk


Dave Gurney

CEO, Alchemetrics - Expert in Data & Digital Marketing
enabling senior marketers to value from engaging customers online.