That’s the message from John Gemmell, trading director north at Heineken, who said licensees should use the festive period as a time to “showcase” premises and tempt consumers to come back again in the new year.
To make the most of the opportunity, Gemmell advised operators to combine good service and a broad range of brands with imaginative events.
“Christmas and New Year are extremely busy and important trading periods for just about every licensee in Scotland,” he said.
“Special occasions, such as office parties and seasonal get-togethers with friends and family, demand an even greater level of ‘treat’ than usual, so sales of premium products tend to be higher.
“Consequently, licensees need to adjust their ordering accordingly so that they have plenty of stock ready to accommodate this, such as premium brands Kronenbourg 1664, Heineken, Sol and Tiger.
“Given that Christmas and Hogmanay will draw out customers in diverse family groups, it is paramount that pubs and bars stock a wide range of choice – from premium lagers and mainstream beers to ciders and ale.
“As was the case in 2010, poor weather can present a challenge to Scottish licensees so it will be important they focus on their offering and provide good service, a strong range of brands and innovative events to help to maximise profits during this key trading time.
“Christmas and Hogmanay are superb opportunities to showcase a premises and potentially attract new customers, so it’s vital to get the basics right.”