In-home entertainment continues to develop at a rate of knots; couple that with the cheaper alcohol and ‘dine in for a tenner’ deals found in most supermarkets and it’s easy to see why operators are having to work harder then ever to attract consumers into the trade.
Delivering the ‘perfect serve’ or serving dishes that can’t be easily replicated at home go a long way in encouraging people to visit pubs and bars. And it seems entertainment also plays a major part – not only in attracting people into a venue, but in keeping them there for longer.
Andy Hill, chief executive of Virtual Jukebox, said when it comes to entertainment in pubs and bars, music is a “crucial factor”.
“A good music offering can not only have a real impact on guests’ enjoyment of an experience, but it can also significantly amplify profit,” he said.
“As soon as a customer walks into a bar, the style, tempo and volume of the music they hear allows them to develop an immediate perception of the style of the venue.
More competition and less disposable income means operators need to be more creative.
“This can be a deciding factor in whether they stay for a long period of time or move on to another venue that they feel is more suitable.
“Therefore, it is crucial that the venue’s music choice captivates its customers.”
PRS for Music, which licenses businesses and organisations to play or perform copyrighted music on behalf of its songwriter, composer and publisher members, agreed, saying that music-based entertainment is “integral” to the success of on-trade outlets.
“A combination of increased competition and less disposable income from customers mean that many pubs and bars need to be more creative to get numbers through the door,” said a spokeswoman for PRS for Music.
“We believe that using our members’ music repertoire in the correct way can have a positive impact on takings and the overall experience of customers.”
To fully reap the benefits, it seems operators should consider using a combination of live and recorded music to suit their venue as well as the time and occasion.
PRS said its independent research found “strong evidence to suggest sales directly increase in line with the number of live music sessions held in pubs; adding featured recorded music events, like DJs, should also result in increased sales revenue, it said.
“Industry surveys also concluded that over 93% of pubs, bars and clubs agree that playing music creates a better atmosphere, hence increasing the quality of the overall customer experience and encouraging repeat business,” said the spokeswoman.
“Venues need to be as versatile as possible with their event programming to attract a wider audience of potential customers; and whatever the event is, music has the potential to enhance the customers’ experience and increase takings.”
Of course, music is only part of the on-trade entertainment picture.
Offering it as part of a broader programme of events can pay dividends and keep the entertainment offer “fresh and appealing”, according to Mediatheme – the firm behind The Entertainer touch-screen entertainment system.
“The system is changing the way licensees manage their entertainment, and provides them with the ability to plan captivating events calendars and increase their revenue,” said Scott Williams, operations director at Mediatheme.
“Because it’s simple to use, it allows licensees to take total control of their entertainment rather than paying third parties to provide music, entertainment, discos, quiz nights, casino nights, etc; it’s also suitable for entertainment for wedding parties and fundraisers. The system features split room ‘zoning’ capabilities supplied as standard so a licensee can set up for one sort of music or oversee entertainment in one room while remotely controlling the offering for another room.”