Monday, 26 September 2016

Why guests choose pubs to stay in

As standards across the pub industry continue to rise, more customers are choosing the pub as the place for an overnight stay. Your guests will come for many different reasons but do you know why they choose you?

Stay in a Pub, the pubs-with-rooms website with more than 1,500 listings, has shared its most popular search terms with Inapub.

Get in contact with Guestline here to find out about upcoming events for the pub industry.

And in no particular order, here's what people are looking for.

1. 'Holiday ideas' / 'Beach holidays'

Nearly half of people (41 per cent) prefer to stay in a pub rather than other options such branded hotels (23 per cent) and B&Bs (11 per cent).

When you look at the result of that Stay in a Pub survey along with VisitBritain's estimate that 36.7 million tourists will head to these shores in 2016, it's not hard to see the opportunity for pubs.
St Austell has plenty of pubs that provide holidaying opportunities in the South-West.

Accommodation manager Candace Jury says that most searches are based on location. "Across the managed and tenanted estate we definitely have more rooms than we used to. Within the managed estate accommodation sales have increased by about 30 per cent compared with five years ago," she says.

2. 'Pet-friendly holidays' / 'dog-friendly pubs'

We are a nation of dog-lovers and many people prefer to take their pets with them rather than burdening friends or paying for kennels.

The rooms at The Queens Arms in Corton Denham, Somerset, have been given five stars by the AA. One caters specifically for dogs (and their owners) and features a wooden floor, wet room, dog towel, and a bed in a cage. The pet-friendly pub also has bowls or water and treats throughout.

3. 'Country escapes'

The Roebuck in the Sussex village of Laughton has four letting rooms that prove popular with those looking for a rural retreat.
Licensee Tony Leonard, who re-opened the pub last year and gave the rooms a British beach holiday vibe, says: "Sussex is a great place for people to come and visit. We also find that Glyndebourne [opera house] brings a lot of people here.

Our Sussex breakfast, which is all locally sourced, is extremely popular too. It is something people don't really cook at home any more and it leaves the final impression of a stay."

4. 'Walking'

Pub-goers are more active than they have ever been and for many your pub will be the perfect place for a stopover after a day of exertion in the local area.
Iain Huddy, general manager at Brakspear's The Running Horses in Mickleham, Surrey, says the rooms are filled with workers in the week and walkers at weekends.

"At weekends, we get a lot of Londoners looking to escape to the country. We're only an hour's drive away and we're right on Box Hill. They can walk, enjoy the views across the Surrey countryside, then come back for a drink at the bar and dinner before taking a few steps to their room."

5. 'Cycling'

The ever-successful GB cycling team has a lot to answer for — an abundance of Lycra on the roads for one thing.
There are also more cyclists looking for stop-offs as they take part in holidays and charity challenges. The Roebuck welcomes cyclists and even sells puncture repair kits over the bar.

6. 'Brewery tours'

Beer fans are thirsty for new experiences and you don't have to be in Burton or near one of the bigger breweries.
At last count there were around 1,500 in the UK, so there's bound to be one nearby. Even if guests don't want a tour many who stop over will want to sample local produce. Tony says: "Our nearest breweries are Harvey's and Burning Sky, and we always have beers on from both of those."

7. 'Special offers' / Late deals

People are always on the lookout for a bargain. If the rooms are not selling out discounting the price could bring more people in and increase your take on food and drink. That's the beauty of guests who stay, they generally want to eat and drink with you too.

Stay in a Pub

Stay in a Pub, which launched in 2015, recently teamed up with VisitEngland and online booking agent Eviivo to compile best practice guidelines for pubs that have accommodation. They cover everything from serving breakfast to marketing your rooms, recruiting the right staff and using social media.

Stay in a Pub founder Paul Nunny says: "With more UK residents choosing to explore their home country, as well as an increase in tourists from abroad, 2016 looks set to be a good year for pub accommodation."

Matthew Eley
Matt Eley is the Inapub editor. Follow him on Twitter @mattheweley


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