Serious thoughts from Omark Strategic Hospitality Solutions

By | August 9, 2011

“Working at the coalface”

 

Redditch, UK. Tuesday 9th August 2011

It’s time for the pub sector operators to give landlords the appropriate
skills to manage, control and build a more profitable business.

“Things will get better”   says Lester Pyatt, Managing Director of
Omark Strategic Hospitality Solutions, “but the sector has to realign itself to
market conditions, whilst mounting a defence against supermarket pricing policy
that encourages our customers to spend their leisure time at home rather than
going out.”

An analysis of the pub sector over the past ten
years shows that small, urban, “wet led” outlets were already starting to feel
the strain through trying to compete with larger operator’s marketing
strategies, such as Wetherspoons. The decade also saw a step change in customer
lifestyles, rent issues and smoking bans all of which meant the reduction in
outlets was bound to happen.

Pyatt
continued “Maybe it’s slightly controversial but I actually think recession
assisted in speeding up the closure process. At the time the enormity of the
cull was a culture shock but it will eventually create a leaner, more
professional and appropriate business model.”

Large multiple pub operators are slowly repairing
bank balances as the “bailing out” process continues in an attempt to keep their
slowly sinking ships afloat. However, whilst this is happening some board directors
are still neglecting or failing to invest in the business development
opportunity with tenants and their customers.

Some pub operators are giving business support but
generally Business Development Managers are still engrossed in fire fighting in
order to maintain cash flows. The provision of quality business structures
would assist the development, turnover and profit of the business and alleviate
some of the pressure on the landlord.

When the fundamentals of the business process are
in place it is up to the BDM to manage the project and give support in the
following areas

  • Marketing strategy
  • Customer service & operation
    auditing
  • Financial controls: Profit & Loss
  • Quality Control:  e.g. operation handbooks, check lists,
    Customer Service Charters, complaints procedures, test and measure advertising
    procedures
  • Cost effective advertising & promotion techniques

This may require considerable investment by pub
groups as training BDMs in managing, advising, coaching and supporting the
landlord to develop a successful business is time consuming. Daily customer
calls would have to be replaced by more concentrated quality visits.

Pyatt believes there are too many independent “consultants”
knocking on doors, chasing the same business, with most being re- buffed by
operators and landlords who are either too pre-occupied or personally do not
have the incremental funds to invest in business development .

Pyatt’s business was created because he identified
the “gap” that existed between the landlord’s need for support to solve his
problems and issues and the apparent lack of support offered to help him do so.
“Double digit growth in turnover or profit can be realised if the business
process is followed and maintained stringently by focussed landlords.”

Pyatt is currently talking to a consortium of business professionals who
are experts in certain aspects of the business process such as

  • Finance
  • Specialised on trade promotions,
  • E mail marketing,
  • Sales initiatives
  • Procurement
  • Marketing strategy
  • Food presentation & promotions
  • Pubs with beds development

Discussions are taking place with legistitive and
governing bodies about the business process culminating in a month of “free” road
shows around the country to landlords and pub companies in conjunction with
British Pub Week.

Pyatt concludes: “We have got to unite to make our
sector the most efficient within the hospitality industry. Once we have a
leaner and more professional pub sector model it will have the ability to grow
and prosper. I just hope that the pub groups will come to the party and get a
bit of coal on their faces!”

Note to Editors

 

Omark Strategic Market Solutions service the licensed trade with
business development programmes. It was established in 2006 by Lester Pyatt
formerly Head of Marketing at Jersey Brewery.

 

Omark Strategic Market Solutions is a division of:

L P Marketing Ltd

11 Kingfisher Business Park

Lakeside

Redditch

Worcs

B98 8LG

 

For further information contact Lester Pyatt on 07931 238211

www.omark.co.uk

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