View From The Inside: A Blog About Hotels And Lodging

How To Turn Your Pub Into A Community

by Addison Burns

Local pubs are a vital part of many communities, both rural and urban. They're a place for people to come together, and for many they're like an extension of the living room of their home. If you've recently taken over a pub and would like to build a "family" feel, there are a few things you can do to encourage your locals to turn into your regulars!

Turn your pub into a place people want to spend their time.

The most basic--and also most important--thing you can do to foster a community atmosphere is to provide an environment people want to be in. If you serve food, make sure you're catering to everyone; if you don't, allow people to bring their own snacks and takeaways in to enjoy with their drinks. Keep everything clean, temperate and welcoming. More than that, though, you need to put some thought into the atmosphere of the place; think carefully about music volume (too loud can drown out conversation; no music at all can feel dead and unwelcoming) and make sure your chairs and tables are arranged in a way that makes the place feel cosy.

Make sure you're the centre of the "family" by putting in effort with everyone.

Speaking of furniture, it's important to have stools at the bar as well as plenty of tables. This is your pub, and for it to truly be a community you and your staff are going to need to be the heart of that community. Get to know what your regular's favourite drinks are, and get them one on the house every so often. Chat to people when you have the time to, and learn about their lives. Forge real friendships with the people who come to your pub, and the whole community will be the better for it.

Encourage your regulars to get to know each other.

Pool tournaments, darts teams and pub trips to the football or the races aren't just fun: they're also a way to forge friendships and build a solid, lasting community. It's one thing for your locals to get to know you, but they also have to get to know each other! Have a think about what your regulars have in common, and come up with a few things you could all do together that you'd all enjoy. You can advertise with sign-up sheets on the bar, and make a point of specifically inviting your most frequent punters.

Hold events that invite the whole community to come and join you.

Of course, you also want to be attracting people who live nearby but haven't dropped in for a drink yet! Karaoke is always good for this, but you can also look into bingo nights, drag acts, summer afternoon barbecues and anything else you think your local community will enjoy. It's all an opportunity to bond, and it'll all help you build the kind of relationships you're looking for from your new business.