Out in the country
Last time I discussed the problems for a catering-type business in town, in part limited by the premises and the high rents. At least if they had proper footfall they could make money with the right sort of products.
Some businesses which provide food or entertainment to the public may be considerably out of town. Life isn’t easy out there without good planning. Of course there are some excellent pubs serving fine food. You know them by their reputation and their marketing (you have to know they are there) and because you have been to sampled their excellent cuisine.
That is the point, though. They have to be really good to survive and to have the added attractions of a good chef. I cannot think of an established out-of-town public house which just serves alcohol plus peanuts and crisps. That model doesn’t work any more. The public is more keen to avoid drinking and driving than in the past, and attitudes and family values have changed. There is a need for places where you can take the kids or leave them with granny and granddad for an hour or so so that you can enjoy a pleasant dinner. Life is different.
Adapt or die
The carnage amongst pubs over the past decade had been appalling. So many have closed down altogether. Many landlords have found themselves unable to move fast enough or have been unable to get finance to make changes to their pub businesses before their dwindling trade left them with nowhere to go.
I try to help businesses that are in trouble and therefore have in recent years looked out for those that have County Court Judgements against them for debts unpaid. They are potential clients although many are bankrupt before you get to them. At one time three or four years ago about a third of all on the monthly lists were pubs and their owners.
The survivors amongst the country pubs are those who have turned themselves into good family restaurants and some are doing very well.
Implementing Plan B
We all have to change our businesses sometimes. If our model isn’t working any more, we have to get a new business plan; a real one and not one just to convince the bank about lending money, which we can hardly count on these days anyway.
Have you reinvented your business?
Photo courtesy of Twin Peaks