What can village pubs do to survive in 2022?

Jan 20, 2022 | Blogs

“When you have lost your inns, drown your empty selves, for you will have lost the last of England,” wrote Hillaire Belloc in 1912, and it rings true now. 

The past year has been punishing for pubs and there’s a lot of ground to be made up in 2022. 

From reducing staff costs through automation to negotiating rents and costs with breweries and pubcos, there are ways you can get your village pub match fit.


Negotiation, negotiation

Coming out of a global pandemic has been a monstrous challenge for many businesses, not least those in the hospitality industry. 

Pubs saw themselves closed for long periods of time throughout 2020 and 2021, with limited restrictions serving as a gap to the brief spells of normal opening hours.

As we slowly start to return to something more akin to the new norm, it’s no wonder that the turnover for many pubs hasn’t been great of late. With many pub owners not being the sole proprietor, it can be a difficult conversation when the rent is called or even increased.

Our first suggestion is to negotiate. Discuss with your landlord or pubco, if you’re owned by one, what room there is for some leeway on any financial decisions. Chances are they’re going to be at least somewhat understanding, and a deal could be struck. They might even invest in your pub if you make a clear business case.

If you need more information to help you out, that’s where your accountant comes in. We can provide real-time financial data via cloud accounting (EPOS or Xero) and create a watertight forecast. It’s a lot easier to cut someone some slack if you can see that the funds are on their way.


Let technology get the next round

Using technology is key here. If you can automate as much of your service as you can then, do it. 

Be it ordering food or drinks via an app, or just moving all your dusty old spreadsheets into a digital accounting platform, these little changes will have a massive impact in the long run.

COVID-cautious punters are more likely to visit your premises if they can socially distance and order digitally, while keeping all your info in one place eliminates the chance for an error when entering data late at night after a day of service.


Calculations are key

An accountant can help you work out your profit/loss margins so you’re not overspending – we can look into potential areas of difficulty and assess with clarity.

Maybe VAT is catching you out each month? Or have you got some light sources that are energy inefficient? 

That outside area was vital for getting people through the door, but if it’s gobbling up your budget, then there might be a solution. 


Where we can help

We know how tough it is. It’s a harsh world out there running a pub, especially in the current climate. But as things get better, now is the time to really assess what you’re doing. Of course, that’s hard to do, objectively.

We’ve got business services that can really help you out of any tricky situation. Get in touch today to find out more. First rounds on us.

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