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Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Bookings for Christmas

While bookings for Christmas should be well underway by now, I'm still coming across an ocassional pub that has yet to start advertising! I have been pushing Christmas since mid August. You simply have to.

"The customers don't like it!" I hear as an excuse. Well that isn't a reason to lose your business. And it depends on how you go about it. And these customers who aren't ready to face the coming season are generally the same customers who phone in December wanting to book a table for 8!



To put it as simply as I can: If you don't start advertising in August, the office parties will have already booked elsewhere that did start in August. So how late you start depends on how much trade you are happy to lose.

And certainly, customers might get wearisome when they see you installing a 16 foot banner promoting Christmas Fayre while they are enjoying a BBQ in your beer garden... but their groans more reflect the retailish nature of the promotion tools handed out by head-office. Although it has been known for independents to go down the awful banner route.

I can't stress it enough - you are far better simply writing a chalkboard as neatly as you can simply stating that bookings for Christmas are underway. If you can find an artist willing to help then this would indeed help. Customers never moan about having Christmas forced upon them when the message is handpainted and creative. Make it quirky. I have sometimes drawn a snowman, wearing Burmuda shorts and sun glasses on a palm beach, looking at his watch, with the message "It will be here before you know it - book early to avoid disappointment!"

If you can find a chalkboard artist in your area this is a great opportunity to use one to change the emphasis of your advertising from Summer to Autumn. Halloween is nearly here and Guy Fawkes. Children in Need also come November. All should be planned by now. Just bear in mind that its a busy time of year for chalkboard artists so do book in advance. After all these years I still find it incredible that managers phone up expecting you can get to them within a week!

In short - do what you can but do it quickly. And by October at the latest, try and arrange a Christmas display by the entrance. Even a small table arranged with crackers, champagne glasses, holly and tinsel with your menus fanned across can help sell the concept and get those customers booking.

PUB A-BOARD


Click here for loads more creative Christmas Ideas

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Employing professional Chalkboard Illustration services can increase turnover anywhere between 10% - 100% ! Attract the right attention through projecting a friendly professional image, by using professional artists who specialize in Pub Chalkboard Illustrations.



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