Listening to the tales of my friendly local landlords and their competitive nature leads me to think how interesting the different attitudes are in this trade. Some closely guard their trade as if it is some hard-earned badge, non transferable and owned forever, others are happy improving their trade and keeping a watchful eye on completion and yet others embrace change and the opportunity to refresh the scene.
For me the later is the way forward, it’s not about cut throat competition and it certainly should not be in anyones interest to drive the competition out because if you succeed in becoming the sole venue in a town, if you drive your competition to the hills and claim every pound spent as your own then you will fail. Its only in the soap operas that the population not only loyally support their local but positively enjoy the limitation on their outlets, the real world is not like this. Imagine for a minute, if you will, that you live in Eastenders and its Friday night there’s your pub the loyal Queen Vic go have a pint. You know everyone, everyone knows you isn’t that nice? No new faces just the same comforting faces that you see every time you come in nice eh? No it isn’t! Because we are social creatures and this in fact is our worst nightmare, it works in soaps because we are watching a story but we would hate it.
This is where the error lies in a business plan that is to aggressively insular, yes you drive all the trade to your door but once they are there they stop using pubs, they stay in or leave town. It’s far better to have a healthy share of a lively circuit than all of a dead town, choice and a dynamic offering is needed to keep people leaving the comfort of their home and buying your beer if you take that away then the closest most people will get to the pub is watching the Queen Vic.
Well thats my theory publicised for all to see lets hope nobody vies it and uses it against me, when I eventually resolve my absence of property!