Leading managed pub and bar operator TCG is predicting a healthy uplift in sales this Christmas after seeing a 10% rise in advance bookings across its estate.
The increase, compared to the same period last year, has been particularly strong at the company’s bars and pubs outside of London which have seen a 20% rise.
The increase follows a drive by TCG to grow its slice of the Christmas market across the business. Festive menus were launched early at its unbranded pubs and bars as well as its King’s Feast community pubs and Henry’s Café Bars.
It has also benefited from the new Christmas Champions scheme which helped a number of individual sites to plan ahead and maximise sales.
In 18 of TCG’s mainstream sites, a member of staff was nominated as the “Christmas Champion” and attended a one-day workshop in July. This included sessions on festive point-of-sale materials, identifying potential customers and setting targets. All delegates have helped to achieve significant increases in bookings back in their pubs and bars.
TCG director of operations Ben Levick said: “We’re delighted with the level of advance bookings for the Christmas season this year, especially out of London. It’s a testament to the hard work of teams across our estate who have made sure that their pub or bar is seen locally as the best place to celebrate the festive season.
“Key to our success this year has been having a flexible offer that allows our individual sites to cater for a wide range of festive occasions. Although many customers still want a traditional turkey-with-trimmings dinner, we’ve also seen growing demand for more informal drinks and canapé-style gatherings.
“We’ve taken some very large bookings, including one for £23,000 at Via in West India Quay. These are numbers we’ve not seen for a while, and confirm that, finally, the corporate Christmas appears to be back.”
Pictured: Henry’s Café Bar in Bromley, south-east London