How to use the Irish pub's digital potential to engage and attract tech-savvy millennials

How to use the Irish pub's digital potential to engage and attract tech-savvy millennials

Colm O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Irish Pubs Global, is a former CFO with some of Ireland and Britain's leading drinks and hospitality businesses. He is now in the driving seat of the world’s largest network of Irish pubs and tells us how the market is evolving and how important it is for pubs to be aware of the latest developments in Ireland.

THE Irish pub market is incredibly dynamic and diverse, yet hugely dispersed. In larger markets and more developed markets groups have emerged through organic growth, and mergers and acquisitions.

Some of these groups are now run like public companies with highly-sophisticated business systems that operate in stark contrast to the more modest one pub operation.

Regardless of size, ownership structure, the publican must keep up with new trends in order to compete and remain profitable in an ever more regulated, and competitive space.

With the advances in technology and low costs of adopting them, there is no reason all pub owners and managers can’t have real time data on sales 24/7 on their mobile phones. But simply investing in the technology is not enough, it must be utilised.

What might have attracted customers through the doors a few years ago will not necessarily do so today. Simply investing in a website, having a Facebook Page, and Twitter account doesn’t mean you are utilising the digital potential to engage and attract more tech-savvy, millennials into your pub.

What we have seen this year is that from the 16,000 public nominations for the best pubs in a range of categories, the digital offerings and engagement standards are hugely different.

What we have seen is that it is not necessarily who spends the most money, but who creates and follows through with a consistent identity, culture, and brand in all aspects of the business from the staff in the pub, to the tone of social media messages, to the branding on the menus.

Any inconsistencies can impact the modern consumer's view of an establishment.

The Irish Pubs global team - Kevin McParland (Business Development Director), Sarah Newman (Strategic Partnerships Director), Neil O'Hagan (Communications Manager), Averyl Quinn (Community Manager), Colm O'Reilly (Chief Executive)

Irish Pubs Global aims to provide that central source of information for the industry. By running an annual Awards to showcase the best, alongside a two-day exploration of some of the best and newest pubs, distillers, and venues in Dublin.

From October 9-10 we will get a private tour of the new Pearse Lyons Distillery located in a stunning church in the heart of old Dublin. The group will also see where the market is moving in terms of gins, beers, and there will even be a visit to BG Salvage to see what can be sourced to fit out pubs.

Pub owners, managers, and bar staff are encouraged to view the two days as an intensive 48 hour course to get up to speed with developments. It’s common across most industries, whether it be accountants taking refresher courses in new developments, sales staff doing sales training, or business managers doing leadership courses, everyone is constantly upskilling and increasing their knowledge.

The 48 hours in Dublin aims to fill that gap for the Irish pub industry and be almost a mini MBA for pub owners and managers. All aspects of the business will be covered and the dynamic of spending 48 hours networking with the best in the business from around the world makes for a hugely engaging experience.

This year we’re focusing on engaging, retaining, and motivating staff in an industry that has high turnover.

We will hear from some cutting edge companies in this space that have developed offerings specifically for Irish Pubs Global Members. Irish Pubs Global will specifically introduce strategic partner Jobbio during the two day event.

Jobbio is a careers marketplace that connects smart businesses with the right Talent. The Jobbio team will be on hand on the day to showcase the technology along with an exclusive offer of discounts for IPG members.

We are attracting a very diverse group to come to Dublin this October and we encourage anyone connected to the industry to consider joining us for what should be considered part of the personal development of any managers, or owners in the business.

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