Connecting with the town again -- being a pub owner in rural Australia

Pubs traditionally formed the social centre of most small towns. If you are buying a pub in Australia where the pub is run down and has become less popular, getting the town coming in again is the key to maximising your profitability.

Here are some tips to making the pub popular:

Hire great bar staff

While hiring scantily dressed bar staff can be a common short cut to bringing bodies in the door, the key to repeat customers is bar staff that interact well with the patrons. A sparkling smile will bring more people in than a sparkling g-string, and won't put off local families and women from visiting the pub. Great bar staff will remember regulars' orders, and be interested in talking with people during quieter times. They will also be very organised and good at multitasking like cleaning while serving, as well as doing side work (cutting lemons and so on) while they have breaks in service. 

Have some theme nights

To bring people into the pub have some theme nights like trivia nights and karaoke competitions. Giving people some entertainment as well as place to drink will help bring in more customers throughout the week and give them an entertainment option rather than watching TV at home! Try running a battle of the bands to give local musicians a chance to perform, and look at hiring live music regularly -- it's a great way to show your commitment to the local community.

Revise the menu

If the menu has not been revised in a while, take a look through and see what other options could be added -- plus, consider which options don't get ordered much and can be taken off rotation. Over time even rural patrons have gotten intrigued by cooking shows and are getting more adventurous with trying new flavours and seasoning. Just make sure that your staff can confidently and consistently cook any items you add -- food poisoning is no way to bring in new customers. 

Go online

While many of your customers will be repeat customers from the local town, a simple and attractive website can bring in people from surrounding towns and travellers passing through your town. Include details such as your maximum seating capacity so that any tour operators in the area know if they can consider your venue for large tour booking.

As you can see, with some simple actions it's easy to bring the local community back into the pub.