Phil Reeves, The Engineer
Phil Reeves, Landlord from The Engineer Pub in Brighton explains how he drives his business around The Cheltenham Festival.
How do you maintain customer loyalty?
We make all our customers feel welcome and part of a family. It is a working class pub so we don't frown on the regulars shouting at the television for their horse to win. When somebody has a big win there is always a party atmosphere and everybody gets involved to celebrate.
We have Racing UK on all day to make sure nobody misses any great racing, we all discuss the runners and riders to share tips ahead of races and we have a horse racing syndicate made up of 14 of our regulars - things like this create a great atmosphere and mean that people come back time and time again.
Finally, as a landlord it is important to see yourself as a host. People come to a pub to see the landlord and lady, make sure you create a great experience for your customers.
What do you do to promote horse racing in The Engineer?
We build up and promote racing using Racing UK posters and race schedules, I also buy all the racing papers and supplements to spread them around the pub. For the bigger meetings we start promoting the week before the meeting and on the day we put on complimentary food for everybody who comes to enjoy the racing - Our punters love cockles and whelks on the big race days!
5 top tips for boosting business on race day
1. Keep your customers entertained with all the best racing action by tuning into Racing UK;
2. Supply complimentary food for the big race days so the punters can settle for the day;
3. Arrange race days, with the free Racing UK club tickets, stable visits and quizzes to show your passion and customers will come back for more;
4. Try and create a syndicate, this will encourage and promote a sense of community spirit;
5. Pick a charity to support. When somebody gets a big win they might put £20 in the pot. In four years we have raised £10,000 for local charities and the Injured Jockey Fund.Customers can see where there money has gone when we put up the letter of thanks from the charity.