The Irish Pub Concept came about inn 1992 as the result of an initiative by Guinness Brewing Worldwide, who had watched the great growth of Irish Pubs in Europe during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. The idea was to provide expert information and advice to potential investors in opening their own Irish Pubs, while at the same time generating incremental sales of Guinness. What very quickly developed was a realization that the operational dynamics of an Irish Pub not only produced superior profitability, but actually delivered industry-leading results. Today, the Irish Pub Concept continues to thrive across the globe and in very diverse demographics and economies.
Through the twenty-two years of the Irish Pub Concept, the same criteria for success recur time after time:
It is essential to find a designer who specializes in pubs and understands the subtle elements that make them feel 100 years old while at the same time seem coolly contemporary. Pubs are not about straight lines or ‘clean’design, they are an eclectic amalgam of textures, colors, shapes and light, very carefully put together to provide a uniquely warm ambiance. To achieve the right result, you need someone who completely understands the elements that make an Irish Pub authentic and special. Therefore, finding the right designer and seeing their previous pub work is essential to your future success. Our Partners page will direct you to vendors who have been delivering authentic, on-budget, on-time pubs for over twenty years.
Irish Food & Irish Recipes
Your menu needs to be integrated with local and regional dishes, but at it’s heart, it needs to be Irish. It’s not enough to put together a menu of North American sandwiches and give them cute Irish names. Where possible, your food should be locally sourced, prepared with the freshest possible ingredients and made from scratch in-house. Then great care must be taken so that the presentation of the food matches the quality of the cooking. An Irish Pub is all about delighting the guest unexpectedly, it’s about under-promising and over-delivering, every time.
Premium Irish Beverages
At the core of every successful Irish Pub lies the Perfect Pint of Guinness. Not just because it’s an icon of Ireland and an instantly recognizable brand, although these are certainly qualities that are very important, Guinness means a whole lot more to the Irish Pub Concept. Pouring perfect Guinness is a metaphor for your Irish Pub’s attention to quality in everything from food and beverages through to comfort, cleanliness and customer service. It’s a way of informing guests that everything you do is given as much attention as a perfectly-poured and presented Guinness. Finally, because it is a premium product which attracts a premium consumer, it commands a premium price and therefore a strong bottom line.
Irish Pubs are synonymous with good music and not just Irish music or Irish artists. It should always be there, sometimes live, sometimes just acoustic, sometimes just background and it should never intrude on the mood of your guest.Your music program needs to be carefully planned and always with the demographic you want to entertain in mind. What’s acceptable at 11PM on a Saturday night for a group of college friends may not be suitable at 9PM for families finishing a leisurely dinner and vice versa.
You have recruited and trained your employees with the purpose of having them execute your philosophy of hospitality and foodservice. Now you are setting them free to be themselves and do whatever’s needed to make every guest a loyal regular. They are your trusted, front-line ambassadors for your brand and you will encourage them every day to be the best at what they do.
Pubs have a very different ratio of food sales to beverage sales than most restaurants. Pubs maintain high food sales while also developing very healthy beverage sales at times when most restaurants are quiet….afternoons, cocktail hour and late night, for instance. Because beverage cost of sales and beverage labor cost are lower than for food, this makes pubs far more likely to be more profitable.
Your first steps will be as follows:
- Consult with a Diageo Guinness expert who will point you in the right direction
- Research real estate in your area and start to identify suitable locations for the pub
- Research the local restaurant scene and understand how they are doing
- Create a comprehensive business plan and financial estimate that is adaptable for different locations
- Identify the cost of renovation and assess how much money you will need to get it done
- Identify the site you want and start negotiating with the landlord
The main types of financing are as follows:
- Bank, Credit Union, SBA (small business loan)
- Personal Equity (your own money)
- Investors (Family, friends, business partners, high net worth individuals)
In advance of your pitch, prepare and understand a well-researched Business Plan & Financial Estimate showing how you can make a good return on their investment. To see an example of the kind of information you need to present in your pitch, click here.
Ideally, you are looking for an existing restaurant premises which can be renovated. That way, you have existing infrastructure such as HVAC, kitchen ventilation hoods, washrooms etc. and will save some money as compared to fitting out a building from scratch.
Depending on location, prevailing legislation law may not allow Diageo Guinness to provide material support for pub development, you will have to check with your local distributor or manufacturer. However, Diageo Guinness does provide resource via this website on the ‘Our Partner’ page. If you are looking to have an initial, no-cost consultation with an Irish Pub expert, please go to our ‘Our Partner’ page or visit our Official Partner directly at Ballance Hospitality.
- What is The Irish Pub Concept?
- What are the Criteria for a Successful Irish Pub?
- Why is a Pub Generally More Profitable Than a Restaurant?
- What are the First Steps Toward Developing My Pub
- Where Will I Find Financing for my Pub?
- How Do I Approach Investors?
- What Kind of Location Am I Looking For?
- What Support Does Diageo Guinness Offer?
- Do I Need Restaurant Experience to Open a Pub?