The Circumstances

This individual owns and operates an existing small sports-bar venue which has become tired over time and is barely making money. A lot of competition has moved into the area over recent years and though he has provided some food…burgers, wings etc., it isn’t enough to attract people to his place. He now relies heavily for revenue on a male-dominated, hard-drinking clientele and for special sporting events. His area is becoming a bedroom community for Philadelphia and many young families are moving to the area. He recognizes that he is going to have to change his business model in order to provide a sustainable business for the future.

The Decision Process

This individual has researched all kinds of restaurant and foodservice concepts, including franchises, to see what might work. He is very familiar with Pubs…in fact a couple are already in his area….but he sees that the Irish Pub Concept is very different to those other ‘Irish’ Bars. There is an emphasis on authentic décor, high-quality food, premium beverages, great service and community involvement which seemed to be aimed at exactly the customer who are flocking into his area. He decides to take his research to the next level and gets in touch with the folks at the Irish Pub Concept.

The Planning

They are able to explain the dynamics of a well-designed, well-operated Pub, how the beverage to food ratios are critical to success, the kind of margins that could be expected and the probable cost of renovation if he were to go ahead. Armed with this information, he is able to sit down and work out what the probable uplift in revenues would be and what the change might cost him. He approaches design/build companies and is able to get proposals and fixed price quotes from them. They are also able to tell him exactly how long the renovation will take and how they will manufacture all the millwork off-site, minimizing any downtime.

Understanding all that he needs to do, what it will cost and how long it will take allows him to build a business plan that he presents to his bank in order to generate the money he needs to do the renovation.

The Renovation

From the time he closes the doors on his old sports-bar to the time he opens his new Pub takes exactly four weeks. Because of efficient project management by the design/build company, he is able to focus on the operational side of the business, planning his menus, hiring his employees etc.

The Outcome

Sales in the new Pub substantially exceed sales in the old sports-bar. Food has now become a big (50%) component of the new business so it is definitely more complex to manage. Although sales rise dramatically, food cost was now something that has to be carefully monitored while beverage cost remains constant. However, the business is now a fixture in the community with a loyal customer base, appealing not to just one narrow demographic but drawing in multiple demographics for multiple reasons across the week. The business now has a clearer future and is making more money.

Owner Insights
As I see it, many restaurants do not provide an ambiance that encourages a more relaxed response from the guest to alcohol.
Irish Pub Operator | COLORADOView Owner Insights
Pub Facts

Casual-dining restaurants usually require significant local populations to survive and thrive. Because of the frequency of consumer visits to an Irish Pub, they can thrive in populations of less than 15,000.