The Circumstances

National hotel brand property of 200 rooms in Ontario has a dining area with a small bar. Although the hotel has a high occupancy rate, guests are inclined to go out to local chain restaurants to eat and drink so the bar does very little beverage business and no food business apart from breakfast.

The hotel owner sees an opportunity to keep guests in the hotel if they can provide an attractive food and beverage offering in an attractive environment. They have seen conversions in other hotels that have achieved this objective successfully. Their goal is to generate $1.6M of food and beverage revenues within the hotel compared to $180,000 currently.

The Decision Process

Contact is made with the Irish Pub Concept and a series of conference calls are held to establish probable cost, scope and success of the initiative. Comparatives are made with other similar conversions elsewhere and a site visit is made by the Irish Pub Concept to establish the logistics of a change.

Over a period of six months, introductions are made to design/build companies who provide competitive proposals and quotes for the work. A full proposal for the management company is generated by the local management team, including design proposals, estimated budget and timelines, implications for existing hotel guests and full estimate on targeted revenue increase.

The Planning

Once permission is given, local management work with consultants and with design/build companies to execute the change. The consultants are used to help develop menus, recipes and train employees.

The Renovation

The entire change is effected in six weeks, transforming this portion of the hotel from a dry, unwelcoming environment into an authentic pub.

The Outcome

While the hotel achieved its objective of retaining guests who would otherwise have left the hotel to eat and drink elsewhere, the unexpected bonus was that the Pub. Hotel management feel that the presence of the Irish Pub is beneficial for room sales as people like the idea of staying at a hotel with an Irish Pub attached.

One additional and unexpected impact on revenues was that the Irish Pub now attracts customers from the local community who now use the hotel as a gathering place, dinner/lunch destination and social hub for local organizations. Year 1 revenues were $2.0M, Year 2 revenues $2.2M.

Owner Insights
COVID19 has really shaken up our industry and created immense challenges. That said, having a community-based pub has allowed me to be completely flexible with menus, delivery, pickup and a host of other changes I have had to make to my business. If I had owned a regular restaurant in a downtown location, I doubt the business would have survived.
Irish Pub Operator | New JerseyView 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.