Well, it was lovely to see the great and good of the hospitality industry at Tuesday’s Bii Summer Lunch. Many congratulations to the guys at The Railway at Lowdham who won the prestigious Licensee of the year award. I’d just got back from a short trip to New York to see a friend. So I headed home early. I hope those of you who didn’t, had a great time and that Wednesday morning was kind to you!

What I’m always struck by when I’m over the pond is how easy everything is made for customers. The ease in which you can interact with brands- be that at home or out in pubs and bars.

On ‘Super Saturday’ I watched, albeit a few hours behind everyone else, all the fantastic sport that was being shown in the UK. Starting with the rugby and finishing with the Anthony Joshua fight at Madison Square Gardens. Which was a stone’s throw from where we actually were. One of the guests turned up with Starbucks to go.  Not just a few coffees, a full ‘serve at home’ box with all the paraphernalia to give the guests a full Starbucks experience. This isn’t something I’m aware of being offered in the UK.

New York - Starbucks

The following day, a friend and I did a ‘foodie’ walking tour around Manhattan. Followed by, for want of a better phrase, a bar crawl of New York staples – Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side. The idea of convenience and making brands and products accessible and purchase easy continues through these bars. In our first bar, we saw many brands vying for customer attention. The one that stood out for me was Bud Light. Who had ‘Beer Towers’ placed on the bar. Which you can buy, fill up with cold Bud Light, dispense at leisure. Easy, quick, good value.

New York - beer tower

In another sports-led bar, each TV was showing a different game and an app allowed you to listen in to whichever you wanted to on your personal headphones. Personalised, targeted and easy. We know from our research report ‘Ontrade Outlook‘ that, when watching sport in a pub/bar, customers want to see and hear the action. Getting served quickly and efficiently is what customers want above anything else. They want to be assured of all of this before they even arrive at the venue.

Sufficient numbers and correct placement of screens. With speakers for enhanced sound, table service and pre-booked areas/tables. These are the staple offer of any venue looking to take advantage of the opportunities that live sport can provide.

New York - sports on tv

In our recent research report, we asked 1000 pub/bar goers; which of the following should pubs be doing to make watching sports in pubs a more enjoyable experience? See below for the results!

Ontrade Outlook 2019 research by KAM Media

After the the thrills of New York, i’m having a quiet night in after a full-on week, then down to Sussex for a friend’s birthday BBQ. Pray for good weather because it’ll be swarming with children. Who are only acceptable in large numbers in open spaces!