Dry January- Hard for Party Animals, Harder for Pub Owners
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Dry January- Hard for Party Animals, Harder for Pub Owners

January, the start of a new year… and new me. We’ve all heard that one before.

Often people treat January as an opportunity to introduce new goals and ambitions, whether thats to be healthier, fitter, richer, or more successful. Gradually more and more companies are also trying to hone in on this tradition, by creating initiatives which encourage people to experience an alternative lifestyle… like the below.

Dry January

Dry January has been going for a few years now and each time it comes around; more people seem to get involved. Are you taking part this month? Their website boasts that you will end the 31 days lighter (You’ll lose weight), brighter (You’ll be more energetic) and fresher (You’ll wake up in the morning with glowing skin) what’s to lose? Well a lot actually, for pub and bar owners whose livelihood is centred around alcohol.

This year, over 2m people have signed up to Dry January and many of these are probably regular drinkers who want to measure what a difference being teetotal can make to their lives. However, although going without alcohol may be a positive thing for them, it certainly seems like a negative for their local. If you own a pub or bar the best thing to do during this month is to really focus on everything you offer that isn’t booze- related, and that’s so much more than just fruit juice. People tend to go out in an evening to socialise so why does this have to stop just because they aren͛t drinking. It doesn’t!

Option One

Put on a Dry January night for all those in your local area that have given up alcohol, take it completely off the menu for this evening and instead offer refreshing alternatives- mmm tasty drinks without the bad hangover the next morning. To spruce up the atmosphere, play some up-beat music in the background.

Tip– Non-alcoholic cocktails (mocktails) are always a winner, they look fancy, they taste fancy and you still get to put your amazing skills to good use!

Option Two

Invite a band to come and play instead of doing your usual Karaoke night. After all, without alcohol chances are people will keep their inhibitions in tow, which means no loud (and dodgy) singing. It will be pleasant for customers to watch a few local groups with their friends… and actually remember it the next day.

Option Three

Quiz Night- family fun for everyone! People love these sorts of events and if you make it good enough, this could become a tradition that goes on well past Dry January, encouraging groups to visit your establishment on a weekly basis. Just make sure the winning prize isn͛t alcoholic…

Option Four

Show what else your great at. Yeah we know that your pint pulling is a skill that we would never be able to master, but what about your food? You could introduce a menu so that people are spending money on your amazing dishes rather than southern comfort and lemonade. That with one of your fruity creations- delicious!

Option Five

Games! Who doesn͛t like playing darts or pool when they go to the pub? Why not put on a small competition so that people are tested when they are completely coordinated. Get customers up on their feet and create a fun and competitive atmosphere for everyone to get involved with.

Option Six

Make sure you advertise! You should put up posters showing your support for this initiative so that non-drinkers know they are welcome in your establishment. Also, make sure you let people know about the extra events going on- social media is a great way of doing this!

Although January may seem like it’s going to be a slow month for you, by making a few simple tweaks you can still capture your usual audience! Make them feel like they͛re always welcome and there are still nice things for them to take part in and they͛ll be sure to visit your business before February. And remember, no matter how many people do dry January there will still be those that don͛t or those that simply can͛t make it through the whole month. Be proactive and flexible and your business will remain profitable.

If you would like any money to help you implement new, exciting events during dry January and beyond, Capify could provide you with £3,500-£500,000 within days of applying. For more information about how our innovative funding works, call us on 0800 151 0980 or apply now using our advanced online application.

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching… have you started preparing? Stay tuned for our new blog post which will be out shortly.