Responsible drinking for the small business

pint of stout, crisis management

There is a fascinating piece in the Sydney Morning Herald by Sarah Berry looking at the dangers of ‘second hand drinking’. This is the idea that the damage done by drinking is not always inflicted on those doing the drinking. Often it is those around them. This could be people with them while the drinking happens, or family and friends at home.

This is a new approach for the drinks industry. Campaigns on drink driving generally focus on the drinker, not the other victims. Or the negative impacts of alcoholism highlights the sufferers life and job prospects. The effect on their family rarely comes into it.

This got me thinking, if the people at risk from the negative impact of drinking may not be drinking themselves, then where does this leave the responsibilities of the venue which serves alcohol?

Selling alcohol to someone who is already drunk is illegal in this country – although finding evidence of any fines being levied or prosecutions taking place is difficult. However, how can businesses make themselves more attractive to non-drinkers?

the rule of thirds in food photography

The Teetotal Reveller

There is a rise in the amount and quality of low and no alcohol options on the market. The first no alcohol pub has just been announced in London. The amount of non-alcoholic drinks available has increased. But it barely warrants a mention on many a website and social media account.

The rise of premium products means that margins are not hit as badly as by customers just drinking regular soft drinks. Plus perhaps there are unintended consequences such as a reduction in breakages and petty acts of damage or theft.

Perhaps the savvy independent would do well to create more targeted marketing campaigns. Now is the time to welcome tee-totallers, or those who choose not to drink during their visit. People choose not to drink for so many reasons. Let them know what is on offer, and that they are welcome. Taking a non-alcoholic route should not be considered an add-on or afterthought for responsible publicans and bar owners.

Looking to create a new marketing strategy but don’t know where to start?

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