Parents in pubs ‘must drink’

Signs, signs, signs… in some places there are so many signs telling you what you can’t do you start to wonder how you ever managed on your own.

There are a number of signs you need to display, the law ensures that licences, health & safety, smoke-free law, cctv, security, price-lists and other signage must be displayed. What you add to this already crowded field, can make the difference between your sales message getting through and patronising your customers.

Think about the wording on your signs, the best and most effective signs I have ever seen tend to use humour to get their message across. If a smile comes to your face when you are being told not to do something, you are likely to abide by the sign and take it in good humour.

Above all make sure the message cannot be misinterpreted. We have written about Wetherspoon’s policy (click here) regarding adults who are accompanied by minors not consuming more than 2 alcoholic drinks before. It is now pretty well known, but the sign at the Prince of Wales in Cardiff reads ‘We welcome you and your children in our pub as long as you have one or two alcoholic drinks’… the sort of sign you would expect to see in a foreign country where they have used an on-line translation to write a sign in English…

Patronising can be even more destructive to your business; it amazes me the number of places I go and see signs saying ‘Please do not stand in front of the fire exit. Keep Clear!!’; as if somehow when the alarm goes off you are going to stop people leaving… I like being stood in front of the fire exit, it means I am the first one out.

‘Please do not place furniture in front of this exit’ at least makes sense, but is it really necessary?

If your staff training in Fire Safety is up to scratch a member of your team will notice if the exit is blocked and go over and politely explain the situation. This is a double whammy it makes the customer realise that you take their safety seriously and allows your staff to give a quick explanation of the reason rather than ‘barking’ at your customers from a sign (usually with a tacky clip art symbol included…).


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Date – 21st May 2010