A new series started on the Blighty channel last night (Sky 538, Virgin 206) called ‘Save our Boozer’. It’s on for five nights at 8pm and features ‘pub expert’ Jay Smith going around the country trying to save pubs that are in danger of closing.
Last night was the Raven Inn, somewhere in Wales that I’ve forgotten, but couldn’t pronounce anyway. He persuaded a group of villagers to take it on voluntarily for a month to see if they could make it a viable business once more. Now it didn’t say what the rent or overheads were, but the place had to take £4,000 a week just to break even!
Anyway, the advice from this so-called expert was basically to:
- Clean the place up and decorate
- Sell food, especially Sunday lunch
- Put entertainment on
- Hold a weekly quiz
- Put posters up to let people know what was happening
Now it appeared to do the job, but surely it didn’t take an ‘expert’ to tell them the points above. Hardly revolutionary advice is it? That’s what the vast majority of pubs do anyway.
The point I’m trying to make is that I watched this programme to get an insight into what it takes to make a pub work, and came away none the wiser. Perhaps the intricasies of the process were simplified for the average Sky viewer (ducks for cover).
I admire the spirit of the programme, to get behind and support the Great British Boozer, but I just didn’t see the point. It may be a different story tonight, but I suspect it will be more of the same.
Tune in and decide for yourselves. More information on their website.