Poole’s publicans are turning to to music and comedy to beat the economic downturn.
The Portsmouth Hoy’s Jeremy Thompson believes live entertainment could be the key to keeping customers interested:
“In this [economic] climate it’s not good enough to just be a pub… You need to give people a reason to come to you.”
Mr. Thompson says trade has fallen due to the recession, pointing out that “[Regular customers] used to come in maybe three or four times a week, now they maybe come in once or twice… and they spend less.”
However, in staging weekly ‘open mic’ nights, regular gigs and fortnightly comedy nights, Mr. Thompson is hoping to both expose his establishment to new potential customers and then, hopefully, to “keep them coming in.”
Zoe Schwarz, a blues and jazz singer who performed with husband and guitarist Rob Koral at the Hoy this Sunday, pointed out that it can be a risk for pubs to arrange live music:
“It’s very difficult for pubs [in Poole] to put on music because of the recession. They can’t fork out too much money to pay for musicians if they haven’t got enough people behind the bar.”
But as Mr. Koral argued: “Even now, [on a quiet day] with 15 people in here, I suspect if we weren’t playing… there’d have been three people, and that makes a big difference.”