Punters award for Preston's Nag's Head pub
AN EAST Riding pub has clinched a regional award for boosting customer numbers through its summer celebrations.
The Nag's Head in Preston has seen record numbers of customers and an increase in sales after organising a summer full of events.
The pub beat hundreds of others to be crowned Punch Taverns' Summer 2012 Partner Planning regional winner after producing a highly successful business plan – a competition arranged by Punch to encourage licensees to plan for the summer's season of events.
The pub, run by licensees Mike and Marian Rouse, had a packed summer of events.
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Marian said: "We were really proud to have won and it was great to know all our customers were behind it.
"A business like ours depends on the weather so, if we hadn't have organised so much, it would have been a quiet time for us.
"It also meant we could utilise our facilities, such as the beer garden, which otherwise would have been left unused."
The hard work paid off as the pub in Sproatley Road saw a big increase in customers.
Marian said: "By organising all of the events, we saw about a 50 per cent increase in customers, some of whom were new faces who wanted to get involved.
"This shows that, by offering your customers something extra, a reason to return and a chance to feel part of something, they will.
"I've been overwhelmed by the customer feedback and the effect it has had on our footfall."
But the couple are refusing to rest on their laurels and are planning further seasonal events to try to keep customers coming back to the pub.
Marian said: "I feel really rewarded and winning the Punch competition was the icing on the cake.
"All the hard work has definitely paid off and we have been the busiest we have ever been – it has definitely been the summer of our lives.
"We are already planning our Halloween party and Christmas pantomime so we can continue to get the everyone involved."
As part of their prize, the pub won 1,000 pints of beer, which Marian and Mike put towards some of the other freebies they gave away to customers, such as cupcakes and champagne.
Punch regional operations director Mandy Southall praised the work of Marian and Mike and believes their programme of events has put the Nag's Head at the centre of the community.
She said: "This summer was a unique opportunity for pubs to cement their place at the heart of the community and to become the venue to celebrate national events such as the jubilee and sporting fixtures – whether the Euros or the Olympics.
"We've seen amazing examples of pubs driving the jubilee celebrations and Olympics throughout the UK and the impact it's had on trade."
Ms Southall is confident the couple will continue their heard work and ensure the Nag's Head remains a success.
She said: "Mike and Marian have put in a huge effort over the summer and I believe they are worthy winners.
"They put so much into the community with their charity fundraisers and group events which aim to get local residents involved.
"I look forward to seeing what they organise into the autumn and beyond."