Mind reading = a great pub

This time last week I was breaking up a street fight in Mallorca.  I think it started when my 4 year old daughter took my 2 year old son’s packet of raisins, but I can’t be sure because my subsequent enquires met a wall of silence which would make the Mafia proud.

The incident was soon forgotten amidst a great holiday … which until we arrived I had been convinced would be a disaster.

I’d never been on an all-inclusive package tour before and when my wife booked it I was dead against it.   I said we’ve never leave the resort, we’d be surrounded by Brits, we’d be forced to eat English food and we’d be subjected to dreadful entertainment in the evenings.

All my predictions were 100% correct.  And this is probably the reason we had such a great time.

From the moment we arrived we were channelled into enjoying ourselves.  There were no arguments about the food because kids always love pizza and chips.  There was no cooking or clearing up.  There were no disagreements about what to do each day because the choices were so obvious.  The kids left us alone to drink sangria every evening because dancing with the staff was so much more fun.

In short, there was science behind the way the resort was run.  They knew what people needed and they provided it via a slick and easy formula.

It got me thinking about some of the most successful pubs we finance.  Punters walk into the establishments and in most cases leave a few hours later having thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  This is why they go back … and this is why the businesses are successful.

In most cases if you asked a punter what he enjoyed the most he wouldn’t able to tell you. It’s a combination of the right sort of stuff.  Décor, menu, volume of the music, availability of local ales, staff uniforms (or lack of), other clientele … the list is endless.

At Ortus our job is to quickly spot the businesses which are likely to do well and we use similar analysis and research tools to the proprietors and pub companies.

We look at the competition in the local area in terms of quantity and type.  For example, zero competition sounds good but it might be a sign of zero demand.  On the other hand high competition signifies high demand so then it’s a case of studying the existing players and spotting the gaps.

We look at demographics, the number of benefit claimants (large numbers are not necessarily a bad thing … depends on the pub) … we even count the number of nearby betting shops.  It all adds up to an overall picture of the sort of pub which is likely to work for that specific area and this helps us make the right lending decisions in what many consider to be a difficult sector.

In short, we know our stuff.  It comes from years of experience and also the analysis of realms of boring data and spreadsheets.  It’s sort of the opposite of being down the pub.

In any case, it has given me a respect for like-minded types and as I boarded my plane back from Mallorca I gave a thought to the team at the resort company who’d read my mind and provided what I wanted … before I knew I wanted it.  They are the reason we’ll go back next year.

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