A pint at the local is one of Britain’s oldest traditions, but pubs the length and breadth of the country are having to fight hard just to survive. With rising rents, business rates and supermarkets’ continual price cutting, pubs have had to become increasingly innovative to make it worthwhile opening the doors.
One such pub, The Osborne, in the Freemantle area of Southampton, has refused to call time and is putting the fizzy back into the local ‘boozer’.
The friendly local has always prided itself on giving its customers a warm welcome, with a wide range of draught beers and its chefs cooking up a menu of homemade food. Since taking over the pub 18 months ago, James, and his team, have preserved the pub’s appeal while also introducing a number of new initiatives to bring new customers in and make sure the regulars keep coming back. As the only pub in the area to have all the sports channels, The Osborne has become a destination for fans wanting to watch the ‘big game’, and even if their team doesn’t win it always delivers the right result with range of special drinks promotions whenever the football is on the TV.
Free use of the jukebox and the pool table has also drawn in a crowd, with regular tournaments creating some friendly competition, and a mix classic tracks and the latest hits playing in the background to create a welcoming environment.
With several community events planned in the coming months, the Osborne is determined to continue being the heart of the community it serves.
Keeping the drinks cold, the TV’s on and songs playing puts power supply at the top of the Osborne’s needs, and keeping costs under control is something James has a very close eye on to make sure they‘re getting good value.
Having shopped around for the best deal for their energy James was shocked by some of the deals offered to small businesses.
James said: “One of the ‘big 6’ told us we’d have to pay a £3,000 up-front deposit just to get connected. A payment of that size would have a significant impact on us and could force us to cut costs elsewhere.
“As a small business we have to keep our overheads under control. If they increase too much we’d be in the unfortunate position of looking to save on other costs which could mean reducing staff hours. We might also have to buy less stock which could limit the choice we offer; that could have a negative impact on our customer numbers if we stopped selling someone’s ‘usual’.”
The Utilita Business Energy smart meter fixed tariff has proved ideal for the Osborne. The business tariff has been designed specifically for small businesses with no up-front deposits or background checks and offers competitive rates with no hidden terms or conditions.
James added: “Finding a supplier that didn’t require an up-front deposit was crucial to us and Utilita’s deal suits us perfectly.”
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James - The Osborne , Shirley