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The Fork And Dagger Pub

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Founded in Straun, Ontario by Richard Lynch, the Fork and Dagger Pub was a growing business and showed much success after opening in 1993. By using word of mouth advertising with the high traffic taken in from playing the Norway Olympics in the pub, the Fork and Dagger Pub found itself with a lot of sports enthusiasts as regular customers as well as students from local schools. But since 2008, the Fork and Dagger Pub has declined in revenue and local patrons have seemed to vanish. With new competitors in the area, and net income decreasing over $100,000 in four years- Richard has decided to let his two sons, Jason & Bradley, both working at the establishment for over 10 years, to create business proposals to help their revenue grow again. As well as accepting the business proposal, Richard is close to retirement and his decision will most likely effect who will gain control of the pub.

Since 2008, the Fork and Dagger Pub has had an overall decrease in sales and revenue, continuing up to present 2012. To properly come up with a solution to increase the Pub’s sales, the reasons for decline must be identified and acknowledged. The first major reason for decline would be the economic recession to hit Canada in 2007. This would explain why Jason noticed that patron’s are purchasing less food or are having overall smaller orders. External factors like recession in the community will affect all sorts of businesses as well as the overall economic status. The next reason for deterioration would be the growing pub & bar venues appearing in Straun, Ontario. With direct competition resembling Big Joe’s Sports Bar & The Shark Tank, once regular customers are now wandering to try new venues. In addition, these new venues are also offering services like free karaoke, live bands & pool tables for socializing.

While the Fork and Dagger Pub do not offer any additional functions like that, out of fear or losing space for tables or destroying the ‘atmosphere’ of the current pub. While considering all this, it should be taken into fact that the Pub’s food expenses and additional expenses were cut back with the decline in revenue. Only business essential expenses were kept the same. So it would appear that external factors are to blame for the Pub’s revenue decline, for the only internal factor to compromise the pub’s business is the lack of change and innovation to the bar atmosphere and scenic value. Overall the Fork and Dagger Pub has been identified as unfocused market strategy, and in need of a desperate change, for it cannot keep up with new and growing businesses in the local area.

The Fork and Dagger Pub has currently two business proposals to help improve and regain revenue for the establishment. Richard’s two sons, Jason & Bradley, both has prepared general ideas of where they can take the business’s target market. Jason’s business proposal involves changing the restaurant’s old and outdated décor and working on promoting the business to compete with others bars. His plan outlines purchasing pool tables ($5000 each), karaoke machine ($1500), DJ nights ($75 – $125 an hour), as well as overall renovating the interior (base at $6000) and changing for new tables and chairs at $2000 a piece. He also hasn’t really focused on the promotion side, but has ideas for Ladies Night, Happy Hour as well as utilizing social media campaigns to give out coupons for drinks or food. Bradley’s business proposal requires rather a change of target market.

Bradley and his partner are apart of the LGBT community, (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual & Transsexual) and after noticing that a number of clientele is also in the LGBT community, Bradley has had the idea to take the bar’s focus to the homosexual community to gain a new crowd of regulars and regain lost revenue. Bradley has conducted studies and surveys in regard to see how much of the business is conducted by LGBT patrons, which would be considered as competitive advantage. He discovered that 15% of the bar’s current customers are LGBT, and that overall the Straun community is approximately 10% LBGT. Furthermore, Bradley understands opportunities for differentiation, which can set the Fork and Dagger Pub apart from the rest, with its current LGBT crowd, and the fact that currently no bar or pub focuses on this demographic of clientele in Straun, Ontario. As well as that, Bradley also learned that his current LGBT regulars at the Fork and Dagger Pub pay on average 10% more for foods on and drinks. Hoping to direct the bar’s attention at the homosexual demographic, Bradley believes this will regain the Fork and Dagger Pub’s regular crowd and have more revenue coming in on a regular basis. Both Jason & Bradley’s proposals have good ideas that can benefit the Pub, but both also have weaknesses that could cost the business. J

ason’s plan though logically sound, has a lot of expensive investments and expensive renovations. Since the bar has had such a hard decline in revenue, it may not be the best plan to invest so much money so quick, at least not until profits pick up a bit and they are no longer losing money year per year. Not to mention all the investments Jason wants to make is not innovative or new to the community, but really just competing with what other bars already have. Really Jason should think towards a service or investment that other local bars do not have, to make their bar unique. However, Jason’s ideas for promotions can be successful. Social media advertising and communication have proven very successful for chains like Denny’s and Taco Bell. Bradley’s plan is very innovative and has low start-up investment costs. Though it can be considered risky due to specific community’s view on the LBGT demographic, in case it will receive negative feedback. Sometimes risky changes are the one worth investing in, because Bradley’s numbers do not lie that they indeed can gain more revenue by focusing on the homosexual crowd. Also since Straun has no other LGBT bars or pubs, the Fork and Dagger Pub would be unique and maybe attract new patrons as well.

After reading through both brothers’ proposals, it seems the stronger proposal belongs to Bradley. Bradley has done his research and has brought back basic numbers showing that by changing the target market and promoting the bar to the LGBT community, that the Fork and Dagger Pub can gain more revenue. Also the idea of being the only LGBT pub in Straun, Ontario would for sure attract new patrons. The only external factor that could cause some discrepancies is the community’s political and cultural views. Opening a city’s first LBGT-targeted bar and pub could create some tension between those with a political or religious view against the LBGT community, but can also create a lot of attention towards the business and create word of mouth advertising.

But regarding any negative response from targeting the LBGT crowd, the Fork and Dagger Pub’s current clientele base is already 15% LBGT affiliated. An increase in LBGT-affiliated patrons would not hurt or affect the current bar’s clientele base but rather increase it. Although Jason’s idea is still valuable, it just seems like a much too expensive investment for a pub that is losing a lot of money. Although based upon the external trends happening in the bar district, investing in pub activities like pool tables will be necessary once funds become more available. However it is strongly recommended that Richard should use Jason’s promotion ideas ALONG with Bradley’s advertising towards the LGBT crowd. Social Media can get the word out very quick and reach all LGBT members in the community efficiently and easily.

The outline of the promotional plan should include a coupon or discount offer for the opening night of the new LGBT themed pub. Opening night is crucial especially if there is a lead up to the night by daily postings on social media accounts. The Fork and Dagger Pub should also reach out to LGBT community centers to see if they can post advertising or event listings or inquiries in the facility. They should also consider hiring LBGT entertainment, for attracting large crowds and fan-bases, like LBGT singers or Drag Queens. Drag Queens can play as hosts for the night or event, and do not require large appearances costs for they usually get paid on tips. Dancing and a dance floor would also be extremely beneficial. The Fork and Dagger Pub should consider installing one or maybe consider removing tables and chairs from the bar after a specific time of night, to make room for dancing. To have this business proposal succeed, the Fork and Dagger Pub should focus on making their establishment a fun and judgment-free environment, and their customer traffic will pick up.

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