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Thu 21st Feb 2013 - Breaking News - Star Pubs & Bars takes new approach to mystery customer visits
Star Pubs & Bars rolls-out ambitious mystery customer programme: Following a successful trial in 450 pubs, Star Pubs & Bars, the operator of 1,200 tenanted pubs, is rolling out what is believed to be one of the biggest and most in-depth mystery visitor programmes in the leased pub sector to help its lessees ensure their retails standards are of the highest quality. The company stated: “The quality, credibility and usefulness of the feedback to lessees is critical for Star Pubs & Bars. In a new departure for the leased sector, only evaluators with industry experience such as former pub operators are used to undertake visits and, using their expertise in pubs, the programme not only identifies the strengths and weaknesses of each pub through the eyes of a customer but also highlights new business opportunities.” Under the £300,000 scheme, which is delivered by licensed trade specialists ABV Training and provided free to lessees, pubs will receive an average of two unannounced visits during 2013. After the first, lessees benefit from an independent report scoring their pub in over 80 different areas from a customer’s perspective as well as providing suggestions for enhancing and growing their business. Following a review with their BDM support is provided to lessees to address recommendations prior to a second mystery visit to assess the impact of any improvements. Chris Moore, property and strategy director for Star Pubs & Bars, said: “Delivering consistently high retail standards and an offer which caters for the full range of customer needs is key to driving up sales. Managed pubs tend to do very well in both of these areas. Where a lessee can achieve the same and combine it with the special, unique atmosphere of an independently operated pub, it creates an unbeatable customer experience and ultimately a more successful business. Being a licensee is an incredibly busy job, with countless demands on your time in an industry where customers have ever increasing expectations. Those who participated in the trial were very appreciative of the customer insight they received and for ideas from industry professionals on how they could further grow their trade.” The results of the mystery visitor programme will also allow Star Pubs & Bars to easily identify trends in the business, spotting opportunities that other pubs could benefit from and helping to identify and deal with any issues early on. Added Moore: “A passion for quality is at the heart of all we do and this programme helps us and our lessees deliver this on many levels. We anticipate the initiative becoming an ongoing programme for us after 2013.”
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