Bank Holiday | Top Tips for Boosting On-Trade Business With Heineken

  • HEINEKEN UK offers expertise in boosting business ahead of the Early May Bank Holiday, reinforcing its “Let’s Get Together” category driver – worth £249M incremental value over three years

  • The average pub enjoys +15% sales over Bank Holidays, bolstering on-trade business

  • Outlets can drive footfall and spend through easy wins: food and drink pairings, sporting occasions and maximising alfresco areas

With the first of the May Bank Holiday almost upon us, it’s a crucial time for outlets to ensure they are perfectly primed to make the most of the long (and hopefully warmer) weekends. In light of this, HEINEKEN UK has pulled together some top tips to help outlets boost performance and maximise sales over the Bank Holiday, reinforcing its “Let’s Get Together” category driver.

In a competitive landscape, the last few years have seen the number of visits to the on-trade fall by 10% due to more competition for consumers’ hard-earned cash, however with Bank Holidays offering an extra day to draw people out of their homes and spend the extra time with friends and family, it’s the perfect time for outlets to give consumers a reason to come through the door.

Over Bank Holidays, an average pub sees an increase in sales of 15%, and if the sun is shining, there is the potential for the returns to be even higher. Furthermore, Bank Holidays provide the justification needed for the 22% of people who would consider going to the pub if it stayed open longer. In light of these statistics, there are several tactics that outlets can employ to bring people together with the end goal of increasing spend in their venue:

1. Foodie appeal

Given that one in three on-trade occasions include some kind of nosh, food is a key element in enticing customers over the Bank Holiday. As such, it’s essential that outlets think about food options and how drinks sales can be driven alongside meals. By promoting a combined F&B offering, outlets will deliver greater value to the consumer. For example, a ‘burger and beer’ style deal is a simple ploy that will increase footfall, while a more formal food and drink matched menu will drive spend in a higher-end venue.


  • A third of customers will look at drinks menus online before they visit a pub, so outlets need to make sure offers are as engaging and visually appealing as possible online.

  • Drinks should always match the quality of the food, so offering a high mix of continental premium lager, craft beer and premium spirits is advised. Ensure bar staff are fully trained and can confidently deliver recommendations to help upsell.

2. Sporting occasions

With several sporting fixtures scheduled to take place over the first May Bank Holiday weekend, it’s an exciting time for fans and an easy win for outlets. Whether it’s the penultimate matches of the Premier League (4-6 May) or the Women’s FA Cup Final (4 May), we are a sociable footballing nation. Almost a fifth of all UK adults specifically go to the pub to watch the game, and showing your average Premier League match on the big screen can drive an increase in beer and cider sales by up to 22%. Bigger games, finals and tournaments can result in an even higher figure – up to 87%! And with the Europa League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League all drawing to a close across the ensuing weeks, it’s a key area for outlets to nail.


  • Busy periods cause increase congestion at the bar, so avoid this by thinking about different drink formats, such as jugs and pitchers of beer to decrease the number of visits to the till without losing on sales.

  • It might seem obvious, but with beer and cider averaging an immense 90% of the volume of drinks sold in a pub at any time of year, and with this stat increasing further during a match, it’s vital that outlets are fully stocked up.

3. Pub gardens

Hopes are always high for a sunshine-filled Bank Holiday. If an outlet has a garden or terrace, serving food and drink customers associate with the outdoors is a surefire way to bring people together and draw in the crowds. Summer’s favourite tipple, cider, sees an uplift of 10% during the warmer months, so expanding upon the selection of premium flavoured ciders stocked in the fridge, such as with Old Mout’s new and exotic Pineapple and Raspberry flavour, will encourage trade up and result in greater spend.


  • If it’s hot, setting up a BBQ could increase dwell time and spend in outlets.

  • 53% of customers would visit a pub more often if there was a good garden – and were aware of it! Outlets can tempt customers in with plenty of outdoor seating, both shaded and in the sun, to facilitate bringing people together.

  • Blade is a cutting-edge draught dispense beer system that allows outlets to serve a freshly poured pint of beer on any surface or counter, meaning draught is no longer limited to outlets with cellars. Promising fresh, quality draught beer, Blade is perfect for pub gardens. Currently, Heineken®, Heineken® 0.0 and Birra Moretti are available on Blade in 8L kegs.

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