Landlords spending thousands on flowers to create ‘Instagram friendly’ pubs to boost trade
Instagram is transforming the exteriors of Britain’s pubs with landlords spending thousands of pounds to create ‘selfie friendly’ premises in a bid to boost trade.
The social media site has become an important advertising platform for businesses, with new customers even using Instagram to find a new venue.
Landlords say they are investing in floral displays and decorations to encourage customers to post pictures of their pub and encourage their friends to visit.
James Keogh, General Manager of The Churchill Arms in Kensington, told the Sunday Telegraph: “People see how beautiful the pub flowers are on Facebook and Instagram and make it a priority to come and see us.”
He said the pub spends in the region of £30,000 a year on its floral displays, and as one of the pioneers of flower festooned establishments, beginning in 1986, it has gone above and beyond to drive social media buzz.
Hanging baskets are adapted each season, this year they chose to create a wedding wonderland dedicated to Harry and Meghan. While during the festive season visitors can expect to capture a total of 90 lit-up Christmas trees.
”There is no doubt that the flowers are good for business. They bring customers in to the pub and the photos of them on Instagram highlight our business. “It’s a great way of advertising and a positive way of driving sales.’
Israeli tourist Adva, 35, told the Sunday Telegraph: ”I always look on social media for places to visit when I’m in London. ”If I see something that will look good in a selfie on Instagram, it definitely influences me.”
The Masons Arms in Marylebone has quickly adapted to the public’s growing appetite for Instagrammable moments, frequently re-working their flower displays to reflect events trending on social media.
”We always carry out some sort of theme with the flowers. This year with the world cup our theme was obviously the St George Flag. ”We spend about £24k a year on flowers, but we definitely make our money back on custom. ”All the posting on Facebook and Instagram definitely brings in extra trade, the pub is becoming a landmark,” said manager Alistair Gentleman.
The fashion is expanding beyond London’s borders, Graham Stiles publican at the Kings Head in Kent said: “I was inspired by the pubs in London, they do it incredibly. I can’t believe the amount of people who take photos outside. ”It costs £3,000 a year but it’s had a huge impact on custom, all the young people look for places on Instagram.”
Though there have been calls to end what many see as ‘performative leisure’ The Churchill Arms’ James Keogh sees no signs of the trend dying, he said: “We get so many people taking selfies, we are photo heaven and Instagram gold.”
Hertfordshire pub The Hollybush has featured on countless compilations of Britain’s prettiest pubs. Its sprawling wisteria is so popular with Instagram users Landlady Vanessa Williams was worried when it had to be cut back.
”Instagram is massive and a lot of people take photos of the pub. When we had to cut the Wysteria back we were worried that it might become damaged, particularly as it is what attracts so many to the Hollybush. ”We have a gardener that comes twice a year from Cornwall. It costs quite a lot of money, but our Wisteria helps to bring in business,” she said.
While traditionally brands grew trade from mainstream advertising, now they need shares, likes and conversations on social media.
Nicola Kemp, trends editor at Campaign, said: ”Instagram is a phenomenal shopping cart we can look at what our neighbours are doing and see what brands they are interacting with. ”It’s set design, businesses recognise they have to create theatre to drive trade to them.”
Original post from Telegraph
Publication date: August-04-2018