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Avondata: Supporting pubs branching into accommodation

The UK pub market is a tough place to succeed.

With soaring business rates, high alcohol taxes, rising supplier prices and less disposable income among consumers, nearly a quarter of UK pubs have closed down since 2008, government figures show.

This has been largely driven by the closure of smaller independent pubs with a move towards larger drinking venues owned by breweries and pub chains.

Those pubs that have survived and thrived have often done so by diversifying or finding a niche in which they can succeed, whether as a craft beer specialist, a restaurant, entertainment venue or accommodation provider.

There are now 50,000 pub bedrooms in the UK and while accommodation still only makes up a tiny proportion of overall pub sales, at around 2.5 per cent, according to UKHospitality, like-for-like accommodation sales growth is about 5.1 per cent – far higher than for food and drink.

For independent pubs or smaller boutique chains, this additional revenue can be the difference between success and failure.

At Avondata, we’ve welcomed a growing number of pub clients keen to use our property management system to support their accommodation businesses in recent years.

We’re proud to work with Fullers, who recently sold its brewery business in order to focus solely on its pubs and accommodation portfolio. Fullers plans to increase its number of rooms from 813 to 1000.

We also work with Brakspear, Butcombe, Stay Original, Bel and the Dragon country inns as well as a whole series of independents including the Beckford Arms in Wiltshire, the White Hart in Wells, Somerset, The Talbot in Mells and The Duncombe Arms in Ashbourne.

Our Hotel Executive property management system has proven a huge success with pubs wanting to expand their overnight bookings due to its ability to integrate with a whole host of industry leading Epos (electronic point of sale) systems.

This means the overnight bookings and spend from the bar and restaurant are all automatically added to the same bill with no need for repeated manual input or cross referencing, saving precious staff time and cutting out human error. We also offer our own Epos system for pubs that wish to keep things simple and work with just one supplier.

Our cloud-hosted property management system helps pubs with every aspect of their business and accommodation provision, from delivering a secure payment gateway and an effective back office and reporting function to an online booking engine.

The technology also helps drive guest engagement, enabling pubs to send automated and personalised guest communications, creating upselling opportunities before guests stay or encouraging repeat business after their departure.

Better still, Avondata’s hotel management system is accessible from anywhere without having to install software and data on your own servers. Being cloud-hosted and remotely backed up hourly, the software removes the burden of installation and ongoing support of in-house servers, cutting IT costs and maintenance time.

Our software is designed to make pub owners’ lives easier by enabling them to run their pubs and accommodation offering more smoothly and efficiently. We want to help the pub business thrive in this changing and highly competitive environment.

Francis Falvey, business systems manager at Butcombe Brewery Co, said: “Avondata is extremely professional – not to mention highly efficient and cost effective for the range of services it offers.

“It produces excellent results – consistently – and has a great team of people who really do understand our business.”

If you are running a pub with rooms or looking at expanding into the accommodation business, get in touch today to find out how we could help you.