Trading is tough but we need to start sharing the positives

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Pub operators urged to look for positives

Related tags Ed Bedington Finance Property Pubco + head office

It’s a little too easy to allow ourselves to wallow in pessimism, (particularly when you record a podcast with a fully qualified professional moaner), but sometimes we need to take a step back and appreciate some of the positives out there.

And having just concluded the Publican Awards, announcing a range of amazing winners across the sector, there is plenty to give us confidence and a sense of optimism about the sector.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know it’s hard, and they’ll be some out there that can’t see beyond the current challenges, and sadly, some won’t be able to pull through, but it’s got to the point where we are spending a disproportionate amount of our time agonising about the challenges, and not enough time looking for some reasons to be cheerful.

Phenomenal businesses

Last week was definitely a big reason – there are some phenomenal businesses out there, winners and finalists alike, and getting out on the road and doing the judging was a real pleasure and confidence booster to take a step away from the daily grind and hear some real positives.

This isn’t an easy trade, it’s hard and challenging, but it’s also fantastically rewarding as well - the impact your businesses can have both on your teams, but also the communities and customers you serve is far greater than any other sector.

No-one ever wrote a book about how their life was changed by buying a pair of socks in M&S.

Share the positives

I appreciate it’s not easy, when we’re assailed by headlines in the national newspapers, telling us the sector is doomed – but we need to remember, half the time those headlines are being driven by the ill-informed speaking to the un-informed. Articles are being written by people with no understanding of our sector, and little interest, and once they’ve dashed off 500 words on the “demise of the great British boozer” they’re onto a story about doughnut fillings giving you the ability to detect messages from Mars.

No-one is going to talk us up, but ourselves, and we’ve spent a little too long lamenting the challenges and obstacles we have to face. We need to start sharing the positives, celebrating the successes out there and getting people thinking more positively about the hospitality sector – who knows, we might start to believe it ourselves!

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