12th November 2019

Christmas Checklist: Are you ready for Christmas?

Christmas. Where to start? Love it or loathe it, it’s big business. And by big, we mean big. Really Big. Bigger than you are currently thinking. Add some more glitter, tinsel and carols, and then you’re nearly there. It’s Huge. But you already know that.

With such a hoo-ha and fuss made about Christmas, you would almost be forgiven for thinking that it wasn’t an annual event! Yet it is, and as the nights draw darker, earlier and earlier, and autumn turns to winter, we move past Halloween, bonfire night and remembrance Sunday, we are on a swift trajectory hurtling towards… Christmas. Here’s our plan to get organised this Christmas!

Raikes Hotel christmas tree Blackpool

Christmas Social Campaign

You might remember that last year that we ran a couple of Christmas campaigns, these included ‘Christmas Jumper Selfie Competition’, ‘Best Christmas Tree Competition’ and the ‘12 Days of Christmas’, where we changed the song lyrics to mention different beers and pub drinks. We’ll be doing something similar this year, with details announced shortly!

However, in the meantime, have you started your pubs social media campaign? It’s great printing posters off promoting events, DJ’s, Gigs etc and putting them up in windows and the toilets, but what about Facebook? It’s a great place to launch and advertise your new Christmas menu or drinks offers. Got a homemade mulled wine? Tell Facebook. Got a great deal on Christmas lunch set menus? Tell Facebook. Christmas is a great excuse to overhaul your social media and tell people that your pub is the place to be this Christmas!

Many pubs are already fully booked for Christmas Day, but don’t let this put you off from posting. Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, and of course New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day are all popular days to see family and friends. Could you do more to promote these dates?

TOP TIP: Make sure that you check out our social channels for regular updates and our own Christmas Social Campaign.


12 days of christmas campaign - guinness trust inns


Look after yourself, your family and the pub

We know that this can be a difficult balancing act in the pub trade and understand the strain that this can lead to.

Ultimately, it’s Christmas. Most people understand and expect you to shut the pub for a period of time, or operate reduced hours so you can spend time with your family. For example, some pubs might open 12pm-2pm on Christmas Day, with no evening trade and then open as normal on Boxing Day.

In truth, it’s what’s best for you, and many pubs have established a routine and opening hours that have been in place for years. This won’t come as a surprise to regulars. Don’t forget to make people aware of any change in hours, including updating your Facebook page.


Promotion from The Crown Inn at Keynsham

Promotion from The Crown Inn at Keynsham

How to deal with Christmas Stress

Christmas can be a very stressful time of year. Whether you’re in the hospitality and service trade or not, the Christmas holiday can be difficult to navigate. Add a 9-5 job or part time hours, a couple of kids, grandparents, your in laws or any combination thereof, and it can be a hectic time of year. Not to mention, if you have the responsibility of running your own pub business.


  • Get organised! Make lists. Check lists are great. Writing down can really unburden you and the pressure. By simply making a list that you can refer to, you can see all the jobs and tasks that you need to do. It makes it more manageable, and you’ll feel great when you cross something off!
  • Delegate. This is a cousin of point 1. By delegating you show your staff that you trust them. It’s not about taking or losing control but working as a team. Keep a watchful eye and things will go smoothly. Besides, how often is it that things really go wrong to the point where they can’t be rescued? You could even delegate making the check list…. then you can check the check list.
  • Get things done early. No, not so early that you forget you’ve done them. We all know somebody who hid Christmas presents and forgot where they were. We just mean being prepared. Plan ahead, if you’ve taken bookings and got a set menu, you know roughly what you need to order. Regularly check with your kitchen and bar as to what you need.
  • Manage your expectations. This can apply both professionally and personally. That’s not to say have low standards, standards should always be high in hospitality, what we mean is be appreciative. Christmas is a time to come together, love, forgive and enjoy each other, friends, family and community. A lot of the other stuff isn’t that important.
  • Finances. How much do you really need to spend? Sure, the pub would look great with 4 trees; we’ve found a lovely 7ft Christmas tree on sale at a well-known DIY/Homeware Shop for £120. It’s not the cheapest, nor the most expensive, but that would still be a cost of £480. Add baubles and decorations, and you could be talking £550 plus! Of course, artificial trees can be worthwhile if you have them for years, but still, surely one tree would look just as great and be a lot cheaper?
  • This is the most important one. Talk. Mental health is so important. We all need to vent and confide in someone at different times and there’s no shame in this. Take some time, try and find a quiet half an hour with a friend and unwind. Go for a walk, get outside and enjoy some fresh air. Also remember, just because you work around alcohol, and December is a very tempting time of year, you don’t need to partake all the time.
  • And finally… Remember A Christmas Carol? Don’t be Scrooge.


Thank you for reading this blog post from Trust Inns. To read more please visit our blog page or contact us for more information. You can also view our available pub stock here.

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