23rd September 2022

Pubs: How to Support your Regulars During Sober October

It’s nearly time for ‘Go Sober for October’, and whilst you might think it’s a pub tenant’s worst nightmare, there are things you can do in your pub to counteract the potential revenue loss in alcoholic beverages for the month of October and most importantly, things you can do to support your regulars.

First of all, here at Trust Inns, we completely support Sober October and the message behind it. As much as we love joking about drinking and keeping our blog posts light, we definitely recognise the effects of excessive drinking and do our best to make sure our pubs are promoting drinking responsibly. Going sober for October means you’ll give your body a break from alcohol and have a clearer mind overall, especially if you’re a regular drinker.

As well as improving your health, Sober October is a great chance to raise money for the amazing charity that is Macmillan Cancer Support – the UK’s leading cancer care charity.

If you’re planning to take part in Sober October, here are some tips for staying sober from the Drink Aware website.

With all that said, let’s get into what you can do if you’re running a pub during October. You might be thinking that the main attraction in a pub is the alcohol – however, we can drink at home, so why do people go to the pub? It’s because of the atmosphere, the social benefits, and our British pub culture. The pub represents a place where we can unwind, catch up with friends or watch the match after a hard week. So, don’t accept defeat and instead, support your regulars by making it easier for them:

Offer Encouragement

The most important thing when someone is trying to achieve a goal is having people around them that encourage and support them – whether that’s their family, friends, total strangers, or in this case, their local pub! To do this, you could post positive messages on your social media, hang up posters and highlight that you’re still open to offer alcohol-free beverages and a chat. Share your regulars that are completing the challenge – this will let the people in your local area know that they’re welcome in your pub even if they’re not drinking.



Stock up on Alcohol-free Drinks or Create Mocktails

There are a ton of alcohol-free beers and drinks you could stock in your pub, if you don’t have many of these stocked, now’s the time to change that and really promote them. Sober October and Dry January are the two months out of the year that you’re likely to sell the most alcohol-free drinks, so why not take advantage of that and help recover any profit you’d be missing out from normal alcoholic drinks? This shows that you’re thinking about your regulars or visitors taking part in Sober October and you’re catering for them.

You could even create your own signature mocktail. People absolutely adore cocktails, especially when they’re garnished beautifully and they look the part – I can’t count the number of times I’ve ordered a cocktail because it looked good and didn’t really think about how it was going to taste (although delicious, the look of a drink is crucial to attracting people towards it). So, why not do the same with mocktails? Create your own or choose a classic mocktail, garnish it with sweets, put it in a fancy glass or shoot it out of a water gun into people’s mouths. Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the gist, create something unique that looks good, and people will likely order it. Many drinks have gone viral just from how they look – I’ve seen drinks served in massive syringes, in bear-shaped cups, and drinks with smoke blasting out of them. Get creative!



Focus on Food

If your pub serves food, now’s the time to really push it – promote your menu on social media, take pictures of your food to post and put a few offers on. There’s one thing that us Brits love just as much as beer and that’s food!

Instead of a drink, your regulars will want to support your pub by coming in for a bite to eat, so leave a lasting impression to make sure they keep coming in after Sober October has finished.

pubs sober october



‘Welcome Back November’

Start planning a little ‘welcome back’ event for your regulars that want to have a celebratory drink after completing Sober October! Make sure no one overindulges though, we can imagine it would be easy to go a bit crazy the first time having a drink after a month-long sober challenge, so encouraging drinking responsibly whilst holding one of these events would be advisable.


And that was our blog post on how pubs can support their regulars during Sober October! If you’re a Trust Inns tenant, you can always ask your business development manager for any advice or help during this month, they’re always there for you if you need them.

If you’re not a Trust Inns tenant, how do you fancy being one? We’ve got a range of pubs to let all over the UK and we’re constantly looking for the right people to run them.

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