Retail Accounting

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More soft drinks on the menu at on-trade pubs

soft drinks in pubs

I recently read an interesting article from which looks at the importance of soft drinks to the on-trade pub industry. Here’s a brief summary of the article but to read the whole thing take a look here

Soft drinks made up 64% of total sales in 2011. It’s therefore essential that pubs cater to customer demand.

So why have soft drinks become so popular? The reason for this is the change in consumer behaviour. Increasingly more people are going to pubs for food meaning that more families as well as females are tending to buy soft drinks to accompany their meal. In particular, the rise in casual dining – going for a meal with friends in the week – is fuelling this change with people opting for a soft drink/fruit juice rather than an alcoholic beverage mid week.

With the coffee market now worth £5.4bn there is plenty of opportunity for pubs to capitalise on coffee’s rising popularity catering for those who pop in for a quick coffee whilst shopping or an after dinner beverage.

How do you cater for your customers drinks requirements? Do you have a range of hot and cold soft drinks and do you make recommendations for customers?


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On-Trade = On Trend?

pub trends

As with all industries to be truly successful you need to stay ahead of the game. So what do you think the next big trend is for the pub industry?

We’ve seen brew pubs, gin palaces in the Victorian era as well as carverys in the 80s. The big trend at the moment is gastro with food pubs serving a wide range of options from value meals for families through to Michelin star meals at cosy countryside pubs.

So how do you identify what the next big thing will be? There are numerous ways to spot trends; one of the biggest is through social media. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter offer pubs an insight into their customers like never before. You can use these marketing tools to interact with your customers as well as attract new customers through promotions and offers. It’s never been easier to identify what promotions you should go for as EPoS and cloud accounting systems such as CounterBooks can offer you real time reports to enable you to spot sales trends quickly and make improved business decisions.

Don’t forget that customers want an overall good experience – the price has to right, the pub has to look good and service needs to be with a smile. I went to a pub recently in Cornwall who offered locally sourced gastro food in a great pub ambiance with local speciality ales and really friendly staff who knew our names by the end of our meal – a great pub experience.

To read more about how to stay ahead in the pub industry check out ontrade’s article:



The benefits of the Cloud to Retail Franchises

cloud benefits

The cloud is a delivery model in which software and the associated data are hosted centrally on the internet. An increasing number of retail franchises are making the move to the cloud but why? What are the benefits?

There are numerous benefits to retail franchises in using the cloud. These include:

  1. It’s accessible anytime, anywhere. As it’s an online system, retail franchises can access the system at anytime via a mobile phone, tablet or laptop.
  2. There is no need for hardware as the cloud is online.  This means that hardware costs will be zero.
  3. It’s scalable. New users can easily be added to the system and it can be scaled up or down according to the franchises needs.
  4. Updates. The franchisee and franchisor will always have access to the latest version of the system as all updated are carried out by the host server.

The cloud can be used in many ways including customer relationship management (CRM), Back of Office (BOS), inventory or stock management as well as accounting.

Doing accounting in the cloud can be very beneficial to retail franchises and here’s why:

  1. Gives access to real time data. Accounting in the cloud means that the franchisor or franchisee can access financial information immediately which is really helpful in the managing of both the network and the retail store.
  2. Manage risk. Having a full set of financial reports online means that franchisors can have an overview of the financial standing of stores within the network. This means that franchisors can easily identify if any franchisees are struggling and put measures in place to help them.
  3. Drive Performance. It allows for extensive reports to be available to head office including historical/budget/actual variance reports. This means that the franchisor can have a better view of the business and therefore drive it forward.
  4. Comparative. Using one system in the cloud means that comparative reporting can take place; this can then be used for benchmarking within the franchise.


Are you using the cloud for accounting? What would you say the benefits are?

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POR Calculator

The POR (Profit On Return) Calculator is a tool available on all product pages to help you work out how much you should charge perPOR calculator product to make your desired profit margin.

Fill in the fields in the calulator and press the calculate button to work out your unit prices. You can try it out here below.

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Retail is Detail

ProfitIt’s a phrase that is perceived to be obvious, however under used. Certainly within the hospitality industry, having and interpreting the performance numbers of your business could be the difference between success and failure.

There are many challenges faced in this difficult trading climate, however those demonstrating success are those making clear and timely actions based on the statistics their accounts and stock takes present.

Increased profitability comes from dissecting the results and understanding both how they were concluded, but more importantly what can be done to positively influence them on-going. In most cases, the answer lies with physical actions, conducted firstly by the business leadership, and as importantly by engaging and developing the skill and knowledge of their teams.

 Successful and Proactive business leaders engage and influence a multitude of behaviours that continuously refine sales and profitability. The primary business focusses have to be those that organically influence year on year performance and exceed customer or guest experiences.

I am currently doing a series of liquor stock seminars within a major pub group. My aim is to clearly demonstrate that by investing in good accountancy, stock taking and business consultancy; you will in most cases more than recover the cost of investment and impact cash profitability significantly.

An average profit increase scenario was compiled with the delegates in each of the 6 seminars conducted so far. The average cash profit increase calculated, ranged from +£14,000 to +£31,000 per business. More incredible was that it is established through influencing the leadership and team behaviours, and without increasing footfall. Imagine the impact of increasing footfall as well!!

It’s amazing to see the pace of change and team buy in, where you can clearly demonstrate profit enhancement in cash value. Reward and recognition as a tool to influence positive profit focussed behaviour is really powerful.  I wonder how much has been lost by businesses where they removed such incentives in a bid to save what is first perceived to be a labour cost?

It’s clear and obvious, that those businesses having quality information, understanding the detail and positively motivating and engaging their teams, are not only winning loyalty and business from their competitors, but have a stable foundation to year on year profitability.

The benefit of getting into the detail therefore is obvious – and if you don’t have enough detail, or understand how to influence it, then it’s time to contact us and invest!!

Nick Chadwick.


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Fuller, Smith & Turner Announced as the FT’s Company of the Year

With a poor economy, a wet summer and an increasing number of customers going to the supermarket to buy beer, 2012 was a Fuller'sstruggle for plenty of pubs. However, Fuller, Smith & Turner decided to use this period for growth. They targeted key areas including London and wealthy suburbs in Britain where people’s purses have been less affected by the recession. This did come at a premium for Fuller’s for example buying sites in Bath for a total of £7.5m. However, the investment has paid off and their shares are up by 15%. With a focus on food, quality coffee and reputable beers Fuller’s reputation has been boosted within the industry.

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Enterprise Inns Winner for Best Performing Share at the Mid-market Companies 2012 UK PLC Awards

Enterprise InnsLast year the future didn’t exactly look bright for Enterprise Inns. With the economy still struggling trade did not look as if it would be picking up over the coming months. In fact, profits dropped by £20m from 2011 to 2012. Shares were also at their lowest for a decade at the beginning of 2012. However, trading did start to stabilise somewhat as the company decided to sell over some of its lower value pubs strengthening the balance sheet and boosting their shares. By the end of the year the share price reached an 18 month high ending the year at 102.6p.