The Christmas Community

British pubs are the cornerstones of our society. They’re a shared space, a place to meet old friends, make new ones, celebrate love, commiserate loss – they are the original social networking site. So it’s unsurprising that during a time when our country has found itself suffering an epidemic of loneliness, that it is our pubs who are coming through for those who need it most.

Earlier this week we came across a Twitter post from a beloved local in Wimbledon that truly represents the spirit of Christmas and of the Great British Pub. The Alexandra, famed for its fantastic community events, including Meet-up Mondays, did a shout out to their followers asking for anyone who may be alone on Christmas Day to be pointed in their direction. An incredibly touching gesture which was rightfully lauded by online observers.

Feeling quite inspired by this act of kindness we decided to do a bit of digging, and, unsurprisingly, found a whole host of equally wonderful pubs up and down the country with the same common goal for the impending festive season; to make sure no one in their community feels lonely this Christmas.

What makes these gestures all the more special is the fact that, as we all know, December is the busiest time of year for those working in hospitality. Publicans, managers, and their staff get little time off as it is, so the fact that they are willing to dedicate even more time and resources, voluntarily, for the benefit of their neighbours in need is a testament to the nature of this industry and those within it.

With that in mind, we wanted to do our bit to assist the outlets that are offering these get-togethers, as well as those who will benefit from them, with the resources we can offer. For those who are unfamiliar, Useyourlocal was created with the idea of connecting pubs and consumers – serving as one place where they can communicate and find all the information they need about what’s on in their local. So for the month of December we would like to offer any pub or bar that is hosting a community event free access to the Useyourlocal platform, along with the full support of our digital advisers.

We’re hoping to create a community of pubs and bars who would like to promote their events, so they are able to reach as many people as possible, and, likewise, can be easily found by those who are looking for somewhere to go.

If you are, or know of, a pub that is offering these kind of events over the festive period then please do get in touch with us to claim an access code and join the Christmas Community!

Email us: [email protected]

Phone: 0191 691 5000

To see the pubs that are hosting community events this Christmas, click here.

Google My Business

As you’ve probably heard us say, many times, we know that 76% of consumers are going online to look at places to visit before they go out, and where are they doing that? Google, of course! And if you have ever used Google yourself, you’ll know that when you search something it usually returns a ‘knowledge panel’ much like the image to the below. This panel has been created as a result of Useyourlocal’s Google My Business page which contains all the important information our customers want to know about us.

Adding/claiming your pub or bar’s Google My Business (GMB) page is one of the easiest but most beneficial steps you can take to drive traffic to your website. Much like your website, an up-to-date and informative GMB knowledge panel will make it far more likely that consumers will interact with your business over others.

When you have added/claimed your page, top pieces of basic information you should be sure to include are; a link to your website (this is very important as it will create a button that sends people directly to your website); your business address (including correct pin placement on Google maps); your telephone number; opening hours; some recent pictures – including of the exterior (these are particularly helpful if you are somewhere that can be difficult to find); and, of course, your pub’s name!

All of this information serves to give your establishment a more credible online presence, also, it’s just good business practice – who wants angry customers knocking on the door first thing because Google told them your pub opened an hour earlier than it actually does? Consistency is key so make sure your panel matches the information on your website.

You can find all the instructions you need on claiming or creating a Google My Business account, here.


Brakspear Jazz & Blues Week 2018

If you happen to find yourself in the vicinity of any of these Brakspear pubs between the 9th – 18th November then you are in luck! Because November sees the return of the sixth annual Brakspear Jazz & Blues Week.

The special edition beer is described as a smooth, 3.9% ABV amber ale with a clean hoppy finish

Nineteen pubs in Oxfordshire and beyond will host events featuring an array of jazz and blues acts, exclusive meal packages, and, of course, some cracking beer.

‘Sax on Fire’, a new, special edition beer brewed at the Bell Street Brewery to celebrate the Jazz & Blues Festival, will be available in several participating pubs throughout the festivities.

Great music, great pubs, great beer – what more could you ask for?



08:00 PM – Swing 42 – Three Horseshoes

08:00 PM – Terry Pack Quartet – The Dolphin


08:00 PM – Darren Jones – The Hollybush

08:00 PM – Jacamanda – The Barleycorn

08:00 PM – Grace & Danger – The Dolphin

08:00 PM – Robert Otwinoski Trio – Dog & Duck

08:30 PM – Nicole Allan – Prince of Wales


06:30 PM – Jazz & Blues Jam – The Dolphin


01:00 PM – Redbourn Jazz Band – The Hollybush


07:30 PM – Jazz Groove Collective – The Dolphin

08:00 PM – Ollie James – Chequers, Marlow

08:00 PM – Revelator – Duke of Wellington


01:00 PM – Treble Clef – The Hollybush

06:30 PM – Jon Walsh – The Rising Sun

08:00 PM – The Rebecca Poole Trio – Five Horseshoes

08:00 PM – Dolphin Funk Ensemble – The Dolphin

08:00 PM – Bread = Bread – Catherine Wheel


05:30 PM – Andy Panayi Quartet – The Dolphin

07:00 PM – Marc Eden & the Swankers – The Archer

08:00 PM – The Ed Hall Quartet – Cherry Tree Inn

08:00 PM – Heather-Jayne & the Blue Shoes – Catherine Wheel

08:00 PM – Steph Willis – The Anchor

08:30 PM – Steve Morano & Tom Anderson – Saracen’s Head

09:00 PM – Katie & the Retrobates – Retreat


01:00 PM – FidGit – The Bull on Bell St

08:00 PM – Short Notice – Catherine Wheel


07:00 PM – Virgo – The Bell

08:00 PM – Fleur Stephenson – The Horns

Online Audit Reveals On-Trade’s Digital Downfall

A recent audit of over 300 UK pub and bar websites has found that many are missing out on customers because they lack the basic information and functionality required to meet pub-goers’ needs and expectations, according to digital pub & bar platform

A 7-point system was used to determine whether each reviewed website: was legal and secure; was mobile-friendly; included key facts about the pub; featured a consumer sign-up page; was compatible with social media; was attractive to look at; and was updated with current events taking place at the venue. An overall score was then awarded based on points accumulated – and the average was just 5/10.

“We know that 73% of consumers are going online to find out information about pubs and bars before visiting them. With the average pub’s website only scoring 5/10 there is a clear opportunity to improve and get more visitors through the door” said Stuart Mills, Useyourlocal’s founder,

“Astonishingly, we found that nearly half of all the websites we audited were not even mobile-friendly. Given that some two-thirds of online traffic is now primarily mobile-driven, that means there are significant numbers of consumers who just can’t find what they’re looking for.

The vast majority of sites lacked many of the fundamental requirements of being fully legal and secure, which obviously isn’t ideal, and most weren’t up to date with key details such as menus and upcoming events – the kind of information pub-goers expect to find on a website.”

Landlord Steve Papworth

The White Hart Inn in Twickenham was one of the pubs included in the audit, and, after seeing how poorly his previous website fared, publican Steve Papworth decided to relaunch his business online with Useyourlocal. Since the new website went live he has seen his trade go from strength to strength, and he’s now taking an extra £400 a week.

Steve said, “Our last website was expensive to maintain, hard to update and really quite poor quality. We’re now seeing what a difference it makes to have a decent website: we’re busier during previously quiet periods of the week and have seen a considerable increase in people contacting us about our accommodation and function room. And the site is much easier to use and to keep updated.” 

Analytics taken from the more than 500 websites currently powered by Useyourlocal show that they are receiving anything from 500 to 4,000 visits per month, depending on the size and nature of the outlet. Nicky Renwick, Useyourlocal’s business manager who co-ordinated the audit, says these figures should not be ignored by the pub trade:

“We know that the average adult in the UK is spending £28 per week in the pub – if you can get 500 pairs of eyes on a website that really shows off how great your establishment is and entices them to visit, that’s a potential £14,000 worth of custom coming your way.”

Publicans who would like to receive a free audit of their existing website, and a free Useyourlocal website preview for their outlet, can do so by contacting the team via phone on 0191 691 5000 or by email at [email protected].