Doncaster publicans diversifying their business to keep the cash flowing in difficult times

Doncaster publicans are having to diversify their business to keep trading and that goes for Rosie and John Nagaty of The Old George Inn in Sykehouse.
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The married couple have been running the village pub for three years and in that time have seen the demise of custom.

Rosie, aged 35, said one of the big changes they have seen in recent months is that people no longer seem able to afford to drink, eat out and socialise so much, and so they have looked to offer than the standard pub.

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In a report by the Mirror newspaper the couple explained that in winter they have usually shut by 9pm as there are so few customers.

Rosie and John Nagaty.Rosie and John Nagaty.
Rosie and John Nagaty.

“Sometimes in the winter mid-week we have no one through the door, but it still costs us £250 to open,” Rosie explained.

“We can’t afford to pay staff to stand in an empty pub with the heating and lights on and no customers. If customers aren’t in the pub by 8.30 or 9pm we have learned they don’t arrive any later.

"Also, from what people have said, they used to go out, then Covid happened and now they are quite happy sitting at home as they have got used to it.”

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Rosie told the Free Press how they are going about tackling this: “We are putting a lot into diversifying to attract customers so we’re running bike events, rallies, sci-fi and superhero events, a film festival, we’ve opened a campsite and built two glamping yurts.”

The opening of a campsite means in the summer they will be able to stay open past 11pm.

Chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale Nik Antona said: “Pubs are swimming upstream against challenges such as escalating costs of goods and employing staff, sky-high energy bills, the burden of unfair business rates and customers tightening their belts.

“Last orders at an earlier time is preferential to the pub closing its doors for good and the local community losing its central hub. The fact that venues are being forced to make this decision should serve as a harsh wake-up call for government to support UK pubs, lest we lose them for ever.”

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