Jolly Carter is a small public house, part of JW Lees, a family brewery company. Lorraine Turner has been with the Jolly Carter since July 2014. She ran a pub many years ago and following a departure from a previous job, she decided to take over tenancy for this pub to get back into the public house business. We spoke to Lorraine about her transition and plans to grow the Jolly Carter…
What have been the key challenges to your business?
LT: We don’t currently serve food and our biggest challenge has been growing the number of customers.
How did you overcome these challenges?
We are a small community pub with some regular customers. In order to increase our customer base, we regularly organise events which tie into local charities for example to attract people from outside our regular circles.
What are your business fears?
People tend to be quite fickle. Due to the fact that we are tied to a brewery, our prices aren’t always the most competitive and other pubs can undercut us. We know this but rely on the fact that people like the personal touch and quality of the service we offer and don’t mind paying a little more for that.
How do you keep up with the competition?
We are very active on social media and do check what other local pubs are doing in terms of promotions, activities and events. We actually often find that we are one step ahead of the game as we see other pubs replicating some of the events we run. The bulk of our promotions are run through social media, mainly through Facebook.
What advantages do you have over your competitors?
We organise a large number of events and I believe we think outside the box with these. Most recently we ran an afternoon tea party offering just teas and cakes to raise money for a charity for Alzheimer’s. You wouldn’t usually associate a pub with this kind of event.
What are your key business achievements?
During the first year of running the pub, we won the JW Lee’s best newcomers award. This year, were nominated for the best community pub and got through to the finals. We’re hoping to win the latter next year round as it’s fundamental to who we are.
What advice would you give to other small businesses?
You have to listen to your customers and don’t be afraid to try something a bit different.
What are your growth plans for your business?
We don’t have space for a kitchen at our current premises. However, a café across the road has come up for lease and we have plans to take this over and be able to start serving food which will be prepared at the café.
Why did you choose Worldpay?I researched the market quite extensively and Worldpay seemed to have had the best reviews. I was familiar with the name and knew it’s a reputable brand.
What difference has [Worldpay fixed terminal] made to your business?Worldpay has made a massive difference to our business. It has taken us by surprise actually. The fact that you can use contactless payments in a pub is great. During the first year of running the pub, we weren’t able to accept card payments and found many people would leave to get cash out but actually never return. So we lost some business there.
How has this impacted sales?It has definitely impacted sales in a positive way. It has helped me with the accounting side as well as there’s not much cash to manage. Our sales this year have increased by just over 10% compared to last year and being able to accept card payments has definitely contributed to that.
My Business Dashboard
What do you use the My Business Dashboard (MBD) portal for?
To check that all the transactions made have been logged on your system and subsequently paid into my account
How did you previously check settlements and transactions before MBD?
I had to go through my Bank Statement and try to match up the credits with my Worldpay receipts which was a lengthy process
Would you say this is saving you time to spend on other aspects of your business?
Most definitely. I can now quickly check and have gone from a daily reconciliation to weekly
How much time per week/month do you now save by using MBD more regularly?
Depends on quantity of transactions we've taken. It's more the convenience factor - looking in one place rather than logging on to my Bank account and trying to match credits to slips. It definitely is quicker though. I'm a small business and it saves me time so I'm sure it would be a massive time saver to a larger company.
What's the key benefit (s) of My Business Dashboard?
It's an easy and convenient way to view and track the payments into my business.
How easy is it to use?
Once I found my way around the various options it's proven very easy to use.