Ronnie’s Blog – Why entertainment is the key.

Posted on August 26, 2010 in Ronnie's News

More on the folly of minimum pricing, why entertainment is the key and a fantastic bank holiday weekend of top quality free entertainment at Ronnie’s…. 

I notice the Manchester Evening News is reporting a great deal of support over council plans to outlaw cheap booze in Greater Manchester. Local politicians, health experts and even the Prime Minister have all had a say supporting the moves. The objective it appears is to stop cheap booze promotions by enforcing a minimum price per unit, and according to their logic this will eliminate binge drinking.  

Whilst I can support the sentiments and the theory that by enforcing off and on licensed premises to sell alcohol at higher price people will drink less. There is absolutely no evidence to support the claim though. In fact evidence points to it having no effect at all. Scandinavia for instance has huge taxes on alcohol making it the most expensive alcohol per unit in Europe yet this has done nothing to reduce levels of alcoholism or dink related crime, so why should it work here? Well, quite simply it won’t.  

Whilst raising prices may work in theory and appeal to rational thinking it simply doesn’t have any influence whatsoever with problem drinkers. And by problem drinkers I mean not just text book alcoholics but people who become violent and aggressive when tanked up, because they literally cause problems and will by hook or by crook get their fix. That is why price is irrelevant when it comes to combating binge drinking. 

I have said before that taking on the supermarkets when it comes to their pricing policies is a futile gesture. They make big profits and have deep pockets so they can fight just about anybody on this issue, including the government. It would be a huge waste of tax payers money to take them on. 

It’s not just the supermarkets that promote on price. It appears that the big chain bar operators are equally price conscious. I recently had an area representative of one of the chains turn up at Ronnie’s and ask about our prices. I happily showed him because:

 

  • there isn’t a great deal of cross over between the products we sell so therefore the exercise is a waste of time, e.g. they sell Smirnoff Red as standard we sell premium Smirnoff Black as our standard vodka; they sell Gordon’s as standard we sell premium Tanqueray as our standard gin, and we don’t sell alcopops or Aftershock or any other chemically coloured shite and they do.
  • I can justify our prices in comparison to their place or anywhere else for that matter because we only sell premium products and deliver premium entertainment for free, whether that’s our unrivalled brilliant DJs, quality original live music, Open Mic, excellent mixologists or simply our late licence seven days a week
  • I don’t really care what price other bars sell at as I am only interested in providing the best value and standards for my guests

 
Incidentally when it came to the draught products, our Beck’s was the same price as theirs, our Stella is 5p cheaper than theirs and our Guinness 20p cheaper, so make of that what you will. (They didn’t sell draught Peroni, Hoegarden or Boddies).  

But my point is price is irrelevant to combating alcohol abuse. And as long as the media and government continue to highlight cheap booze the focus will always be on price not value. Its education to on the effects of alcohol on both health and behaviour that needs to improve to combat alcohol abuse not trying to legally impose price rises to control matters.  

I do believe that operators of bars and pubs owe it to their customers not sell cheaply and to provide great reasons for decent people to visit their premises and charge accordingly. If they continue on the flight to cheap they will go out of business.  

In conclusion I have nothing to fear if minimum pricing is enforced as it will not affect the way I trade. Ronnie’s already operates at the premium end of the market and charges accordingly. We do however offer a great range of free entertainment as standard to go with our superb drinks. 

And talking of free entertainment what a fantastic bank holiday weekend we have lined up for you:

Tonight it’s Steeve Mac’s Soultastic kicking off the weekend in style until 3am 

Friday it’s Bert & Brighty’s rare disco grooves until 3am 

Saturday it’s Steeve Mac’s One Stop Beyond Pt1 until 3am

Sunday it’s not just Garry The Hat’s gig of the week (thanks for the great plug in this week’s paper Garry) it literally is the free gig of the week. Six acts – Matt Hiom, Birdsong, Christopher Birdsall, Collider, Black Tie White Noise with Carjack Mallone headlining. It’s a charity do in aid of Windyways but it is free to get in but please donate something, they do great and very worthwhile work at Windyways. Visit www.windyway.org/ for full details of just what they do. The gigs start at 2pm and run through to 10pm. There’s also hot food available too. A taster of Carjack Mallone performing is on our website at http://www.ronnies-bar.co.uk/this-weeks-live-music-at-ronnies/  

Then later on Sunday, Steeve Mac is back for One Stop Beyond Pt2 until 3am. 

And to finish off the bank holiday in style on Bank Holiday Monday the utterly fantastic Chinese Marbles will be strutting their stuff, strumming their things and tooting their horns from 7pm. They are magnificent and if you haven’t seen them before you must, and if as I suspect most of you have seen them before, you simply must see them again. And we have a clip of them http://www.ronnies-bar.co.uk/this-weeks-live-music-at-ronnies/ to prove the point. 

Free entertainment doesn’t get much better than this. Feel free to dip into some if not all of it. I look forward to seeing you. 

Ronnie 

Thursday 26th August 2010

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