Fagins Craft Beer House & Art Cafe

Anne & Simon of Fagins, Taff's Well

Re-Branding Fagins & Adding Additional Income Streams

Services employed:

►  Business & Marketing Plan

►  Re-Branding

►  New Website

►  Social Media Implementation & Management

►  Graphic Design

►  Affiliate Partnerships 

Introduction

Anne and Simon have been running Fagins for 15 years as a real ale pub serving food and winning a CAMRA  (Mid Glamorgan) Pub of the Year award along the way. With pubs relying less on wet sales and real ale being more difficult to manage than traditional beers, Fagins needed to find new audiences and additional income streams. The pub is situated in Taff’s Well under the gaze of the Garth mountain which is surrounded by fantastic walking routes. The Taff Trail runs through the village which is 6 miles from Cardiff.

No Previous Social Media Us

The pub has no website, does not use social media and serves food on a limited basis. The bar area has much charm with its flagstone floor, wooden beams and log fires, but it remains more of a hidden secret. Fagins exude an ambience that most pubs crave, but it speaks only to a loyal congregation, relying on word of mouth to find new customers. Having made the decision to replace real ale with a huge selection of craft ales, the remit was to create interest and find ways of utilising the room which once served as a restaurant.

 

Objectives

The first objective was to formulate a plan to re-position the business over the short, medium and long term. Both business & marketing plans would consist of several key areas where investment, time and energy would be needed to see the business grow in several directions. It would be broken down into:

1.  Art Gallery

2.  Café Facilities

3.  Re-brand

4.  Chef & New Food Menus

5.  Functions, Local Community  Events

6.  Digital Marketing

Art Gallery

Kevin Williams Art Gallery

Kevin Williams is a talented local artist and a client of mine for whom I had built a website, created a Facebook & Twitter account and helped organise several exhibitions. It made sense that a great collaborative move could see Fagins serve as permanent exhibition space for his work with obvious benefits for both parties.

Kevin would have his paintings and drawings seen by a growing audience, and Fagins would have a unique backdrop of art, setting it apart from other pubs.

Painting of Fagins, Taff's Well

Opening Night

The opening night of the art gallery saw 120 invited guests attend with ex-royal harpist Katrin Finch opening the proceedings. Pontypridd MP and art fan Owen Smith was guest of the public opening on the following day, with the whole event being received as a resounding success.

Key Performance Indicators

Kevin’s art quickly became a strong topic of interest and conversation within the village, helping stimulate traffic to his website and ultimately helping to sell his art. Fagins now has a unique backdrop to a room which will be seen as a desirable drinking, eating, event and function venue. This part of the building will now be known as the ‘Kevin Williams Art Gallery’ which will be used as part of the re-branding business name.

Cafe Facilities

Fagins Cafe, Taff's Well

New Coffee Machine & Cafe Bar Facilities

The second part of the plan involved tapping into the tourist and visitor market as Taff’s Well remains an area of much historical interest, and is surrounded by fantastic walking trails and paths. Garth mountain and Graig yr Allt are all year walking destinations for 1000’s of people, plus the Taff Trail runs straight through Taff’s Well. Investment was made into a coffee bar serving area together with a commercial coffee machine. There is now a wide offering of coffees, mocha, Latte, Expresso, Liquor Coffees etc. and several tea options which are offered alongside a light café food menu.

There is now a wide offering of coffees, mocha, Latte, Expresso, Liquor Coffees etc. and several tea options which are offered alongside a light café food menu. The pre-lockdown launch saw much excitement, interest and activity and this will be seen as a valuable income stream when pubs are allowed to re-open again.

Business Re-Branding

Re-Brand

The Fagins brand has been synonymous with real ale for nearly 15 years and the conversion to craft ales is a significant one. Craft ales are easier to keep and are a growing part of the alcohol market as it’s popular with men and women of all ages.  As Fagins was moving in so many new directions, it made total sense to re-brand the business so as to highlight and amplify the new directions. With the addition of the art gallery and café facilities, the new business name would be ‘Fagins Craft Beer House & Art Café.   The name would be a result of extensive keyword researching to establish a means of formulating a bespoke digital marketing plan.

Fagins Taff's Well Logo

Kitchen & Food

Food at Fagins, Taff's Well

Chef & New Food Menus

Much of the discussions that took place between myself and Simon, centred around getting him out of the kitchen where he was spending a lot of time cooking. It was important that he and Anne should be operating as ‘front of house’ hosts in a hospitality business that was planning to grow, as well as creating the time to drive the business forward. A major decision was taken to employ a chef and revamp the menus to help bring a sense of change and ambition, which would be important for digital marketing. The impact was immediate as Sunday Lunch trade increased and feedback from the new menus increased Tuesday to Saturday sittings.

Organised Events

Functions & Local Community Events

For any venue that offers hospitality, bar and food facilities, the opportunity to host functions and events are both preferable and profitable. Fagins has always catered for birthday parties, retirements, wakes, receptions but most of this business has ‘walked in through the door’.

With services and facilities that now consisted of a new bar area, café facilities, new chef and menus, art gallery deco and huge range of craft beers – the venue could now tout itself as being one of the prime local venues for holding small functions or events.

Kevin Williams Art Gallery, Fagins

To help breathe life into quieter turnover evenings, we organises a series of classes and lessons for the community. Starting with successfully run art classes and guitar lessons; there are now plans for photography, local history and poetry as additional topics as Fagins seeks to align itself more closely to the arts. 

Online Marketing Channels

Fagins, Taff's Well Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

To help breathe life into quieter turnover evenings, we organises a series of classes and lessons for the community. Starting with successfully run art classes and guitar lessons; there are now plans for photography, local history and poetry as additional topics as Fagins seeks to align itself more closely to the arts. The shop front for any business seeking to gain visibility online, is a website. I was commissioned to design and develop a new website which would feature local SEO (search engine optimisation) which would operate in tandem to a social media plan featuring Facebook and Twitter. 

Employing a Marketing Channel Mix

The website would include carefully crafted content pages to attract the search engines and would also feature areas of local interest for local SEO. Facebook would target local community groups and interests while Twitter would be used to specifically target interest groups in a wider geographical area. I would manage both the website and social media pages and accounts.

Facebook Success

The engagement with Facebook has been particularly encouraging with one post responsible for nearly 10,000 impressions. Twitter will need more time to grow more followers, but there are already around 120 of them at present. With lockdown in force, the website will launch when conditions allow so that the content is relevant to the prevailing COVID conditions. March 2021 is the target period.

Conclusion & Results

This project was a classic example of what could be achieved by a little vision, creative thinking, re-invention, rebranding and investment. The timing of the pandemic has meant that the success of the project has been interrupted like all businesses, but the roots have been firmly planted. My remit was to prepare a workable and achievable business plan with a digital marketing plan to support it.

New Income Streams

Fagins has created new avenues to create income which has included finding new ways to utilise the venue and monetising periods of the day and week which yield minimum income. It’s testimony to the way the business has been run, that it hasn’t had to rely on digital marketing to date, but times are changing. Like many other businesses, Fagins market share found itself under attack from competitors which included other pubs and restaurants, pay-TV and cheap supermarket prices.

Well Positioned

It found itself losing out to like-businesses who employ social media so that natural wastage was not being replaced with new customers. Fagins decided that it was time to fight back, which is where db Digital Marketing Solutions stepped in. Both Simon and Anne were immediately open to new ideas and we set about fleshing them out so they became viable options.

The early signs are encouraging, with new faces starting to use the pub more frequently, food sales are up and the new café side of the business up and running. Art and guitar lessons are over-subscribed with plans to continue them and add other subjects. The venue is now well-positioned to hold a variety of quality managed functions and events which can seat up to 40 people in a highly desirable designated area.

Higher Visibility

Social media engagement is rising and I manage the Facebook posts using mostly originally designed graphics to stand out from the crowd. The website will provide search engine visibility, brand awareness, information, blogs, news, local area information, menus and an event diary so that it engenders a professional image of the business.  The hospitality industry has been hard hit but Fagins has engineered the opportunity to hit the road running once it is given the opportunity to re-open its doors.

“Working with Dave has opened our eyes to what he knew, was already in plain sight. His vision, understanding of business, enthusiasm, creative outlook and knowledge of digital marketing, has given us the opportunity to grow our business in ways we could never have dreamed of.

From thinking we were just another pub, we’re now excited to offer something which is a totally different experience from what other pubs offer. It’s very comforting to know that you’re driving the business forward instead of just waiting for things to happen.”

Anne & Simon

Fagins Craft Beer House & Art Cafe

Get in Touch

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