barracuda, costa, coffee, breakfastWhile the local pub has been faring worse than the local shop, there are signs that operators are starting to think more creatively about how to use their franchise. In particular, pubs are opening at 9am and offering breakfast.

This week the 220-outlet Barracuda Group, who operate five retail brands across the country, announced they will open at 9am and offer Costa coffee to attract breakfast business.

“Young people value brands and we respond to that. By putting Costa in, we’re perceived as taking coffee very seriously,” a Barracuda executive told the FT. “If pubs just remain retailers of alcohol, then that is a diminishing market.”

While many local retailers fear that unsuccessful pubs might be reopened as Tesco c-stores, they may also find some enterprising publicans see their shoppers as a target.

The trick though is in the execution. While pubs may have more comfortable seating areas, will their staff be as welcoming as yours and will the service be outstanding?

How will they do this? Pretty much by emulating what successful local retailers are already doing – working out what local people want and providing it to them.