By Clyde Mooney
One of Queensland's best-known hotels has warned pub owners not sell themselves short in order to attract business.
Jason Titman (pictured), director of Brisbane’s Chalk Hotel, told TheShout that pubs are playing with fire if they continually discount to lure in customers.
"This year, as I have travelled around Australia undertaking the all-important ‘market research’, I have witnessed a heavy level of price discounting in most cities. I think this is reflective of many finding it somewhat tough in the marketplace," he said.
"While I have participated in my fair share of discounting over the years, I think we need to be careful about how far we go; the brand equity in our venues is definitely being eroded."
"And with most costs rising discounting puts a real dint in the bottom line, which can prevent publicans from building funds for refurbishments, tempting a dangerous downward spiral."
Titman suggests that the answer is instead building more innovation into venues.
"This could be the inclusion of a coffee lounge, such as the Southern, in Toowoomba, or a transformation into an amazing space, such as the ‘laneway’ feel and individual eclectic rooms the boys at Melbourne's The Bridge have achieved."
"Fundamentally, hotels are about bringing people together. Regardless of the online social media explosion, people will always want to enjoy social occasions in close proximity to people they know."
A full interview with Jason Titman is featured in the January/February issue of Australian Hotelier.