5 Ways to Embrace Freshers' Week

According to UCAS, over 350,000 students are starting at university this year, which means it’s the perfect time for you to make sure you’re fresher friendly.
Written on 02.09.2019, 11:00


Around this time of year, students descend on towns and cities across the country, each one beginning their university journey and looking to settle into their new home away from their parents. Freshers’ week is notoriously a week where students can let loose, get to know each other and, most importantly for businesses, get to know the local on-trade. Hook them in the first week, and you’ll hook them for the whole year! 

Now is the perfect opportunity for bars, pubs and restaurants to ensure they’re catching freshers, by making sure they’re supplying what they’re looking for. The aim is to become their go-to place. Not only that, but September is a month where the Christmas (sorry!) sales period starts to kick off, so seizing your consumers to the max is a sensible move if you want to keep that going all year round.  

Here’s some ways you can get your bar, pub or restaurant to stand out from the crowd during this pivotal week of the year.

1.    Be Present on Social – this one is a no-brainer and any sensible business will already be using social media to their advantage. But make sure you’re plastering your accounts everywhere you can to gain fresher followers. Offer in-venue incentives for followers and make your bar or pub is ‘instagrammable’. There’s nothing more satisfying to an Instagram user than a plate of food that photographs well and invokes the urge to ‘share’ it online! Make sure you also target students through advertising, and encourage them to share their experiences at your venue on their own accounts. Spread the word! 

2.    Be Mobile Friendly as well as Fresher Friendly – Make sure your website is mobile optimised and has strong SEO. Students are always on the move, and you want to ensure they can find you from wherever they are. Optimise your SEO for typical fresher search terms, and they will more likely gravitate towards a venue who is actively seeking them as a customer. 

3.    Stock Low or No – We’ve previously written an article (you can read it here) about how young people are dramatically reducing their alcohol intake and are seriously looking for healthier alternatives to booze. Not to mention 57% of people say their choice of venue is influenced by the choice of low and non-alcoholic drinks on offer. With that in mind, make sure you’re catering for all possible wants and needs by stocking a great range of low sugar and non-alcoholic drinks options. Craft sodas and non-alcoholic drinks are usually eye-catching and well branded, so simply stocking them will do the work for you. The better and wider your range, the more you’ll capture a returning customer. Take a look at our craft soda choices here

4.    Be Generous - Offer deals and cheaper prices to keep them interested. Freshers love a 2 for 1 deal, or a cheaper price on a double and mixer. Or maybe introduce a loyalty card. Whatever you choose to offer, the more ways to keep the pennies to a minimum at your bar will go down well within the student community. Word will spread, and that is really the biggest tool you can utilise to your advantage when it comes to the millennial generation. 

5.    Be Even More Generous – give them freebies! Students love anything free, and it’s a proven fact that promotional merchandise works on any demographic or customer base. However you choose to give out freebies, make sure they’re useful to the student and they have your logo plastered all over them. How about a pen or a trolley coin. Perhaps a water bottle, or even a backpack! They can be anything, but as long as they’re free students will take them and they’ll remember where they got them from all year long.