Brilliant social media campaign ensures Seaton Delaval pub's revival and wins it a second national award

Brilliant social media campaign ensures Seaton Delaval pub's revival and wins it a second national award

The Hastings on Wheatridge Row in Seaton Delaval has beaten off competition from over 1,100 pubs around the country to be named Best Social Media Pub in our awards. The win is the second in two months for The Hastings, which scooped the industry’s Best Partnership Pub award in October.

The judges were bowled over by the social media skills of licensees Peter Evans and Paul Thompson who took over The Hastings two and half years ago and have transformed it from an unloved local with one employee into a thriving traditional pub with a staff of 16.

The judges attributed Peter and Paul’s success not only to their hard work, community spirit and £168,000 refurbishment of The Hastings but to an engaging social media campaign which spread the word about the pub’s change of direction and brought customers flooding back. As a result, The Hastings quickly established itself at the heart of Seaton Delaval and gained a reputation for great locally sourced food including its special Geordie Tappaz, requiring the creation of a new room for functions and extra dining space to keep up with demand.

The judges also singled out The Hastings app, which rewards regulars for their loyalty with a free drink on every seventh visit, for praise, as well as the way in which camaraderie in the pub is continued on social media when customers are way from The Hastings.  

Peter and Paul’s achievements are seen as even more remarkable as they had no experience of running pubs or social media prior to taking the helm at The Hastings.

With long held careers in care home management and healthcare behind them, Peter and Paul wanted a new direction in a field which was people and community focused and, after reviewing all the options, decided the life of a licensee was ideal. Despite its sad appearance, they fell in love with The Hastings as soon as they saw it from the outside and instantly knew it was the pub for them. Determined to get the pub back on its feet as quickly as possible, they learned marketing and social media ‘on the hoof’ with their pub app, the first they had ever used.

Peter and Paul received the coveted award from football legend Chris Kamara at a gala celebration night in Liverpool.

Says Peter, “We’re ecstatic; it’s amazing to be recognised for the changes we’ve made to the pub with a second award. It’s been a real community effort; local people welcomed us warmly and supported us every step of the way, from helping out with electrical and plumbing problems to printing the menus and setting the kitchen up. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

Lawson Mountstevens, Star Pubs & Bars Managing Director said: “People don’t always associate social media with a traditional pub but Peter and Paul’s commitment in this area have helped them secure The Hastings’ future. From tweeting to Facebook they do it all brilliantly and their success is all the more remarkable as much of it is self -taught. They are an inspiring example of how investment, innovation and professionalism are keeping the great British pub alive.”