Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Economics of the 'Lock-in'

I'm in charge of the pub for a couple of weeks while my boss is in Cuba. I don't know why I get left in charge when clearly everybody else has a better idea of how to run the place than I do. Take 'lock-ins'. Everybody loves a lock-in. The Landlord locks the doors and carries on serving drinks well after closing time. 

If I ran a pub that was licensed until 12.30am, I would only advertise that we were open until midnight. That way every night people would get to feel like they were in a lock-in, but I wouldn't have to break the law.

Lock-ins make sense for landlords, because they get to keep all the money. If I stay open another hour, I get about six quid after tax and national insurance contributions and student loan repayments are deducted. Plus, in the the unlikely event of a bust, I would lose my licence to sell alcohol. Clearly not worth my while. I much prefer a calm hour reading or an hour's sleep to six pounds and the chance to watch drunk people play pool badly.  

I don't explain this to anyone obviously. I just ring the bell at closing time and watch their incredulity when I refuse to serve them ten minutes later. This is the point where they explain that my boss would always definitely give them a drink at that hour. I am working on a facial expression that contains all the information in the above paragraph but I'm worried it looks a bit like my "I couldn't give a..." facial expression.

None of this matters tonight of course, because tonight is what they call in the East: Old Year's Night. And therefore anything could happen... as long as you remember to buy the staff a drink!

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