Sheffield pub steps into the digital age

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RUTLAND Arms in Sheffield is flourishing - all thanks to its digitally-minded landlord Andy Stephens!

His dedication to social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter have helped drive sales since he took over the Sheffield pub back in October 2009.

He checks the computer three times a day to stay on top of everything with many bookings being made through Twitter and Facebook.

“Our Christmas bookings this time were an even split between email, Facebook and Twitter,” said Andy.

“We’re building a community — a massive extension of the chat across the bar.”

All the staff at the Rutland Arms have access to the Facebook page and can update it. Andy even uses Twitter to upload pictures of guest ales that are on, and his chef’s update with their specials.

He has even used a couple of local spats to raise the profile of the pub and get people talking about it:

“During freshers’ week we had our A-board nicked,” he explained.

“So we made ‘Missing’ posters and started tweeting about it. People really got involved and wanted to know if it had turned up yet.

“We’ve included Sheffield Hallam University in our communications, which means that all its followers see our messages too.

“You can really interact with people, like when I can tweet someone after they have been in for a meal to thank them and ask if everything was okay.

“Our food trade has risen from £1,300 to £1,800 a week.”