UBC Undergraduate Research

The Pit : strategic proposal Sewell, Emily; Mackie, Logan; Virani, Omar; Desjardins, Robert


The following report aims to give a situational analysis and, ultimately, recommend strategic operational changes to help address performance headwinds face by the newly renovated Pit Pub. Since its reintroduction in the new AMS Nest, The Pit has been struggling to meet its profit targets which is a stark contrast to the performance of the legacy location. While not an exhaustive list, we believe the primary culprits of these headwinds are as follows: traffic cannibalization from The Gallery, the decision to discontinue food and shorten hours of operations, and, most importantly, an overall lack of differentiation other than Pit Nights. In short, our strategic recommendations revolve around positioning The Pit as a modern sports bar to differentiate itself from adjacent pubs. This goes beyond simply playing games on screens, rather it is about establishing a culture that makes The Pit come to mind first when students consider where to watch a game. Due to its already open layout, abundance of screen space and audio set-up, we believe necessary changes to the venue, such as the addition of sports memorabilia and games tables, will be minimal and thus will not require much up-front investment. However, what will require a fair amount of resources is the expansion of The Pits marketing efforts. A key finding from our diligence process, and large contributor to the differentiation issue, is The Pit’s lack of effective marketing strategy. For example, 70% of students surveyed had no idea that The Pit stopped serving food or even knew it brought back food in the first place. This finding reaffirms our belief that The Pit has become complacent in its marketing efforts, leaning only on the historical success of Wednesday’s Pit Nights. Moreover, we believe that part of this complacency may be in part the result of where the marketing decision making occurs. Because marketing decisions occur at the AMS level we believe there may be agency issues overlapping with The Gallery, as well as a lack of responsiveness due to the bureaucracy that comes with a larger organization. Past our initial recommendations, a key step in the long term success in a new marketing strategy would be delegating marketing responsibilities to someone at The Pit level who understands the changing wants of its customer base. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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