The key to success is reinventing yourself, according to licensee Patrick Beaume, and what better way to do so than performing cookery demonstrations at food festivals with a pop-up version of your own pub?
Having bought The Cartford Inn in Lancashire with his wife Julie eight years ago, Patrick quickly realised they needed to constantly reinvent themselves to stay in the game.
"I feel like food festivals have taken off recently and they are definitely going to be growing in the next few years. It seems like people are enjoying food and the show, so I thought it could be quite interesting to see how we, as a pub, could get involved in them."
He recently teamed up with his local butcher to take part in the first Lancashire Game Fair, where he planned cookery demonstrations and served ale from a pop-up tent branded with the pub's logo.
"A lot of our customers are into shooting and there's a big community, so I thought it would be good to get involved with it," explains Patrick.
After being provided with a tent on the showground, Patrick invested in building a stage with a specialist company.
"We wanted to make it look professional, so we placed two big screens on either side, designed some nice signage that would dress the stage and called it The Theatre of Food."
With the help from a friend who owns a landscaping business, Patrick turned it into a garden party, with benches, trees and flowers to surround the area.
"I thought if we could create an interesting area where people felt pleased to gather and sit down, it would attract more interest. I also invested in another tent branded with the pub's logo and created a pub where we sold two of our ales and served fresh oysters, a game pie and a venison stew," he says.
Patrick is keen to carry on being a part of food festivals as an extension of the pub and would like to get more high-profile chefs involved, similar to Jamie Oliver's recent Big Feastival.
Return to former glories
Originally from Bordeaux in France, Patrick met his wife whilst traveling in Texas. They decided to buy The Cartford Inn in Little Eccleston, which was near to where Julie's mother used to own a farm.
"The pub has always had a good name for different reasons over the last 300 years," explains Patrick. "But when we decided to take over it hadn't been invested in for over 10 years, so it had become very run down.
"We bought the freehold and closed it down for six weeks to focus on the refurbishment."
Having lived in the UK for 21 years, Patrick thinks it's a good time to be in Britain.
"I'm almost more English than I am French now," he says. "It's great to be in England at the moment because of the food and the dynamic of creativity, it is so much better than in France. In some ways, I think the British have shaken the world of foods. People want good food in an informal environment, and that is definitely the key of success anywhere at the moment."
Patrick believes the bar has been raised enormously since he first arrived in London, especially with the surge of creative young chefs.
"You don't have to have a posh restaurant where you have to invest a lot of money in glassware and china, you can focus on the creativity and the food you deliver."
And although he says it's fine to have nice china, he believes strongly in the opportunity this more laidback approach gives those with talent, but not the money behind it.
"A lot of people have failed because of the financial side in the past, not because they weren't talented. They were trying to do something, but the investment was too expensive so it didn't work."
But mainly, he believes the key to success is constantly changing and keeping up with the times.
"In the past, people used to open a place with a 10-15 year shelf life, then reinvent themselves or close down. But we think it's a lot better to keep reinventing yourself. We believe in improving and changing, that's where success comes from."