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Issue 66 June 2017 ÂŁ4.95

On the trail of Cardiff ’s finest

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this month Out on the scene in Cardiff• Tourism Pub of the Year


drink White spirits • Return of the keg beers


eat Britain’s best pub breakfast • Pizza • Menu hacks to add value


play Stuart Broad’s pub• Games machines


stay Catering to the pedal-pushers






here are few bigger events in the sporting calendar than the Champions League final and, in our opinion, there are few better places to enjoy sport and a drink than Cardiff. For a start, the wonderful Principality Stadium (forever known to most of us as the Millennium Stadium) is right in the heart of the city. It has many pubs nearby, so we thought it only right that we sample a few ahead of the event. What we discovered on our mission/crawl is a city on the up, with pubs inspired by the craft beer movement and run by entrepreneurial licensees. It reflects what is happening across the country. Yes, the trade faces many challenges, but good operators have embraced this and risen to it. Talking of sport we also visited a pub this month run by a licensee and two international cricketers. We also reveal the UK’s Best Pub Breakfast, focus on keg beer and spirits and take a trip to a top tourist pub. There’s plenty to be inspired by. We hope you find something useful! Cheers, Editor Matt Eley 07538 988 296 • Deputy editor Robyn Black 07909 251 231 •



back-bar business Snapchat • The benefits of being small Eat writer Bronya Smolen 07967 634 624 •

56 time at the bar Plate or slate? • Things bar staff hate






Production editor Ben Thrush 07810 620 169 • Chief executive Barrie Poulter 07908 144 337 • Sales & marketing director Matt Roclawski 07950 447 488 • Sales manager Leah Gauthier 07884 868 364 •



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POSTCARD from the pub frontline

Whatever your politics, there are probably few better places to discuss them than in a pub, over a pint of course. And pubs have been playing a key part in getting the crucial youth vote out for this month’s election, via the “Vote This Year — Get Free Beer” campaign. Pubs across major cities including Bristol, London and Manchester all took part. Customers simply needed to register online to vote and take the confirmation email to the pub to claim their drink. Bristol multiple operator Joby Andrews (pictured) was the p07 big pic.indd 7

brains behind the scheme. He said: “I was apathetic and not engaged when I was younger. I didn’t vote as I didn’t see the point, but with what’s going on around the world and here in the UK these days it seems more important than ever. “I’m motivated by this to try to get people, especially the young, to engage in what will massively affect their futures — and register to vote. “If they love beer as much as I did back then, a free pint will hopefully encourage them to register.”

JUNE 2017


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IN THE TRADE THIS MONTH Marston’s scoops up Charles Wells brewing Marston’s is to buy the Charles Wells brewing arm for £55m. The Charles Wells pub business is not included in the sale but it means Bombardier, Courage and McEwans will now belong to Marston’s, along with the distribution rights for Kirin lager, Estrella Damm, Erdinger and Founders.

TOP STORIES ON TRADE.INAPUB.CO.UK Take a look at the best pub breakfast in the UK

Pub raises thousands after chef’s diagnosis The Alvanley Arms in Tarporley, Cheshire, raised £15,000 for charity after its 25-year-old chef Aaron Ferris was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He helped design the three-course menu for an event held in aid of his chosen charity, When You Wish Upon a Star. As part of a charity auction, a helicopter ride was donated to Aaron.

Need help? Ask for Angela National Pubwatch has created a video to raise awareness of the Ask For Angela initiative – which enables pub customers to get help discreetly by simply asking a staff member for “Angela”. The organisation has also launched a best practice document, staff guidance and posters.

Six-legged sandwiches are the future Scientists are urging people to eat insects instead of beef to tackle climate change. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh suggest that by replacing half the world’s meat intake with insects such as crickets, livestock farmland can be cut by a third to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Britain’s Best Pub Breakfast

Is the pub sector ready for a tech transformation? What’s in season right now? UK pubs inspire young people to vote with free beer Top 10 hipster pub trends

Britain’s Best Pub Breakfast

The best pub breakfast in the UK has been unveiled – The Tap on the Line, Kew, London was crowned the winner for its locally sourced full English that it serves all day. This is the inaugural year of the competition, run by Inapub and Kraft Heinz. “The Tap on the Line breakfast is fantastically presented and head chef, Sam Hitchcock, has carefully thought out every item on the menu to source the best ingredients,” said Andy Bacon, culinary development innovation manager at Kraft Heinz. The runners-up were: The Railway Pub, Ringwood, Dorset; The Wagon Inn, Oldham, Greater Manchester and Abel Heywood, Northern Quarter, Manchester. Turn to p35 to see what makes the winning breakfast


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this month.inapub THE WAY I SEE IT ROGER PROTZ


What future for Britain’s family brewers?

Ever wondered why @IronMaidenBeer is the most successful celebrity beer? @inapub

As the dust settles on the shock sale of Charles Wells’ Bedford brewery and brands to Marston’s for £55m the key question hangs in the air: Is there a future for Britain’s dwindling band of family brewers? Wells, founded in 1876, has effectively “done a Thwaites”. In 2015, the Blackburn family-run company closed its brewery and sold its key brands to Marston’s. Thwaites now has a micro plant producing small-run beers for its 300 pubs and Wells plans to follow suit. There are now fewer than 30 family breweries left in Britain and some of them will be taking a long, hard look at the Thwaites’ and Wells’ deals and wondering if they should go down the same route. The problem with family brewers becoming pub companies is that it hands frightening power to a handful of giant brewers. Marston’s now owns not only Charles Wells’ brewery and brands but Banks’s, Jennings, Mansfield, Ringwood and Thwaites. Greene King, no slouch in brewery takeovers, has Belhaven, Hardys & Hansons, Morland and Ruddles in its portfolio. Molson Coors has turned Sharp’s into a national brand and these three companies now dominate, to a frightening degree, ale brewing in Britain. Marston’s has a good track record of keeping breweries it has acquired open. But, inevitably, when ownership changes, recipes are tweaked and the flavours of much-loved beers become subtly – or not so subtly -- different. Britain’s family brewers are under threat and so are their much-loved beers.

It’s because we’re delicious! @IronMaidenBeer Great article from @inapub about publicans making the most out of their empty car parks @letstalkparking Turns out vicars make pretty good publicans! Congratulate Norman for his 25 years behind the bar. @inapub I love this story! #thevicarsinn @StArnolds Have you heard about @BarsAtYours? They’ve got a new Fire Truck mobile bar in Stockport @putting_gott We’re pretty proud of it @BarsAtYours

Roger Protz is one of the world’s leading beer writers. For more of his work visit


of customers would spend more in the pub if they could pay using their smartphones. Go Technology Report by CGA and Zonal

Find us online every month at @inapub



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The Food Doctor Popped Crisp Thins

It used to be that Scampi Fries were enough. Then it was a ramekin of pistachios. Now pub snacks have to be “better for you,” so health brand The Food Doctor has launched Popped Crisp Thins into pubs. Made with soy and corn, they are available in four flavours – Spicy Chipotle, Sweet Chilli, Hot Wasabi and Mild Korma.

Brains craft cans

We’ve come over all Cymru Am Byth this issue (see our Cardiff focus on pages 12-14, so it seems fitting to give a shout out to this new canned range from ‘Diff brewer SA Brain & Co. To celebrate five years since it opened its craft brewery, four Brains brews have been put into 330ml craft cans: Point Break, Gin Lane, Black Mountain and Barry Island IPA. Llongyfarchiadau guys!

Brioche Pasquier éclairs

“These light and delicious éclairs bear little resemblance to the rather weighty anglicised versions which tend to be filled with cream and topped with a dollop of chocolate,” says Brioche Pasquier’s Jon Turonnet. These ones are made with French butter choux pastry and authentic crème pâtissiére. We d’éclair our love. 01908 266700


What’s new in the pub this month

Heineken Open Your World

Limited edition packaging for Heineken’s flagship lager has been unveiled to go with its new campaign, Open Your World. The campaign is about people breaking down barriers over a few beers. “For us, openness is more than just a value. It’s what we stand for,” said head of marketing Cindy Tervoort.

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this month. Bonzer Barware

Nothing escapes the influence of the hipster these days, not even boring old barware. Make sure yours passes muster for the fashion pack with these new “distressed steel” and “elegant gunmetal” finished shakers, strainers, spoons and stirrers.

Classic BBQ Sauce

This new sauce from the Suffolk-based Salubrious Sauce Co is a sweet smokey combo perfect for this summer season’s sizzling sausages, steaks and strawberries*. The Classic BBQ Sauce is also good as a marinade or a dip, claims founder Jim Fennell.*Not that last one. It does not go with strawberries as far as we know.

Brooklyn Brewery Scorcher IPA

Described by Brooklyn Brewery’s brewmaster (and all-round beer legend) Garrett Oliver as a “go-to beer for evenings out in the pub and barbecue food,” the 4.5 per cent ABV Scorcher is now available in draught and in cans for the first time.

Mortimer’s Orchard English Berry Cider

Draught fruit cider is up a whopping 85 per cent in volume year-on-year, according to CGA, so it’s no surprise Weston’s is adding this variant to its Mortimer’s Orchard range. Made from bittersweet, sharp and sweet apples, along with berry fruits, the four per cent ABV sparkling cider is described as “flavoursome and refreshing.”

i heart Wines

One of the fastest growing top 20 wine brands in the UK, the i heart wine range from Copestick Murray is now available in the on-trade via a new deal with Ooberstock. The brand is a range of the UK’s favourite wines and was inspired by the way people purchase wine — 70 per cent of UK wine drinkers buy by grape variety, apparently. p10-11 stuff.indd 11

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Welsh wizards

The eyes of the world turned to Cardiff with the Champions League final being staged at The Principality Stadium in the first weekend of June. Before tens of thousands of optimistic Italian and Spanish fans descended on the Welsh capital for the clash between Real Madrid and Juventus, Inapub headed west to see what the city’s pubs have to offer.

Gin Wall

The Dock B ar & Kitche n, Cardiff B With a rec ay ent £1.2m investmen owner SA t from Brain and stunning v Cardiff Ba iews acros y, The Doc s k already going for it has a lot . Gin sales are booste artistic pre d by the sen away from tation of products o n a wall the bar, giv in chance to consider th g customers the eir options making th before at all-imp ortant dec ision.


Porter’s, Bute Te rrace As winners of th is year’s Music Makeover compe tition, Porter’s recently scoope d £10,000 from PRS for Music to further improve its live music of fer. Local musicians and co medians are given a platform to perform. Customers are al so encouraged to get involved in Bandaoke, essentially kara oke but with a live band rather than a dubious backing track.

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Games Night

The Lansdowne, Canton Board games have come back in a big way but not many take it to the same level as this pub that was recently re-opened. It works with local table top games retailer, Rules of Play, to hold games nights once a month. Staff from the shop bring in a range of games, many that will be new to customers, and are on hand to explain and help with the, well, Rules of Play.

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What do your walls say about you?

Tiny Rebel, City Centre in a The fact that Tiny Rebel has opened ium, a few spot a stone’s throw from the stad s how the doors down from BrewDog just show in craft movement has really taken off port, New in site er sist its like h Cardiff. Muc artwork Tiny Rebel’s walls are adorned with ent that celebrates beer (and its compon of type t wha isely prec you parts). It tells venue you are in.

Bring your own bottle

The Cambrian Tap, St Mary Street, City Centre The cosy city centre bar celebrates Brains’ craft brewery and has around 20 beers on tap as well as a vast range of bottles and cans. General manager Paul Phillips has launched a ticketed ‘bring your own bottle’ night. Customers bring craft favourites to share with friends and discuss. Paul says: “We obviously provide beers as well but it is interesting to see what people bring in and it gives us ideas about what to stock next.”

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Keg sinks

Small Bar, Church St, City Centre Small Bar, which has a sister site in Bristol, is well known locally for its preference for selling beers in thirds, halfs or two-thirds rather than a pint. The emphasis is all on the quality of beer from the best local breweries and beyond. There’s no getting away from the beer, even when you go to wash your hands in the adapted old kegs.

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Raffle tickets fo

Elevens, Castle Stre r a drink et, City Centre The recently launch ed premium sports bar is a collaboration between SA Brain and one of the city’s m ost famous sons, Gareth Bale. The bar is fu ll of sporting mem orabilia and some of it ev en gets auctioned off. For a two-hour period during Real’s Cham pions League semi-final, customers were gi ven a raffle ticket for every drink bought . The winner received a signed Gareth Bale shirt. General manager Lee Cleaver says: “It works well because we m anaged to film th e draw on a smartphone and hook it up so we could show it live on ou r 20 screens. It ad ded to the drama and it means you don’t have to shout throughout the pub to try to find the winner.”

Live Music

Recycling for art

Hopbunker, Queen St, City Cen tre Another craft beer bar that has emerged in recent years. Thi s one displays old malt bags frame d on the walls. It’s an inexpensive and effective way of representing what the business is all about. The y like a chalkboard here too.

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Clwb Ifor Bach, Womanby Street We were told that in the not too distant past you couldn’t enter here unless you spoke Welsh. The Welsh Club, as it is known to non-native tongue speakers, provides a platform for local musical talent. It is at the heart of Cardiff’s grassroots music scene in Womanby Street, which campaigners are trying to save in the face of hotel development plans in the area.

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#thedanishway New TV campaign starts 17.4

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Bronya Smolen takes a trip to the seaside for the Tourism Pub of the Year

The location was always our USP. But now we offer the complete package, with food, drinks and rooms to match the quality of the view


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It’s not Blackpool, Brighton or Bournemouth. It hasn’t got a fancy wheel, an arcade or even a museum. Yet Seatown, a small village nestled on the South West Coast path near Bridport, Dorset, is home to its own award-winning tourist attraction. And it’s a pub. Landlord Paul Wiscombe’s phone has rung off the hook since his coastal tap, The Anchor Inn, was dubbed Best Tourism Pub of the Year 2017 by Visit England last month. It’s just a normal Tuesday when I visit the pub, but the garden is abuzz with hikers, couples, families and dogs, and his accommodation is booked up from now until November. To get here, I’ve taken a train, a bus and a short hike along thatched-cottage roads and coastal paths. So how, in all its remoteness, has this pub made such an imprint on the map? Paul is currently in his 14th year running The Anchor Inn, but just two years ago it was a very different place. He says: “We were comfortable. We did food but it wasn’t anywhere near the standard it is now, and after Palmer’s Brewery, which owns the pub, helped us refurbish and add rooms, three of my chefs left in the same amount of weeks. “I decided it was time for a change.” He hired chef Jean-Paul de Ronne and mixologist David Smith, and started offering top-notch cocktails and an awardwinning menu. Fast-forward to this April and the pub did 9,028 covers on food alone. With a beer garden overlooking the unspoilt sandy beach, combined with the sound of gently crashing waves, you can only imagine the

wet sales. “The location was always our USP, the view is priceless. But now we offer a complete package, with food, drinks and rooms to match that quality,” Paul explains. Paul is certainly lucky to be running a pub in a place like this, but it’s the way he and his team have complemented the scenery that makes The Anchor Inn special. The 29-table beer garden, with bar outside, has been designed to offer panoramic views of the coastline.

Inspired by the ocean

The menu is also a testament to the location. Carefully crafted by Jean-Paul, it is packed with local pork, pickled cucumber from a local farm shop that the team fell in love with, and seafood caught fresh that day within swimming distance of the pub. Meanwhile, the rooms are finished with sea salt hues, driftwood-style woods and old maps of the coastline. It’s worked a treat. “We get people here from every walk of life, from hikers to young couples, city professionals and people who aren’t from the UK,” adds Paul. “It’s within commuting distance from London for a weekend, but people have ventured down from Yorkshire to stay with us. We also get a fair few tourists coming from Europe, plus we even had a Japanese couple stay with us and they loved it. “Our popularity is mostly thanks to word of mouth and a few write-ups in national newspapers. “Once someone has come to stay with us, they often get hooked. We get a lot of repeat custom and have made good friends.” Paul has worked hard to get the pub’s name out there by entering awards and inviting press to visit, but he’s the first to say 24/05/2017 01:39

this month.


more seaside pubs

The Gurnard’s Head, St Ives, Cornwall Situated in deepest, darkest Cornwall, this community pub gets its daily dose of salty sea air. The pub says it aims to return people “momentarily to the slower pace of life that so many of us yearn for.” Victoria Hotel, Robin Hood’s Bay, Yorkshire The Victoria has made the most of its idyllic views over the bay by tapping into the wedding market. It also hosts regular pub quizzes. The Coastguard, St Margaret’s Bay, Kent This pub’s claim to fame is that it is the nearest pub to France. It had a £200,000 refurbishment in 2016 and is of course renowned for its seafood.

none of that would have mattered if he didn’t have an all-star team behind him. “It’s a testament to everyone who works here. They’re wholly committed and excited about what we do. “On social media the hashtag #AnchorArmy has become a bit of a thing. We’re a close bunch and I make sure there are regular staff socials to keep it that way.” The Anchor Inn is proof that some of the best tourist attractions need nothing more than a cracking view, a decent plate of food and some good old hospitality.

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The Anchor Inn

Seatown, Dorset Staff: 16, plus summer temps Wet/dry: 45/55 Background: Paul’s parents ran two pubs in the area and Paul returned to the trade after studying geography at university

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How to make soft drink sales surge in the summer More and more people are choosing not to drink alcohol on a regular basis. According to recent figures, 1 in 5 adults are teetotal and the number of young people aged 16 to 25 choosing not to drink has increased by 40% over the last decade, so soft drinks are more important to your customers than ever before. To help you make the most of this important category we joined forces with Britvic to create the Inapub Soft Drinks Academy. This month we took a trip to meet our second pupil: Steve Capel of The Happy Union in Loudwater, Buckinghamshire. Steve has been running the Enterprise pub for the last 23 years and we wanted to see how we could help with his mixed drinks offer to boost his soft drinks sales.

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“We’ve got a darts club, pool club and a bar billiards team that all play here, so that brings in a lot of business for us,” Steve says. “We’ve also got our regulars of course. Some of them have been coming here even longer than we’ve been here!” Customers also come from some of the businesses situated in the area, although the type of visits has changed over the years.

culture is more to have a sandwich at your desk now. “We do still get quite a bit of business from group bookings for leaving parties and the like, as well as larger groups of drinkers for after-work drinks on a Friday.” To target these customers,

Summer drinks for sharing “It used to be that we’d get a lot of lunchtime trade from the offices,” Steve explains. “But we don’t get so much of that any more, as the

Licensee Steve Capel

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inapub SOFT DRINKS ACADEMY particularly with summer around the corner, Russell Kirkham, senior customer marketing manager for out of home at Britvic, suggests that Steve could try offering pitchers of simple cocktails and mixed drinks made from brands he already stocks, such as J2O. Britvic’s website,, has a variety of recipes and ideas for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic sharing cocktails to help Steve, and anyone else in need of inspiration. Make sure it looks as good as it tastes Russell also suggests Steve could host more events in the summer, perhaps using the facilities he has for pub games to host “pub Olympics” with a barbecue to boost food sales as well. Easy-to-make summery mixed drinks, such as J2O cocktails, could be served and the events promoted on the pub’s website and Facebook page using free imagery from Britvic. “Making sure the drinks you serve look as good as those in the images will boost sales,” Russell says. “Just adding simple touches like straws, plenty of ice and a decent garnish, or even unusual glassware, can reap huge rewards. Our Pour More Flavour website has a range of tips on different serves and cocktails perfect for summer, along with stunning imagery, which is all free to use.” Give mixers a name check The third tip from Britvic is around advertising the range of soft drinks available, as well as the price of a mixed drink – currently, the price of a double shot of various spirits is promoted around the pub but

Building business with Britvic As part of the Soft Drinks Academy we partnered with the Britvic Business Builders – expert operators who have perfected their soft drinks sales and can help you do the same. This month it’s the turn of Jon Raw (pictured) from The Black Bull in Morpeth, Northumberland. He says: “The presentation of soft drinks and customer service are two of the most important things to drive sales of soft drinks. “Soft drinks can sometimes be lost on the back-bar, so getting staff to proactively communicate the range to customers is a great way of driving awareness of the existing range, as well as trial of any new products or promotions that are running. “Using chalk boards is another way of drawing attention to the soft drinks offer but if they’re not eye-catching enough, customers may just pass them by.  “We find that ensuring they’re as loud as possible, with lots of colour and great imagery, helps them stand out and be noticed by customers.  “Tasters also can work well to encourage customers to try a new soft drink or cocktail. Customers often automatically revert to what they know best when ordering at the bar but offering tasters can often convert them to buying a different soft drink on a regular basis.  “We’ve gone full force on all social media channels to drive awareness of events we’re hosting and special seasonal promotions. We’re located out in the sticks but find that our posts can have a really broad reach through our customers liking and sharing our posts far and wide. I think being located near the business park presents a fantastic opportunity to shout about any events coming up, like the BBQ event. Facebook is such a great way of shouting about events and engaging directly with new and potential customers and, better yet, it’s free!”

there is nothing advertising the price of a finished drink. “Name check the mixer you are using as well, be that a premium tonic or a classic brand such as our recently re-launched R White’s

range,” Russell advises. “Doing so makes it less about the price and more about the care and attention that’s gone into creating the drink, and people are willing to pay more for a premium drink experience.”

For more information on how Britvic can help you to boost soft drink sales this summer and beyond, call 0845 758 1781 p18-19 soft drinks academy.indd 19

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drink You do your bit for the environment, don’t you? Recycling, reducing waste, re-using rather than throwing things away. Maybe you compost or have found a way to cut down on the water and energy you use. Perhaps you have even made the switch to using more environmentally friendly cleaning products or upgraded your equipment. But have you thought about straws? I bet most of you haven’t, yet ditching straws can be one of the simplest and most effective “green” moves you can make — not to mention you’ll save money. Those cheery, brightly coloured tubes you pop in a customer’s cola or cocktail may seem innocuous enough but they are toxic for the environment. Did you know, for example, that 500 million plastic straws are used in the US every single day? That’s enough to go around the planet two-and-a-half times. No-one seems to have the figures for the UK but you can bet they’re just as horrifying. Straws and stirrers are among the top 10 most common


pieces of marine plastic debris and are doing the most damage: because of their size they are eaten by fish and marine animals get tangled in them. In 2015 a video of scientists trying to remove a straw embedded in the nose of a sea turtle went viral. I don’t advise you watch it — it’s really upsetting. It’s no surprise, then, that there’s a drive to raise awareness of the issue and even have them banned, which isn’t so far-fetched considering France will ban all plastic cups, plates and utensils from 2020. Of course, some pubs and bars are already acting to ditch the straw, particularly in London, where licensees and restaurateurs in Soho launched “straw wars” ( as far back as 2012. They are proving the solution is simple: offer but don’t automatically put straws in every drink; sell re-usable straws (yes, they are a thing) and/or offer to wash those that customers bring in. So please, make this your #LastStraw.

Those cheery, brightly coloured tubes you pop in a customer’s cola or cocktail may seem innocuous but they are toxic

COMMERCIAL BREAKDOWN PURDEY’S • Thrive On Purdey’s, the multivitamin soft drink brand from Britvic, is retaining British actor Idris Elba for the latest instalment of its #ThriveOn campaign, which is running now until mid-July.

CAPTAIN MORGAN • Captain Two captain Morgans — cricket’s Eoin Morgan and football’s Wes Morgan — join ex-England captain Rio Ferdinand in a new campaign for Captain Morgan rum to feature on TV and online this summer.

BUDWEISER • Bud Light frogs More than 20 years on from the original Budweiser frog ads, brewer AB InBev has revived the concept to promote the UK launch of Bud Light with the catchphrase: “Bud.Light.Beer.”

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drink. Pig’s Nose

Reported to be as “smooth as a pig’s nose”, this whisky has been given a new label, emphasising the fact it is made from Invergordon grain whisky — said to be one of the lightest Scotches available — and then aged in Bourbon barrels. Sister brand Sheep Dip, also from Ian Macleod Distillers, been given an equally new look. 01506 852205


Once one of Britain’s most scorned ales, the Watneys beer brand has been resurrected. It made a triumphant return to the limelight at the end of last month, appearing at the Crystal Palace Beer Festival. Beer lovers will be relieved to know it is now brewed to a different recipe.

On the bar Tom Spencer, The Milk House, Sissinghurst, Kent

Look out for... Martel VS Single Distillery

Pernod Ricard is hoping to make Cognac more relevant to younger drinkers with a revamp of its Martell range, starting with this new version of its old Martell VS variant. It has been designed to be smoother than the old VS and to be used in cocktails and mixed drinks.

Wee Heavy

Icelandic brewer Einstök has added an eight per cent ABV smoked beer to its range, made with Icelandic barley that has been smoked with birch and angelica. Vikings believed the latter to have mystical properties and the herb was so valuable at the time it was used as currency.

Sheppy’s Cider

This 200-year-old brand has been given a new look to emphasise its artisanal credentials and to attract “discerning drinkers who understand what constitutes a quality cider,” says owner and cider maker David Sheppy. A new cloudy cider will also join the portfolio this summer.

We’ve taken our philosophy of local sourcing out of the kitchen and into the bar as well. Local ales are important, of course, but we also sell local wines. We stock the sparkling Brut and a late harvest wine, Nectar — a great pudding wine — from Chapel Down, which, like us, is in Kent. We also recently added a wine from the Sedlescombe winery, which is organic and it flew out at £26 a bottle and £7.50 or £9 a glass. Our gin is local as well, from Anno Distillery, and we’ve collaborated with them on bespoke cocktails for some of our events, such as Milk Fest, which we run every August. I’d like to get in an English whisky at some point and get an English red wine listed too. I also think another English lager (we already sell Curious Brew) would prove popular. p20-21 drink intro.indd 21

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Great white hopes by ROBYN BLACK

While gin currently gets all the airtime when it comes to white spirits, there are plenty of interesting things happening in the rest of the category. Vodka still makes up the bulk of sales, rum remains popular, and tequila is stirring things up at the top end of the market. Here’s the lowdown on what’s going on in the sector Gin

Now worth more than £600m to the UK on-trade and up five per cent in volume and 10.3 per cent in value over the last year (all CGA to February 2017), it might feel like we’ve already reached peak gin. Industry experts, however, think otherwise and predict further growth for the category in years to come. All of which might leave you wondering just how much of your precious back-bar space to devote to what used to be known as “mother’s ruin”? “The key consideration now is not so much about

dedicating more space but about optimising the room currently allocated,” says Graham Carr-Smith, founder of The English Drinks Company, a soft drinks producer which recently moved into spirits with the launch of Cucumber Gin. “The ratios will vary very significantly by outlet type, of course. However, the principles hold true universally. Consider giving some profile to smaller gin brands and some focus to flavoured brands. Consumers have evolved — they want to try these types of gins.” Advice from Diageo concurs with this, suggesting licensees stock at least three gins. “One for pouring, one for an upsell and one that’s a little different for choice,” explains Faith Holland, head of on-trade category and insight.


There’s still a lot of love for vodka despite its little cousin gin hogging the limelight of late. “Licensees can shake up their vodka offering simply and effectively by making use of the latest trend towards infused vodka,” says Nick Williamson, marketing director at Campari UK. “Flavoured and infused vodkas are

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40 years


popular with bartenders because they allow them to create a new twist on classic drinks and to bring a great flavour to their cocktails without needing extra ingredients.” Insight from Pernod Ricard UK suggests an emerging interest in citrus flavours, something that might help focus the mind when choosing from the myriad of variants out there. “We know more than 82 per cent of consumers regularly drink citrus cocktails, which is why we launched Absolut Lime in January,” explains Adam Boita, the company’s head of marketing. However, along with flavoured versions, there are two other “key indicators operators should bear in mind in the vodka category,” he says. “Firstly it’s quality. Vodka is currently categorised as standard, premium and super-premium. Secondly, vodka can either be classed as ‘new’ or ‘old world.’ As a rule, new world vodkas are more neutral, whereas old world vodkas are more sophisticated with a textured feel in the mouth.”


While white rum has been overshadowed by spiced and dark versions of late, it remains a crucial part of your

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OLYMPIA LONDON This event is supported by our proud festival partners.


• Brewers • Publicans • Members of the media and other trade professionals.


25/05/2017 12:36

offer, with cola in mixed drinks or in Mojitos (which remain one of the most popular cocktails for UK drinkers) on the cocktail list. However, there are options beyond those two serves, if you want to make your bottle work hard for its space on the back bar. Piña Colada, Cuba Libre and Long Island Iced Tea all remain popular and will sell. “Rum has a rich history and a bright future as a drink that can be enjoyed neat, over ice or the foundation of a many a great and well-known cocktail,” says a spokeswoman for Halewood Wine & Spirits.


White, or “silver” tequila is no longer just a spirit for shooting late at night with a wedge of lemon and some salt, it is being reimagined and re-discovered, particularly at the top end of the market. Aged tequilas are being enjoyed neat or over ice as a sipping spirit, and mixologists

have been won over by tequila’s charms, using the more expensive 100 per cent agave tequilas to make cocktails and mixed drinks. “A good tequila has a combination of spice and sweetness that makes it interesting to mix with, while many great tequila cocktails have a ‘sunshine’ feel that gives them strong customer appeal,” explains Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits. Can this trickle down into the mainstream, though? “There is real potential to broaden the tequila market if operators bridge the gap between the premium end and the ‘big night out’ shot market with a broader range of mainstream serves,” Dan adds. “Alongside classics like the Margarita and Tequila Sunrise, try a Paloma — one part Montezuma Silver (or another white tequila), to three parts grapefruit soda, garnished with a wedge of lime. It’s easily adapted by using different sodas.”

Mixing it up The explosion in premium and, latterly, craft spirits created demand for more premium mixers to complement them. After all, the argument went, if you are splashing out on a nicer spirit, why drown its nuances with bog standard tonic? In turn, now the premium mixer category is creating demand for ever more premium spirits and drinks.“The trend in premiumisation looks set to continue to grow,” says Andrew Jackson, marketing director at Fentimans Botanically Brewed Beverages. “We certainly intend to grow our own mixer range to keep up. There’s been a plethora of gins and vodkas, now whisky is a big thing and tequilas are growing in popularity too.” As a result of so many new products hitting shelves, newer brands are becoming increasingly specialised. Sekforde Bespoke Botanical Mixers, for example, launched two mixers at the beginning of this year — Sekforde for Whiskey and Sekforde for Rum. Global Brands, meanwhile, launched its Franklin & Sons tonic range, to make the most of the gin boom, back in January 2016. “With there now being more gins available than ever before, the choice of garnish and the mixer can make or break your gin and tonic,” says marketing controller Justin Horsman. “Juniperforward gins require a good, strong foundation with a balance of wetness and bitterness, such as in our Natural Indian Tonic Water. “Floral or citrus gins benefit from less sweetness, such as low or no sugar tonics. For berrybased gins, such as sloe gin, there is almost certainly a requirement for something special to bring out the best in the spirit. A lemon tonic will balance the sweetness of the berries.”

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25/05/2017 03:51















Made using only the finest natural ingredients from around the world, Fever-Tree’s range of flavoured tonics are the perfect partner for any premium gin.















Fever-Tree are now offering free design and print on bespoke Gin & Tonic menus that are proven to:



* Figures taken as average from accounts who used Fever-Tree G&T menus in 2016


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26/04/2017 00:05

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25/05/2017 09:37


Untapped potential by ROBYN BLACK

There’s an obvious quality benefit to keg. It’s more convenient to transport and store and less knowledge and care is needed from the bar staff

Keg beer, once a liquid deemed so foul it prompted the creation of one of Europe’s most successful consumer organisations of all time — namely the Campaign for Real Ale — is back in fashion. Indeed, keg is so in vogue now that some craft brewers are abandoning cask altogether — see BrewDog, Beavertown and Cloudwater, to name just a few. Perhaps even more interesting, however, is that now even the more traditional regional brewers are entering the category: Marston’s is enjoying the success

of its new keg brews, including Shipyard American Pale Ale, for example, and more recently Fuller’s launched London Pride Unfiltered, a keg version of its flagship ale. How on earth could this have happened, you might be asking yourself and, moreover, is it a category that needs some attention in your pub?

Changing face of keg

One of the prime reasons that keg beer has had a resurgence is because a number of the early wave craft brewers could see its business benefits. “We started out as a cask brewer and started brewing keg as well two years ago, because we could see the demand in London and because we could see that keg would allow us access to more outlets, such as bars that don’t have the facilities for cask,” explains James Morgan, cofounder of London’s revived Truman’s brand. “There’s an obvious quality benefit to keg,” he continues. “It’s more convenient to transport and store and less knowledge and care is needed from the bar staff, compared to cask. Ultimately it’s about taking great beer to as many drinkers as possible and offering keg helps us do that.” It’s not just about quality in the pub, either. Technological advances means the quality of keg produced in the brewery has also improved, meaning it’s “just not the same

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Roll out the barrel — roll in the keg: improvements in producing keg beer mean the drink is ‘just not the same product as it was in the 1970s’

Developing keg beers has been a great opportunity to get more creative and experiment a bit


JUNE 2017

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product as it was in the 1970s”, according to Rupert Thompson, chairman of Surrey’s Hogs Back Brewery. “Back then keg beer was anodyne, with little flavour, but there has been huge improvements in pasteurisation — we can flash pasteurise now, which is better for the beer.

Better beer

“The old way also oxidised the beer but that process has improved too over the past 30 years and so even the ‘smooth’ style beers are better than they used to be,” Rupert says. The so-called “new wave” keg beers, such as Hogs Back’s own recently launched London’s Outback Pale Ale, are also made in smaller batches and with more flavour than their older relatives, Rupert points out. Some brewers also suggest keg can be

more forgiving than cask, making it ideal for start-up craft operations. “You can hide mistakes more easily in keg,” says Fuller’s head brewer, Georgina Young. “Adding CO2 will mask flavours and lots of hops can also cover infection or oxidisation. That’s not to say I think keg beer is a bad thing, because I certainly do not, and developing beers such as our craft keg lager, Frontier, and our new London Pride Unfiltered has been a great opportunity to get more creative and experiment a bit.” Georgina’s colleague Jane Jones, head of marketing at Fuller’s, points out the fizzy, cold attributes of keg have also been central to its success, as it is those attributes that have attracted lager drinkers to the category. “Keg beers are also ubiquitous in terms of the drinking occasion, which has boosted its 25/05/2017 09:55

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25/05/2017 10:00

A drink for all seasons: part of keg’s appeal is it can be drunk on pretty much any occasion, from a pint with dinner to a big night out


JUNE 2017

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popularity,” she says. “Cask beer tends to be drunk on quite low-tempo occasions: over a roast dinner or sitting down, perhaps. Keg plays there as well but it is just as often enjoyed in beer gardens on hot days or on big nights out.” This theory has been backed up by new research from Marston’s, which found the majority of drinkers were coming to craft keg from mainstream lager and not, as had been expected, from cask. “We thought it might be a migration of drinkers from cask but actually it’s the fact it’s cold that’s the big driver into keg,” agrees Marston’s on-trade category manager, Thomas Winter. “Cold goes hand in hand with refreshment in the eyes of drinkers.” And just like premium lager, keg can also command a tasty price premium over cask, which makes it an attractive opportunity all licensees should be looking at. “While keg is still in volume decline, the category has seen a value growth of 3.2 per cent over the last

12 months,” Thomas says. The volume decline is attributed mainly to the performance of traditional smooth keg beers, while the value growth, Thomas says, is “because, as CGA figures show, craft keg can be priced as much as 90p more per pint than cask. This will vary venue to venue, of course, and depends on what the brands are.” All of this means the keg opportunity is one most licensees should be looking at, whether it’s for a city-centre bar or a community boozer. However, there are some dangers to heed. “One of the biggest mistakes we see is licensees completely overhauling their keg range and actually going too far — alienating their existing customer base and not appealing to the mass market. Be sensible, start slow and gauge interest and feedback,” advises Thomas. It is also worth remembering that craft beer does have a lower number of average drinks per pub visit compared to overall beer (two versus three), so you may have a lower rate of sale compared to, say, a mainstream lager.

Keg overkill

And be careful not to fall into the trap of merely adding yet another tap, warns Mark Fewster, product manager at beer flow monitoring provider Vianet. “Our research shows independent pubs are over-ranging by an average of at least three taps and overall the problem costs the sector about £73m in cleaning, wastage and running costs. “Pubs should take a ‘test and learn’ approach by rigorously analysing the data gathered on what’s selling — this will help operators find the right balance of beers that are both interesting and deliver good throughput,” Fewster says. That said, craft keg is still a must now for any pub. It will bring in new drinkers — and ones who are willing to pay just shy of £1 more for a pint. It also gives existing customers something new and exciting to try and is less labour-intensive for you to look after. It’s official: keg is back. 25/05/2017 12:41

Mid-streng t h cyder. Now on ta p.

Word on the stree t is that p a premiu eople wa m, mid-s nt trength c doesn’t c y d e r that omprom ise on qu And boy ality or ta have we ste. got the a Introducin nswer! g our refr eshing, m draught id-streng cyder wit th h an ABV of 4.5% .

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25/05/2017 10:02 09/05/2017 22:00


A smart move With more than 56 beer taps and drinks making up as much as 80 per cent of sales some weeks, the team at the Greenwood in London’s Victoria area knew they had to get the beer quality spot-on, which is why they chose HEINEKEN’s SmartDispense system. We went to talk to Kane Brooks, beverage operations manager for Greenwood’s owner, The ETM Group, to find out how SmartDispense was working out.

Beverage Operations Manager Kane Brooks (right) enjoys a SmartDispensed pint with HEINEKEN’s Julian Smith

What is SmartDispense? SmartDispense technology has revolutionised the way draught beer and cider is stored and served. Smaller systems deliver consistently cold in glass temperatures highly efficiently, without the need for cellar cooling. Larger MODULE systems allow consistently great quality cold beer and cider to be served from remote cellar locations, all with frequency of cleaning stretched to four weeks. HEINEKEN’s Julian Smith adds: “In addition the support we offer takes away some of the operational headaches of running a pub, such as line cleaning and staff training on pint perfection.”

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Why did you choose SmartDispense? We had trialled it at a few of our other sites and were impressed, so when it came to fitting out this venue it seemed like a good choice. This is a large site and comes with its own challenges — not least that we wanted to be eco-friendly and so the dispense system had to be able to plug into that, and also to fit into the relatively small cellar space we have. What was the main attraction of SmartDispense for you? As part of the service offered as standard on SmartDispense, HEINEKEN takes care of the line cleaning for you and it only needs to be done once every four weeks. Cleaning less often results in less wastage and therefore cost savings, clearly. But for me it’s also about the time saving in terms of not having to train staff members to do it and peace of mind because I know it is being

done by an expert to the highest standard every single time. It’s one less thing to worry about. Have you noticed less wastage as a result of SmartDispense? Obviously I can’t compare with sales here, as we’ve had SmartDispense since we opened, but I know from my time working in other venues in my career that the amount of beer we waste here is significantly less. In fact it’s hardly any at all. Do you think your beer is of the highest quality because of SmartDispense? Yes, absolutely and that’s really important in a venue like this. Drinks make up at least 70 per cent of sales – rising to 80 per cent some weeks, and beer makes up 60 per cent of that. What we wanted to do was create a pub that people could come into five or six times a week, for different occasions. To achieve

25/05/2017 10:03

PROMOTIONAL FEATURE Will SmartDispense work in my pub? There are five different martDispense solutions to suit different types of bars, from a single tap to do ens of taps. maller systems have the patented disposable beer tube, which means there is no line cleaning and the self contained cooling system can extend keg life by up to days. In larger cellar systems the re uired period between line cleaning extends to four weeks. There’s even a “plug and play” system for beer gardens or events.

Simon Gray, SmartDispense Commercial Manager, HEINEKEN, says:

EI E E is commi ed to protecting water resources and reducing CO emissions as part of its Brewing A Be er orld’ sustainability strategy. brewing a better world

“In the U , en oying a draught beer is a cultural institution. One tradition that needed updating though was the old fashioned e uipment used to cool and serve the beer and cider, so EI E E created SmartDispense. “The system guarantees you get great uality beer every pint, reduces waste and costs and is more environmentally friendly. “In addition the support we offer takes away some of the operational headaches of running a pub, such as line cleaning and staff training on pint perfection.”

SmartDispense he ene ts that, our beer has to be perfect every pint we serve, to make sure they come back for more. Have you had any problems with the system? o, not one. But I’m confident it would have been dealt with uickly and efficiently if we had. e have an excellent working relationship with EI E E which has been a huge support to us. I’m on the phone to my rep or ulian at least once a day that’s more than I speak to my wife sometimes. Would you swap SmartDispense for another system? Absolutely not. It gives us great uality beer, it’s cost effective, time efficient and gives me one less thing to worry about.

★ educes water and line clean chemical use by around 75%* ★ Cuts beer and cider waste going down the drain by 75%* ★ as * more efficient coolers and python beer line insulation ★ Can save the average pub thousands of pounds a year in reduced wastage, improved dispense yield and pub operator time** ★ Improves the uality and consistency of draught beer and cider for consumers, helping to drive sales Compared to traditional beer dispense systems avings vary depending on si e of pub, number of taps and other variables

Be a part of the SmartDispense success story and get in touch today! E. T. 0344 556 0109 w:

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25/05/2017 10:03

eat Flash back to 2010, and the headline “Pub chain to open from 7am to serve breakfast”, was a splash. Not any more. Now it is becoming the norm. Breakfast has become a lucrative revenue stream for pubs, and we’ve been on the hunt, in partnership with Kraft Heinz, to find Britain’s Best Pub Breakfast. Every single pub had something unique to say about their breakfast, from the way it’s cooked, to the suppliers they use. For that, you should be proud. The essence of a good pub is a place that brings people

The perfect burger build

Soggy buns, escaping tomatoes and wilted lettuce be gone. Expert chef and consultant for Hospitality House Steve Mackin says he’s cracked the way to build the perfect burger.

with BRONYA SMOLEN together. If that means over a fry-up instead of a pint, then so be it. Whether it’s a post-school-run meet-up, a place to reflect alone after a tough week or somewhere to reunite with old friends, the pub is there to welcome customers with that “come as you are” charm, and now, some bloomin’ great breakfasts. See our breakfast winner opposite, Fuller’s pub, the Tap on the Line, which serves its version all day — cooked to perfection, of course.

Rehydrate with a pint and pack of peanuts Get your customers out of that juice & fruit bar and into your pub – a pint and a packet of peanuts is scientifically the best way to recover after a run, apparently. Research has found that low-alcohol beer, if consumed with salty snacks, meets the ideal criteria for rehydration, especially after exercise. This finding was presented at the European Beer and Health Symposium in Brussels. It is said that liquid with a balance of sodium and potassium is needed to replace hydration levels. Well, you can’t argue with that.

1. Bun: toasted. 2. Relish: chunky, spread it to the edges. It seals the bun to avoid a soggy bottom. 3. Burger: cooked and rested. 4. Cheese: make sure it melts. 5. Tomato: use beef tomato. This will stick to the cheese to stop it slipping. 6. Onion rings 7. Iceberg lettuce: place last to stop it wilting. 8. Bun: place at an angle so customers can see exactly what’s in the burger.

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FULL ENGLISH BREAKFAST Sam Hitchcock, head chef, Tap on the Line, Kew, London


It’s got to be Heinz, they’re a consistently good product and customers know and love the brand.

Black pudding

This is made exclusively for Fuller’s pubs by Owton’s Butchers. It’s got a special blend of spices, freshly ground for each batch. Rob Owton, owner of the business, tried about six different recipes before perfecting this one. We cut off a nice big slice for each full English.

This is baked by Bertinet bakery. They make a really great loaf, and obviously customers can choose between white or granary.


It’s a flat field mushroom which we roast for about eight minutes with a knob of butter, salt and pepper.

Baby watercress

It’s nice to have a bit of colour and freshness on the plate, plus lots of our customers eat their breakfast with mustard, so this brings it all together.


We use fresh plum tomatoes. I season them with salt, pepper, thyme and a bit of sugar, then slowly cook them under the hot lights for about three to four hours. This brings out the sweetness and keeps them plump.


These are Cumberland sausages from Owton’s Butchers, Hampshire. I steam them first so they don’t dry out.


This is Owton’s Butchers’ special dry-cured smoked bacon. The bacon is cured for 30 days there and gives a great flavour. We work really closely with the farm and butchers, and often send our chefs there to learn about produce.


I cook these slowly in cold oil to avoid burnt edges, that’s a pet hate of mine. The eggs are free range from Lycroft Farm in Hampshire.

Britain’s Best Pub Breakfast WINNER

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25/05/2017 10:10

The Roman invasion by BRONYA SMOLEN

Pizza perfect: if you don’t have enough room for a wood-fired oven of your own, why not get a pizza street food truck like Van Dough to operate at your venue?

Margherita could soon be as common as pie & mash on the British pub menu — with demand booming and attractive gross profit margins to be had, pizza has the potential to become your menu star. The pizza delivery market is expected to grow five per cent over the next five years, while sales of thin-crust supermarket pizzas are up by an impressive £20m year on year, according to analysts IBIS World and Kantar Worldpanel respectively.

And it’s not just supermarkets and fast food chains looking for a slice of the action. Late last year Wetherspoons scrapped its Sunday roast and instead has been rolling out a stone-baked pizza menu in sites across the UK. Meanwhile in 2014, Fullers brought a 51 per cent stake in craft cider and pizza restaurant group The Stable, which has opened 15 sites since 2009. But can the Italian favourite really muscle in on the great British pub menu? A pizza can cost your business around £2.50 to create, yet a Margherita will sell for an average of £7, so the margin is attractive. They’re practical too — Simon Edwards, manager of The Marquis of Wellington in Bermondsey, London, has been selling pizzas since the pub re-opened last year. “We can make them really quickly to order and because pizza is all we do we can really refine our offer,” he says. “We get our pizza bases in from Sicily, we’ve invested in a proper pizza oven and we have premiumised our toppings. The most popular is probably the mushroom, salami and truffle oil pizza.”

Topping tips

“Don’t be afraid of trying out something new” seems to be the advice when it comes to toppings. A poll by YouGov in March this year surprisingly revealed mushroom was the most popular pizza topping in the UK, followed closely by onion, ham and pepper (see The UK’s favourite toppings, opposite). And you can’t forget about the cheese. “Cheese blends and authentic Italian cheeses such as Grana Padano have really come to the fore, although mozzarella is still leading when it comes to cheese toppings,” says Svitlana Binns, customer relationship manager at Dairygold Food Ingredients. “Dessert pizza is also a new concept that has captured the imaginations of p36-37-38 pizza.indd 36

25/05/2017 10:20

The UK’s favourite toppings In a survey of nearly 4,000 adults by YouGov, an unlikely contender was named the UK’s most popular pizza topping. According to the survey, 65 per cent of adults selected mushroom as a topping on their pizza, followed by onion (62 per cent), ham (61 per cent), peppers (60 per cent) and chicken (56 per cent).

42% 49%











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61% Ham

(as a topping)



diners, with soft cheeses such as mascarpone acting as the perfect accompaniment for sweet flavours.” The fact that a knife and fork don’t need to even enter the building when pizza is involved is another draw for pubs, especially when tables are limited or big events are on. Darragh Gilhawley, head of business development UK at Big Al’s Foodservice, says: “Pizza remains popular as it can be easily prepared and served ready to eat on the go.” He has helped develop a range of microwavable pizza twists for pubs with limited kitchen space, so they can tap into the trend. Italian-style “pizza bombs” have proved another way to feed standing customers, as the Windmill in Brighton, Sussex, discovered when it gave its kitchen to Sofia Duplain, of food truck company Our Nonna’s Kitchen. “A pizza bomb is like a mini-dough ball stuffed with things like cheese and meat. They’re really popular and were thinking about offering them with a shot deal in the pub,” says Sofia. Our Nonna’s Kitchen, inspired by her own

p36-37-38 pizza.indd 37

If you would like to try any of our new products please visit:

25/05/2017 10:20

We change our pizza toppings seasonally because that’s very much how Italian cooking works — you use whatever is fresh and in season Nonna knows best: The Windmill serves Our Nonna’s Kitchen’s Italian-style tapas with mini-pizzas called cicchetti

Good to go: pizzas work for the Marquis of Wellington because they’re easily made to order

38 JUNE 2017

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Italian grandmother (aka Nonna), has been providing the pub’s food offer since early this year and sells mini six-inch pizzas as part of its Italian-style tapas offer, known in Italy as cicchetti. “We change our pizza toppings season-

ally because that’s very much how Italian cooking works — you use whatever is fresh and in season,” she continues.

Street style

Not enough room for a pizza oven? Landlord Con Riordan has been working with a pizza street food truck for about a year. Van Dough, a wood-fired pizza business, comes to The Blythe Hill Tavern in Forest Hill, London, every Friday. Con says: “They pay a fee for putting the van in our forecourt and we benefit from the drinks sales. I’d say we saw business increase by about 10 to 15 per cent on Fridays since we started working together. The pizzas are really popular and it’s convenient as we don’t even need to provide cutlery.” Alternatively, Barrel & Stone will provide all necessary equipment, training, point-of-sale material and logistics free of charge to any of its partner sites, of which many are pubs. It seems there’s more than one way to slice a pizza, it’s just a matter of picking what works best for your site. 25/05/2017 10:21

r u o v a l f k l a t Let’s

Pack a punch of flavour on your pizza with a drizzle of Heinz over the top. Whether you’re looking for a fiery kick with our Firecracker sauce or some authentic BBQ with our Heinz Classic Barbecue. We have a wide range of sauces to take your pizza to the next level.

For more information on our range of products contact 0800 575755 @KraftHeinzFSUK

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24/05/2017 11:01 24/05/2017 11:32



Money-making menu hacks

Worth splashing out for… don’t be stingy with the sauce

You don’t need a Michelin Star to encourage customers to throw money at you. Here are a few tricks to help take your offer from standard pub grub to gastro delight. What’s more, it won’t cost the earth. 1

Upper crust… premium breads will allow you to charge more

Invest in condiments

Cheap, own-brand sauces devalue your offer, while a major bugbear for customers is waiting for condiments. Tim Foster, co-founder of London pubco Yummy Pubs, says: “We’ve done a lot of research into pickles and condiments so have elevated our offer. We use sauce sachets from Stokes. Feedback has been great, plus it saves wastage. While they cost more at about 17p a sachet, it’s worth the customer satisfaction, and savings on labour. We also retail the Stokes bottles and have used this as an additional profit stream.”


Get some decent cutlery

Think about every single detail of your presentation and treat each dish like it was going straight on Instagram, because if you nail it, it probably will. “Something as simple as napkin quality can instantly change

the way customers perceive a meal,” says Ali Carter, former licensee and founder of menu costing system CaterCost. Cutlery weight and the plate it is served on will also influence how customers think about their meal. Investing in quality serving accessories should pay off in the long run.


Write your menu carefully


Keep your menus pristine


Structure the menu

Entire bodies of scientific research have gone into the best ways to write a menu to influence the brain. And, as psychophysicist Howard Moskowitz once said: “The mind knows not what the tongue wants.” Ali says that words like “exotic” and “spicy’”raise the perceived value of a meal, while vague descriptions such “delicious” feature more on cheaper menus. “Add provenance to the description too, for example ‘outdoor-reared pork’,” she suggests.

Tim at Yummy Pubs has also found that printing menus fresh, every day, on the pub’s own recycled paper has worked wonders. He says: “Scraggy wax-paper menus are a pet hate of mine. The perception of our food is instantly improved compared with seeing a menu covered in wrinkles or stains. For a small increase in the money we spend, it’s worth it.”

Diners tend to scan menus, so you need to be clever. When scanning, they focus on the first and last items in a list. Make these your star dishes with high GPs. Professor Brian Wansink studied 17 menus and the selections of more than 300 diners to conclude that whatever initially catches the customer’s eye has an advantage over anything a person sees later. He says: “We.

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eat. Golden garnish... add a touch of class and reap the investment

generally scan the menu in a z-shaped fashion, starting at the top-left hand corner But whatever the pattern, we’re easily interrupted by items being in boxes, by pictures or in a different colour.”


Offer upgrades


Invest in ‘buzzword’ garnishes

Build-your-own options and portion upgrades are gold mines. Burgers are a prime example of how you can offer this. “These often end up on social media and the customer pays a premium depending on the bread, toppings and the amount of it they want,” explains Speciality Breads managing director Simon Cannell.

Profit builders... customers will spend more when allowed to customise their meal

Ingredients like truffle oil, parmesan shavings and Himalayan salt are all “on-trend” garnishes which can make your tills ping. They might be expensive initially, but are used in small quantities and add that extra-special quality to your menu.

Don’t over-garnish though. A properly composed dish with the right proportion of greens will appear more upmarket.


Welcome wonky vegetables


Premiumise an item to boost its GP

According to the Regency Purchasing Group, pubs can make savings of up to 12 per cent just by buying differently shaped produce. Alex Demetriou, managing director at the group, explains: “You shouldn’t downgrade quality, but buying seasonal ingredients or vegetables deemed ‘imperfect’ in shape can seriously boost margins.”

If you’ve spent more to make a dish, customers spend more to eat it. Alex says: “A standard 4oz burger in a cheap bun and fries may cost £5, but get a premium burger in a brioche bun and ‘skin on fries’, then you take the pressure off your margins. Your costs go up but so will your income.”

JUNE 2017 p40-41 menu hacks.indd 41


25/05/2017 10:29

Unmissable Live S June & July 2017 BRITISH & IRISH LIONS TOUR

































ICC Champ Trophy: Australia v Bangladesh

World Cup of Darts PGA Tour Golf: The Memorial Tournament

ICC Champ Trophy: England v New Zealand

European Tour Golf: Nordea Masters

JUNE 2017

ICC Champ Trophy: England v Bangladesh

ICC Champ Trophy: Australia v New Zealand

British & Irish ICC Champ Lions v Trophy: India Provincial v Pakistan Union Team

British & Irish Lions v Blues ICC Champ Trophy: Pakistan v South Africa

Super League: Hull v Wigan

Super League: Super League: TBC Leigh v Wigan ICC Champ Trophy: ICC Champ Trophy: India New Zealand v Bangladesh v Sri Lanka

World Cup Qualifiers: Scotland v England

World Cup Qualifiers: Azerbaijan v Northern Ireland PGA Tour Golf: FedEx St. Jude Classic

World Cup Qualifiers: Republic Of Ireland v Austria

ICC Champ Trophy: Sri Lanka v Pakistan

World Cup Qualifiers: Serbia v Wales


British & ICC Champ Irish Lions Trophy: v Highlanders Semi Final

ICC Champ Trophy: Semi Final

Royal Ldn 1-Day Cup: Play-Offs

Challenge Cup: Quarter Final U.S U.S Open Open Golf Golf

European Tour Golf: Lyoness Open

ICC Champ Trophy: Sri Lanka v South Africa

Canada Grand Prix British & Irish Lions v Crusaders Super League: Catalan v Hudd'sfield

ICC Champ Trophy: India v South Africa

ICC Champ Trophy: England v Australia































2nd Test: British & Irish Lions v New Zealand

ICC Women’s World Cup Cricket: India v Pakistan

JULY 2017

Royal Ldn 1-Day Cup: Final

ICC Women’s World Cup Cricket: Sri Lanka v India

Super League: Super League: 3rd Test: TBC British & Irish Wakefield v Lions v Castleford New Zealand 1st Test: England v South Africa European Tour Golf: Irish Open

Super League: Catalan v Leigh

T20 Blast: Nhamp'shire v Yorkshire

T20 Blast: Sussex v Hampshire ICC Women’s World Cup Cricket: Australia v India

T20 Blast: British British Grand Grand Prix Prix Middlesex v Surrey T20 Blast: T20 Blast: Super League: Lancashire v Glamorgan v Yorkshire Somerset Wigan v Warrington Super League: TBC

PGA Tour Golf: The Greenbrier Classic Austrian Grand Prix

European Tour Golf: HNA Open de France

T20 Blast: Essex v Surrey

PGA Tour Golf: Quicken Loans National

ICC Women’s World Cup Cricket: England v Super League: Australia Catalan v Wigan T20 Blast: Birmingham v Nott'shire

2nd 2nd Test: Test: England England v South v South Africa Africa European European Tour Tour Golf: Golf: Scottish Scottish Open Open PGA PGA Tour Tour Golf: Golf: John John Deere Deere Classic Classic ICC Women’s World Cup Cricket: England v West Indies

Keep the sports showing Keep the drinks flowing Once you’ve got the momentum, it’s unstoppable

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18/05/2017 11:00 11:56 24/05/2017



































Euro U21 Champ'ship: Sweden v England

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Portugal v Serbia

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Germany v Czech Rep

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Slovakia v England

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Serbia v Macedonia

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Czech Rep v Italy

Euro U21 Champ'ship: England v Poland

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Serbia v Spain

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Italy v Germany

3rd T20: England v South Africa

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Poland v Slovakia

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Spain v Macedonia

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Denmark v Italy

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Poland v Sweden

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Portugal v Spain

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Germany v Denmark

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Slovakia v Sweden

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Macedonia v Portugal

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Czech Rep v Denmark

British & Irish ICC Champ Challenge Cup: Quarter Lions v Maori Trophy Final All Blacks Final Royal Ldn 1-Day Cup: Semi-Final

Euro U21 Champ'ship: Semi Final Euro U21 Champ'ship: Semi Final

Royal Ldn 1-Day Cup: Semi-Final

PGA Tour Golf: Quicken Loans National

British & Irish Lions v Hurricanes

ATP 500: Halle British & Irish 1st T20: Lions v Chiefs England v South Africa

ICC Women’s Super League: Euro U21 Leeds v World Cup Champ'ship: St Helens Cricket: Final SA v NZ European Tour Golf: HNA Open de France

Super League: TBC

PGA Tour Golf: Travelers Championship European Tour Golf: BMW International Open Super League: Azerbaijan Grand Prix Widnes v Leigh Super League: 1st Test: TBC British & Irish Lions v 2nd T20: New Zealand England v South Africa ICC Women’s World Cup Cricket: England v India

































T20 Blast: Worc'shire v Derbyshire

T20 Blast: Durham v Leicest'shire

T20 Blast: Kent v Glouc'shire ICC Women’s World Cup Cricket: Semi Final


T20 Blast: Surrey v Middlesex

World Matchplay Darts

ICC Women’s T20 Blast: Nott'shire v World Cup Super League: Super League: Nhamp'shire Cricket: Warrington v Wigan v Final Widnes Leeds

ATP 500:Hamburg T20 Blast: Glouc'shire v Glamorgan

T20 Blast: Yorkshire v Durham

The Open

3rd Test: England v South Africa T20 Blast: Kent v Somerset

PGA Tour Golf: Barbasol Championship ICC Women’s World Cup Cricket: Semi Final

Super League: Catalan v Castleford

T20 Blast: Sussex v Middlesex

T20 Blast: Essex v Glouc'shire

ATP 500: Washington

Hungarian Grand Prix European Tour Golf: Porsche European Open PGA Tour Golf: RBC Canadian Open

PLUS All the latest news, 24/7, on

Call 08442 414 659 Scheduling may be subject to change. Sky Sports requires a Sky subscription, equipment and installation. Further terms apply. Calls to Sky cost 7p per minute plus your provider’s access charge. Correct at time of print 09.05.2017. THE F1 LOGO, F1, FORMULA 1®, FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, GRAND PRIX AND RELATED MARKS ARE TRADE MARKS OF FORMULA ONE LICENSING BV, A FORMULA ONE GROUP COMPANY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


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18/05/2017 24/05/2017 11:56 11:01

play with MATT ELEY I’ve never really been one for board games. I recall during my school days a bunch of friends developed an unhealthy interest in playing Risk rather than going out to the pub due to fast-approaching A-Level exams. I didn’t have the time or the patience for world domination back then and I’d still now rather just have a drink and a chat. However, I am happy to admit that for others dusting off the Game of Life or Trivial Pursuit represents a good night in, or indeed a good night out.

When we visited Cardiff (pages 12-14) we were stunned by the popularity of the board games night at The Lansdowne. Meanwhile, the final of National Board Games Week takes place later this month at One Inn the Wood in Petts Wood, Kent. They clearly tap into something about communal activities that customers want. So if you haven’t tried this yet, it might be worth a go. Just don’t expect to take over the world.

Liverpool break Herts at the Emirates to lift BT Sport Pub Cup The Liver Vaults in Liverpool is £5,000 better off thanks to a last-minute winner at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium. Its pub football team won the inaugural BT Sport Pub Cup with a 3-2 victory over Hertfordshire’s The Great Northern. As well as the cash prize, the pub also receives free BT Sport for a year. With BT Sport pundits Harry Redknapp, John Hartson and David James all in attendance, the players from both sides were treated to the Premier League experience on the day. Bruce Cuthbert, BT Sport director of commercial customers, said: “We really wanted to create something that celebrated the vital role pubs play in grass roots football. To be able to give these pubs this experience is brilliant and you can see what it means to all involved.

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“We have seen over 900 entries from our pub customers and it has really reinforced the strength of that bond between pubs and football to us. We will be looking at how we make it bigger and better in 2018.” 25/05/2017 12:38

Inapub on tour with Iron Maiden by Robyn Black

Beer Day Britain

Celebrate our national drink the way you see fit. For extra inspiration visit Cheers! Thursday, June 15

Happening this month

Scotland v England

The road to Russia continues, with the Auld Enemies clashing in this vital World Cup Qualifier as the football season finally draws to a close. Saturday June 10, 5pm ITV and Sky Sports

Make Music Day

An international day designed to get people around the world making music. Could there be a better day to have an open mic session or book a band?

Bike Week

There’s no better time than now to get those Lycra-clad fitness fanatics into your pub. For more tips see pages 50-51.

Saturday, June 21

June 10-18

New Zealand v British & Irish Lions

And so it begins. The eagerly awaited first test in the three match series could give pubs a chance to flog a few bacon butties. Saturday June 17, 8.35am, Sky Sports p44-45 play intro.indd 45

ICC Championships

Can England finally get their hands on a major 50-over trophy? They will be among the favourites to make the final at The Oval on June 18. June 1-18, Sky Sports

Yes, that is a bit unusual for a pub trade writer. But the invitation came from Robinsons, brewer of Iron Maiden’s highly successful Trooper ale, so it really was a totally legit use of my day. And that’s how I ended up on the tour bus on the M1 to Nottingham on the opening night of the UK leg of the Book of Souls tour. The band were not on the tour bus with us, sadly, but there was A LOT of Trooper beer to consume and pretty soon it was time for the gig. We got great seats, of course, and so far, so amazing, but for a beer writer, not so much about the beer… Until mid-set, lead singer Bruce Dickinson, lover of beer and mastermind behind Trooper ale, did a great rant about beer (which you can see on the Inapub website), which made me realise just why Trooper is perhaps the most successful celebrity ale of them all Yes, it’s the branding and yes, it’s the right product for the right audience, but it’s also because good British beer is something Bruce Dickinson really believes in. On top of all that I also got a mention in Unilad for having “planet Earth’s best job”. And it is really, isn’t it?

25/05/2017 10:55



Gaming machines are still ‘the most profitable four square feet of a pub’

things to know about gaming machines Gaming machines are as much a part of pubs as pints and pool tables, and they can be a useful revenue generator too — but you need to know what the law says about operating them. 1

Study the history

It’s thought that the first licensed premises to have a type of gambling machine, before modern slot machines were introduced, were bars in Brooklyn, New York in 1891. These contained five drums holding a total of 50 cards and was based on poker. Players would insert a nickel and pull a lever, which would spin the drums and the cards. Back then there was no means of paying out a cash prize, so players would often be rewarded with free beer for a pair of kings or a pack of cigars for a royal flush.


Know the rules

Today, licensees can have two gaming machines of category C (typically fruit machines) or D (usually crane grab machines), as long as you notify the licensing authority and pay an admin fee of £50. You may be able to have more than two category C or D gaming machines, but you’ll need to ask your local authority to consider your application and you’ll need to keep them in the loop every time you make a change.


JUNE 2017

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Keep it legit


Stick to the code


Be aware of the trends…


…but weigh up the odds

Don’t be tempted to buy a cheap gaming machine from a private seller unless they are a licensed supplier. The law states that all machines must be sourced and maintained by a Gambling Commissionlicensed supplier or you could be found guilty of aiding and abetting a crime. Plus, purchasing a machine from an official supplier means they’ll be up to date with the law, so the seller should be able to be able to help with any tricky legal questions you might have.

Customers can only play during the hours you are open and permitted to sell alcohol. Licensees must adhere to the code of practice for gaming machines in clubs and premises with an alcohol licence, which emphasises the importance of preventing under-age access to machines not suitable for those under the age of 18 (category C and above). Many family-led pubs have a mix of category C and D machines, with Cs near the bar and Ds in the family area.

Colm Taylor from CLMS, which provides pubs with data from amusement with prizes machines, says figures from 60 per cent of the UK’s managed houses show that the average weekly income from these machines has fallen 25 per cent since 2007. Experts blame the rise in food-led pubs and the smoking ban, as well as the increase in fixed-odds betting terminals in high street betting shops, as these can tempt customers with far bigger prizes.

Gaming machines are still “the most profitable four square feet of a pub”, 25/05/2017 11:02


Lucky seven: income from fruit machines might be declining but they still have an important role to play in bringing in revenue for your venue

according to the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (BACTA). John White, BACTA’s chief executive, says there are around 38,765 pubs with category C machines and 80 per cent of pubs have some kind of gaming machine on their premises.


Count the money

The percentage of income from gaming machines has halved since 2000 at JD Wetherspoon. The company said that income from the machines has fallen from six per cent of its overall figures to three per cent. Despite this decrease, though, these machines still have an important role to play, as the machines accounted for £48m of the chain’s £1.6bn revenue in 2016.


Raise the stakes

Currently, the maximum stake for gaming machines in pubs is £1 with a maximum cash prize of £100. Both BACTA and the pub industry have been calling on the government to increase the maximum p46-47 gaming machines.indd 47

stake to £2 and the maximum cash prize to £150 so that pubs can compete on a more level playing field with local betting shops.


Keep up with coinage

So far, the introduction of the new £1 coin hasn’t caused licensees too much trouble when it comes to their slot machines. BACTA has been working with the Royal Mint for the past 18 months to iron out any teething problems, and the more modern machines usually allow licensees to download new technology.


If in doubt, Deal yourself in

Is Deal or No Deal the most popular video game in British pubs? It’s certainly one of Bell-Fruit’s most famous brand licences, with up to 105 variations of the game introduced to date based on the theme of the Channel 4 show — most games only have two or three versions, no matter how popular they are. Perhaps punters just can’t get enough of Noel Edmonds?

JUNE 2017 47 25/05/2017 12:49

Perfectly pitched by MATT ELEY

The best fast bowlers hunt in packs, so it is no surprise that Stuart Broad has got a strong team together for his first pub. He has thrown his hat in the ring along with Nottinghamshire and England colleague Harry Gurney and award-winning licensee Dan Cramp to set up the Cat and Wickets Pub Company. The trio’s first pub, The Three Crowns in Wymeswold, Leicestershire, has been trading for the best part of a year and they are actively seeking a second site. As you would perhaps expect, Dan takes care of operations, Harry (an economics graduate as well as a first class cricketer) looks after the books, and Stuart provides ideas as well as the marketing reach and PR

that an international sportsman can bring. Stuart explains the team dynamic: “My view on it is that Dan’s the expert. He has been in the trade for a long time. For me he has the biggest vote. “H is the money man and I pick at everything and play devil’s advocate.” Dan adds: “The only time we fall out is when they get behind the bar and try to pour a pint — you should see the wastage!” For those who don’t know their cricket, Stuart is one of England’s most successful bowlers. Only Ian Botham and James Anderson have more test wickets and he could pass the former this summer. Harry is a mainstay of the Nottinghamshire team and also has 10 England One Day International caps to his name.

Laid-back local

With such cricketing pedigree you might expect to find a pub full of memorabilia but there are no signed shirts, action photos on display or “Beefy” or “Lamby” options on the menu. All of which was a conscious decision. Stuart explains: “We didn’t want it to feel like cricket was in your face with signed shirts on the wall. We wanted it to feel like a local country pub.” Which is exactly what it is. It is a Punch site that had previously been known as a wet-led community local. The trio have made food more prominent (Dan’s previous pub, Larwood & Voce, in Nottingham, is a Roast Dinner of the Year winner) but this is clearly a pub where you can have a few pints without feeling pressured to order. Several regulars sit at the bar as we chat away, completely unfussed by the sight of Broad and Gurney. They might not work at the pub but they are familiar faces in here. Dan says: “People come and ask if the p48-49 stuart broad.indd 48

25/05/2017 11:04

The Three Crowns Wymeswold, Leicestershire Staff: 13 Wet/dry : 60/40 Online:

Twitter: @catandwickets

It’s a major thing for us to have sport, there is a great atmosphere. But we didn’t want it to feel like cricket was in your face with signed shirts on the wall

watch inapub Visit to see if Stuart Broad is a plate or a slate man

p48-49 stuart broad.indd 49

lads are in or leave stuff behind to get signed. It’s a massive help. I was happy in my last job but how often do you get the chance to run a pub with two England cricketers?” Sport is also an important part of what they do, but again it doesn’t dominate. We visit with Sky and as we talk, Stuart’s eyes drift towards the IPL action being screened in the corner. “It is a major thing for us to have sport because people do come to the pub to watch it and there is a great atmosphere when it is on,” he says. “We don’t make too much of the cricket but we will do something around the Trent Bridge Test Match. Whether it is a link with AB de Villiers’ wine or signed South Africa shirts.” While Harry and Stuart are unlikely to bring your meal to your table, they have input in all areas. It’s interesting to watch the two bowlers and Dan discuss the value of doing two courses for £15 or worry about being perceived as expensive (typical bowlers). Stuart says: “We don’t want it to be a once a month treat, we want them to come down once a week.” So what’s next in the Cat and Wickets empire? Harry says: “We’ve looked at town centre bars, pubs with rooms and other pubs like this. We think we could make this work in other villages of a similar size but we are looking at a bigger site next.” Whatever they do, they’ll be sure to deliver.

Pics courtesy of Sky

Team players: Harry, Dan and Stuart

JUNE 2017 49 25/05/2017 12:50

stay 11

Pedal-powered punters by HUGH THOMAS

Thousands of cyclists are travelling the length and breadth of Britain to partake in events this summer. They will be looking for accommodation on their journeys. so what can pubs do to tempt them in? With huge interest in cycling — lists around 250 major events around the UK — there’s a breed of potential customer out there who may be unfamiliar to many operators. Tapping into this market is about making cyclists feel welcome in the first place. Anton Flaherty and wife Penny have played host to cycling royalty — including Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish — in their 12 years at The Strickland Arms, a pub with rooms in Penrith, Cumbria. Anton says a reputation among cyclists,

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who make up around 40 per cent of their guests, is something the team at the pub have had to cultivate for themselves. “We have a contact with cycling specialists Arragons in Penrith,” says Anton. “If anyone needs bits and pieces for their bikes, 95 per cent of the time I’ll nip in with the cyclist and the bike to get it repaired. We have a reputation for that being the kind of thing we do naturally — I don’t think we’ve ever charged anyone when their bike’s needed fixing.” The pub also runs a “bike and rider 25/05/2017 11:16


Strickland Arms Penrith, Cumbria Guest berths: 22 Rooms: 5 2-bed rate: £90 Signature dish: Wiggo’s Brunch Online:

transfer service” for cyclists undertaking charity events, which Anton says has proved the most effective way of helping cyclists feel like they’re looked after. “We find we’ll have 16 people book to stay with us, but only 12 actually want to ride. They’ll say they weren’t sure they could do 60 miles in a day. “We tell them to come along, and if they can’t manage it, we’ll pick them up. If a group of them aren’t used to the hills in Cumbria, we’ll take them to the top so they can carry on. Or maybe if they’ve done 30 miles and are done for the day, we’ll take them back to the pub. Just so they can still be at least a part of the experience.” While this is above and beyond what you’d call normal service, there are more straightforward ways to make cyclists comfortable.

Refreshing them right

Pulling up at the pub: Sir Bradley Wiggins is not the only thing on two wheels at The Strickland Arms. The pub’s offer includes a bike and rider transfer service

p50-51 stay.indd 51

The pub offers a 10 per cent discount to cyclists with accommodation there; runs a year-round breakfast and brunch dish of poached eggs, bacon and mushroom called “Wiggo’s Brunch”; and hosts cycle routes on its website, which Anton and co. have scouted out themselves. With all this, in addition to a lock-up shed and facilities for cyclists wanting to wash down their bicycles, it’s easy to see how the pub has cemented itself as a favourite for charity riders and local cycling club members alike. Basic facilities aside, it’s worth noting cyclists’ general habits when ordering at the bar. Tony Leonard, landlord of The Roebuck

in Laughton, East Sussex, says a pint’s usually out of the question. “They like a good selection of soft drinks,” says Tony. “When we get road races in the area, they’re quite high energy, so riders will want a drink that can give them an outburst of energy.” A careful approach to food – like starters and small plates – is also a good idea, Tony suggests, though sometimes after an event he has seen competitors go for larger portions. This sentiment is echoed by Forty Plus Cycling Club general secretary Tony O’Byrne. “We’ll usually go for a sandwich, snacks, or soup or something light,” he says. “Especially when you’ve got to get back on your bike after lunch.” The club Tony helps run consists of 16 sections, or individual cycling clubs, around England. “We don’t ride on weekends, so there may be one or two [patrons] in the pub, then we all turn up.,” he says. “In my St Albans section, we’re 50 or 60 on a Tuesday.” That’s 50 or 60 not wanting to hang about, either. “We’d like a quick service,” Tony says. “If you get 20 people turning up and you have to wait an hour, it’s an issue. Especially in the winter. If a pub asks us to pre-order, we won’t go there as we don’t know who’s going to turn up on the day. Someone might have a puncture and go home early.” That’s all good for established trade but where do you start? Anton says: “Get in touch with the local cycling groups, tell them you’ll offer discounts if they stop by. That will be a start. Cycle stands — if cyclists see them outside — make a big difference.”

25/05/2017 11:16

back-bar business

Small is beautiful by MATT ELEY

Creating a culture: small operators have the benefit of greater access to their staff, and the best can use this to inspire their teams

Many smaller operators can be heard grumbling about the advantages the bigger boys down the road might have. But size is not everything. As part of trade body the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers’ recent 25th anniversary celebrations, three leading multiple operators gave their views on how to turn being little but growing to your advantage.

Embrace being small

The big managed houses might have the buying power but with great power comes… well, an inability to act quickly. For example if a pub is on the market, you could be in the box seat. CW: “It’s much easier to be smaller because you are like a speedboat. You can change direction very quickly, unlike the bigger companies.” NP: “The biggest advantage you have is about site selection. As a small company you get that thrill of wanting to start again. One of the biggest thrills is when you acquire a site and you can see what it can be in the future.”

Talk to your customers

In fairness, a few of the leading managed pubcos have bosses who are often in their pubs, but they have a lot to get around. You have greater access to the people who count — your staff and customers. KG: “You are in your businesses every single day, talking to guests, walking into competitors, seeing what’s happening in the market. You try to keep an eye on what the big guys are doing, mainly to make sure they are not copying you too much.”

Know who you are competing with

Yes, you are in competition with pubs but also everyone else who sells drink and food. NP: “Casual dining, street food has come on the scene. If I was in my mid-twenties living in London in 2002, the only choice would be a gastropub if you wanted food and a going-out experience. Now you would probably head to one of the street food units. You wouldn’t get quite as pissed and you would eat more and different types of food.” p52-53 small multiples.indd 52

25/05/2017 11:28

The speakers Kris Gumbrell Chief executive of pub and microbrewery business Brewhouse & Kitchen. Former CEO of Convivial Clive Watson Boss of City Pub Company. Sold Capital Pub Company to Greene King for £70m in 2011

It’s much easier to be smaller because you are like a speedboat. You can change direction very quickly, unlike the bigger companies p52-53 small multiples.indd 53

Keep a close eye on the trends

There is always room for the traditional but also tweak your offer to keep it fresh and attract different customers. KG: “Craft beer is here and it is here to stay. People probably want to drink less but they want to drink better. People will come in, order three beers and order three different ones next time.”

Nick Pring Co-founder of 10-strong Urban Pubs & Bars and previous owner of Realpubs, which was sold for £53m to Greene King

Offer delivery

NP: “As long as you stay on top of how to deliver it — will it travel, has it got the right packaging and choosing the right things to go in — then it is a massive opportunity. We are seeing an enormous amount of sales already.”

Inspire and reward staff

They are your biggest asset, so if you want them to stay, you’ve got to treat them right. CW: “We, as a small company, are able to create a culture that is very entrepreneurial. We have good retention rates because we are new and exciting. We also try to share the rewards of the company with all our employees. In our profit share all employees who have been with us since the end of 2016 share a bonus of three per cent of the company’s profits. On average each person got £500. It’s not just the money but that they are sharing.” NP: “You can put the money directly into staff as opposed to a bigger organisation where you get an accountant at a head office saying ‘we can save this by cutting that’.”

Recognise more than financial success

Seeing it all on the bottom line is important but it is not the only thing that should be rewarded. KG: “It’s not just financial stuff but recognising hygiene and five star ratings, recognising a great Trip Advisor review, recognising great standards. Giving them a really nice break-out area where they can chill out and relax.”

Enjoy the good times

Have pubs ever been this diverse? People want new experiences — give it to them. KG: “It’s a golden age. It’s exciting, it’s innovative. People want to create experiences and want something different. It’s fantastic for smaller businesses because you can be agile and quick, and be so much more innovative.”

JUNE 2017 53 25/05/2017 11:28

back-bar business

A hitchhiker’s guide to


Love it, hate it or haven’t the foggiest what it is about — this guide will give you the tools to start marketing your pub on the app.

What’s Snapchat?

It’s an instant messaging app for smart devices, where contacts can send each other photos and videos, which can be viewed for 10 seconds only. You can customise the pictures before you send them. More than 10 million people use the app every day, so it’s likely that your customers are using it too. To use the app, you need to download it and log in with a personalised username. Then take a picture and send it to your selected contacts or add it to your “story” for all your followers to see. Like Instagram Stories, content added to your Snapchat Story will be available to view for 24 hours. You can also add “filters” to your picture and video messages, which do everything from make you look like a dog to change your voice so you sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

And how do you expect me to turn a picture of myself looking like a dog into sales? First you need to start by building a customer database on your account. Promote your username on the blackboards or add it to the menu and tell customers they can stay in the know and get offers and deals for the pub via Snapchat. Now you can use it to send followers news, promo codes or just keep them entertained.

So it’s another way to talk to my customers? Sending pictures and videos of your new menu items, a guest ale being poured or even just general atmosphere in the pub can be a great way to engage with customers and keep your pub in the forefront of

54 JUNE 2017

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To expand on the ideas in this feature or if you want some help on any social media platform, our Digital Marketing Guide will have the answers. The guide offers a step-by-step solution to any queries, from setting up Facebook adverts to improving your presence on Google, dealing with Trip Advisor comments and boosting your Twitter following. Plus you won’t miss a trick — the guide is updated regularly to include the newest functions and updates from each platform. To find out more email or call 0800 160 1986

their minds. You could also create Snapchat-only promotional codes, where customers can get 10 per cent off their bill when they take the code to the bar, for example.

reply with a Snapchat of them at work, pulling a face which says “I wish I was at the [insert pub name here].” You can then screenshot that and share it on your other social media pages.

How is it different to using any other social media platform?

I’ve heard about Geofilters, but what are they?

Snapchat is about as informal as you’ll get on social media. It’s a chance for you to have fun, with no corporate stiffness. You could film your bar staff having a dance while they clean down the bar, film your beer being delivered for a behind-thescenes-style view, or record any banter with the kitchen staff — whatever fun happens in your day-to-day job, film it and share it. The more customers feel like they know you, the more loyal they’ll be.

Geofilters are a great way to increase customer engagement with the business. For a small fee you can create a personalised graphic to frame pictures, which will only be available to use on Snapchats in your pub. If you’re a Snapchat user, you might have spotted a local Geofilter. For example, if your pub is in London, you can put a graphic of the London skyline on the bottom of all your pictures. You can also create Geofilters especially for events. Weddings parties are often creating geofilters for everyone at the wedding to use, but why not create one for your big charity quiz or live music night? To do this, you’ll need to log into Snapchat on your desktop and upload a design or use the pre-set templates.

What other sort of promos can I send out? Snapchat is a great opportunity to get creative. You can add a special code to your Story for 24 hours, or you could create a treasure hunt. Take a picture of the bar with something hidden behind the blackboard or taps and get customers to spot it to win a free packet of peanuts. You could offer a free drink for anyone who has the name “Polly”, for example, or a free round of drinks for the first person to

Anything else I should know? Just that you’ve not got much to lose. Snapchat is free and instant, so shouldn’t add any cost or time to your day. Let loose and try it out.

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25/05/2017 12:01

time at the bar



BAR STAFF GRIPES The issues staff struggle with on the service frontline 1. When customers ask for ‘a pint’ Of what? Vodka? Water? Prawns? “Beer,” they reply. You glance around at your 10-tap bar, the will to live slowly draining from your body, refraining from giving Mr or Mrs Vague a pint of your mind.

5. When the customer is NOT always right Customer: “I’ve been waiting over an hour for my food” You: *Checks ticket, they’ve been waiting 12 minutes.* You resist the urge to serve their dinner on a ticking clock face.

2. When CCTV catches you falling over

6. When everyone suddenly becomes your best mate

After face-planting into a tub of mayonnaise last week, you are now forced to watch it back daily in the office. It’s You’ve Been Framed without the £250 reward.

It’s like you’ve won the lottery and everyone knows. The bar is about to shut and suddenly everyone is being suspiciously nice… funny that, eh.

3. When paying for drinks is not a priority

7. When asking for ID causes issues

You’ve just poured four vodka, lime & sodas and six pints, but they’re too busy on their phone or taking selfies at the bar to pay, let alone thank you. It’s not like you have 101 other things to do…

That eye roll you get when they turned 18 a month ago. Or when they show you a photo on their phone of their sister’s passport… nice try pal, you can have a Fruit Shoot.

The pub is all about a good natter, but when you’ve just heard the entire life story of someone’s sister’s daughter’s boyfriend’s cat Tibbles, you can hear that quiet, human-less cellar calling.

tomers who bargain for discount, a different table or [insert unreasonable request here] by threatening to review you on Trip Advisor.

8. When the “Trip Advisor” card 4. When the customer just won’t is pulled stop talking There is a specific place in hell for cus-

9. When they all want to pay separately Usually it’s not a problem, but when a table of 16 on a Friday night are paying with cards, cash, cheques and B itcoins, you can’t help but consider that it would be less painful to submerge your head in the deep fat fryer.

10. When customers count change out onto the bar Usually into that pool of Sambuca. Whoever is cashing up tonight can dial 999 in advance for when their fingers get stuck together with the Sambuca-superglue.

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25/05/2017 12:07

PLATE OR SLATE? Where the nation’s publicans stand on the really big questions Clement Ogbonnaya

The Prince of Peckham, South London After working as an events planner in the nightclub industry for 10 years, Clement wanted his own space with a community feel. Now, following a long search for the right venue and backing, he has opened it with the tagline “a proper pub for South London, by South London”.

Plate or slate? I’m an old-fashioned kind of guy and I like things on plates, it reminds me of my mum’s cooking.

Cocktails or cask ales? Cocktails. We have a rum-based cocktail menu, and I love an Old Fashioned. Though recently I’ve been drinking much more beer.

Packet of scratchings or Michelin Stars? Can I say biltong? Biltong all day. I ate tonnes of it in South Africa and it’s

incredible. I’ve found a great supplier and we’re going to sell it as “beer sticks” in the pub, ’cos they taste so good with a beer.

Brass or chrome? Brass, it’s a bit more aged and timeless. We spent a lot of time redecorating the top rooms of the pub and I wanted it to look like 33 Portland Place, an 18th-century townhouse in London where the film The King’s Speech was shot. Very opulent, grand but stripped-back décor.

Wear what you like or uniforms for the staff? Identity is so key. If I put someone in uniform then I make them into someone they’re not. This pub is all about community, regardless of who you are. I want personalities to shine through, so wear what you like for sure.

Dogs allowed or the only animals are on the menu? Dogs allowed, but definitely no dogs on the menu! Dogs are part of so many people’s families these days and they’re as much part of the community vibe as the people.

Family-friendly or keep the kids -at home? Family-friendly. I’m going to do a schoolrun offer between 3pm and 6pm. It’s nice to have somewhere to retreat with kids so parents don’t have to cook. Plus I’ve got a little one on the way myself, so family is big. Obviously no kids after a certain time on Friday and Saturday night though — they need to be in bed!

Karaoke or pub quiz? I will be hosting my own pub quiz at The Prince, it’s a nice way for me to connect with customers in the area.

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25/05/2017 12:15

time at the bar

HAIR OF THE DOG Tales of the unexpected from the wonderful world of pubs Sign of the times We all love a good A-board, even a controversial one. The Colston Arms, Bristol t nearly broke the interne ally litic po this h wit charged example. A picture of it went viral and even got coverage on Buzzfeed and the Beeb. We’re not one to blow our own trumpet (ahem) but it’s no coincidence that landlord Paul Frost and his staff have been on the Inapub Social Media Training course is it?

Pop career launch pads (cont.) An email from one of our more avid readers informed us that we “missed a trick” in last month’s Top 10, which featured pubs where the stars launched their musical careers. We got London’s Dublin Castle in there (Madness), Liverpool’s The Casbah (The Beatles) and Birmingham’s The Crown (Led Zepplin) but missed The Horseshoe Bar in Glasgow where Scottish band Travis cut their teeth. The band were so grateful to the manager there, Dave Smith, who let them rehearse in the function room for free, that they gave him the Q Award they won for their album The Man Who. It sat proudly behind the bar for years by all accounts — anyone know if it’s still there?

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Bairstow caught behind When Inapub asks an interviewee “which of your colleagues is likely to be the last in line to buy a round?” they often dodge the question. They tend to be happy to reveal who would be first but, understandably, are reluctant to dish the dirt and create a potentially awkward scenario at work. Not so England cricketer Stuart Broad. When we visited his pub (see pages 46-47) he was quick off the mark to say that batsman and wicketkeeper par excellence Jonny Bairstow is the one who will arrive late or make a convenient trip to the toilets. But not all wicketkeepers are rounddodgers. Apparently Ashes hero Matt Prior was always the first to the bar.

Wall of fame You can take the girl out of Wales … actually, hang appears that yo on, it u can’t take the girl out of Wales When Inapub vis . ited Cardiff for a pub crawl, sorry tour, we were ra , study ther surprised to see the mug of drinks ed Robyn our Welsh Black staring at us from the walls centre crafty bo of city ozer The Cambr ian Tap. It forms part of a mural featuring renowned drinks who helped SA writers Brain kick-start their craft output by heading to Wales to brew some new beers. More proof, if it were needed, th at Inapub’s team ca n always be found in the pub. 25/05/2017 12:19

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25/05/2017 12:29

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26/04/2017 02:22

Inapub magazine june 2017 issue 66  

There are few bigger events in the sporting calendar than the Champions League final and, in our opinion, there are few better places to enj...

Inapub magazine june 2017 issue 66  

There are few bigger events in the sporting calendar than the Champions League final and, in our opinion, there are few better places to enj...