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Issue 70 October 2017 ÂŁ4.95

Autumn special Return of the students Halloween Seasonal fare

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*Schweppes is the #1 branded product for mixers. Based on Nielsen volume and value MAT 02/09/17 & CGA volume and value 15/07/17. © 2017 European Refreshments. All rights reserved. SCHWEPPES, the FOUNTAIN DEVICE and the 196 GRAPHICS are registered trademarks of European Refreshments.

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this month The students are back• Good Beer Guide regular


drink Ciders for the cold nights •




play Halloween • The Ashes


stay Interior design nightmares


back-bar business Apps to save your staff time • The Ashes


time at the bar Halloween songs • Your work for charity








fter six years, 70 issues, numerous stories and far too many good times to mention, it is time for me to say goodbye as Inapub editor. As of next month, Robyn Black will step up to take on what is a truly brilliant job while I embark on a new challenge as a freelance journalist. My move feels a bit like going from manager to freetrader. I’ve learned a great deal about running a business from visiting and covering your pubs and now I am going to try to apply it myself. I’ve also had a blast, which for me is the number one point of pubs. Yes, we talk a lot about how they have evolved and the changing dynamics of the industry but one thing remains constant: people go to pubs to come together and have a good time. That isn’t go to change for me personally or the industry, so I hope to see some of you in a pub for a drink – be it a beer, coffee, cocktail or mocktail (probably not a mocktail) some time soon. Thanks for your support over the years and here is to continued success. Cheerio,

Christmas drinks tips

Autumn menus • Festive buffets

Editor Matt Eley • Deputy editor Robyn Black •





Production editor Ben Thrush • Chief executive Barrie Poulter • Sales manager Leah Gauthier •



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Subscriptions •

Printed by Warners Midlands

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Photo taken by co-founder Charles. The hills of Madagascar: source of our hand-pollinated vanilla.

WOULD YOU MIX A HANDCRAFTED, BARREL-AGED WHISKY WITH A REGULAR COLA? NEITHER WOULD WE. Premium whiskies, rums and brandies deser ve a mixer that enhances their complex flavours. So we set about creating one: the first cola designed for mixing with dark spirits, made from a rich blend of kola nut, exotic spices, citrus and vanilla. It was a journey that led to our founders Charles and Tim travelling to some of the most remote regions in the world, sourcing extraordinar y ingredients, such as the vanilla they found in Madagascar. These vanilla plants flower just once a year and must be hand-pollinated by highly skilled farmers. If this doesn’t happen the day the flowers open, it won’t happen for another year. Whoever said ‘you can’t rush greatness’ had obviously never worked with vanilla. It’s thanks to the vanilla farmers’ tenacity that our cola has such a rich, round flavour that is perfectly balanced with the blend of 20 different spices needed to create this unrivalled mixer.

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23/08/2017 13:24

POSTCARD from the pub frontline

Did you know that we Brits drink over half the cider produced in the world? Or that 45 per cent of all apples grown in the UK are used only to make cider? Or that the world’s biggest ever cider tasting event took place in Manchester this autumn? You do now. Last month 255 cider fans came to Manchester’s Oast House, a New World Trading Company (NWTC) venue, for their chance to enter the history books. Participants had three ciders to taste, from Suffolk cider specialist, Aspall: Harry Sparrow; Aspall Premier Cru and Isabel’s Berry. p05 big pic.indd 5

On hand to help was Kieran Hartley, from NWTC, Aspall’s very own Henry Chevallier Guild and an official adjudicator from Guinness World Records. “Manchester has always had a strong love of cider and this event was no exception in demonstrating support for Aspall. We had a fantastic turnout and easily smashed the Guinness World Records title,” said Kieran. The Oast House already holds the record for the World’s Largest Beer Tasting, which it hosted back in 2013. No one had attempted to hold a record breaking cider tasting before last month, but the team needed a minimum of 250 participants to get the award.



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IN THE TRADE THIS MONTH Local pubs make people happy shocker The Good Pub Guide 2018 has revealed that people with a local are significantly happier (see “Why pubs make us happy”, right) than those who do not have one. It also revealed that the country’s most expensive average pint can be found in Surrey (£4.40), the cheapest average is in Yorkshire (£3.31) and that its pub of the year is The Kings Head in Bledington, Gloucestershire.


UK has lost 30,000 pubs in 45 years Britain has lost 30,000 pubs since the 1970s according to CAMRA. In its recently published Good Beer Guide it says there are now fewer than 50,000, compared with 80,000 45 years ago when the first edition of the book was published. It added that the new business rates revaluation is “ticking time bomb” set to devastate the sector.

’spoons highlights tax inequality Prices of food and drink at all of Wetherspoon’s 900 pubs were slashed by 7.5 per cent for Tax Equality Day. The event on September 20 shows what a VAT reduction would mean to the hospitality trade. Food and drink in pubs is subject to 20 per cent VAT, while food and drink sold in supermarkets is zero-rated.

Staycation growth continues

How not to change a keg

Three-quarters of Brits went on or were planning to ‘staycation’ this year – up from 70 per cent a year ago – helping turnover at accommodation and food business grow by 8.3 per cent. However, the Barclays Business stats show the average staycation spend is down 14 per cent to £530, with hard-up Brits feeling the pinch.

Is there still a place for German beer? Inapub with…Brian O’Driscoll Giving live music 100 per cent

Pizza politics New community pubs minister Jake Berry MP (right) topped off a pub visit with a lesson in making the perfect pizza. He was at The New Inn at Tholthorpe, North Yorkshire, which has added a wood-fired pizza oven, community shop and a bakery in a project backed with a £3,500 grant from industry charity Pub is the Hub. Previously residents in the village had to travel eight miles to their nearest shop. Jake said: “The New Inn demonstrates that even a modest grant can transform a traditional Yorkshire pub into a shop, a pizzeria and above all a hub for the whole community.”

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this month.inapub THE WAY I SEE IT FIONA STAPLEY


Why pubs make us happy

Want some action on Twitter? Get catty. Reaction to our Top 10 pub cats story.

As the wise Dr Johnson said: “There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.” Step into a well-run pub and you’re greeted by gentle laughter and the murmur of voices. There’s the sound of ale being pulled at the pump and the smell of good food, perhaps a dog snoozing on the hearth by a roaring log fire – and behind the counter a barman with a warm smile and a word of welcome. As the hub of a local community with customers from all walks of life and of all ages, you can be sure there will be someone you know, gossip to catch up on and news to share. Licensees are naturally hospitable people who provide an equally warm welcome to regulars and visitors alike making everyone feel at home and valued. It is here that the various rites of passage are celebrated — not just births, deaths and marriages, but the first drink, the first job, perhaps even the first kiss. There’s an air of mischievous energy and an inclusive sense of humour and because we are with friends and family, a convivial atmosphere. We feel we belong, we matter and for a while the cares and clutter of daily life are left behind and this makes us happy.

Fiona Stapley is editor of The Good Pub Guide

Don’t see as many cats on bikes these days on social @inapub. Cats in pubs. Now that’s what the internet has been waiting for #Memes #ukpub @runapub Thank you We’ve just informed Chairman Meow he’s been voted your number 1 pub cat! Fish for everyone today! @_TheKings_ Why isn’t Pumpkin number one? What a cat! I’d have loved to have witnessed the goose episode. @blackpooljane The Legz is in top form after seeing this. @TheDespard He’s doing pawtographs later. @TheDespard I like to keep a low profile @Fiddle_Pub_Cat I believe you are a #1 pub cat. You’re a modest cat. Most aren’t. @thecatsartist


The value of the English wine sector. It has grown 16 per cent this year, according to wine insurance provider Lycetts.

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Sliced Brioche loaf

Forget a buttery biscuit base, winter 2017 is all about the buttery brioche loaf. Speciality Breads has launched this sliced version, made with free-range eggs, butter and 100 per cent British flour. Each slice is the perfect size for toasting and works with both savoury and sweet dishes. 01843 209 442

San Miguel Gluten Free

Coeliacs and healthconscious drinkers rejoice as the gluten-free lager market gets even bigger thanks to this new San Miguel brew. Already popular in its native Spain, where it won Product of the Year 2016, the beer is said to offer a full-bodied taste with bread and fruit aromas.


What’s new in the pub this month

Mince Pie Ice-Cream

Brandy ice-cream, shortcrust pastry and mincemeat are blended together to make this freezing festive treat. It comes as part of a trio of Christmas flavours from New Forest Ice Creams; the other two are Cinnamon and Whisky & Orange. 01590 647 611


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Krombacher Pils Low Alcohol

Not only low in alcohol (less than 0.5 per cent ABV) this full-bodied German lager also boasts “isotonic benefit”. It is still brewed to the strict German Purity Law and is popular with amateur athletes and fitness fans in its home market, where it is the most popular alcoholfree pils. 19/09/2017 12:12

this month.

Quilmes Cans

Argentinian lager Quilmes is now available in trendy 335ml cans. “The development of cans, which a few years ago would never have been seen in pubs, bars and restaurants, has been one of the stand-out beer trends so we’re confident the new line will see strong interest,” said John Critchley, commercial director at UK importer Morgenrot. 0845 070 4310

Thatchers Mulled Cider Urn

Thatchers is intending to urn its place on the bar this season with a new six-litre mulled cider urn. The electric urn is available as part of a seasonal pack for licensees buying eight bag-in-box ciders from the Stan’s range. It will come with heat-proof cardboard cups and a supply of mulled cider spice mix.

The Balvenie Peat Week

The first new whisky in five years to join the Balvenie’s core range, this is also the first from the brand to be made with 100 per cent peated malt. Fourteen years ago the Speyside distillery laid down its first batch of peated whisky and since then has dedicated one week a year to doing the same. The result is described as a “classic honeyed whisky with a delicate, lingering peat smoke”.

Gordon’s Premium Pink Gin

Diageo is tickled pink to introduce this new berry-flavoured gin to the market. Designed to appeal to non-gin drinkers, the 37.5 per cent ABV gin will be supported with a £2.1m marketing campaign this autumn.

Christmas on a stick

Forget the moon on a stick, it’s Christmas on a stick we all really want. Cue these new skewers from Bidfood’s 2017 Christmas range, threaded with pork chipolatas, turkey & stuffing balls. Perfect for parties and general snacking. p8-9 stuff.indd 9

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One for the by LIAM COLEMAN


Summer holidays are over, and university towns across the land are seeing their social scenes transformed as the student hordes return. But are today’s students less interested in drinking than their forebears and therefore much less likely to find themselves in the pub? If so, pub operators need to think about what they can do to win back this potentially lucrative crowd.

A busy day in the beer garden at Nottingham’s Johnson Arms, where students and townsfolk enjoy each other’s company

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Back to school... but will they be back at the bar?

You have to be more inventive these days. When I went to university, you went to the place that offered £1 shots. Modern students are looking for a nicer environment

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Most of the students heading to unversity campuses this month certainly fall into an age group that is drinking less than ever. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show people aged 16 to 24 are now drinking less than any other age group, with more than a quarter of them saying they don’t drink alcohol at all. Talking to students themselves though, it’s clear that student drinking culture is still live and kicking. Luke Hughes, going into his third year of a physics degree at the University of Nottingham, is president of the university’s Real Ale & Cider Society. “I definitely would not say fewer students drink now; it’s just that drinking culture has changed a lot,” he says. “It tends to be now that people don’t go to pubs because they will be more inclined to pre-load and go clubbing, which tends to take traffic away from pubs.” This is another example of the same old problem that the on-trade has faced for years. It is finding itself financially undercut by the off-trade and is therefore struggling to offer competitive pricing. This challenge, however, is what inspires innovation amongst the best operators, and with student bars this is no different.

Glasgow bar Dram is a stone’s throw from the University of Glasgow. Manager Erin McGeough does not think changing student drinking habits have affected its business. “I don’t think we have had a financial impact from student drinking behaviour changing,” she says. “You just have to be more inventive than you used to. When I went to university, you went to the place that offered one pound drinks or shots, whereas now modern students are looking for a nicer environment and a more quality offer. “For the money students spend, they want something better. For example, we offer really good WiFi and coffee/cake deals for the afternoon student trade.”

Join the club

One way that pubs can innovate and guarantee involvement with students is by getting involved with university societies. This doesn’t need to be a real ale or drinking society, there are societies for pretty much any interest looking for a suitable venue for social gatherings and meetings. Erin says Dram was not a student-focused pub when she first got involved with it five years ago, before they started to tentatively forge links with the University of Glasgow’s

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mountaineering society. “We initially gave the mountaineering club £200 to sponsor the society and have them come in after meeting on a Tuesday night. Now a few years down the line, we sponsor 27 different clubs and societies.” As a result of this serial sponsorship of societies, Dram is now what Erin calls a “one-stop shop” for student events. “Some people are just looking for free space or use of the AV equipment, some people need help, like first-year students putting on events, and we are on hand to give them that. We have a stack of pub quizzes already printed out and we can help them run their own race nights. A lot of students don’t tend to need that help, but it is there for them,” she adds. Our student Luke confirms he has seen Nottingham pubs benefit from getting involved with societies. “It is mutually beneficial because it provides both traffic for the pub and a venue for the students,” he says. “It’s not always ideal to host everything on campus because of logistical and licensing restrictions. “There was one event at Greene King’s Rose & Crown; they loaned us out the function room and it’s an excellent place for students to go along and drink if they want to, but there’s no obligation. It is often easier to have a pub to host events for societies,”

End-of-term blues

But does all of this involvement with university societies result in a drop-off in business when the students go home for months in the summer? “It can be really difficult during the university holidays some years,” Erin says. “We are always prepared for the dip and we look to appeal to the summer tourism trade in Glasgow; we organise whisky walking tours that stop off at Dram. At those times, we can tailor our focus to a more tourism-based one.” Of course, if you can walk the line between attracting students without alienating the locals, this will also help fill the coffers outside term time. Erin says that the key to Dram appealing to both students and locals comes from the

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Part of the crew... students want to belong and pubs that can tap into that will do well

students feeling like locals and as a result behaving like locals. “It works well because the relationships are forged early on, with a lot of the students coming here with a club or society in first year and then they tend to stick around and feel like locals,” she says. However, this is easier for Dram than most other venues because it is such an expansive site, and they admit they are able to host events without it impacting on the locals trying to enjoy a quiet night in the pub. Nottingham venue the Johnson Arms is 19/09/2017 12:17

this month.

much smaller, but here locals and students t feel comfortable with one another, according to the pub’s licensee Zoe Head. “They’re all good, respectful, intelligent people who value having a real traditional pub to spend time in. Everyone’s treated to the same service and the same warm welcome,” she says. And perhaps that is, ultimately, how pubs can successfully appeal to today’s students — simply by sticking to those old-fashioned pub values of a warm welcome and sense of belonging? p10-11-12-13 lead feat.indd 13

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Matt Eley visits a pub that keeps on proving its cask credentials

There’s a lot that can go wrong with cask but if you know what you are doing, it’s fine. The cellar, the temperature, the glass — every single detail is important



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Ask a brewer what the trick is to producing a great beer and more often than not the answer you get will be “consistency”. The same goes for serving it across the bar. One pub that has proved this over a staggering period of time is The Star Tavern in London’s Belgravia. The little Fuller’s ale house, which you’ll find tucked away down a cobbled mews a stone’s throw from the multimillion-pound homes and embassies around Hyde Park, is one of just five pubs to have appeared in every single edition of CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide. That’s a total of 45 volumes, dating back to the 1970s and, understandably, it is a source of great pride for general manager Marta King. She says: “It is amazing to be in there. When I first came here my manager told me that we had been in it for 35 years back then, so I knew we had to get it right.” And in those 10 years, for three of which she has been the general manager, Marta has kept the run going. She says that finding staff with passion and a willingness to learn is part of that success. “Knowing we have always been in there does put pressure on, but I love to look after beer and go down to the cellar to make sure everything is right,” she adds. “You have to be passionate and I pass that on to the staff. Recruitment is important and I find it is sometimes better to have someone without the experience so you can pass on the way you like things to be done. It can take a long time to get rid of bad habits they might have previously picked up.” When asked what the secret is to keeping beer, Marta smiles to suggest there

is no secret. It is a case of keeping on top of everything from the beer’s arrival from the brewery to presenting it to the customer. “There is a lot that can go wrong with cask but if you know what you are doing it’s fine,” she says. “The cellar is important, the temperature is important, the glass is important, every single detail is important.” Along with four other pubs (see opposite) the Star was recently presented with an award from Good Beer Guide editor Roger Protz and its nominating CAMRA branch.

The ever-presents

Roger, who is stepping down after editing the Guide for 24 years, said: “Congratulations to the famous five, who will go down in history for being hallmarks of the Good Beer Guide. It is a great honour to be listed in the Guide even just once — never mind 45 times.” Naturally, cask is hugely important to The Star, but it can not thrive on that alone. Recently Marta, has worked hard to grow the food side of the business and to attract a new generation of customers. “This used to be the kind of pub where a husband wouldn’t bring his wife. We tried to modernise a little bit to attract younger customers because they are so important. Along with the real ale we have introduced craft beer, cocktails and updated the wine list and that seems to work.” The pub also celebrates its history and is believed to be the pub where the Great Train Robbery was planned, no doubt over several pints of cask ale. The legend of that heist has grown over the years, just as the reputation of The Star Inn has as a truly great cask ale house. 19/09/2017 12:29

this month. And the other four Good Beer Guide ever-presents are... The Buckingham Arms, Westminster, London Originally a hat shop, the pub opened in the 1720s and has been in the Guide ever since… well, near enough. The Roscoe Head, Liverpool The same family has run this renowned ale house for 30 years but campaigners have fought to save it recently after the freehold was sold to property developers. The Square & Compass, Worth Matravers, Dorset An alehouse with so many stories there’s been a book written about it. In the same family since 1907. The Queen’s Head, Newton, Cambridge It’s been a pub since 1729 but has only had 18 landlords in those 288 years. The King and German Kaiser are reputed to have stopped here for a pint in the early 1900s.

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The St Belgravar Tavern ia, Lond on Staff:

Five Best sell ers: Lon do ESB, Oli ver’s Isla n Pride, nd Price of a pint: £ 4.2 Wet/Dr y: 70/30 5-£4.40 Online: ww belgravia

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RICHARD MOLLOY Why do women go to the toilet together? I have no idea, but I do know that it would be very strange for men to do likewise: “I’m just off for a slash, Pete. You coming?” is not a sentence uttered often by your average male punter. So, when I see a group of blokes heading for the gents in convoy, stony faced and blinkered, the landlord alarm labelled “coke” goes off in my head. We’ve all been young. Many of us have gone beyond the acceptable establishment drugs of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine and had some stonking nights because of it, but I doubt many of us would count being off our tits listening to Postman Keith murder Elvis on the karaoke machine in The Golden Lion as one of them. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not condoning the use of class A drugs in nightclubs either, but I can see the marriage with flashing lights, heavy basslines, fast beats and dance floors being a much happier one than with Sky Sports News on the telly and the crack of pool balls. So while the cutting crew are queuing for lines at the cubicle door, waiting to snort their pre-paid pleasure through a grubby tenner off the top of a twenty-year-old cistern lid, you can feel your credibility diminishing. You’re not the only one who’s seen this and you know it. Those that turn blind eyes rarely have tight lips and a bad reputation is the hardest to lose. You must act. This means leaving the safety net of the witnesses and unpaid minders of the bar. You’re outnumbered and confronting men that you don’t know, but you have to get them out. You must be seen to be doing something, as most ordinary punters hate having drugs flying around their local. Accusation, denial, threat, aggression, abuse, incredulity and lies all feature in this mini play. And eventually they go, with a parting, “watch your back, mate”, fearful of having to ditch their stash if the police get involved.


While the cutting crew are queuing at the cubicle door, waiting to snort their pleasure through a grubby tenner, you can feel your credibility diminishing. You must act Richard Molloy is director of four-strong pubco White Rose Taverns and the microbrewery Platform Five. Read more of his work on

And so we bemoan the dealers. Those who inflict this nuisance on our lives and threaten our livelihoods. Yet there are many who would argue that we licensees are but drug dealers ourselves. It’s a difficult accusation to refute. But we don’t have to hide what we do; we regulate whom we serve and how much they can have; we refuse those that will do others harm, and we see the consequences of our transactions. If the pub is a house of pleasure, a brothel if you will, and we landlords and ladies are the madams, then the coke dealers are the pimps hawking out the street girls to kerb-crawlers. Shame on them and shame on those who put our licences at risk by seeking pleasure where most people just have a shit.


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Dispensing quality every time Fancy reducing some of your business costs, cutting wastage and improving the quality of your beer all at the same time? Annmarie Barwick, general manager at London’s Leadbelly’s bar did, so she turned to QDS by Carlsberg. Leadbelly’s opened at the end of last year and when setting up the bar and cellar Annemarie was persuaded to try out QDS. Line cleaning challenge “One of the main attractions of QDS was that I’d only need to clean the lines once every 28 days but I was dubious about that to start,” she admits. To her surprise, however, there’s been no need to clean the lines more often than every 28 days and the quality of the beer remains great. “I genuinely can’t praise it enough. I really trust it,” she says. “With all the time I save not cleaning the beer lines I can turn my attention to all those jobs that get pushed down the ‘to do’ list but which really improve the business.” Fob off “We’ve got 10 beer lines here and have a 60/40 wet/dry split. Of our wet sales about 80 per cent is

beer,” Annemarie explains. With that volume of beer, keeping wastage down makes a big difference to the business, as Annemarie says: “Because QDS keeps the temperature consistent from the keg to the glass there is no fobbing, which means cost savings.” Beer success As the pub is surrounded by

housing and office blocks, the business relies on being able to get repeat customers. “That means our beer has to be good enough to come back for,” Annemarie points out. “And, since we opened, we’ve not had a single complaint about the beer and most of our customers are regulars, so we must be doing something right!”

What is QDS by Carlsberg? The system operates by chilling the beer down to a consistent temperature as soon as it leaves the keg, and then keeping it cool throughout its journey from the keg to the glass. The beer in the cooled lines won’t go warm and spoil and with no spoilt beer sitting in lines, there is less wastage when you pour the first pints of the day. The consistent temperature also reduces fobbing (foaming) on products, producing real savings on wastage costs. Line cleaning is easy, you’ll only have to clean every four weeks – which means you can use the time saved to do all the other tasks that need your attention.

For more information on how CQDS can transform your business call 0845 604 0294 to talk with Carlsberg’s expert dispense specialists

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drink Research shows that well over half (58 per cent) of diners would be likely to order a cocktail if it had been listed on the food menu (CGA Mixed Drinks Report, April 2017). Yet wine remains the default option when it comes to drinking with a meal. It’s traditional, a habit, even, but we also prompt diners to opt for wine — by presenting a wine list alongside the food menu or laying the table with wine glasses from the start. There is a lot of work going on at the moment around beer with food from the brewing fraternity, and some cider companies are also working hard in this area. Given the popularity of cocktails and the margins they offer operators, however, it seems a shame more isn’t being done here as well. That’s why we are delighted to announce a new Inapub campaign in partnership with spirits giant Diageo. It’s launching this month with some exclusive research (check out pages 28, 29 and 34) and we’ll be continuing


the work over the next few months in the magazine and on the website, as well as through our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages. You can expect more research, expert advice and ideas and tips to help you tap into what is potentially a very lucrative market for pubs — don’t forget two-thirds of cocktails are sold in pubs these days (OnePoll survey, November 2016). Drink continues to be a huge driver for diners, with 51 per cent of people saying it is an important factor in where they choose to eat (CGA Peach Brandtrack, February 2017) and food continues to dominate social occasions and social media — there are more than 200 million photos tagged “food” on Instagram alone. This doesn’t have to be overly complicated either. Start small, perhaps by offering a mince pie with a hot toddy, or an Old Fashioned with a chocolate truffle on the side. That’s more exciting (and probably more profitable) than serving a glass of red, surely?

Wine remains the default option when it comes to drinking with a meal. It’s traditional, a habit, even, but we also prompt diners

COMMERCIAL BREAKDOWN Kronenbourg 1664 • Taste Suprême Footballing supremo Eric Cantona is back as the face of Kronenbourg 1664 in a new ad for its ongoing Taste Suprême campaign. This time around Eric plays “Le Scarecrow Suprême” as he tries to protect the hops.

Hobgoblin • Smash for cash The “unofficial beer of Halloween” is back with a new competition rolling out across 8,000 pubs and bars, with giveaways for drinkers ranging from Hobgoblin branded goodies to cold, hard cash.

VK • Nocturnal The country’s number one student RTD, VK, will be touring 73 venues this autumn with an eight-foot owl targeting freshers, who are “experiencing their first taste of freedom”.

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Jacqson Dry Gin

Described as having a “traditionally Yorkshire flavour”, this new craft gin is distilled in Huddersfield using locally grown rhubarb and liquorice. It is said to be best served with tonic and a slice of ginger or orange.

Thorntons Luxury Chocolate Flakes

Make your hot chocolate a little bit special by making it with these flakes, created with a combination of dark and milk chocolate for extra indulgence. Just mix them with hot milk or use them as an ingredient in desserts, as decoration or sprinkled on other hot drinks and cocktails. www.ferrerofoodservice. com/en/uk

Look out for... Butcombe Pioneer

This new ale will sit in the brewer’s Classic range, alongside its Original, Rare Breed and Gold beers. It is made with nine types of malt for body and British oats for smoothness. Pioneer, First Gold and Sterling hops give the beer a soft bitterness and aromas of grapefruit, orange and marmalade. The 3.6 per cent ABV ale is available on cask only.

Weingut Glatzer

Bibendum has added 100 new wines from 13 new producers to its portfolio this autumn. The company is touting Austrian wine to be a big trend this winter, including this version from Weingut Glatzer. “We pride ourselves on our ability to bring innovation and excitement to our customers’ wine offer,” said head of buying, Simon Jerrome.

The perfect time for more Coca-Cola By Rob Harris, Out of Home Director GB at Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) The amount of time that customers spend in your venue can depend on the quality of their experience. To increase their dwell time, it’s important that when they order their first Coca-Cola, Diet Coke or Coca-Cola Zero Sugar that they receive a Perfect Serve, as getting that right can encourage guests to order another drink. The perfect time to ask your customers if they would like another Coca-Cola is when their glass is two-thirds empty. With more than 70% of guests saying they would take a second drink if they were offered one, it’s an important tool to help increase spend. (Source: OnePulse Real-Time Digital Market Research, 500 respondents, M&F, 18-65 16/02/17.) A guest who has had a great experience that they can’t get at home is more likely to come back to your venue time and time again. Delivering the Coca-Cola Perfect Serve not only enhances the customer experience, but also boosts your venue’s reputation for quality, reputation for quality, maximising future soft drinks sales’. p20-21 drink intro.indd 21

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Fireside ciders by ROBYN BLACK

Apples, and pears for that matter, are traditionally an autumn fruit. They are natural bedfellows of wintry flavours like cinnamon, clove and nutmeg, so why does the pub trade continue to view cider as solely a summer tipple? It’s not like the sales figures even back up the misconception. Last year on-trade sales of total cider by volume in December increased by 11 per cent versus an average month (Nielsen on-trade sales to 15.07.17). Thatchers, meanwhile, reports sales of its ciders in December often match July’s figures. As a result, producers are now beginning to focus more on the opportunities for cider in the colder months, as should licensees if they want to keep a large proportion of p23-24-25-26 cider.indd 23

their customers happy (53 per cent of adults drink cider, a number that continues to grow, according to the Mintel Cider Report 2017). So, where can improvements in your winter cider offer be made? “During the autumn and winter months people often turn to ciders that are fuller in flavour, richer and bolder,” explains Thatchers managing director Martin Thatcher. “From our range that’s ciders like Thatchers Vintage and Old Rascal.”



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Mixing it up

Promote seasonal twists on cider by changing the serve, using different garnishes and glassware to enhance a seasonal flavour

As well as looking for ciders with such a flavour profile, licensees can capitalise on the popularity of cider by linking it to the party season and having some fun, perhaps taking a leaf out of Martin’s book and getting creative with cocktails. “Cider cocktails are a fantastic way to add theatre to the bar and offer customers something extra special during the festive season,” he says. Claire Young, national accounts controller at brewer Shepherd Neame, which has this year launched its first cider, Orchard View, agrees. “Cider is a great option for winter months, as its versatility makes it a delicious cocktail ingredient, especially during the Christmas party season.” Check out the three cider cocktail recipes on this page to get you started. If cocktails aren’t your thing, however, consider simpler twists to make your ciders seem a bit more special at a time when people are looking to treat themselves. “Promote seasonal twists on cider by changing the serve, using different garnishes and glassware to enhance a seasonal flavour. A slice of orange, for example,” advises Claire.


cider cocktails

Thatchers Apple Martini Cracked ice 25ml vodka 50ml Thatchers Gold 25ml apple juice 2 thin slices of red apple Mix Thatchers Gold with the vodka and apple juice, and serve over ice in a classic Martini glass. Garnish with the slices of apple. Wintry Orchard Walk 170ml Angry Orchard Crisp Apple cider 30ml Amaretto 15ml orange liqueur 15ml sweet vermouth Orange slice Combine ingredients in a glass over ice and garnish with the orange slice. Bourbon Apple Cider Ice cubes Crushed ice 50ml apple cider 25ml Bourbon Orange wedge Ground cinnamon and sugar Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small plate and run the orange wedge around the rim of your glass. Dip the rim into the mix so it coats the edge. Fill a shaker with ice cubes and add the cider and bourbon. Shake well. Fill the coated glass with crushed ice and strain in the liquid from the shaker.



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Even simpler, why not serve it as an alternative to a glass of bubbly, as suggested by David Sheppy, managing director at Sheppy’s. He says: “For reception drinks at a party, a beautiful sparkling classic draught cider or cider with elderflower are ideal to serve in a Champagne glass as guests arrive.”

Party tipple

Equally, think about the other end of the party. Late nights and “high-tempo” events are perhaps not an area where traditionally cider has played a part, but it is beginning to make inroads. Bottled ciders are very important here – not least because, as Emma Sherwood-Smith, cider director at Heineken UK, puts it: “Bottled cider is quicker to serve so it can help reduce waiting times during busy periods.” Heineken has been spearheading this end of the market with ranges like Blind Pig and Old Mout, and now Diageo has also got involved with Smirnoff Cider, launched last year. “Because of its refreshing qualities cider can get overlooked as a festive option,” admits Kate Hunter, innovation commercialisation manager at Diageo. “However, it is important not to consider it obsolete at Christmas, because refreshing, fruit flavoured drinks typically perform well all year round. Smirnoff Cider contains real Smirnoff vodka, so is a natural choice for more late night occasions, which of course are plentiful in the festive season.”

The perfect winter cider range By Darryl Hinksman, head of customer marketing & insight at Westons Cider Everyone knows that cider is a year-round phenomenon now, but the question is what ciders should you stock as winter approaches and consumers swap the crisp, light and refreshing ciders of summer for the heartier, warming winter ciders? At Westons we have recently launched Mortimer’s Orchard English Berry, a sparkling, berry-flavoured cider which is a super-premium alternative to the mainstream fruit ciders. Made from 100 per cent fresh English apple juice, it is then blended with berry fruits to provide an authentic flavoursome cider which works extremely well with a wide range of Christmas foods such as turkey, gammon or Christmas pudding. Similarly, our Henry Westons Mulled Cider is an excellent accompaniment to a mince pie or stollen, but works equally well as an aperitif or simply as a warming drink on cold winter evenings. The mulled cider comes in a 10-litre bag-in-box and can be heated in a soup kettle before garnishing with a slice of orange and cinnamon stick and serving in a hot drinks glass. p23-24-25-26 cider.indd 25

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to be out in pubs and bars at this time of year than any other. “Low alcohol ciders taste much more like their parent products than low alcohol beers,” says Martyn. “Stowford Press LA contains just 0.5 per cent ABV and is an incredibly popular choice for non-drinkers and designated drivers.” Kopparberg has also brought zero alcohol ciders to the market. Its best-selling variants (Strawberry & Lime, Mixed Fruit and Pear) are the only alcohol-free fruit ciders on the market, the company claims.

Mania for mulled

Festive fare

Food, of course, is also typically plentiful in the festive season, and – as with other drinks – the art of cider and food matching is growing in popularity. Helpfully, as mentioned earlier, cider’s taste profile works very well with traditional festive fare, such as turkey and all the trimmings, Christmas pudding, hams and cheeses. Martyn Jones, head of on-trade and export at Westons, recommends Westons organic cider, Wyld Wood, with cheese and gammon-based dishes and its Henry Westons Vintage with Christmas dinner, mulled flavoured foods or spiced nuts. He says: “In the run up to Christmas licensees should look to stock a few seasonal ciders such as a dark berry flavour or a spiced cider that they wouldn’t stock at another time of year. “It is also essential that licensees ensure they cater for designated drivers with low and no-alcohol drinks.”

Alcohol free

This is a growing area for the drinks trade, which can only accelerate over Christmas, with teetotallers, designated drivers and those choosing healthier options more likely



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Last, but by no means least, we come to mulled cider. As an alternative to mulled wine it has been growing in popularity for some time. Last year, for example, Cornish Orchards reports its sales grew 20 per cent across November and December, a result it credits, in part, to the popularity of mulled cider. “Our customers really went after our mulled cider offer, which gave them a point of difference to pubs serving mulled wine, or nothing warm at all,” says the company’s general manager Patrick Gardiner. “Licensees should look to offer something different. There are a number of ciders that are rich and warming, especially in packaged ranges, that are great for winter. Also, look to utilise outdoor space with heaters and a mulled cider bar,” he suggests. “I believe there is a great opportunity for us, as a premium cider maker, to deliver incremental sales in winter through mulled cider.” Brothers is also working hard to make the most of this particular opportunity, pushing its Festival Apple Cider and its Toffee Apple Cider as hot serves this winter. “Last year we saw sales of our Toffee Apple Cider grow by 28 per cent between October and December,” says the company’s Gerry Doyle. “This year we’ve produced a range of point-of-sale to help promote winter serves, including urns, insulated paper cups and table talkers. Brothers has proven that winter cider isn’t just about mulling apple and pear cider, fruit cider can work well warmed too!” 19/09/2017 23:59

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


Mix and match A glass of wine with dinner? Or maybe something more adventurous? A strong spirits-led offering can unlock the potential of dining occasions in your pub, reveals Diageo Food takes on a huge role in our culture as it brings people together with rituals and experiences. 51% of all meals in the on-trade involve an alcoholic drink and 51% of people say alcohol is an important choice driver of where to eat1 – therefore, it’s important operators get their alcohol offering right to unlock growth in

food occasions. Currently wine over-indexes in these occasions, mostly due to habitual behaviour and prompts – wine glasses are often present on the table from the outset and a separate wine menu is often offered. But, given the fact that 59% of consumers would be likely to order a cocktail that had been listed

“there is a huge opportunity for licensees to grow margin and spend with a spirits-led offering” 1. CGA Peach Brandtrack, February 2017 2. CGA Mixed Drinks Report, April 2017

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To tap into spontaneous eating occasions and consumer needs, licensees should implement the following Diageo advice and top tips:

alongside a food item on the menu2, there is a huge opportunity for licensees to grow margin and spend per visit with a strong spiritsled offering for food.

Food occasions

New research from Diageo has revealed that there are two main types of food-led occasions – spontaneous and planned. Understanding the differences between these types of occasions is key to realising the opportunity within them.

Spontaneous occasions

The majority of spontaneous occasions are driven by hunger and as a result, consumers are looking for a quick and easy option that offers good value for money. Read on to discover how to maximise this opportunity.

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1. Offer long, refreshing tasting drinks As consumers typically order just one serve per visit, provide them with options that will last the length of their meal. 2. Ensure the serve complements the food offering For example, linking international dishes with international serves such as a mojito with Mexican food or by using complementary ingredients to the food. 3. Consider the value for money i.e how the price of the serve sits alongside the price of the food dishes. 4. Look at implementing meal deals that combine a food dish with a complementing serve. For example, a burger and a hardshake for a fixed price. For more information on how to grow your spirit sales, visit

19/09/2017 23:58

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20/09/2017 00:02


Festive fixes by ROBYN BLACK

This year Christmas Day lands on a Monday, which means the weekend before is likely to be busy. Play your cards right, and this alignment of the calendar could be worth an extra £829 per outlet in takings, according to CGA. What’s more, New Year’s Eve also falls that way, giving two extra weekends in which to make bumper profits. Here are some expert tips to help you hit the jackpot. Raise your garnish game

We love the effect you can achieve with low cost and effort, like trading lemon and lime wedges for zesty curls

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Edward Hartridge, sales and marketing director, Hartridges “Put extra effort into your garnishes and make your Christmas drinks serves extra special with imaginative twists on everyday fruit garnishes. We love the premium effect you can achieve, with low cost and effort, when you make simple tweaks, like trading lemon and lime wedges for zesty curls. Or switching half-moons of freshly cut orange for crispy, dehydrated slices.”

Push new products

Charlotte Bramham-Jones, category development manager, Accolade Wines “Forty-seven per cent of consumers were influenced to drink a category over the festive period they do not usually choose, with the likes of Champagne and cocktails being some of the key choices (CGA Christmas Report 2016). That means Christmas is a perfect time to drive new products. Making a feature about the “New and Special Festive Drinks”

is likely to tempt people in and encourage them to spend a bit more.”

Serve perfect soft drinks

Amy Burgess, trade communications manager, Coca-Cola European Partners “With 15 per cent of hospitality venue sales coming from soft drinks (CGA), Coca-Cola’s three-point Perfect Serve training programme platform (see page 21) emphasises the importance of providing a quality experience for consumers who are not drinking alcohol. The perfect serve helps consumers feel they are getting a special drink that stands apart from what they would have at home or on-the-go.”

Create a sensation with seasonal drinks

Liam Newton, vice president, marketing at Carlsberg UK “Promoting seasonal range changes is vital to increase sales opportunities, and can be easily achieved with Carlsberg UK’s menu-building app, Menu Maker — an intuitive tool that can



20/09/2017 02:55

help publicans produce impactful drinks lists. A bespoke beer menu can also create a natural opening to recommend a particular beer during other occasions, for example as part of a food and beer pairing option.”

Make soft drinks special as well

It’s the perfect time to offer customers the chance to indulge and make the occasion that little bit more special

Jen Draper, head of marketing, Franklin & Sons “The idea of premiumisation, has, historically, been placed upon premium spirits, wine and Champagne. Venues are great at premiumising these offerings; however, there is a massive untapped area of premium adult soft drinks. Licensees can really benefit from the demand — and importance of — premium soft drinks, especially as more than one fifth of UK adults now say they do not drink alcohol.”

Don’t forget about cider

Amelia Knowland, marketing manager, Aspall “Cider is such a great match for a range of festive foods. Pork and cider is a match made in heaven; Christmas hams and pigs-in-blankets are best washed down with a dry cider like our Premier Cru. Fruit ciders are a wonderful match for festive desserts: Aspall Isabel’s Berry has a really high juice content and would go perfectly with a fruity pudding, while the mellow taste of muscovado sugar in our Imperial Cyder works brilliantly when paired with mince pies and Christmas cake.”

Capitalise on the treat mentality

Alan Dawson, head of category and direct marketing, Matthew Clark “Christmas is a time for treating yourself and others, whether that’s with a top notch gin & tonic, a glass of Imperial Stout, a nice warming glass of mulled cider, or even a bottle of Champagne. It’s the perfect time to offer customers the chance to indulge and make the occasion that little bit more special. Therefore, we recommend that licensees

32 OCTOBER 2017

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provide a range of serve options to make sure they give the customers the opportunity to do just that.”

Tap into demand for frozen cocktails

Nick Yates, sales and operations director, Vimto Out of Home “Cocktails are a big seller, but traditionally time-consuming and costly – a challenge when your bar is packed during the festive season. We’re seeing a rise in demand for frozen cocktails made from iced drinks. Starslush — a fruit derived slush, with no nasties — is allowing outlets to offer a quick, easy twist on popular cocktails, with great margins to be made.”

Offer cocktails with food

Faith Holland, head of category and insights, Diageo “The nation is turning its back on traditional Christmas drinks in a quest for something more stirring; only one in 10 of the UK still enjoy conventional classics like eggnog 20/09/2017 02:55

(OnePoll survey, November 2016). Premium cocktails offer licensees a great opportunity to trade up during the Christmas season. “When eating out over 43 per cent of consumers would opt to drink a cocktail after a meal, highlighting the opportunity for licensees to offer and position cocktails as an after-dinner option — especially coffeeflavoured cocktails and winter warmers such as Flat White Martini with Baileys.”

Ensure service is efficient

Jerry Shedden, on-trade category and trade marketing director, Heineken “Ensuring your team is delivering efficient service is crucial, particularly during the Christmas season when you are likely to be busier than usual. There are lots of ways you can prepare to help your staff deal with more customers. Having table service or offering bucket deals are really useful ways to make your outlet more efficient in the festive period. Having an offer on buckets of premium lagers and ciders helps encourage your customers to trade up, while also being quicker for your staff to serve.” p31-32-33 xmas drinks.indd 33

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eat So summer is over for another year. By the time you read this, barbecues will have been packed away and the salads will have shuffled off to make way for the kind of hearty autumnal dishes discussed on p38-39. Everyone loves a good solid pub meal. But an episode during the last days of summer gave me pause for thought about the way pubs pitch their comfort food credentials. Amongst the thunderstorms of September, my family squeezed in a camping trip to Norfolk. With the elements unreliable even by British standards, it was agreed we would do our eating out. Which we did on the first night, in a lovely traditional pub with some fantastic local ales. I had a confit of duck leg, which came with two rashers of bacon, black pudding and creamy mash. My dad had an enormous helping of lasagne and chips. Nobody went home hungry. The second night, however, found Mr Thrush senior lobbying for “a pizza place or an Indian... anything that isn’t PROMOTIONAL CONTENT

Diageo offers matching tips To tap into spontaneous eating occasions and consumer needs, licensees should implement the following Diageo advice and top tips: 1. Offer long, refreshing tasting drinks. As consumers typically order just one serve per visit, provide them with options that will last the length of their meal. 2. Ensure the serve complements the food offering For example, linking international dishes with international serves such as a Mojito with Mexican food or by using complementary ingredients to the food. 3. Consider the value for money i.e. how the price of the serve sits alongside the price of the food dishes. 4. Look at implementing meal deals that combine a food dish with a complementing serve. For example, a burger and a hardshake for a fixed price.

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with BEN THRUSH pub food”. We ended up sat around a torch in our tent, eating a Chinese takeaway. The problem wasn’t that my dad doesn’t like pub grub. He’d enjoyed his repast the night before. It was just kind of heavy. He’s of an age where his bile duct likes to take things a bit easier than it used to. In his eyes, sweet and sour chicken balls deep-fried in batter promised a lighter supper than a pub serving up, in literal terms, discomfort food. In vain did I protest there has been a revolution in pub kitchens and pubs now offer everything from Cajun cuisine to vegan bacon. To him, pub food meant stodge, and he’d had enough of it. I’m not for a moment advocating axing the fish & chips or the steak & kidney pudding. Pub classics are classics for a reason. But the generation that grew up on chicken in a basket are finding their palates evolving just as many of them find themselves with time and cash to burn on eating out. Perhaps it’s time to let some light into your menu, and shout about it.

It ain’t over till it’s ova Is there anything in your kitchen as versatile as an egg? And no, your sous chef doesn’t count. To help you have a cracking British Egg Week (October 9 to 15) British Lion Eggs has developed a toolkit to help licensees make the most of the opportunity. This year activity and pointof-sale focuses on making the most of breakfast. Andrew Joret, British Egg Industry Council chairman, says: “For more than 50 years, British Egg Week has featured on the food calendar. It’s a fantastic excuse to celebrate — and sell more — eggs.”

21/09/2017 00:07

HAM HOCK WITH BUTTERY MASH AND PARSLEY SAUCE James Easterbrook, The Lansdowne, Canton, Cardiff

Ham Parsley sauce

“This is the chef’s secret recipe and it goes perfectly with the meat. It’s traditional with one or two little twists. It’s the same with the mash which is beautiful and buttery.”


“We are a traditional freehouse and as well as food our cask beer is very important for us. This kind of meal matches well with the drinks that we serve.”

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“We make sure we have meals that match the time of year and we are now looking at those nice hearty options, such as this. It’s good traditional food, the kind that reminds you of growing up.”

“The chef doesn’t give too much away but it is cooked traditionally. We source most of our meat locally from butchers in the Vale of Glamorgan.”


“It’s £11.95 and proving very popular as both an option at lunch and dinner – I sold one three minutes before I spoke to you. We’ve only just put it on the menu but it looks like it will stick around”

20/09/2017 03:05

Self-service for Santas by ROBYN BLACK

The buffet is all too often dismissed as the poor relation of festive fare, paling next to the prospect of turkey with all the trimmings. Canny licensees, though, know a well-planned Christmas buffet is an essential weapon in the armoury of any pub determined to win its share of the party season bookings. That’s especially true this year, as clouds of economic uncertainly cast their Scroogelike shadow over the season of goodwill. With consumer confidence uncertain as the rate of inflation continues to outpace wage growth and wholesale prices for food and drink still rising, careful planning is essential to get your overall offer right.

Make some space

Keep ’em sweet: Bidfood’s Premium Selection desserts include orange truffle tortes and Kara snowball sparkle cakes


Offering buffet menus doesn’t have to be at the expense of the full sit-down festive bunfight — if an area of your bar can be set aside for small groups or a function room that can be roped into service, the pub’s dining area doesn’t have to be compromised. There are likely to be local businesses where the accounts department is keeping a tight rein on discretionary spending, as well as organisations and clubs on a slim budget, where a stand-up buffet is a more realistic option. Keeping it special for these groups is key. Even customers on a buffet budget don’t want to be made to feel like the poor relations at the Cratchit family Christmas celebration. Fortunately, the trade’s top food suppliers have once again flexed their festive muscles to come up with Christmas product ranges to help pubs offer a bit more than a sagging sausage roll and a poor-quality quiche. From Bidfood come delights such as

Northcoast Seafoods’ smoked salmon and dill fishcakes, Premium Selection brie and beetroot chutney tarts in kale pastry and, best of all, the Christmas on a stick option: skewers of pork chipolatas, turkey cubes and stuffing balls from the Farmstead range. On the dessert side, Bidfood has gone all out. Its seasonal range includes alcohol-infused cheesecakes in popping peach bellini, gin fizz and elderflower and whiskey mac flavours, as well as Kara snowball sparkle cakes and Premium Selection individual truffle torte with a gold shimmering profiterole.

Tap into tapas

Tapas is Spain’s great contribution to both pub food and the buffet offer and specialist supplier Brindisa’s 2017 Christmas range includes authentically sourced

Cheese and pineapple, 21st-century style, from Premier Foods


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Brindisa’s authentic Spanish charcuterie offers a wide range of easily prepared buffet options — ¡Feliz Navidad!

cheeses, charcuterie, Gordal olives and Marcona almonds. Cured meats can be adapted to create a wide range of easy-to-prepare canapés such as sweet or spicy chorizo to rich spreadable Sobrasada or potted Morcilla — the Spanish take on black pudding, which can be spiced with aniseed, cinnamon and cloves to create a festive spread with an unforgettable flavour.

Have a butchers…

For a more British approach, speak to your catering butcher about building your buffet menu around the great pub snacks. Pork pies, sausage rolls, Scotch eggs and pork crackling are all perennial favourites, and buffet-sized options can either be bought ready-made or prepared in the pub kitchen. Either way, your butcher wants to sell offcuts and trim from premium Christmas cuts and should be able enhance your buffet offer at a decent price. Promote local, outdoor reared or rare breed produce to add a touch of provenance. And don’t forget Christmas is as much about enjoying a drink with friends as it is good food. Premier Foods has produced its Perfect Christmas Party Recipe Guide 2017, which includes suggestions for drinkmatched buffet items including: Cheese and pineapple sticks: a variation on the classic cheese and pineapple hedgehog, made with goat’s cheese balls

coated in panko breadcrumbs with caramelised pineapple squares, paired with Veuve Cliquot Demi-Sec Champagne; Paxo pigs in blankets: sausage meat and Paxo stuffed in sweet-cured bacon, paired with Sheppy’s Dabinett Apple Cider; Italian skewers: Bisto roasted, lemon chicken, olives, roasted peppers and salami, paired with Tanqueray gin Dirty Martini with olive and caper berry garnish. Finally, don’t neglect the little extras. Beyond the food and drink on offer, things that can make all the difference include crackers, balloons, hats and streamers, all included in competitively priced party packs from suppliers such as Brakes. So what are you waiting for? Time to break out the buffet.

• •

Pass the port Taylor’s has also come up with range of food-matching suggestion for this year’s festive market, including pairing Taylor’s 20 Year Old Tawny Port with baklawa. This Middle Eastern pastry soaks up flavours and is held together by gloriously decadent honey, syrup and melted butter, with the distinctive taste of pistachios typically rounding off proceedings. Baklawa can be enjoyed hot or cold and makes a great premium buffet option. p36-37 xmas buffets.indd 37

20/09/2017 03:11

So long, summer salads Autumn is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, so the poet tells us, but let’s be honest – customers rocking up to the pub for a meal at this time of year will be looking for something a bit heartier than a bowl of foggy fruit soup, however mellow it may be.

Once summer’s over, it’s time to ease back on the salad and notch up a gear on the more substantial fare. Catering suppliers are still warning that the ongoing weakness of sterling against both the dollar (in which most commodities are traded) and the euro (in which much of the produce we buy has to be paid for) is impacting food and drink prices. Fortunately, as ever, Mother Nature has got your back, with the harvest kicking in. Autumn also sees a range of great British food at its best in terms of price, quality and availability. It also brings occasions such as Halloween and Bonfire Night, which are an opportunity to shine some light during the darkest days of the year with parties and celebrations. Ideas for menu dishes and specials with an autumnal feel include:


Hearty, warming soups are a menu favourite when the colder weather draws in, and are also, frankly, an absolute banker in GP terms, allowing pubs to charge pounds for ingredients that cost pennies. By working with suppliers to get the best deals, ingredients which are too often on the sidelines can become stars. How about a pork and parsnip soup, for example, or a spicy seafood chowder using the offcuts from fillets prepared by your fishmonger?


Keep your offer flexible by featuring stew as a special and changing the variety according to the produce on offer. Meat, game, fish and veg can all be turned from also-rans into winners with some home-made stock, a little flour for thickening and some store cupboard herbs and spices. Serve with mash, or on a bed of rice and mixed seasonal vegetables. p38-39 autumn food.indd 38

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Let’s be clear. A pie has pastry all around it. A dish of meat with a pastry lid is just stew with a crouton. Having established that, autumn is a time when pie of the day of the week specials really come into their own. Variations on the basic theme will help the offer stand out. For example, make a chicken korma pie using catering korma paste and serve with bhaji and samosas, or venison pie with a rich red wine gravy.


A classic pub dish now often overlooked. Autumn is the open season for game birds such as pheasant, partridge and grouse, all of which make great alternative choice as a Sunday roast or midweek treat. Fresh game birds roasted with seasonal veg are far less of an acquired taste than the well-hung variety, and always buy through a registered game dealer to ensure traceability.

SLICED BRIOCHE LOAF Our sliced Brioche loaves make the ideal accompaniment to pâté or they can be used to create the ultimate mushrooms on toast. Each slice is the perfect thickness and gives chefs ultimate control over portion sizes.


A cheeseboard is an all-year-round favourite, but dairy is one of the areas where prices have risen most sharply — up by 25 per cent from a year ago, according to one industry supplier. It may seem counterintuitive, but one way to tackle this is to take your cheeseboard even more upmarket. By highlighting the provenance of artisan and regional British cheeses on the menu, you can justify a premium price for a ploughman’s or cheeseboard. Don’t waste a single precious crumb, though — keep cheese leftovers and the ends of blocks to use in pies and soups.


Autumn is the time when many British fruits and berries are harvested, and there may well be bountiful supplies of blackberries, blackcurrants and sloes, as well as apples and pears, available for the picking locally. Pears make a great alternative to apples in a crumble, and fruit and veg suppliers will often have plenty of stock available at this time of year. Rotate the flavours of your crumble regularly and highlight it on specials boards.

If you would like to try any of our new products please visit: p38-39 autumn food.indd 39

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13/09/2017 11:20

play with MATT ELEY The fact that football is the most popular sport to watch in pubs is easily filed in the “no shit Sherlock” category. However, new stats from CGA (see below) reveal just how big the gap is between our national game and the following pack. While seven out of 10 sports fans watch footy, only two out of 10 go for the second-placed sport, rugby union. That’s not to say that other sports don’t come with their own, different benefits — but when it comes to the numbers, football is the clear winner. With a World Cup looming — and with home nations

interest almost guaranteed — now is the time to get your offer right. Loyal fans will be with you throughout the season but the more casual observer will make their way to you to catch the action from Russia. What makes you different from the pub next door? Why should a football fan choose your venue over a pizza and a few beers at home? This is the time to ask yourselves those questions so that, just like Gareth Southgate and his team, you can be fully prepared for next summer.

No kicking football off top spot as the live sport crowd-puller Football has retained its crown as the biggest sporting crowd-puller in pubs. Research by industry specialist CGA shows 22 per cent of people watch live sport in a pub or bar — with one in five of those doing so every week. Of the 5,000 people surveyed, 73 per cent chose to watch live football. Rugby union followed in second with 20 per cent, with boxing also scoring well. Just under 10 per cent of people — the avid fans — go to the pub several times a week to watch sport.

42 OCTOBER 2017

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CGA chief executive, Phil Tate, said: “The research reveals how crucial sporting events are to the on-trade, with fixtures appealing across age groups. Consumers who go out to enjoy sport are also very loyal to particular venues.” Watching live sport is driven by younger customers, with 33 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds saying they watch action in the on-trade, versus 24 per cent of those aged 35 to 54. Lager is the most popular drink (44 per cent), with cider (21 per cent) in second. 20/09/2017 03:35

Real Madrid v Spurs

Gareth Bale gets to face his former club in the tie of the round, while Chelsea face Roma on a night that could be packed with drama. More games on the Wednesday too. October 17, 7.45pm, BT Sport

Liverpool v Man Utd Always one of the biggest games on the calendar and even bigger now that both teams have title ambitions. Should make for a lively lunchtime. October 14, 12.30pm, Sky Sports

Happening this month Wales v Republic of Ireland

All the home nations will be looking to get a step closer to the World Cup Finals with fixtures from October 6 to 9. This could be the most vital of the lot. October 9, Sky Sports

World Championship boxing

Anthony Joshua steps back into the ring for the first time since his thrilling victory against Wladimir Klitschko. That was a payper-view success and so too could be his title defence in Cardiff against Kubrat Pulev. October 28, Sky Box Office

National Curry Week

Basically the best week ever: as well as being curry week, it is also National Chocolate Week. That’s mains and desserts sorted, then. October 10—16

National Cat Day

We flagged up International Cat Day in August and now it’s time for our national day. Use it to celebrate your feline friends on social media. Trust us, it will go down purrfectly. October 29

Let me entertain you Tanya Cornelius, The White Lion, Selling, Kent The White Lion recently tried something a little different by hosting John Osborne’s show John Peel’s Shed. In 2002, John, a student at the time won a competition to write a slogan for the late broadcaster’s show and won a prize of an old box of records stored in his shed. The show is an ode to radio and features Osborne talking and playing some of Peel’s old records. Tanya says: “This is the first time we have tried something like this. We wanted to try some quirkier things and we will have some more coming up in the next few months.” The ticketed event supports regular favourites at the food-led pub such as the monthly pub quiz and monthly music night. Tanya adds: “The events are bonuses to what we already do and a way of bringing the community together. “We change the bands and we change the rounds in the quiz. We get a mixture of regular customers and some new ones.” p42-43 play intro.indd 43

20/09/2017 03:35

It’ll be all

fright on the night

It might be an event filled with ghouls and ghosts but Halloween represents an opportunity to pubs that is anything but frightening. Only Christmas and Easter can top it for annual events that are guaranteed to bring in the cash — but nothing is growing at quite the rate of the October spookfest. The Halloween industry is now worth £400m — a giant 3,000 per cent increase since 2012, when revenue was closer to £12m. Brits have truly embraced the spirit of Halloween and so too have pubs. The Old Sergeant in London’s

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Wandsworth is one of many that sees the pub, staff and customers all dressed for the occasion. Manager Bronwyn Cooper explains: “We do the same thing every year because it is so successful. We get a fortune teller and put her in the love shack in the garden. She is incredibly popular and has been incredibly accurate with what she has said about customers moving and having children and so on.” The pub also puts on a band who rattle out a few Halloween classics (see p44-45 for some of our own ideas for Halloween tunes). “I love it because it’s great fun and there isn’t the pressure you get for Christmas or New Year,” continues Bronwyn. “In fact, it’s the last thing before you really get into that Christmas mode. It’s also a great one for families because the kids love it too and we do lots of sweets on the bar for them.” Last year the pub went with a “Malice in Wonderland’ theme that enabled customers to get creative with their costumes. Bronwyn described it as a “one off event”

20/09/2017 03:39

Don’t be Afraid to try… Themed cocktails

Decorate with novelty ice cubes, cobwebs and anything else you wouldn’t normally put in a drink


Whether for the kids or grown-ups, apple-bobbing and pumpkin carving could drive competition. You can also give a prize for best-dressed guest.

Disgusting food

Not in taste but in appearance. Use of lots of greens, reds and oranges to create snacks that are terrifying to look at but good to eat.

Social MEDIA

Your customers will never look better/worse. .Make sure the evidence is on your social media channels

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but she kept the decorations up for a few days and held a themed pub quiz later in the week.

Mischief makers

Brands also like to get involved in the event. Hobgoblin has long been the unofficial beer of Halloween — last year it sold 5.6 mliion pints during what it calls “the season of mischief”. This year Hobgoblin is driving a campaign called “Smash for Cash”, a competition being promoted in the on-trade, with more than 8,000 point-of-sale kits. Players use the Hobgoblin website to digitally smash “pumpkinised” celebs characters piñata-style. Those with the best scores will be in line for Hobgoblin gifts and cash prizes. Sarah Mahoney, marketing manager for Hobgoblin, says: “Halloween gives everyone the perfect excuse to embrace something a little bit out of the ordinary and Hobgoblin certainly leads the charge. “For us, it is about creating an experience that our consumers can get wrapped up in.” Meanwhile, drinks distributor Matthew Clark is offering a range of point-of-sale kits and discounts on relevant brands

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such as Frankenstein, Bucket of Blood (both nine-litre casks), Aspall Mulled Cider and Jägermeister, with free zombie kit. Customers will also receive offers on tequila or mezcal purchases, allowing pubs to tie in with the “Day of the Dead” celebrations and the growing popularity of both spirits. But with Halloween being an occasion for all of the family, it is important not to overlook your soft drinks range (see recipe suggestion opposite). Amy Burgess, trade communications manager at Coca-Cola Enterprises, says: “As an occasion that naturally lends itself to a family audience, it’s advisable for licensees to consider their soft drinks range, making sure there’s a wide choice available for those not drinking alcohol.” She adds: “Even for events without a family focus, it’s important to consider that many adults are now drinking less alcohol. As many as one in five people are now teetotal so there’s a real opportunity to increase soft drinks sales during Halloween.” Whether your customers choose soft drinks, beer or even spirits, Halloween is an event that offers a unique opportunity for pubs.

20/09/2017 03:40

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20/09/2017 03:39



Angles on The Ashes

The greatest sporting rivals of them all face off again this winter. Let’s be honest, the timings aren’t ideal for pubs but there are still ways of making The Ashes work for you. Here are a few things to bear in mind. 1

More ‘Ashes’ action this year It’s not just cricket keeping sports fans of clashes between these nations happy this year. Rugby League Women’s World Cup, Australia 16 November– 2 December

It’s the bloody Ashes

If there is a sporting fixture between two nations with as much history and spice as this one, then we don’t know about it. It’s been going since 1882, for goodness’ sake, and the biennial test series between England and Australia still captures the imagination like no other event in cricket or beyond. Even if you don’t have a huge cricket following in your pub, most casual sports fans will have an interest in what’s happening Down Under this winter, so if you can have it on, even in the background, it’s worth it. If you don’t have

it on the telly, some breakfasters might be happy to listen to the comforting commentary from the Test Match Special team.


It’s on BT Sport

Over the last few years the big battles between the two broadcasting giants have generally been over Champions League and Premier League rights, so the fact BT Sport has picked up the rights to this series has almost gone unnoticed. Last year the broadcaster signed a five-year deal with Cricket Australia to show domestic cricket including The Ashes, Big Bash, Women’s Ashes and a load more international cricket. At the time Delia Bushell, then managing director of BT TV and BT Sport, said: “BT Sport is delighted to be adding international cricket to its line-up and to be the new home of the next Ashes tour in Australia.” The next Ashes series in this country (2019) will be on Sky, as will that summer’s World Cup.

Rugby Union England v Australia, Twickenham 18 November

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play. Pictrure: Airwolfhound

Even if you don’t have a huge cricket following, most casual sports fans will have an interest in what’s happening Down Under this winter p48-49 the ashes.indd 49

Flagging it up: let people know you are showing The Ashes by promoting it in the pub and on social media


It should be closer than last time…

Well, it would be hard for it to be any more one-sided than the last time they met in Australia. England were in disarray and were whitewashed 5-0 — only the third time such a score has been recorded in Ashes history. Pantomime villain Mitchell Johnson stole the show with 37 wickets. It spelled the end of the road (or the beginning of the end) for several England stars as reputations were left in ruins. England won The Ashes back on home soil a couple of years later but those still around who were on that previous tour — such as Joe Root, Alastair Cook, Jimmy Anderson and part-time publican Stuart Broad — will be looking for revenge.


It’s a chance to boost those breakfast sales

The obvious problem with this series is that the timings are not as ideal as a Test at home that starts in time for brunch and ends just as people are coming in from work. To show these matches you need to be open very late, very early or trade through the night. A midnight fixture in November might get people to stay a little longer. Alternatively, the second and third Tests could help you grow breakfast trade among those who want to catch play towards the end of the day in Australia. People will need to know who is showing

ASHES FIXTURES 23–27 NOVEMBER 2017 1st Test, Brisbane


2–6 DECEMBER 2017 2nd Test, Adelaide (day/night)


14–18 DECEMBER 2017 3rd Test, Perth


26–30 DECEMBER 2017 4th Test, Melbourne


4–8 JANUARY 2018 5th Test, Sydney


the action, so be sure to broadcast it far and wide in the pub and to your social media followers.


It has a day/night Test

England played their first daynighter this summer, overcoming the West Indies at Edgbaston. The first pink ball Ashes test is likely to be a big event at the start of December. Now, while opening at 4am might not be your idea of a brilliant business strategy, you should be able to capitalise mid-morning onwards, when the light fades in Australia and the atmosphere in Adelaide cranks up.

OCTOBER 2017 49 20/09/2017 03:41

stay 11



bedroom design nightmares

Rooms at the luxury Shangri-La Hotel in London’s Shard building were voted the worst in the world after its grand opening in 2014, because a design flaw allowed guests to see into each other’s rooms. Make sure your accommodation doesn’t get a similar vote by avoiding these nine common design mistakes.


Keeping them in the dark

Yes, dim lighting is all very sexy, and small pools of light add a relaxing ambience to a room. But when there are no overhead lights bright enough to illuminate the floor where you dropped that contact lens, it’s a


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different matter. And no one wants to be leaving their room wearing grey eyeshadow as blusher and pink blusher for eyeshadow due to inadequate lighting over mirrors, either.


Making it hard to switch off

There is nothing more irritating than to be tucked up in bed and ready to drift off to sleep… only to realise that to turn off the main light, you have to get out of bed and walk to the other side of the room. And then find your way back. In most rooms you can turn off your bedside lights from the bed but in really well-designed spaces all lights 20/09/2017 03:57

stay. return, for the lack of hooks and a proper wardrobe meant that there was nowhere one could hang a coat. Or a dress. Or a washbag. Or anything, really. Totally impractical.


Power trip


The final curtain


Mirror mirror, off the wall


No room to swing a cat

It’s not just business travellers who want to get online these days — most people will have a tablet or laptop that needs charging (not to mention phones, see below). So, make sure plug sockets are easy to spot (not behind a chair) and are close enough to a table or desk for those that do have to get some work done. Ideally there should also be one either side of the bed as well, for phone charging overnight.

should be controllable from the comfort of your duvet.


Making the morning cuppa a challenge

As highlighted by Owain Llywd Jones, general manager of The Woodstock Arms, Oxfordshire, who says: “People do expect tea and coffee facilities in the room but they don’t need to make a latte.” So ditch the expensive complicated coffee machines and bring back the kettle. Your guests will thank you for it.


Confounding controls

There’s nothing more humiliating for a guest than to have to ring reception to ask how to turn on the TV, so keep remote controls, and switches in general, simple and clearly labelled. Overly complex shower units are another bugbear — I once spent two nights in a hotel with a full bathroom sink because I could not work out how to empty it. That’s the level of capability you need to be aiming at, my friends. Low, very low.


No place to hang your hat

Talking of hotel rooms I’ve stayed in, I once spent a lovely weekend in a terribly smart pub in Gloucestershire (that shall remain nameless). It was the lap of luxury and the service impeccable but I shall never p50-51 stay.indd 51

Lovely looking curtains that either don’t close fully, delivering an early morning wake-up call of a sliver of light onto your face, or really thin ones that don’t totally block out street lights, are the pits. Worst of all though, are those that stop just half an inch too short of the windowsill. And don’t even get us started on inadequate shower curtains — soggy pants anyone?

Could we have one please? And adjustable too, if it’s not too much trouble, so everyone can use them, including my grandmother who is only 4’11”. And why do so few rooms have a full-length mirror? Sure, maybe only wedding guests and business travellers would use them to check they are all shipshape, plus perhaps those getting dolled up for a meal out. So, that’s most people really… and yet so few full-length mirrors. Mysterious.

Assuming you aren’t trying to injure your own guests, those sharp corners on the bed need to be taken into account when designing a room. There needs to be enough space to move around without cracking a calf on the bedstead, desk leg, armchair etc. Especially when rooms have dingy “mood lighting” making it difficult to see, which brings us rather neatly back to our first point.…



20/09/2017 03:57

back-bar business

An appy workforce by MICHELLE PERRETT

Technology has revolutionised the way we live our lives. We use online apps to transfer money, read the news or book a flight. Customers can order drinks from their table, pay the bill and review their experience at the touch of a button. Perhaps less well known, though is the wide range of apps that can help pub staff in the work environment from educating them, to training them to booking a shift. Among these is Cask Marque’s CaskFinder app, set to be re-launched this month. Cask Marque sales and marketing director Paul Nunny says it is an “essential tool” for bar staff and a “bible” for the beer sector. The app currently offers information on 8,000 beers, with the organisation aiming to hit 10,000. It incorporates Cyclops, the



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beer-tasting notes scheme, which Cask Marque recently acquired. This means it will be able to showcase all types of beers, explaining how the beer looks, tastes, smells, and the type of dispense. “You will be able to place the app against a pump clip and it will tell you the Cyclops description of the beer,” says Paul. “You can then see who produces the beer, find out about the brewery and see what other beers they produce. It is particularly useful as bar staff can find out what the beer tastes like, what ABV it is and what style it is.” He says the app can also be used as a training tool, with tasting sessions to help staff increase their knowledge of all types of beers, including those sold in the pub.

Quality control

While the Cask Marque app is a useful resource, staff also need to be able to 20/09/2017 03:56

This is about giving staff and licensees time to run the pub

manage beer quality. Publicans with the beer monitoring system iDraught will be able to access a new app that can help monitor beer quality and wastage in real time. iDraught product manager Mark Fewster says: “This is about giving staff and licensees time to run the pub.” The app can alert staff to operational issues such as money not making it into the till, the beer not being poured correctly, the beer temperature being incorrect or the cellar equipment being faulty. “There is nothing worse than being the shift manager and wondering ‘where has there been a loss of pints within the system?’” says Mark. “If they are losing two pints every shift it is not insignificant.” Food service is another area where apps can help staff perform their jobs more effectively. The Geniusin GetWaiter! app can help staff deal with the issue of customer allergens. The customer can register their allergies on the app, and when attending the pub can scan a QR code on the table, letting the waiting staff know of any issues. “If you scan the QR code on the table the waiter will know that this specific table would be allergic to nuts and that information would be displayed on the waiter station,” says Monika Frosina, marketing and social media manager.

Touchscreen training

While apps can help staff in their everyday work, they can also use them to develop their careers. The CPL training app has one million users and serves as an access point for more than 40 of the provider’s e-learning courses. “Whether it’s at home or commuting to and from work, the CPL app opens up training ‘on the go’, giving team members ultimate control of their own learning and development,” says Louise Sui, commercial director of CPL Training. The app also offers an instant messaging function that enables staff to communicate across multiple sites.

Hiring made easy

Meanwhile, those who need temporary or flexible working in the hospitality sector can use an app to cut out the need for using a traditional recruitment agency. The Syft app, which launched in November 2015, is available for staff in London, Manchester and Leeds. The job hunter registers, attends an induction and then via the app can be added to the rota for shifts as bar staff, waiting staff, baristas, chef roles and team leaders. They can see whom they are going to work for and what the role involves prior to the shift. “After a few swipes on the app, bar staff can be added to the rota for shifts that pay on average £9.37 an hour, considerably higher than the average London hospitality wage. The platform allows bar staff to be flexible in their work — and to pick up as much, or as little work as preferred,” a spokesman for Syft says. As technology continues to change the work environment in most industries, these apps show the pub trade need not be left behind.

OCTOBER 2017 53 p52-53 staff apps.indd 53

20/09/2017 04:39

time at the bar


Ten terrific tracks perfect for your party playlist 1. I Put a Spell on You

6. A Nightmare on My Street

Nina Simone Originally by scarily monikered bluesman Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, this track has been covered by everyone from Mica Paris to Marilyn Manson, but it is this 1965 version by the jazz legend that is Nina, that remains the classic. It might be a love song, but it’s haunting and no mistake…

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince This song turned into a nightmare for Will Smith and his sidekick after the owners of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise sued for copyright infringement. Perhaps that’s why Will’s mum got scared and said: “You’re movin’ with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air”?

2. Fear of the Dark

MC Hammer Will wasn’t the only MC to spend the 90s chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool. The Addams Family theme tune finds God’s favourite rapper “cold coolin’, maxin’ and relaxin’”, when who should knock at his door but Wednesday, Pugsley, Gomez and Fester. Man, they some strange neighbours.

Iron Maiden The brewers of Trooper ale do a sideline in terrifying T-shirts and heavy metal anthems for those unafraid to rock out. Turn the lights down low and bust out the air guitar.

3. Black Magic Woman

Santana By all accounts the “voodoo” vibes on this version of the song, which was originally a Fleetwood Mac hit, were created by its curious blend of blues, rock, jazz, Latin and Cuban rhythms created on timbale and conga drums, organ, piano and, of course, guitar.

4. Heads Will Roll

7. Addams Groove

8. Dracula’s Wedding

André 3000 Hip-hop’s association with the undead continued into the noughties on the acclaimed album Speakerboxx/The Love Below. Outkast’s incarnation of Bram Stoker’s antihero is notable for making great peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs The weirdest thing about this 2009 song is not that it is sung from the viewpoint of the Queen of Hearts from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland but that the video for it was directed by Richard Ayoade. That’s right, Moss from The IT Crowd.

9. Monster Mash

5. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

10. Thriller

TV Theme Zoinks! There were plenty of Halloween episodes and scary specials to make this childhood favourite totally terrifying. Who can forget the Volt Ghost of Winterhaven, unveiled as town mayor Mr Voltner? He would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

Bobby (Boris) Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers The classic tale of a party thrown by a Frankenstein-style monster, with guests including Wolfman, Dracula and his son. Samples of creaking coffins, bubbling cauldrons and clanking chains add to the vibe.

Michael Jackson It’s close to midnight / and something evil’s lurkin’ in the dark... hopefully it’s just one your regulars getting down to the most famous spooky pop song of all time. Can your punters move like the zombie extras in Jacko’s video? Unlikely, but perhaps you have a few who at least look the part? p54 top 10.indd 54

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Licensees in the Ei Group estate can raise a pint and some pounds for the poppy appeal at the same time. The national operator is this month bringing back its Poppy beer, which has raised more than £23,000 for The Royal British Legion in the past two years. The 3.6 per cent ABV beer, brewed at The Eagle Brewery, will be available exclusively to publicans across the Ei estate from the end of October. For every pint sold, 20p goes to the charity. Pubs will be provided with point-of-sale kits to help raise awareness and drive sales, including a new pump clip. James Armitage, group services director at Ei Group, said: “We know from previous years that the beer is popular among customers so we’d encourage publicans to put Poppy beer on the bar and encourage their local community to buy a pint or two and support a great charity.”

THE COLLECTION TIN What pubs around the country are doing to help good causes A team from The McGinty’s Group raised more than £5,000 for learning difficulties charity Archway by joining in the first Great Aberdeen Run. A total of 27 runners from the group’s four venues were among thousands taking part in the 10k event. Krombacher Brewery’s sales & marketing director Stephan Kofler has raised £1,000 for Pub is the Hub by completing extreme Alps challenge the Suditrol Skyrace. This year the brewery staff have clocked up 100km and raised £2,500 for the cause.

Cornwall’s Sharp’s has brewed a beer that will help keep the county’s beaches safe and clean. Five pence from every pint of Fathoms Deep sold will go to Blue Flag – a charity Sharp’s has raised £28,000 for over the last two years. The black IPA is available nationwide. Six employees from Brasserie Bar Co will take part in the Mont Blanc Challenge to raise £12,000 for the Tim Bacon Foundation and The Christie Hospital. Tim, founder of Living Ventures, lost his fight against cancer last year at the age of 52. Pubs across the UK joined forces for great causes by taking part in the World’s Biggest Pub Quiz. More than 800 pubs held quizzes to raise more than £70,000 for 2,000 different charities in the PubAidorganised event. Many supported the official event partner Prostate Cancer UK. PubAid co-founder Des O’Flanagan said: “The quiz is a great way of focusing the attention on the fabulous work that UK pubs do for charity in raising over £100m a year. “Great British pubs play a huge role in the fabric of our communities and the quiz is a fantastic example of the day-to-day togetherness and generosity the industry has in abundance.”

Are you raising funds for a great cause? Let us know at



p56 collection tin.indd 56 20/09/2017 04:15

PLATE OR SLATE? Where the nation’s publicans stand on the really big questions Matt Eley, editor, Inapub He’s never run a pub but he’s been to a few, so in this, his final shift in the editor’s seat, we thought we’d let Matt Eley join the list of luminaries who have answered those all-important questions…

Plate or slate? Slate… said nobody ever when answering this question. We’ve been doing this for more than two years and not one person has admitted a preference for slates over plates. Me neither — give me my food on plate, please. That includes chips, I don’t want them in a mini-shopping trolley or a bucket.

Cocktails or cask ale? I have no objection to the occasional cocktail but for me cask ale is one of the defining factors of what makes a pub a pub. I might not always choose it but it comforts me to know that it’s there. A bit like Radio 4.

My days of licking the salty leftovers from a packet of pork scratchings appear to be behind me

Background music or silence is golden? Background music always adds to the atmosphere. The trick is getting the artist (The Beatles) and volume (loud enough to hear, but not too loud to interrupt a conversation) right. The licensees or staff who can judge the mood of the pub and find the music to match are on to a winner.

Thankfully, pubs are getting brilliant at catering for all sorts of diets and whims. Guess I’m saying Michelin Stars, in a roundabout kind of way, though I personally prefer a more laidback, some would say casual, dining style.

Live sport or big screen ban? I don’t really like bans at all to be honest and I love sport, so this is an easy one. The atmosphere in a pub when a big game is on is second only to the stadium itself. I also like a discreet TV with a match on that can grab my attention during a lull in conversation.

Dogs allowed or the only animals are on the menu? Another easy one. Dogs, cats and even more leftfield pets such as pigs really add to a pub. If you have a dog, an open fire, beer on tap and a bunch of regulars who joyfully take the mick out of each other, I think you’re well on the way to the perfect pub. The rest is detail.

Karaoke or pub quiz? I won’t mince my words here, karaoke is the work of the devil. Why listen to a morose, half-cut middle manager crooning out a Sinatra number when you could listen to the real thing? But hey, that’s life, that’s what the people say…

Big night out or a meal with friends? I really don’t see why you can’t have both. Who thought up these questions? Oh, it was me, wasn’t it?

Packet of scratchings or Michelin Stars? As a recent convert to vegetarianism (didn’t see that one coming myself) my days of licking the salty leftovers from a packet of pork scratchings appear to be behind me. p57 plate or slate.indd 57

20/09/2017 04:36

time at the bar

HAIR OF THE DOG Tales of the unexpected from the wonderful world of pubs What the punters want n dedicatPollster YouGov has bee ing exactly ing its resources to find from its nts wa what the UK public not re we ults pubs. The res — “it exactly groundbreaking with 67 serves meals” came top e. vot per cent of the e second Having a beer garden cam came third ce pla (63 per cent) and a fire Rebecca ’s ian ard Gu (52 per cent). The gestions sug ter bet e som had Nicholson know the o “wh ff, though, mooting bar sta ver will go go han r you exact point at which ese to an entire from manageable-with-che t repel the lipstick day in bed”; glasses tha carpets that don’t and of previous patrons, ber for num a t go e get sticky. Anyon ? son Dy James

Ministering to the flock Jesus turned water into wine and now a Norwich vicar is hoping to spread His word through craft beer. The Reverend Ian Dyble has bought the pub next door to his church in Norwich for £500,000 as a way of, “reaching out into the community.” Fittingly called The Mitre, it promotes itself as a coffee house, bistro and purveyor of craft ales, with the proceeds going to charity. “Christians can have fun too,” the Rev told The Telegraph — not too much though, it seems, as it is rumoured the pub will close its doors at 9pm every night.

58 OCTOBER 2017

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A booming business We’ve featured a pub with a zoo in its garden before but we’ve not come across many pubs with yachts in the backyard until now. The Little Merton in Bootle, Merseyside, is now home to a 45ft boat after volunteers spent a month restoring the vessel to its former glory. Its sailing days remain over, however, so it now has pride of place in the garden, while the pub is closed for refurbishment. The Little Merton will re-open offering accommodation rooms and food in the spring — which, we imagine, will be a-boat time for the locals.

Battle of slow wits As any landlord can tell you even the most light-hearte d of pub quizzes can quickly become competitive, exce pt maybe this one… The Corner Hous e Flaming Grill pu b in Burton is ca lling for losers to com e forward and enter the UK’s ea siest pub quiz to try to redeem their reputation. Crap pub quiz te ams from all over the UK are being invited to enter via the pu b’s website and will fight it ou t in a final this month. May the worst team win. 20/09/2017 04:20

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Inapub magazine october 2017 issue 70  

Autumn is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and all that – but also of students returning to university and therefore pubs - or a...

Inapub magazine october 2017 issue 70  

Autumn is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and all that – but also of students returning to university and therefore pubs - or a...