Issue 73 February 2018 ÂŁ4.95 trade.inapub.co.uk
Drinking in Dreamland
The pubs of Margate p01 cover v2.indd 1
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this month Jodie Kidd’s pub• The pubs of Margate
drink How to attract cask ale fans • Are you ready for the sugar tax?
eat Inapub food favourites • Veganism • Chips
play Champions League • Dating nights
stay Catering to business custom
50 back-bar business The payment options replacing cash
Editor Robyn Black •
ine in 10 eligible transactions in pubs and bars are now made using contactless payment, according to research by Barclaycard. As someone who never has much cash about their person, this shift to a cash-free world feels like something to be welcomed. Never again will I have to pay for a pint with a cheque (North London, 1997) or for a single first class stamp with a debit card (South Wales, 1999).These days I don’t even need to carry a card. As a London-dweller I can go pretty much anywhere and buy pretty much anything with just my smartphone. But I’m not even ahead of the curve — payment apps are set to take over if our feature “Beyond Apple Pay” is to be believed, not to mention something called Facebook Pay. Don’t know what that is? Better check it out on p50-52. Elsewhere in the mag this month we head to Margate to find some pubs to inspire you; take a look at how you can lure in more of those lucrative cask ale drinkers; highlight some food brands you need to be stocking in your pubs and share a pint with Jodie Kidd, former supermodel and now model licensee.
time at the bar Disgusting but delicious • Your charity work Contributors Matt Eley, Richard Molloy, Michelle Perrett, John Porter
Production editor Ben Thrush •
Chief executive Barrie Poulter • Sales manager Leah Gauthier • Subscriptions trade.inapub.co.uk/magazine •
Visit us online at trade.inapub.co.uk p03 contents.indd 3
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26/01/2018 12:06 09:15 26/01/2018
POSTCARD from the pub frontline
Until November last year, The Surrey Vaults in the St Paul’s area of Bristol was a popular pub known for real ales, a warm welcome and live music. Hailed by the Bristol Post as “a true Bristol institution, steeped in history”, the former haunt of Oscar Wilde hosted an eclectic mix of bands and DJs. But when luxury flats were built opposite the venue, the new residents lent a less appreciative ear. Following complaints to the police and Bristol City Council about the noise, the Surrey Vaults was forced to close at the end of November. Manager Julian Smith called the decision “devastating”, while Bristol mayor Marvin Reeves expressed concern for the future of other music venues in the city. Last month a group of around 150 protestors congregated in front of the community hub for a “mass scream”. The event’s Facebook page explained that the screaming was “maybe coincidentally aimed towards certain flats, maybe not.” Reaction from local residents was mixed. Many expressed
Pic: Simon Holliday / www.simonholliday.com
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support for the protestors, though others fretted over the safety aspect of fireworks being let off. Event organiser Joe Hatt, of Howling Owl Records, said: “We needed to let it be known that enough is enough; we’re not going to let the systematic starving of vital cultural spaces such as music venues pass quietly. By using only our throats, it was a primal protest which I thought would be the best way to get our message across. It was a shame that this was spoiled by the firework brigade... but that allowed for some great photos to be taken and shared, and our message to spread even more.” Charity the Music Venue Trust has long campaigned to protect grassroots music venues from the pressures of development. A few days after the Surrey Vaults protest, ministers including housing and communities secretary Sajid Javid vowed to change planning regulations, to make developers responsible for soundproofing new housing built near established venues (see p.6).
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2017
IN THE TRADE THIS MONTH ALMR and BHA plan merged trade body The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA) have proposed plans to merge. The new body will be called UKHospitality, bringing together businesses from coffee shops and leisure parks to contract caterers and pubs. It will represent more than 700 companies and two million workers.
Government moves to protect music venues The trade has welcomed government measures to roll out the Agent Of Change Principle. It means property developers looking to build near live music venues will be required to pay for noise-mitigating measures. At present the venue has to pay, even if it pre-dates the newly developed site, forcing some pubs to close (see page 5).
TOP STORIES ON TRADE.INAPUB.CO.UK Is your pub roast Britain’s best? Blog: A pub affair Someone’s made a film of the World’s Longest Pub Crawl Top taxidermy in pubs
Marston’s Eagle Brewery ready to soar Marston’s has officially re-opened the Eagle Brewery in Bedford, following its purchase of the site from Charles Wells last May for £55m. The brewery is open to the public for the first time and continues to brew Bombardier, Courage and McEwan’s. Plans for a range of beers under a new Eagle brand are in the pipeline.
New PASS cards unveiled Pubs are being urged to accept the newly designed PASS (Proof of Age Standards Scheme) cards as a form of ID. The new card incorporates the logos of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and the Security Industry Authority to show it is widely backed. Police want people on a night out to use the cards instead of passports, which can fall into the hands of criminals if lost.
Time to tackle the Six Nations
Local community gets behind Greys Among fundraising efforts to save Brighton’s The Greys pub was a local colouring competition that generated this artistic interpretation. A crowdfunding effort by local residents aims to raise £300,000 to buy the freehold of the pub from its landlord and to run it as a community-owned pub. Local MP Caroline Lucas said,:“I fully support the crowdfunder to purchase The Greys and keep it open for community use. It’s a pub that’s full of character, with such potential to be an amazing community resource in residents’ hands.” The Greys has traded in the Hanover area of Brighton as a public house since 1878, and such is the love for the old boozer even a rival local pub is donating time and money to save it (The Way I See It, opposite).
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FEBRUARY 2018 26/01/2018 12:48
this month.inapub THE WAY I SEE IT STEPHEN WHITEHURST
TWEET ALL ABOUT IT
Why we joined the fight to save a rival pub
Editor Robyn Black’s column in last month’s issue and subsequent blog on the website, regarding Sherry and its chances of being the big drink of 2018, caused the Twitterati to rekindle their love for a much-maligned tipple.
In April 2017 we opened the Brighton Bierhaus, after painstaking renovation of the Grade II-listed pub that had been listed for sale and redevelopment. The pub was once one of more than 27 pubs on the street and, had it not been saved, the street may have been left with just a single pub as yet another part of community life vanished. That’s why we could not see The Greys — another pub of such importance — being closed in Brighton and wanted to step in. It would have been a crime to see a building with such potential go to waste and a pub with nearly 200 years of heritage be lost forever. We therefore felt a sense of solidarity with The Greys when we heard about the current “Save the Greys” campaign, especially as it’s only half-a-mile from us. In December we donated 20 per cent of all our takings over the bar from one day to the campaign, which aims to enable local residents to buy and run The Greys as a community-owned pub. Because of the proximity of The Greys to the Bierhaus, some people were surprised we wanted to help. Yes, we serve the same local communities, but by helping The Greys it was also an opportunity for us to help our local community and that is what should be important to business owners. We were proud to be able to help by donating money to this worthy cause.
Will Sherry really be the drink of 2018? @Inapub No, vital for whisky production though @billyallingham The barrier to this may be the way that most pubs treat Sherry i.e as a spirit that can be kept indefinitely rather than as a wine, which cannot! Halfbottles or even airline-style singleserve bottle maybe the way forwards for Sherry? @biibizdoc They need to learn how to sell it too. I don’t think I’ve ever been offered a Sherry aperitif. Nor vermouth for that matter, it’s always cocktails or G&T @brumrich Sherry is delicious @MrsRobynBlack Too right! And not just for Christmas @harlequinpub
Stephen Whitehurst is director of Brighton Bier, a local craft brewer established in 2012. For more info on the Save The Greys campaign go to www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ save-the-greys
The average Freehouse sale price in the UK, up 38 per cent over the previous year Fleurets, Survey of Pub Prices, December 2017
Find us online every month at trade.inapub.co.uk @inapub
FEBRUARY 2018 p6-7 news.indd 7
Brewer St Peter’s promises this moniker doesn’t mean without taste, but instead is the world’s first organic alcohol-free brew that is “delicious, rich and full-bodied” to boot. It joins the brewery’s two other no-alcohol brews, Without Original and Without Gold, that now contribute 15 per cent of the Brewery’s overall sales. www.stpetersbrewery.co.uk
Lamb & Watt Ginger Ale
It’s a ginger tincture from Lamb & Watt this season, as the mixer brand continues to expand. Made with spring water and organic blue agave, the drink is said to deliver “a strong refreshing taste” and tap into the continuing ginger flavour trend. www.halewood-int.com
What’s new in the pub this month
Champagne & Strawberry Donuts
“Otis Spunkmeyer’s light and fluffy dough creates a real Valentine’s treat,” says brand owner Aryzta Food Solutions. Spunkmeyer’s creation, oozing with a berry compote and sporting a Champagne sparkle glaze, comes frozen and can be ready to eat in 90 minutes. www.aryztafoodsolutions.co.uk
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Iron Maiden has launched another beer under its Trooper brand, this time to raise funds for Help For Heroes. The charity will get 6p from every pint and 5p from every bottle sold of the 4.1 per cent ABV golden ale. Over 20 million pints of the original Trooper ale have been sold since its launch five years ago. www.robinsonsbrewery.com
FEBRUARY 2018 26/01/2018 13:30
this month. Speciality Breads frozen dough What’s doughing on here? Bread supplier Speciality Breads has turned its attention to frozen dough for the first time, so that licensees can offer bread freshly baked on the premises. The 470g dough mixes come in white, brown or multigrain and can be customised with a variety of herbs and seeds. 01843 20942
LionHeart Artisan Premium Ale
Dry January may be over, but the trend for teetotalism is still growing, which is why cider maker Westons has revamped its 0.5 per cent ABV cider, making more of its lack of alcohol. The design also features the new Westons Cider logo, which was unveiled in October as part of a corporate re-brand. 01531 660 233
Continuing this month’s theme of difficult-to-pronounce names (see those salted caramel desserts above and the new Kiwi wine on p21) this new range of spirits and liqueurs hails from Abergwyngregyn in North Wales. The new range includes Rhubarb & Ginger Gin; Violet liqueur and Coffee & Dark Chocolate liqueur, while a single malt whisky will be available from 2020. www.aberfallsdistillery.com
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The backlash against overly hopped beers begins here, with this 12th-century-style ale from the Brookfield Brewing Company. It is made with wild harvested sweet gale (a crop used in place of hops back then) and in the open fermenters that were common at the time. The resulting beer is a 4.5 per cent ABV dark gold ale with notes of nut and spice. www.lionheartale.com
Crunchy Coulant Caramel Entremets
These new Crunchy Coulant Caramel Entremets (try saying that after you’ve had a few) consist of a chocolate biscuit-base, topped with layers of chocolate and hazelnuts, plus salted caramel and caramel mousse, all topped with a chocolate mirror glaze. The after-dinner treat taps in to the popularity of salted caramel desserts, says producer Brioche Pasquier. 01908 266 700
FEBRUARY 2018 9 26/01/2018 13:30
Margate is a town in transition. Hipsters and artists are increasingly attracted to the traditional coastal spot that once witnessed the clashes between the mods and the rockers. Its pubs are evolving too, so they can meet the needs of the longer-term and newer residents on the Kent coast. It is also a pioneer of the micropub movement, with around a dozen in the wider Thanet area. With so much going on we thought it only right Inapub paid a visit, in search of inspiration.
Market Street You’re not likely to see the big match on a big screen in here. Th at’s because the pub uses its large screen to pr omote what’s happenin g in the pub, or to tell yo u what beers and ciders are available.
Marine Terrace Part of Margate’s big tourist attraction, the Dreamland amusement park. This shiny number attracts tourists aplenty from the main drag. It makes plenty of references to Margate’s association with the mods and rockers. There’s a beautiful moped, art on the walls and a clever use of beer mats encouraging customers to visit online and offer up that allimportant data.
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The Harbour Arms
Harbour Arm One of a couple of venues on the Harbour Arm, that juts out into the North Sea. The micropub has ukuleles, guitars and a piano available for guests to play. They’ve even had a few minor celebs come in to tinkle the ivories.
High Street Here’s a place that you can’t take your eyes off. Whether it’s the ngs incredibly eclectic range of furnishi ns Eva Phil er own st arti that and artwork t Fac Big its rs, yea the over has collected Hunt pub quiz, its wide range of cask that and gin or the huge shop windows e wer We de. insi ic mag let you see the of els mod ous vari the with rather taken are that n Ben Mr from er’ ‘the shopkeep hidden about the place.
“We have tried loads of different ideas to get the right feel. Lighting is very important in here to make it feel cosy and to make people want to stay inside. Some customers have said we should put more in the meter, but we think we are getting it right.” – Phil Evans, The Fez “It can be quiet in the winter and busier in the summer. Some places have opened and tried to charge more because of the people moving here but some are struggling. This isn’t Brighton.” – Ray Summers, Northern Belle
Mansion Street Dating from 1680, this Sheps pub is the oldest one in town. If you don’t see the locals inside you can see them (and Ray Summers, who runs the pub with wife Sharon) on the wall outside. The couple commissioned a local artist – and there are plenty of those in Margate – to paint a load of their regulars. The bad news is the wall is coming down for a new development. On the plus side, Ray is going to commission another artist to do something similar once the building work is complete.
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Bake & Alehouse
Westgate-on-Sea One of the older micropubs around, dating from 2011. You won’t ﬁnd any baked goods here though – this is a reference to one of the building’s previous guises. You will ﬁnd more references to that, a constant changing selection of ales, and traditional games.
The Two Halves
Marine Drive Artwork from locals – including Tracey Emin – brightens the walls of this seafront micropub. It also looks as if there are canvases hanging from the ceilings, but these are a clever way of softening the acoustics in a tiny pub full of conversation.
The London Tavern,
Addington Street Carl and Nancy Hilliard took over the pub and gave it a complete refurb. They also reintroduced its original name – it had been changed to Everybody’s Inn. Its award-winning design includes plenty of nods to London in recognition of both the name of the pub and the changing population of the area.
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Banks Ale & Wine House
Cliftonville Landlord Steve Garratt and his wife Julie returned to the trade after a decade-long absence to make the most of Margate’s upturn in fortunes and the inﬂux of new residents from London and beyond. Over the years he has collected numerous pub artefacts such as posters and fonts, which now help decorate the venue.
“Thanet’s tourist economy is the fastest growing in the UK and Margate’s vast and ﬂourishing array of independent shops, pubs, galleries and eater ies has certainly contributed to this.” – Councillor Hunter Stummer-Schmertzing, cabin et member for Regeneration and Enterprise Servi ce
Thanks to… All the licensees of Margate for being so welcoming and pointing us in the right direction. Huge thanks also to Thanet Council and the people of Twitter for an extensive list of pub recommendations.
So email firstname.lastname@example.org today for your FREE taste test and to contact your local Farm Frites representative for further information. www.farmfrites.com
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FAMOUS FOR ITS FAMOUS OWNER
Jo Bruce visits model and publican Jodie Kidd’s ‘home from home’
I’m really enjoying everything about running a pub – people leaving with full bellies and smiles on their faces
There are celebrity-owned pubs and there are celebrity-owned pubs. The Half Moon in Kirdford, West Sussex, is certainly not a vanity project for its licensee Jodie Kidd. The fashion model and TV personality is evidently very hands-on in the business, with her name above the door, and she is often found pulling pints or working in the kitchen creating dishes for the pub’s monthly curry night. She certainly hopes that the Grade IIlisted pub, which she re-opened in August and which she says has quickly become her passion, will become famous for its great food, drink and warm hospitality. Jodie, who lives local to the pub and was MasterChef runner-up in 2014, says: “We are proud to be a pub first and foremost, aspiring to serve quality food and provide great service.” She adds: “Honest, organic and ‘home from home’ are just some of the values we hold close and wish to share with all our guests.” The pub’s décor also bears Jodie’s imprint, with a carved wooden picture of her with her sister and mother, who helps tend the pub’s garden, on the mantelpiece in the bar. Design features also reflect Jodie’s
passion for riding, including seats made from saddle leather. The Enterprise Inns leasehold seats around 40 covers in the main dining area and the bar has been extended to cater for more drinkers, who can also enjoy bar snacks such as pork scratchings and black pudding Scotch eggs with their pint. Beers on tap include some from Sussex brewers Harveys and Long Man, as well as Half Moon Eclipse, which is produced two miles down the road by a microbrewer. The wine list reflects some of Kidd’s favourites, inspired from her travels around the world, including a Brazilian Identidade Pinot Noir and a Mahi, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. A key feature of the pub is its stunning garden which includes vibrant vegetable and herb kitchen gardens, which currently supply around 20 per cent of all produce used on the menu, including using herbs in the bar’s exciting cocktails.
A range of events is planned for the garden this summer to link in with local events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival, with a double teepee being installed to cater for these and parties and weddings, which plays to the pub’s location opposite a beautiful church. Growth plans also include the addition of eight bedrooms within the next two years. In addition to Jodie’s monthly curry night, where three different curries and beer paddles are on offer, and a monthly quiz night with complimentary tapas, new events include a monthly “Epicurean Night” with a selection of local organic meats and fine wines featured.
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The H Kirdfoardlf Moon, , West S ussex Sign
Jodie is backed by a top kitchen team including executive head chef Andy MacKenzie, whose CV includes Gleneagles, Chez Nico and Brighton’s Gingerman restaurant, and head chef Ben Varley, who has worked at prestigious Sussex venues Gravetye Manor and Amberley Castle. Seasonal and local produce is embraced on the weekly changing menu, which uses ingredients from a 25-mile radius. On Sundays customers are also able to preorder sharing roasts including game birds and whole legs of lamb. Jodie says: “I’m really enjoying everything about running a pub — people leaving with full bellies and smiles on their faces. I’m trying to give something back to support the locals and our beautiful countryside. It has been a great decision.”
ature dis h: gin cured ch alk strea & tonic m trout, dill emu lsio cucumbe n, lemon gel, r, Goodwo treacle croutons od pork ; belly, wit burnt ap h ple sauc e Online: www.half moonkir dford.co.u k
Kidd you not What’s your desert island dish? Venison pie and Pisco Sour cocktail. Any more pubs? Yes, why not? Tell us about your toilet paper It’s called “Who gives a crap” and is environmentally friendly and part of our corporate social responsibility. Biggest learning so far of running a pub? People management. What do you love about pubs? They are British.
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“ Don’t be fooled by the smile of the publican. It can be one of several. Here’s but a few: The most common is the “nice to see you” smile. This one is genuine and born of good relations. It’s for friends, low-maintenance customers and the popular punters that add more than their share to the atmosphere of the pub. The “that’s not very funny and I’ve heard it a thousand times” smile is regularly beamed at those who deal in glib humour, amiable slights and repetitive catchphrases – (“Good evening, what can I get you?” “Oh, that’s very kind of you, I thought I was going to have to buy my own.”) We landlords generally like this, we know that this person is going to be good-natured, pleasant to serve and means well, despite their comedic shortcomings and sighinducing predictability. The more defensive “I’m still working you out” smile is reserved for the over-enthusiastic newcomer. The punter who walks in all whistles and bells, demanding attention from the second they’re through the door – a slap on the bar, a confident order and a quip designed to establish that this is not
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The ‘I’m still working you out’ smile is reserved for the overenthusiastic newcomer, who walks in all whistles and bells, demanding attention Richard Molloy is director of four-strong pubco White Rose Taverns and the microbrewery Platform Five. Read more of his work on trade.inapub.co.uk
their first time in a pub, that they’re the boss and you’re there to serve them. The “f*** off” smile is flashed intermittently at all of the above and others who deal in the odd dig. It’s a smile without humour; a toothy grin with a bite, a laugh with claws. We smile this smile because it’s all we can do. We can’t berate every customer that misses with a dig aimed at humour. We are king of this castle and we cannot bleed. But sometimes we do. On the face of it, the pub is a kind of commune; the masses rule and anything crossing the boundary into the anti-social or taboo is snuffed out by the many. Only occasionally does the gaffer have to pull rank and assert their authority, but when we do, there is no smile for these rare occasions. No grin to cover our cracks. We vent the pressure of a thousand jibes and just for a while we are equal. We say what’s been muted by the smiles and let out all that is normally buried. It rarely ends well. And so the process begins anew. The smiles return and the pirouetting dance between landlord and customer starts up to a familiar tune.
trade.inapub.co.uk 29/01/2018 15:01
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29/01/2018 17/01/2018 16:21 12:55
drink The pressure on hospitality businesses to ditch plastic straws began last year – we first reported on it back in June, for example. As summer progressed, a steady trickle of pub operators, restaurants and bars announced they would do the same. Since the Blue Planet II finale screened in December, highlighting the scourge that plastic is on our oceans, scores more have made that trickle a torrent. London, by all accounts, is one of the worst offenders. The capital throws away more plastic straws per year than the whole of Italy, so it’s no wonder the Evening Standard launched its #LastStraw campaign last month. Drinks suppliers like Diageo and Pernod Ricard also gave straws notice last month, announcing new policies on plastic straws and stirrers, as did pub operators Ei and Punch. The latter’s managing director of operations Paul Pavli was reported as saying: “Alongside a number of our peers in the
with ROBYN BLACK
industry, we are committed to reducing the use of damaging plastic straws in our retail pubs and will also be encouraging our circa 1,200 leased and tenanted publicans to join the campaign and benefit from training material and point-of-sale to make consumers aware of this very important cause.” Usually in a column such as this I would try to introduce a counter argument or opposing view but it’s truly difficult to find one – no wonder the tide is turning against plastic waste such as the straw. Even our beleaguered prime minister can see that, with a recent crowd-pleasing pledge to eliminate the UK’s avoidable plastic waste in 25 years. Indeed, it is such a simple move to rid your pub of plastic straws that it is hard to accept that a publican would choose not to do so. So, please, offer but don’t automatically put straws in drinks and swap plastic for reusable or biodegradable straws – because plastic straws really do suck.
Wagamama, Wetherspoon, Be At One, Costa Coffee, Pret a Manger and ferry operator Northlink; they have all given up plastic straws. Have you?
COMMERCIAL BREAKDOWN KROMBACHER • #Pourfection2018 German brewery Krombacher is offering an all-expenses paid trip to the brewery’s annual Reinheitsgebot celebrations this April for the person deemed to have poured the perfect pint. Just create a video or gif of Krombacher being poured and share on the beer’s Facebook page to win.
BRITVIC • Listen Up A new multi-million-pound campaign has been launched to promote the new range of squash for grown-ups, Fruit Creations, from Britvic’s Robinsons brand. TV ads will run all year, supported with social media and experiential activity.
There’s A Beer For That The British Beer Alliance-funded campaign is to switch its focus from promoting beer to pubs. Final details of the activity have yet to be decided but it is believed a major focus will be the impact of high duty on beer prices.
20 FEBRUARY 2018
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Posh soft drink brand Fentimans has splashed out £1.2m on a new look for its range of soft drinks and mixers – the first redesign in its history. The makeover is intended to promote the process of “botanical brewing”, which is what gives the drinks a more complex flavour, says the company. www.fentimans.com
Based on the Andalusian “rebujito” drink (Fino sherry & lemonade, garnished with mint), Croft Twist is to be pushed out across the UK on-trade this year to help licensees capitalise on the growing aperitif market. The drive will be supported with point-of-sale kits, social media activity and sampling. gonzalezbyassuk.com
Look out for... Taumatawhakatangihang koaauotamateaturipukakapik maungahoronukupokaiwhen
Billed as having the longest single wine name in the world (usually shortened to Taumata to make it a little easier to pronounce) this is a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that is said to be rounder and more floral than other versions from the country. www.morgenrot.co.uk
Distilled in Osaka by the House of Suntory, the name of this gin means “six” in Japanese. It is made with six botanicals that can only be found in Japan, including sakura flower and leaf, yuzu peel and sansho pepper. It should be served with tonic and garnished with six slices of fresh ginger. www.maxxium.com
Using just five barley seeds and an old recipe, Greene King has created a new range of brews – the Heritage Series. The first two limited-edition ales out of the archives are Heritage Suffolk Pale Ale and Heritage Vintage Fine Ale. www.greeneking.co.uk
On the bar Jodie Deighton The Wheatsheaf Pub and Grill, Bow Brickhill, Milton Keynes “We run a half-price Prosecco deal every Friday, which is really popular, especially with the office workers who come for after-work drinks. We’ve got several really big office buildings near us so, although we do have a decent crowd of local regulars, a lot of our business comes from business lunches and team drinks. We’re a grill and steakhouse, and have a three-tiered wine list to reflect that: three wines to go with the fish special that week and three for the steak of the week. The first tier is a wine we do by the glass, the second is something a bit different and the top tier will be one of our reserve wines. We find this really helps people to try something new, rather than sticking to what they know. The cheapest wine we offer sells for £19 a bottle and the most expensive is around £100, so it’s quite a range.”
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Courting the by ROBYN BLACK
Cask ale drinkers spend more in pubs than other customers, according to the most recent Cask Report, released last September. So, in these tough times for pubs, the question must be how can you get more of them through your doors? Cask ale drinkers spend in excess of £1,000 each in pubs every year, 30 per cent more than other drinkers, the report revealed. A significant proportion of them (42 per cent) also visit a pub once a week or more, which makes them a very lucrative market indeed.
Luring them in
“The key reasons a cask drinker will visit the pub are to relax and wind down, or to
socialise with friends,” says Thomas Winter, on-trade category manager at Marston’s Beer Company. “For a licensee to really benefit from this they should utilise the space available to them by making both of these reasons to visit easy and available. Make areas available for people to relax whilst having a section in another area of the pub welcoming groups who want to socialise and have a laugh,” he suggests. Marston’s research also shows that, interestingly, food is less important to a cask fan – 51 per cent of them go to the pub primarily to drink, versus 24 per cent who go for both food and drink. Just 17 per cent go for food. Be wary of thinking that means cask drinkers don’t care about your food offer though, as Thomas explains: “Whilst offering a great meal to accompany a pint of cask ale is not necessarily essential, a pub or a bar will be judged on all it offers, so everything should be considered.” Of course, the main thing cask ale drinkers are looking for is cask ale, so make sure you are shouting about the fact you stock it.
Getting the word out
In many groups the cask ale fan will be the one to decide on the venue, so being clear in all your marketing that this is something you do is crucial. “There is no single solution to marketing
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Not all cask ale drinkers are looking to experiment every time, and an established cask ale on the bar offers the drinker confidence, says Harveys’ sales and marketing director Bob Trimm
Showcasing your beers is a great source of content for all your social media feeds and can be effective at getting a conversation going as well
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cask ale in a pub,” says Benedict O’Connor of Shepherd Neame. “But cask ale drinkers are a community of sorts and peer reviews and recommendation, usually via social media, seem to be the most effective ways of communication.” At the Purity Brewing Company, managing director Paul Halsey is inclined to agree, pointing out that, “As more and more consumers are digitally engaged, social media offers the most flexible and cost-effective way to target them.” Indeed, showcasing your beers is a great source of content for all your social media feeds and can be effective at getting a conversation going as well. For ideas and advice on all aspects of social media management, including training courses and our Digital Media Guide you should get in touch with us at email@example.com or 0845 230 1986.
Get the range right
Once you’ve lured them in through the door, the next step is ensuring you have a beer selection that appeals to them. “We look at ranging of beers a lot at Purity,” says Paul “We suggest that operators don’t just serve four beers of the same style but a
good mix. For example, a good range would consist of a session ale with a low ABV, a higher-ABV beer, a golden beer and an ale with a bold flavour.” Over at Greene King, this is referred to as “low, gold, strong and bold,” a principle that also underpins its ranging advice. Within that, a mix of brands is also important says its managing director for brewing and brands, Clive Chesser. “It is important to maintain a good mix of tried and tested beers that are go-to brands for consumers, alongside a seasonal, limited edition or local ale… delivering variety which includes seasonal ales during key trading points is a pull too. For example, our Scrum Down or Belhaven’s Grand Slam during the Six Nations.” Don’t be tempted to change your beers too often, however. Over-rotation of beers is something which has been pinpointed in recent years as potentially damaging to your beer sales, despite the apparent enthusiasm for all things new within the beer-drinking community. “Licensees should remember that not all cask ale drinkers are looking to experiment on every occasion and an established cask ale on the bar offers confidence when making a choice,” says Bob Trimm, sales
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and marketing manager of Harvey’s Brewery. “Offer a range with at least one stable wellknown product on the bar; don’t keep rotating the entire cask range. If a beer is popular keep it on to encourage repeat visits.” The sentiments are echoed at Hogs Back Brewery, where managing director Rupert Thompson is mindful of the fact that less than half of cask ale drinkers visit the pub once a week or more. “Changing beers too often means a beer they enjoy will be gone when they come back for more,” he explains. “Specialist beer ‘shrines’ can get away with an ever-changing cask offer but most pubs and bars would do better to change less frequently and perhaps expand their bottle or can range to increase consumer choice.”
What will they pay?
Once they’ve made that choice, how much are you going to charge them? Hogs Back Brewery’s Rupert Thompson is mindful of the fact
The perfect pint
that less than half of cask ale drinkers visit the pub once a week or more
Above and beyond all the elements outlined on these pages, however, is the fact that to keep a cask ale fan happy your beer has to be in tip-top condition. This is the number one reason why they will choose to visit, keep coming back and bring their fellow fans with them. Good-quality beer results in getting a range of different elements right — the temperature, glassware maintenance, the condition of the pipes, to name a handful. The perfect pint, though, always starts in the cellar. “With faster turnover and more products being switched in and out, it’s important that good hygiene standards are met,” says Stephen Trezona, managing director at Clear Brew, the professional beer line cleaners. “Are lines being flushed with cold, fresh water when the line changes between beers? Are dates in kegs properly monitored? Are you rotating your stock to sell the oldest kegs first? Remember, a cask should only be on serve for three days.” It’s critical you stick to your cellar management routine and communicate this to your staff. “Staff training is key to good cellar management practices but the standard across the on-trade is variable,” says Stephen. “The trouble is that without good training for staff many bad practices are passed on. It is also hard to measure the quality of the work done without a formal standard to adhere to. That’s why it is common for poor line cleaning to only become apparent from customer complaints, rather than being picked up as part of a well-planned process.” Be under no illusions that your customers won’t notice bad beer, either – they most certainly will. And those most likely to notice? The cask ale fans, of course, those most lucrative of pub customers.
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Licensees and their staff should use their beer knowledge to suggest alternatives to those who can’t find what they want and also sell the benefits of cask ale – high-quality, fresh beer
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There are many in the industry who feel that we could be charging them more… Rupert takes up the argument: “We are still pricing pints of cask too low – there are new breweries opening, while pubs are closing and the beer market is broadly static. The problem with over-supply is you get discounting. “We need to be better at communicating the quality of cask beer.” During this whole transaction, of course, it will be your staff taking care of the cask ale fans in question, which is why to keep them satisfied, bar staff need to be equally as enthusiastic about cask. Instilling them with a passion for and knowledge of cask beer can make all the difference. “Education and training is key,” says Jane Jones, marketing director at London brewer Fuller’s. “As beer has become more popular and fashionable, consumers are more educated on beer types, ingredients etc, which means those serving the beers need to be knowledgeable too. “Licensees and their staff should use their beer knowledge to suggest alternatives to those who can’t find what they want and also sell the benefits of cask ale – highquality, fresh beer.” And finally, when – pint in hand – our ale fan sits down to take their first sip, it comes back to where we started, making sure your pub is a welcoming space where they can “relax and wind down or to socialise with friends”.
XXXXX 2018 29/01/2018 17:26
by ROBYN BLACK
There are just two months left (including this one) to prepare for the sugar tax. Are you ready? It’s not long until the Soft Drinks Levy (to give the sugar tax its proper title) is implemented on April 1. Taking the time now to look at your range is important, so your customers will have a good choice of alternatives to turn to when the price of their favourite soft tipple goes up.
Prepare for change
Start preparing by looking at the labels of each of the softs you sell. Put those containing less than 5g of sugar per 100ml in one group — these are exempt from the tax. You can add fruit juices with no added sugar and drinks containing a minimum of 75 per cent milk into this group as well, as these fall outside the levy. Create a second group from any drinks you have containing between 5g and 8g of sugar per 100ml. These will be taxed at the lower rate of 18p per litre.
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In a third group put any soft drinks that contain more than 8g of sugar per 100ml, as these fit into the higher bracket and will be taxed at 24p per litre. Once that’s done — and don’t forget to consider your post-mix brands as well — put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If they would usually order a drink in one of the taxable groups, what alternatives are available to them? Do you have a good selection of products across all the groups?
Happily for us, soft drinks manufacturers have been busy reformulating some of their most popular drinks to bring them in under that 5g of sugar per 100ml threshold in recent years. This will make your job easier as, for example, 95 per cent of Coca-Cola European Partners’ (CCEP) products will be
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It’s important not to fall into the trap of ditching every single one of the full-sugar drinks you offer
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Expanding the offer: Coca-Cola has introduced 29 reformulated or new low- or zero-sugar drinks since 2005
exempt from the levy by April, while Britvic says 94 per cent of its owned brands and 72 per cent of its total portfolio will be exempt. This means there are plenty of alternatives available to you and your customers. “Since 2012 we have invested £30m in reformulation and have introduced 29 reformulated or new low- or zero-sugar soft drinks since 2005,” says CCEP’s out-ofhome director, Rob Harris. “We have helped our pub and bar operators to increase sales by providing a greater choice of low- and zero-sugar options to offer their customers, including Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke and Monster Energy Ultra, reformulated Fanta and Schweppes Slimline tonic.”
Keep the classics
It’s important, however, not to fall into the trap of ditching every single one of the fullsugar drinks you offer. Some customers will still choose to indulge on occasion and others will simply choose to swallow the extra cost every time. Coca-Cola, for example, will not be changing the recipe of Coca-Cola Classic, which “millions of people around the world have loved for more than 130 years”, and drinks like these will still play an important part in your range. This is also a good opportunity to add some more premium soft drinks to the mix — Britvic research shows almost a quarter of people don’t think there are enough premium soft drinks to choose from,
Keep it classy: almost a quarter of customers think the range of premium soft drinks is too limited — so why not expand your range?
If you haven’t already got a good selection of posh soft drinks, now would be an excellent opportunity to introduce some
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a figure which increases to 27 per cent for those between 25 and 34 years old. If you haven’t already got a good selection of posh soft drinks, not just from the major soft drinks players but also smaller brands such as Fentimans, Franklin & Sons and Fever Tree to name but a few, now would be an excellent opportunity to introduce some.
Communicate the change
Savvy operators will also be thinking about how all this is going to be communicated to customers. For those balking at the extra 6.8p for a half-pint of full-sugar Coca-Cola or Pepsi come April, for example, it will be crucial to have drilled staff on the alternatives to offer. Think about the language you want to be using here, too: “Why not try this new sugartax-exempt lemonade?” doesn’t exactly tickle the taste buds. If you are still confused or need advice, talk to your soft drinks supplier and check out the Inapub website too, for the lowdown on the tax, inspiration and expert tips. With two months to go, though, the best advice right now is: don’t leave it too late.
trade.inapub.co.uk 29/01/2018 22:52
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eat Would you forsake the steak? Once derided as a pursuit for rabbits and joss-stick-toting weirdos, veganism is nowadays making some serious noise in mainstream culture. Following news of a 350 per cent rise in the number of vegans over the past decade, last month saw The Spread Eagle in Hackney open as London’s first all-vegan pub. Meanwhile, the Go Vegan World campaign took over the entire of Clapham Junction station for a hard-hitting ad campaign aiming to make strides towards a 100 per cent vegan world. It’s an astonishingly rapid cultural shift, at least in terms of vegans’ public profile. And the numbers do support veganism’s claim to be “the fastest-growing lifestyle movement”. On the other hand, the current total of just over half-a-million vegans still leaves around 99 per cent of the UK population as For a guide to vegan alcoholic drinks visit www.barnivore.com For meat purchasing guides visit www.qsmbeefandlamb.co.uk
Is your pub roast Britain’s best? Is your gravy the greatest? Are your yorkies the yummiest? Then you might be in with a chance of being crowned Britain’s Best Pub Roast. To enter our competition, run in association with MAGGI®, simply send a photo or copy of your roast menu, along with your name, pub name, full address and telephone number, to firstname.lastname@example.org The closing date is Wednesday February 28, 2018. Shortlisted pubs will be visited during March 2018 and the selected dishes tasted. The winning pub will receive a hamper of MAGGI goodies worth £200 and will be featured on these pages and in a video on the website.
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with BEN THRUSH yet unconverted. Is this the start of a wholesale shift away from meat-eating, or merely the latest food fad? From a business perspective, a tofu burger that flies out of the kitchen in hipster-friendly Hackney isn’t necessarily going to do that across the whole country. What is for sure is that the information revolution, coupled with the British public’s newfound interest in food and healthy living, has ushered in an era when people care more than ever about supply chains, identity politics is played out in the choice of what to have for lunch, and vegetables are no longer an afterthought to be left on the side of the plate. Vegans, nose-to-tail enthusiasts, flexitarians, reducetarians, locavores and plain old fans of good, honest grub… they all need to eat, and the opportunities are there for businesses that can satisfy their needs.
Sandra Higgins, director of the Go Vegan World campaign, offers this advice for pubs: “The growing demand for plant foods is good news for pubs. Vegan food can be delicious, healthy, environmentally friendly and very cost- effective. Soup, bread and salad are easy. Include vegan versions of staples like shepherd’s pie. Find a favourite vegan burger or sausage. Be aware that you run the risk of losing potential customers until the menu is completely veganised. Few vegans will choose to sit down to a delicious vegan lasagne opposite someone eating an animal.”
The British Meat Processors Association, unsurprisingly, sees things rather differently. Chief executive Nick Allen says: “Why on earth would pubs want to exclude offering food that 97 per cent of the population want to eat, namely meat? Whilst it’s possible to eat healthily on a vegan diet, this requires good planning skills and access to alternative sources of nutrients. Vitamin B12, required for healthy nerves and red blood cells, can be a major issue for vegans as it is only present in foods of animal or microbiological origin. Consigning the whole planet to these nutritional challenges does not make sense when you can use meat as part of a healthy balanced diet.”
PORK AND BEANS Carl Finn The Church, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham
“Pork and beans are a staple in the Deep South. Our recipe uses burnt rib ends for the pork and a spicy bean stew for the beans. They’re served together with a big hunk of sourdough.”
Spicy bean stew
“We make a traditional spicy bean stew with plenty of paprika, chilli and the holy trinity of creole cuisine: celery, peppers and onion. We let this slow cook with the shredded rib ends until it’s rich and full of flavour.”
Burnt rib ends
“We sell a lot of ribs at The Church. The rib ends in the pork and beans are trimmed off a whole roasted rack and shredded. They’re full of a rich earthy flavour with a few chewy bits in there too.”
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Peel & Stone sourdough
“Our sourdough comes from local bakery Peel & Stone. Each loaf takes a full 36 hours to make, giving the bread a brilliant texture. We lightly toast it and serve it on the side for dunking.”
inapub food favourites by MATT ELEY
Food matters to pubs. Fact. And that, dear reader, is just the kind of incisive, up-to-the-minute information that you would expect a leading trade magazine to deliver. But, as with so many things, the devil is in the detail. You can’t just serve up any old dish and expect punters to march through your doors. You need to get the little things right, like the vinegar, the mayo and, perhaps most importantly, the Tommy K. For example, did you know that Suffolk singing superstar Ed Sheeran is so obsessed with Heinz Tomato Ketchup he insists his team have a bottle to hand at all times in case of an emergency, presumably such as being served a ramekin of some home-made impostor? He’s even got the brand tattooed on his body. If only all customers were like Ed. If they all inked their favourite condiments onto themselves, it would be a piece of pie for pubs to know what to stock. Alas, they do not. But worry ye not, because we are here to help. We’ve asked 500 actual people about the type of condiments and snacks they like to see in the pub. The end result is about the only chart this side of 2015 that Ed Sheeran hasn’t appeared in himself. As you might expect, we also have another little helping of information for you. Of those we asked, 67 per cent said they check out your menu on your website before they step inside your pub. So not only do you need to get it right inside, you need to keep them happy online too. Here, in no particular order, is our must- stock list.
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eat. Ketchup Heinz
Heinz meanz beanz, or so the advert said, but to many pub goers it is a byword for the sauce they want on their table. The frontrunning favourite had competition from the likes of HP, Daddies, Stokes and Branston, but in truth it romped home. Despite it being the proud owner of a product punters want all over their chips, the year has not been without its challenges for Heinz. It saw a drop in sales of the sauce as customers looked for either cheaper or more bespoke alternatives. Despite the emergence of the competition, the reputation of Heinz Tomato Ketchup is as solid as an Ed Sheeran album release.
Most of us have found ourselves in a pickle in the pub at some point. When we want it with our ploughman’s, the nation generally demands the market-leading brand. Heinz was again mentioned in this category but Branston came out as a strong first pick.
While Heinz would have expected the ketchup crown, winning in the mayo category was less of a given. For a start, there’s Hellmann’s, the market leader, which has to settle for second place in this poll. It seems investment by Heinz in its Seriously Good Mayonnaise has paid off, with sales up 50 per cent. Hellman’s has already started a fightback with rebranding of its own. Overall, it’s good news for both, with mayo sales on the up as ketchup takes a dip.
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Colman’s has been in the news of late due to the decision by brand owner Unilever to close its Norwich factory after 160 years. Instead, production will primarily be in Burton and Germany: areas that are better known for producing another pub staple. Colman’s retains its place in the hearts of pub-goers, with no other brand really troubling the scorers.
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Pork scratchings Mr Porky
Is there a better example of the gastro-gentrification of pubs than the poshing-up of the humble pork scratching? A snack that used to be placed on the food chain somewhere between a doner kebab and a bowl of Pedigree Chum can now be found in glass jars behind bars or with brand owners such as Tom Kerridge emblazoned across the packaging. It’s not just pigs either, with chicken, duck and goose scratchings also now hitting the pub scene. That said, the classics still have a place in punter’s hearts, with Mr Porky leading the way, ahead of “local” and KP.
We all know crisps have an important role to play in society. For decades they have been the trusted go-to snack when you need a little something after a pint, two or three. But did you know they are also playing a key role in improving relations between Russia and the West? Amid the tensions over cyber-warfare, Boris Johnson pointed to the growing export of Kettle chips to Russia as a sign of one way the UK and Russian relations are improving. Punters over here clearly love them too, picking them as their favourite crisp brand over the likes of Pipers, Walkers, McCoys, Tyrrell’s and Golden Wonder.
This was another firm favourite, beating Nobby’s Nuts into second place. It shows that while pub snacks, and more specifically nuts themselves, have undergone something of a revolution in terms of product launches and flavour variants in recent years, customers still like an old favourite. And while you chew that over here’s a quiz question for you. What does KP actually stand for? Kenyon Produce, since you asked.
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Sarson’s has been around since 1794 and people have yet to get tired of seeing it in the pub. The traditional brand has found a new fanbase in recent years by sprinkling itself all over social media. By creating video content that tapped into the trends of pickling, home cooking and even cocktailmaking, it grew website traffic by more than 500 per cent, ensuring the vinegar remains popular with another generation of pub-goers.
Results are based of a survey of consumers in November 2017
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Chip, chip, hooray! by JOHN PORTER
Sweet potato fries are a growing trend, perceived as a healthier option and attracting customers who want to try something
The British, noted for our stiff upper lips, may be slow to anger, but there are some things that just can’t go unchallenged. Push in front of us in a bus queue and you’ll know all about it. And, in no circumstances, ever serve us an inadequate portion of chips.
different when eating out
So, it should be no surprise that the national media stepped in when, in November, The Jolly Miller pub in Liverpool served customer Tina Doherty a meal of fish, chips and peas that included just five-and-a-half chips. Tina’s outrage – and possibly the subsequent press interest – prompted the pub, owned by Greene King, to concede that the portion size “doesn’t meet our guidelines” and invite Tina back for a free meal. If nothing else, the cautionary tale demonstrates how important it is for pubs to get chips right. As a mainstay of pub menus, whether served with fish, steak, a burger or pie, customer expectations are high. McCain quotes research by Wirral Sensory, in which 82 per cent of respondents said that good chips should be crisp on the outside, and 87 per cent said it’s essential that the perfect chip stays hot while on the plate. One approach is to make your own chips from scratch, as Ashley McCarthy does at the award-winning Ye Old Sun Inn at Colton, North Yorkshire. Ordered or not, Ashley’s chips tend to appear on the bar while customers are enjoying a pint, or on the table as an appetiser. “It’s just something we’re known for,” he says. As one customer commented on TripAdvisor, “I’ve been to several restaurants which claim to have the best chips in
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McCain Signatures StayCrisp Thin Skin-on Fries
Chips are likely to be the first thing eaten from the plate – and more often than not, stolen by dining companions. The quality has a direct impact on the overall meal experience trade.inapub.co.uk
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Yorkshire, but none have bettered these.” For pubs that buy their chips in ready-cut, whether chilled or frozen, one benefit is that “they can be quickly cooked to order, making it easy to manage unexpected increases in custom with freshly cooked, appetising food,” says Jo Holborn, McCain Foods marketing and category controller.
No hiding place
Good-quality frozen chips take less time to prepare in a busy kitchen, and Jo makes the point that the yield is also higher – the “fry loss”, as the potato boffins like to call the difference between uncooked and cooked chips, is around 21 per cent from frozen chips compared with around 40 per cent from chips prepared from scratch. She adds: “Chips represent a third of the plate, so it is vital that the quality is right, otherwise there is no hiding place. Chips are likely to be the first thing that is eaten from the plate – and more often than not stolen by dining companions – and the quality has a direct impact on the overall meal experience.” Wider consumer trends are also having an impact in the chip arena, including interest in healthier choices, as well as demand for more premium serves. Nic Townsend, marketing manager, UK & Ireland
for Farm Frites, says: “The lean towards potato products as a premium snack is a strong trend and one that offers flexibility to operators. Chips can be creatively presented with toppings and sauce options and consumers can personalise these elements. “We’ve seen this trend in the US where consumers can build their own chip meal from a menu of choices; choose a fry style, then a sauce and a drink.” Mohammed Essa, commercial director, UK & Ireland for Aviko, agrees: “We’ve seen topped fries grow in popularity throughout the UK and expect this to expand further into a whole host of premium ‘loaded fries’ menu options. The beauty of adding toppings is that the options are endless – pubs can very simply avoid menu fatigue and trade up their fries to create a real point of difference, as well as a higher mark-up.”
Pimp your chips
Jo at McCain also recommends seasoned chips as a premium option, adding a twist such as smoked salt or truffle oil. She also reports a growing trend for “indulgent American BBQ style options, with chips topped with everything from pulled pork to chilli cheese proving popular”. Aviko and Farm Frites are also both
Frying out of the kitchen Farm Frites Extra fries include an allergen-free coating for extra crunch
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highlighting the appeal of sweet potato fries as an option on chip menus, with recent research for Aviko showing that a third of consumers see sweet potato as a healthier option. In addition, 30 per cent prefer the taste and 23 per cent like the idea of opting for something different when dining out-of-home. Mohammed at Aviko says: “By simply adding a selection of sweet potato dishes to their menus, pubs can appeal to the wide group of diners who wish to see greater variety.” To support this trend, Aviko has created recipes which include sweet potato nachos, peri-peri chicken legs with sweet potato fries, and sweet potato gnocchi with basil, pesto and pine nuts. Farm Frites’ sweet potato fries are longer-length, skin-on fries “which look great on the plate for the perfect snack”, says Nic Townsend, the supplier’s marketing manager for UK & Ireland. “With the right messaging on menus, operators can communicate the premium nature of these items and make them an important choice either as a side dish or as a stand-alone meal. “Sweet potato is a win-win for operators as it is a prevailing strong trend and can command a premium price over a standard chip.”
Northampton-based McManus Pubs serves McCain chips across its 15-strong pub estate, and is increasingly using themed events to drive both food and drink trade. Lee Byers, food operations manager, explains: “To stay ahead of the competition we need to stay fresh and relevant, but as we only change the main menu twice a year, we need to be creative with how we do it. “Running events helps us to be more flexible with the food we offer, and operationally, we can serve more meals because we create menus with handheld options, such as chips, that can be prepared to a high standard in our outdoor cooking facilities. That way we’re not reliant on turning over tables and we can appeal to customers that aren’t looking for a more formal meal. For their Oktoberfest celebrations, the pubs served Bratwurst and McCain Signatures Staycrisp Skin-on Fries along with steins of beer, “which went down a storm. Maintaining quality and stopping the food going cold too quickly can be more difficult when you’re cooking and serving outside, but using McCain fries meant they stayed hot and crispy, even when the temperature really dropped.”
trade.inapub.co.uk 29/01/2018 23:39
Our MAKES THE FRESHEST, CRISPIEST CHIPS
We’re proud to introduce the new & improved Menu Signatures Staycrisp™ Gourmet Chunky and Traditional Thick Cut chips. Created with care and craft for the freshest, crispiest chips in foodservice. Made from 100% British potatoes grown by our network of UK farmers and now featuring our unique, gluten-free Staycrisp™ coating for hot, crispy chips your customers will love.*
Discover the story at www.mccainfoodservice.co.uk/careandcraft
* Wirral Sensory Services research, Feb 17, based on 204 respondents
www.mccainfoodservice.co.uk E: email@example.com T: 0800 146 573 (GB)/1800 409 623 (ROI) © (2017), McCain Foodservice
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play with MATT ELEY Barely a week goes by without a new app being launched, with the whizzes behind it proclaiming that once you’ve used it you couldn’t imagine running your business without it. The number of apps, tech companies and data out there designed to make life smoother for pubs is mind-blowing. In fact, we probably need a new app just to keep on top of them all. This is one of the subjects that is likely to come up when I chair a panel at Pub18 this month on data and technology. Tech can undoubtedly benefit pubs, but where the hell do you start with it all? Well, like many things, it is probably best to begin by sounding out your customers. An app or tech gizmo that
say, pours a beer for you may look very impressive but the bottom line is, if your customers wouldn’t use it then you shouldn’t spend too much time or money on it. For non-customer-facing bits of technology, you need to be sure that what is being sold will ultimately save you both time and money. If an app can do that, it is worth considering. If not, why would you change processes that already work? Pubs are evolving and tech will play a huge part in this, but be aware of investing in anything that promises more than it can deliver. If you need some help come along to Pub 18, where at least some of your questions should be answered.
More than pints getting pulled at these two pubs A pub has taken on Tinder by running nights designed to help singles find love. Last month The White Hart in Weston in Gordano, Somerset, closed the pub for two private nights specifically for singles aged between 25 and 55. Attendees were asked to fill out a compatibility test before attending to see whether they could find love over a drink, as opposed to by swiping a screen. Event organiser Pilar Amores said: “They were allocated a day and time to attend, depending on their age group and test answers. Then all they had to do was enjoy a great night out with us!” The pub itself has found love again. It closed in 2013 but was renovated and reopened two years later by Chris (pictured) and Mike Yeatman. Chris said: “We took the site on as a wreck in 2015 and have since invested significantly in the building and the business, and have now created a destination food pub serving the three towns we sit between, as well as holiday travellers seeking refuge from M5 motorway queues. “We are also ardent supporters of the local community and hopefully have helped rekindle some of that fondness people had for the pub.” Meanwhile, London’s Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen is taking a different approach to romance. Invited customers – picked after filling out an online survey — will get the chance to ask potential partners 36 specific questions. The evening is based on Len Catron’s essay To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This. The piece examines how intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by asking each other a series of personal questions, broken into three sets that become increasingly probing. The event is billed as being focused on who participants are, not just what they look like.
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The only trade show dedicated to the UK pub trade. Meet peers and suppliers, catch up with the latest trends and check out the talks and discussions at the Pub Theatre, several of which are being chaired by members of the Inapub team. Feb 6-7, Olympia London
While lovestruck fools keep your Prosecco sales ticking over, make sure you keep enough for the following day — apparently, February 15 is Singles Awareness Day. Feb 14
Happening this month Derby day
Tottenham’s season could be defined in a few days in February. They welcome north London rivals Arsenal to Wembley on the Saturday before a mid-week trip to Turin to face Juventus. Both games are live on BT Sport. Feb 10, 12.30pm and Feb 13, 7.45pm
League Cup final
The first silverware of the season gets handed out at Wembley, when two of nation’s biggest sides go head-to-head. Who’s your money on? Feb 25, Sky Sports
Rugby takes centre stage for much of the time between now and St Patrick’s Day. All six nations will be looking to win the tournament while fine-tuning their squads ahead of next year’s World Cup. Feb 3 - March 17, BBC and ITV
Random Acts of Kindness Day
Most pubs do this pretty much every day of the year, but now there’s an official day to do something extra special and unexpected for someone. Feb 17
Let me entertain you Michelle Payne, The Ingate, Beccles, Suffolk When Michelle Payne took over the freehold at The Ingate, she wanted to change the business from being male-dominated and wet-led to a pub that offers something for everyone. She has started to attract more female customers by sponsoring the local women’s football team and running a host of events. “Events are so important because you have to give people a reason to come and see you,” she says. “One of the first things we did was get a piano and we have our piano man come every two weeks on Wednesdays and Sundays. He plays everything from Coldplay to Rihanna to Queen. We also have a disco once a month and karaoke once a month. “We really make an effort with events. We had skeletons all over the pub for Halloween and we received a letter of thanks from the council for our Christmas decorations.” As well as sponsoring the football team, Michelle shows live sport on eight screens in the pub. The efforts are already starting to pay off, with the pub tripling turnover.
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A Champion draw by MATT ELEY
The Champions League draw couldn’t have worked out much better for English clubs — or English pubs. All five teams that qualified this season are through to the knockout stages, a record for clubs from these shores. And with a few favourable ties coming out of the hat, you would expect most to make it to the last eight. It should hopefully represent a change of fortunes for the Premier League sides, which have had to watch on as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus have dominated the latter stages in recent years. The chances of an English team
The pundit: Michael Owen The England legend scored goals for some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United. He is now a pundit for BT Sport. “We are doing great in terms of the English clubs,” he says. “Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United have had good draws and I would expect them to go through to the quarters. Tottenham have got a trickier one with Juventus, but maybe they are not quite as good as they have been in recent years. Chelsea have had a bad draw with Barcelona and that shows how important it is to win the group. “The English teams are definitely stronger this year but the Spanish teams know how to win the competition. Real Madrid have won it three out of the last four times, so, for me, they are still the favourites. Everyone says they are playing poorly but they only need to start playing well in March to put themselves in a position to win it.” And the former Liverpool man is delighted to see his old club make it through to this stage for the first time since 2009. He adds: “Liverpool did really well to finish top of the group and they have got the reward. There is something very special about a European night at Anfield.”
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progressing all the way to the final in Kiev in May have been given a further boost, with Real Madrid drawn to play PSG at this stage, meaning only one of those giants can make it to the quarter-finals.
Pubs also have plenty of chances to make the most of the action, with games being
FULL ROUND OF 16 DRAW 13 FEB Juventus v Spurs
7 MAR Spurs v Juventus
13 FEB Basel v Man City
7 MAR Man City v Basel
14 FEB Porto v Liverpool
6 MAR Liverpool v Porto
14 FEB Real Madrid v PSG
6 MAR PSG v Real Madrid
20 FEB 14 MAR Chelsea v Barcelona Barcelona v Chelsea 20 FEB B Munich v Besiktas
14 MAR Besiktas v B Munich
21 FEB Sevilla v Man Utd
13 MAR Man Utd v Sevilla
21 FEB S Donetsk v Roma
13 MAR Roma v S Donetsk
All Champions League matches will be screened live on BT Sport
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Our Champions League The Fox & Hounds Putney, London
Having a ball: with a record number of English teams left in the draw, pubs can profit
With a few favourable ties coming out of the hat, you would expect most of the English clubs to make it to the last eight
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played over eight different matchdays on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between February 7 and March 14. Perhaps the only thing that could have made it better would have been Celtic making it through as well — but fans of the Scottish champions can still catch them in Europe, in the Europa League on Thursdays, along with Arsenal. So what do the professionals think? We caught up with a pundit and some publicans.
London Sports pub The Fox & Hounds can expect two bumper nights when local side Chelsea take on Barcelona over two legs. Colin Woods, manager at the Stonegate pub, says: “As well as getting a lot of Chelsea and Fulham fans, we also have a large Spanish community that uses us. We will have a mixture of Chelsea and Barcelona fans, so we should have two great nights. It was similar when Chelsea played Roma. “We have different communities we appeal to and we keep in touch with them on Twitter and Facebook as well as in the pub and through newsletters and our noticeboard.”
Our Champions League Game On Sports Lounge Totton, Southampton You might not find Southampton in European competition this year, but licensee Godfrey Cook still expects a busy bar. “The group stages were good but the knockouts is when it gets really interesting,” he says. “We have got a lot of fans of the clubs that are through — apart from Manchester City — so we should have some good nights. “Spurs and Liverpool games are often good for us, it’s just making people aware of it, which we will be doing with social media. “Real Madrid v PSG is a game I am excited about, but for us as a bar it is important that the English clubs stay in the competition.”
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Welcome to the by MICHELLE PERRETT
Pub rooms can often provide a charm that is difficult to find in a purpose-built hotel
working week While customers away on a leisure break can easily fill bedrooms at weekends, it is business travellers who can boost occupancy during the quieter Monday to Thursday nights.
Sounds simple enough but it is a competitive sector targeted by major hotel chains, so how can pubs catch the eye of the suits? Brewer and pub group Fuller’s, which has 32 hotels across its estate, has managed it, with accommodation revenues split evenly between leisure and business. Business travellers stay two nights on average, with the busiest being Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Mark Fulton, head of operations for Fuller’s Hotels, attributes the popularity of its sites to the “character”, “charm” and “personal service” that a bedroom within a pub can provide rather than a “soulless, purpose-built box”. “People like being above a pub that does fresh home-cooked food and has a menu that offers a bit of interest and variety,” he says.
While it is true that some business travellers will use online engines such as Booking. com, Expedia or even specific business travel websites such as HotelREZ to book their rooms, the bulk of this market will come via deals made with individual companies. At Fuller’s, most corporate bookings come in this way. Mark says: “We need to send a general manager or one of our team out to negotiate a corporate deal with them in the same way as if we were trying to sell a function room or a Christmas party. You have got to get out there and create that personal relationship.” “It is talking about the room nights that they might be able to give us over the course of a month or a year. Then
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What to charge? While corporate rates are a must, it is best to negotiate directly with each company. As a rule of thumb, though, Hector at Longshot Country Inns says that his sites never charge more than £100, as that is the equivalent budget for a hotel such as Premier Inn. Corporate budgets also normally provide between £30 to £50 for dinner allowance, he advises.
Paul Turner of The Royal in Heysham, Lancashire: “Before we re-opened, I went to all the local businesses and
We send one of our team out to negotiate a deal in the same way as if we were trying to sell a function room or a Christmas party
gave the details of what we were doing.”
negotiating a rate with them so they know it is guaranteed.”
Blue chip guests
Thwaites-owned The Royal in Heysham, Lancashire, has also taken this approach. The venue re-opened this year following a £2m upgrade, which added 11 en-suite letting rooms. The new rooms have already been given an AA 4-star inn rating. “Before we re-opened I went round all the local businesses and gave the details of what we were doing,” says general manager Paul Turner. “It is very small community and most of the business people also live here and use the pub socially and know what we do.” The result is that not only do the small local businesses send clients to the venue, so do larger businesses such as EDF Energy, which is based nearby. Corporate business now accounts for 75 per cent of the pub’s accommodation business.
Once you’ve got the suits in the door though, are you going to have to change what you offer compared with the weekend? No, says Hector Ross, chief operating officer at Longshot Country Inns. Longshot
owns the Bel & the Dragon chain, comprising seven sites, five of which offer accommodation. All of its sites are intentionally located close to areas with business links and each venue focuses on driving that trade by offering something quirky and different. For example, its site in Odiham, Hampshire, is close to a business park “There are 20 chaps that work there that live somewhere near Sheffield and have stayed with us over 200 nights this year,” says Hector. “To keep them coming back Hector says the aim is to ensure each site offers a “home from home.” There are free coffee facilities as well as sloe gin free for each person staying overnight. “We also have an active database. We find out your birthday and make sure you can get a glass of Laurent Perrier on the day,” he adds. Free parking and fast WiFi are also important, naturally, to this market, as are healthier breakfast options such as granola and porridge, Mark at Fullers reports. Dwell time over breakfast will also be less than for your weekend customers and you may well wish to start serving a little earlier in the morning as well.
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Beyond Apple Pay by MICHELLE PERRETT
We’ve come a long way since pounds, shillings and pence, but think again if you believe payment options will stop at contactless. The pace at which payment technology is moving, not to mention the eagerness of people to adopt any system that makes paying more convenient, means pubs that don’t keep up are risking their future. So, what do you need to be offering now and what should you be looking at investing in down the line?
Contactless is king
80 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds are happy to pay via their handhelds using recognisable brands such as PayPal, Barclaycard and Apple Pay
Currently contactless is still driving much of the payment market, despite the £30 transaction limit. Between July 2016 and July 2017, contactless spending in pubs and bars increased by 60 per cent, according to research published by Barclaycard. The same research also found that, in pubs and bars where the option is available, nine out of 10 eligible payments (89 per cent) are made using contactless. Across all retail outlets, Barclaycard says, six out of 10 Brits now choose to pay with their contactless cards and devices when they
have the option. And with contactless payment becoming ever more widely available, use is projected to more than treble by 2021 (Barclaycard Time is Money research 2017). The idea of paying for goods with a simple wave of a card or smartphone is fast becoming the norm, says Zonal sales and marketing director Clive Consterdine. “The day of the pin number is almost as old hat as printed money itself,” he argues.
App your payment game
The latest GO Technology report, from Zonal and CGA, reveals that the number of customers using smartphones to order and pay in the hospitality sector has more than doubled in the past three years. It also reveals that 67 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds would spend more on drinks if they could order from smartphones rather than queue at the bar. On top of that, 80 per cent are happy to pay via their handhelds using recognisable brands such as PayPal, Barclaycard and Apple Pay. “Over the last 12 months at Zonal Marketing Technologies we have seen a 400 per cent surge in enquiries from high street hospitality brands seeking to develop their own app,” he reveals. Brandon Trollip, director of digital payments at Mastercard, agrees that apps are growing in popularity but says that pubs have been slow to uptake these technological advancements. He admits that contactless works well when someone is ordering a single round of drinks but the complications start
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QKR! the Mastercard app, has flexibility that allows customers to split the bill
If you have pay at table functionality there is 30 per cent increase in average transaction value. If you have the order-at-table functionality it is almost 100 per cent
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with multiple rounds and splitting the bill. “There is always going to be someone saying, why should I pay for his triple vodka?” he says. QKR! the Mastercard app, has flexibility that allows customers to split the bill and have the option to pay separately for what they have ordered. “If you have pay at table functionality there is 30 per cent increase in average transaction value. If you have the order at table functionality it is almost 100 per cent,” he reveals. One other benefit is the ability to obtain data on the customer that can be used to personalise future offers and encourage them to visit again. Apps can also help to fight fraud. “The whole point with digital payments is that there is upfront authentication. The minute the tab is opened using the phone there is already an element of security that ensures that they are going to get paid,” he argues. It need not be expensive either, especially if licensees use an off-the-shelf option, argues Brandon. “For something like QKR! there is a nominal set up fee and there is a per site per month fee but we are not talking hundreds of pounds,” he explains.
Meanwhile Tom Weaver, chief executive of mobile payment app Flypay, argues that while apps are growing in popularity there are even newer technologies for payments being developed. One area that Flypay is developing is to link transactions into Facebook. He says: “We have prototypes available for Facebook messenger and will have the first locations using chatbots, which are conversational computer programs, at the beginning of this year.” He advises pubs that they should be looking to get an ordering and payment digital platform or they “might be leaving money on the table”. But Weaver also issues a note of caution as he believes new technology such as chatbots, will overtake apps. “All that matters from the pubs’ perspective is not to read the tea leaves of the future but to make sure they are engaging with platforms that will open up the ability to pay in a number of different ways,” he advises. All the signs are that the current payment revolution is going to continue to develop and, while contactless is growing in popularity right now, pubs also need to be preparing for the future.
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time at the bar
BRITISH DELICACIES Disgusting or delicious? Dishes that divide the nation 1. Black pudding “A slice of congealed pig’s blood, animal fat and oatmeal with your breakfast, sir?” It’s a polarising dish for sure, but fans claim it is as good for you as kale, thanks to high levels of iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
2. Jellied eels Traditionally eaten in the East End of London, this dish of chopped eels boiled in stock then cooled to set, has more than a touch of “Bush Tucker Trial” about it. Frankly we’d rather eat a fried tarantula – get us out of here!
3. Mushy peas None of these modern crushed minted peas, so often passed off as a mushy pea these days. No, a proper mound of mushy peas, made with dried marrowfat peas, soaked overnight in bicarbonate of soda and then boiled with sugar and salt is what we’re after, please thank you very much.
4. Haggis Carried on a silver salver, accompanied by a piper and honoured with a poem by Robbie Burns, is there any other savoury pudding so revered in the world? It’s unlikely, particularly one made with minced sheep’s heart, liver, lungs and oatmeal, which is then encased in a sheep stomach.
5. Pickled eggs OK, so other countries also claim the pickled egg as theirs (Denmark, for example, where they are called Solæg and pickled with beetroot, emerging rather pink) but there is something very British nonetheless about that jar of hard-boiled eggs glinting on the bar of the pub or chip shop counter. Pic: Krista
6. Faggots We’ll gloss over what our American friends think a faggot is, because what we are talking about here is a kind of rissole. Known
as faggots in Wales and the Midlands and, according to our intensive research (Wikipedia), as Savoury Ducks in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Lancashire, these are made from minced pork liver and heart, bacon, onion and breadcrumbs. Serve with mashed potatoes, peas (marrowfat, not garden) and lashings of gravy.
7. Stargazy pie Who doesn’t want some dead fish staring up at them as they sit down to sup? Pretty much anyone not from Cornwall, we guess. On the Cornish coast they enjoy pilchards baked with eggs and potatoes in a pastry crust – out of which poke the fish heads and sometimes the tails too. Creepy.
8. Pork scratchings What’s not to like about pig skin roasted in its own fat and then salted into submission? The ultimate pub snack has even made a return as a hipster favourite, home-made and served with apple dipping sauce or seasoned with herbs such as fennel.
9. Pease porridge “Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold/ Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old” or so the nursery rhyme goes. The dish, from the North East, is made by boiling yellow split peas in stock and puréeing. Often served with ham, bacon, or a Saveloy sausage, or in a sandwich. And, yes, it can be eaten hot or cold – not so sure about “nine days old,” though.
10. Laverbread Currently a significant proportion of the Inapub team hail from Wales, so we’re not going to say much about this salty treat made from seaweed cooked until it forms a sort of mush – sorry, we mean sumptuous silky paste. Enjoy for breakfast with cockles and/or bacon, or simply spread on hot buttered toast. Cymru Am Byth.
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Three adventurers will be “rambling for research” when they walk the equivalent of three marathons in three days. Dan Keene (pictured, left), licensee at The Organ Inn in Warminster, Wiltshire, will be joined by member of staff Charli Billen (centre) and friend and customer Chris Brooks (right). They will be walking in memory of Chris’s sister Linda Frost, who died just over a year ago. The route will see them hike from Bristol Royal Infirmary to Southampton General Hospital — two places where she received “outstanding” care. The three are aiming to raise £10,000 for Cancer Research from the challenge they will undertake over three days in September. Dan and his team have already raised more than £40,000 for various causes over the last 11 years. For more information about their Ramble for Research visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rambling-for-research
THE COLLECTION TIN What pubs around the country are doing to help good causes The Linden Tree in Lowford, Hampshire, held an event to celebrate the installation of a defibrillator. Paramedics provided free training on how to use the kit, which was paid for by charity events at the pub. A landlord will sleep rough to raise thousands for the homeless. Giles Babb, licensee at The Blue Bell in Portsmouth, is taking part in a sleepout event at Fratton Park football stadium in April.
LANDLORD OF THE MONTH
Hundreds of plastic ducks were raced along the river outside The Brewers Arms in Banwell, Somerset. The annual event raised cash for the village’s scout group. A man ran a marathon on a treadmill at The Knox in Harrogate, Yorkshire, as part of his fundraising drive and training programme. Paul Ward is aiming to raise £20,000 for Cancer Research by completing the Marathon des Sables — known as the toughest foot race on Earth.
Inapub and Prostate Cancer UK have joined forces this year to raise awareness of the disease. As part of that we will feature a Landlord of the Month each issue.
A licensee who has raised thousands of pounds with a host of events has been named Prostate Cancer UK’s Landlord of the Month for February. Ant Walton has put on race nights, quiz nights, raffles and a run a “predict the score” competition for the football season at The Rose of Lancaster in Oldham, Greater Manchester. The efforts have raised an impressive £5,000 for Prostate Cancer UK. Ant said: “Raising money for Prostate Cancer UK brings all the people in the pub together, and we also found that a few locals have been diagnosed. Touch wood, there’s a lot of them that have had successful treatment and come out the other side smiling. I encourage all landlords to sign up and turn their pubs into a Men United Arms.”
The Men United Arms campaign encourages pubs to raise funds and awareness about the disease. Ant is now in with a chance of being named the charity’s favourite local. The award will be handed out later this year. For more info visit prostatecanceruk.org/inapub
Are you raising funds for a great cause? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
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PLATE OR SLATE? Where the nation’s publicans stand on the really big questions Gemma Finch The Angel, Burford, Oxfordshire Gemma has been running The Angel for the last six years alongside her partner Terence King. The Hook Norton pub is a 16th-century coaching Inn in Burford, known as “the gateway to the Cotswolds.” The pub is as popular with locals as it is with the tourists who flood the area and the public have voted it The Cotswolds Awards’ Best Pub for the last three years running. “We strive to make sure that whatever your reason for visiting us, you’ll want to return,” says Gemma.
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Plate or slate? I’m going to say plate, because I have lost count of the number of times I have seen someone serve a dish, with a sauce, on a slate – no dish looks good with the sauce all over the table.
Cocktails or cask ale? Cask Ale. My partner, Terence, is known in Burford for serving two cocktails and two cocktails only – a Gin & Tonic and a Bloody Mary. We are a Cotswolds pub, not a cocktail bar… stick to what you do well.
Background music or silence is golden? Background music, but well chosen to suit the venue and mood, and at the right volume. And definitely NOT radio – that’s the quickest way to transport your pub back into the ’80s!
now thrilled they can watch the Six Nations at the same time. But in general, it doesn’t sit well with going out for a sociable meal, so we don’t do it.
Packet of scratchings or Michelin Stars? Not quite scratchings, not quite Michelin Stars. People want fresh, well-cooked and good-value food. Michelin Stars are about so much more than just the food, it’s about the whole experience, and I’m not sure that’s the experience people go into a pub for.
Dress up or dress down? However you are comfortable, as long as you ARE dressed!
On the tab or no credit here? No credit, unless I know where you live!
Live sport or big screen ban?
Wear what you like or uniforms for the staff?
Big screen ban. It’s just not what we do — we make an exception for a big rugby game, or maybe the Wimbledon final, and we have a small TV in the bar, which is normally pressed into action by weary dads who have been forced to come out for lunch and are
Semi-uniformed. All the staff wear aprons, and they all wear blue-collared shirts, but it is informal and allows them to still express their personality at work. Our staff are our biggest asset and their personality is a big part of that.
time at the bar
HAIR OF THE DOG Tales of the unexpected from the wonderful world of pubs Mixing it up
2017 wasn’t all bad news dlines. , was quite the year for hea Last year, if you remember st of us mo left g torrent of disaster What felt like an unrelentin il. mo tur of s forget 12 month in need of a stiff drink to it proved with the only answer, and so is b pu the Sometimes ngs of cki t snuck into the last kno a heartwarming story tha . anity isn’t all bad 2017 to remind us that hum d construction worker walke lish Po a 28, On December said and n do Lon uth So n, bledo into the Alexandra in Wim s ended you’ve got my money”. Thu k thin I and z rius Ma “I’m packet on ge wa 0 £60 o had left his the search for the man wh an appeal out put pub The s. Christma the pub floor just before and after s, lion , it was shared by mil on Twitter to find the owner the CCTV they confirming his identity on was a lovely bloke “He . him to k handed it bac manager pub and had tears in his eyes,” waiter who The . ian ard Mick Dore told The Gu a well-earned £50 found the cash received that, please. tip. More news stories like
Should have phoned a friend Chris Tarrant’s final answer was “guilty” at Reading Magistrate’s Court last month, where he received a 12-month ban for drink-driving. The former host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire ordered four brandy and ports at his local, the Bladebone in Bucklebury, Berkshire, before driving home in his Mercedes. His lawyer told the court he didn’t drink these all himself, but staff and customers were concerned enough to call the police, who breathalysed the 71-yearold star at his home and found him 15 micograms over the 35-microgram limit. At least Chris, reportedly paid £4.2m a year for fronting Millionaire and Tarrant on TV, should be able to afford a taxi.
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You like cheese, right? And a nice cup of tea? The odd cocktail when you’re feeling fancy? But perhaps not all at the same time? Well maybe it’s time to ditch those Western preconceptions about what makes for a sensible flavour combination. Beverage franchise Hey Tea appeared in Shanghai and Beijing earlier this year, and punters reportedly queued for up to three hours to get a taste of their cheese tea.“Tea, served hot or cold, sits under a float of thick, cheesy foam,” reports Asia’s Dr!nk magazine, which goes on to reveal how some of Shanghai’s trendiest bartenders are blending the drink with gin, rum and Sherry to make their own cheese tea cocktails. Inapub reckons we’ve got the basic ingredients knocking around in our kitchen, but we might stick with a pint and some Mini Cheddars for now.
Our kind of retire ment We’ve heard of ca re homes with th eir own pubs before – and un surprisingly are fully in favour of such innovation – but none so fa r has had its own beer as wonderfu lly named as thos e at Pendine Park in Wrexham , Wales. Brewed by local microbrewer Brag dy Dinbych, the craf t beer is pleasingl y dubbed Pobli Wobli. There isn’t a dire ct translation into English, but, acco rding to head br ewer Alyn Ashworth, it can be read as “w obbly people” a simply wonderful monike r for a brew for people of any generatio n, we are sure you’ll agree. Alyn told Inapub there is a lager on its way to join beers serv ed at The Pendin e Arms. No idea as to the na me yet, but all su ggestions welcome (Welsh preferred, of cour se).
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A Hibbie at heart Congratulations to Kevin McGhee of The Diggers, Edinburgh who won the December BT Sport Manager of the Month award, for running a ﬁrst-rate Hearts pub despite being a Hibs fan. Think you’re a legend? Get your punters to nominate you for BT Sport Manager of the Month by tweeting @BTSportsbars #BTMOTM
Terms and conditions: BT Sport Manager of the Month is a free to enter promotion. Winners will be chosen based on the best reasons why and as such will be at the sole discretion of BT Sport. All nominated pubs must be a commercial BT Sport customer at the time of entering. All monthly winners will receive 1 x 65 inch 4k TV. All information correct at time of writing (Sept 2017), but is subject to change. Full terms apply. ©British Telecommunications plc 2018.
Published on Jan 31, 2018
Published on Jan 31, 2018
Paying for a pint with a smart phone (or even a smart watch) is pretty common these days, which is why forward-thinking licensees are lookin...