Issue 93 Autumn 2020 Â£4.95 magazine.inapub.co.uk
THE TTH HHEE UNOFFICIA UNOFFICIALL
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BEERR OOFF HALLOWEE BEE HALLOWEENN 15 YEARS AND COUNTING!
THE UNOFFICIAL BEER OF HALLOWEEN
THE UNOFFICIAL BEER OF HALLOWEEN
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THE UNOFFICIAL BEER OF HALLOWEEN
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Issue 93 Autumn 2020 Â£4.95 magazine.inapub.co.uk
THE TTH HHEE UNOFFICIA UNOFFICIALL
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BEERR OOFF HALLOWEE BEE HALLOWEENN 15 YEARS AND COUNTING!
THE UNOFFICIAL BEER OF HALLOWEEN
THE UNOFFICIAL BEER OF HALLOWEEN
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THE UNOFFICIAL BEER OF HALLOWEEN
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Issue 93 Autumn 2020 ÂŁ4.95 trade.inapub.co.uk
Guest edited by
a licensee with a vision, a plan for the post-Covid pub and an alter ego * Debbie is pictured in The Rayleigh Arms outside opening hours. Face mask: modelâ€™s own, ready to welcome in the punters.
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M I T F E L S Q U E L LWA S S E R G E B R A U T
Naturally brewed in Germany. Proudly served around the world. www.krombacher.com
@KrombacherUK for the facts
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drinkaware.co.uk 23/02/2020 10:02 15.11.19 12:49
Debbie’s AUTUMN SPECIAL
ot many people can say they have reopened their pub twice in one year, but then let’s face it, we’ve never experienced a global pandemic either. After carrying out an extensive refurbishment to the bar and kitchen at The Rayleigh Arms, we opened for business in June 2019. Then, just like the rest of the nation, we started to have to cancel events like Saint Patrick’s night and Mother’s Day. After running around for months, we numbly shut our doors in March 2020 and waited till Boris said we could reopen. In that time, we realised the business was developing in a way we didn’t want it to and started to consider the positives of closing the pub. Starting with a clean slate, we felt the business needed to provide a more diverse range of services. Positioned in the beautiful village of Terling on the Essex Way (an attraction for all walkers) we started to write yet another business plan. Immediately we looked at ways to carry on trading during lockdown and after a stint of pie making and grocery deliveries we finally settled on a fish & chips takeaway service. Although we had previously hosted a beer festival, live music, quiz nights and even a treasure hunt (for the kids, I hasten to add), nothing matched the genuine pleasure our customers demonstrated once given the opportunity to buy fish & chips during lockdown. Keeping up the community spirit our homemade brownies raised funds for local charity Kids Inspire, and via Facebook I developed an online comedy quiz by creating a platform called Brit Pub Live where we raised further funds for Refuge. Fast-forward to the present day. Covid-19 is still here and in the hospitality industry we are working around restrictions to keep our customers safe whilst retaining a pub atmosphere of sorts. Here at The Rayleigh Arms we have continued the takeaway service to include home-made pizza baked in our wood-burning oven. We are also developing an on-site deli and creating sections in the bar areas to cater for small weddings. Local artists are booked to carry out workshops and the buzzword “staycation” has encouraged us to consider bed and breakfast. It may be the second time we have reopened but this time we are armed with ideas to keep our pub going.
Our guest editor for this Autumn issue of Inapub magazine is licensee Debbie Baisden, who runs the historic Rayleigh Arms in Terling, Essex. Debbie is a woman of many talents, juggling her busy career as a licensee with a second role as a stage performer bringing to life characters like pub landlady Dolly Slatemen, who we meet in this issue in our Plate or Slate section. The recent pandemic has led Debbie to completely reinvent the Rayleigh Arms and she has reopened with a new passion for what she does…
what’s new The post-Covid pub-goer • Halloween
Guest editor Debbie Baisden
Editorial manager Caroline Nodder
stay How Chris and Kaye are dealing with the new normal
back-bar business Order & pay apps
time at the bar Rich Molloy • Debbie on the big questions
Cider • Christmas drinks
Food favourites • Desserts
Production editor Ben Thrush
Online events• Winter sports
Contributors Claire Dodd, John Porter, Rich Molloy Andrew Ives, Katy Moses, Archie Mills Sales manager Katy Robinson Chief executive Barrie Poulter
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The Christmas Classic
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30/09/2020 13:35 23/09/2020 16:46
by KATY MOSES
If 2020 has shown us anything, it is that change doesn’t have to be a slow process! Our lives and our businesses were turned upside down literally overnight, and yet more changes are now coming down the line. But what all this upheaval has also shown us is that customers adapt, they alter their behaviour to suit the ‘new normal’. Katy Moses, managing director at industry insight specialist KAM Media, has taken a look at the new habits of the post-Covid pub-goer….
ways to win in the new normal It’s been over half a year now since the UK first really felt the impact of lockdown measures, and now we’re into phase two. The extended period of restrictions on socialising, the potential financial instability for so many, and the weeks spent in our homes have, without a doubt, altered many people’s behaviours. Consumers are realising that this isn’t going to be over quickly and we’re seeing them settle into habits which will be around for some time. There are some important new key customer trends which have emerged, and there are some which have been around for a while, but have accelerated at a breakneck speed as a consequence of Covid-19. Here’s our take on the key trends you need to be aware of, and what you need to do to adapt and navigate the next six--plus months.
Keep on keeping clean
The obsession with cleanliness is here to stay. We’ve been running research in the hospitality and grocery retail industry for donkey’s years, and 2020 really is turning what we think we know on its head – seeing “level of cleanliness” in the top three
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Heineken’s Andy Wingate: “Consider running drinks promotions during quieter periods to encourage customers not yet comfortable visiting during the evenings”
reasons a customer is choosing where to eat and drink is understandable, yet still amazing. Customer experience used to be dictated by atmosphere, by food and drink serve and quality, by customer service – but 2020 and the dreaded “C word” has changed all of that. Yummy Pubs co-founder Anthony Pender says: “There are things which we’ve changed in our venue which won’t actually help with the hygiene or the pandemic, but they’re going to make customers feel safe. We’ll need to reassure confidence in the consumer. Number one will be the reality of what we need to do, and the second will be the customer perception.”
We’re here to help people enjoy themselves. We need to be careful not to become a clinical, sterile box 6
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ence worth going out for, like this beer butt chicken from The Gun in London’s Hackney
Don’t forget to surprise and delight
It’s not just fear for their health which is keeping customers away. Habits have changed. They’ve got used to staying at home. The whole hospitality industry needs to find ways to constantly remind consumers what they love about the hospitality experience; the food, the drinks, the perfect serve, the welcoming atmosphere, the list goes on. So, while ensuring customers feel safe is key, we have one chance to ensure they have an absolutely unforgettable experience, and ideally tell their friends about it. Louise Maclean, director of sales and marketing at Signature Pubs, agrees that safety is of course a priority but underlines the importance of customer experience: “Pubs promote social interaction, that’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to help people enjoy themselves. We need to be careful not to become a clinical, sterile box.”
Give customers an experi-
Get the tech
Be it tech-enhanced, tech-driven or tech-enabled, new technologies are playing a significant role in helping hospitality operators navigate their way through the current crisis and improve the customer experience. Customers are increasingly demanding that technology is used to ensure a safe experi-
ence. Our recent research with OrderPay showed that 92 per cent of customers would like to see clear communication of safety measures and procedures in pubs via websites and apps. And 90 per cent think contactless ordering and payment should be in place in every venue. David Charlton, chief commercial officer at OrderPay, explains: “This new landscape offers the opportunity for a fresh look at the relationship between operators and technology. While the ability of a mobile order and payment solution to facilitate venues in operating safely and within social distancing guidelines has been obvious, as we move forward, it becomes a question of evaluating how technology drives top-line sales as well as identifying the channels that offer the most return on investment.” The key to technology success in hospitality in general is to not start with the tech but to start with the customer. Always.
Deliver ‘eating out at home’
Only seven per cent of UK consumers were using delivery apps on a weekly basis before this crisis. That figure is looking
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Consider the layout of your outlet. Can this be adapted to provide quiet areas and single-seat tables?
Low & no-alcohol drinks were in triple-digit growth during lockdown
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to be around 24 per cent now. Delivery is now providing hospitality with a much-needed source of income, when executed well. Consumers were forgiving of new delivery services during lockdown, but operators now need to get professional – competition is fierce and not all will survive. The successful operators will be thinking beyond delivering food and consider the wider “dining out at home” experience, including drink pairings, tableware and even playlists. DIY meal packs and “finish at home” versions of signature dishes are already emerging as crowdpleasing concepts.
Go low & no
KAM research, conducted in January this year, told us that 40 per cent of UK adults were looking at reducing their alcohol consumption in 2020. All jokes about drinking our way through a pandemic aside, we are still seeing an increase in purchases of low & no products. During lockdown, the category was in triple-digit growth. Typical thinking would be that consumers would look to cut down during the week and then have a knees-up at the weekend. However, our research suggests that for those who are looking to cut down, it’s about a total lifestyle change rather than a case of debit and credit. As we move through 2020, this trend seems to be one gathering pace. We believe that not only is low & no here to stay, but publicans need to have a great offering to ensure that they aren’t alienating what could become a large group of customers, especially as we see a growth in people trying to protect their health.
Flatten the (day part) curve
The way we live our lives has changed, meaning the way we consume will change too. This offers a huge opportunity to maximise footfall during off-peak times and flatten the traditional peaks throughout the day to keep a steady and safe stream of customers. Although many are concerned about a drop in professionals visiting for lunch or post-work drinks, many are still looking for a change of scenery now that they are working from home. This potentially means opportunities for earlier family dinners; for people to “escape” for a morning coffee; a workspace for a couple of hours away from home; or brunch/breakfast with friends instead of after-work drinks. There is an opportunity for publicans and suppliers to think differently. How do range, offer and comms need to flex to attract customers on different occasions? Andy Wingate, senior category manager for the on-trade at Heineken UK, suggests: “Consider running drinks promotions during quieter periods to encourage customers not yet comfortable visiting during the evenings or weekends.” He adds that recent data has shown weekday food occasions are down as much as 44 per cent year on year, so it might be time to look at changing your menus and prices to attract more customers at this time. “Consider the layout of your outlet,” he says. “Can this be adapted to provide quiet areas and single-seat tables? Naturally, most on-trade venues are designed to encourage socialising. However, during the daytime and other quieter trading occasions this is a great way to improve your income by creating a space for remote workers.” KAM Media is a boutique research consultancy, specialising in hospitality and retail. You can download the data referred to in this feature, and also a range of other insight reports, free of charge at www.kam-media.co.uk/resources @KAMMediaInsights 02/10/2020 17:47
Summon the spirit of celebration
People want some fun in their lives, and Halloween can bring some cheer back to a gloomy year
This year may have been a horror story, but Halloween 2020 could prove a real business booster. With the day falling on a Saturday, and customers in the mood for some fun, Halloween has the potential to be a big night for the pub trade. And with capacity reduced, the key is to add value. Though there will be no apple bobbing this year, there are plenty of other ways to boost sales, with some spooky drinks and entertainment options. But how big is the opportunity? According to Mintel data from Heineken UK, Halloween is the secondbiggest night of the year, after New Year’s Eve. Analysts CGA have the Saturday of Halloween week as the 13th-biggest day of the year in 2019 in terms of average value return on sales, when total drinks saw an uplift of £255 per outlet vs an average day over Halloween week. It would be seventh if December were taken out of the equation. Put succinctly, consumers want to celebrate. “Halloween is one of the most age-targeted celebrations of the year, largely driven by millennials, with 59 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds visiting the on-trade during that period,” says Jerry Shedden, category and trade
Customers will conquer their fears for cask Kyle Ryan, category manager, Marston’s
The new market landscape that we find ourselves operating in is strange. Some would say that decades of evolutionary change has happened in perhaps six months. Most of the new trends had already begun to emerge but circumstances accelerated them. I’m talking about home working, mobile computing, online ordering and so forth. But what about consumers’ behaviour in outlet? Value and premium brands seem to be growing as consumers are either watching what they spend or treating themselves because they haven’t been out in a while. People are craving social get-togethers, but afraid that strangers will not keep their distance. Operators now have the pressure of delivering a memorable experience as well as a safe one, with less capacity than usual to be able to run events around celebrated drinking occasions such as Halloween. One thing is for sure, those that have conquered their fear and left their homes (perhaps encouraged by the Eat Out To Help Out scheme) have sought out experiences that they could not recreate at home. Cask beer is one of those few experiences that cannot be created at home and was right at the top of my list when I made my first visit to the pub. And so, the moment has finally arrived that we can introduce Hobgoblin IPA Cask to you, to premiumise the cask category and provide customers with the experience they have been craving, or that little something special, because it’s been a while.
inapub AUTUMN 2020
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Buy any 2x9s of Hobgoblin Ruby, Gold or IPA and receive a free POS kit.
Kit contents: 3 limited edition t-shirts, pump clip attachment and temporary pump clips. Contact your Marstonâ€™s representative or call 08005870773 to stock. To download our free Halloween social media toolkit go to wychwood.co.uk/on-trade-assets HOBGOBLIN BEER
THE UNOFFICIAL BEER OF HALLOWEEN MT17639_Hobgoblin_Halloween_Advert_190x266.indd 1 ad page.indd 9
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marketing director at Heineken UK. “Operators should be preparing to offer a full experience-led offering to attract consumers and maximise sales, whilst ensuring their event adheres to guidelines to keep the celebrations safe.”
Nicola Randall, senior marketing manager at Brothers Drinks Co, says: “This Halloween will be challenging for operators, but the core principles that made their business successful before lockdown are still true – providing their guests with an enjoyable experience that can’t be replicated at home.” She recommends Halloweeninspired alternatives to mulled wine, such as its Spiced Toffee Apple and Mulled Festival Cider to capitalise on the desire for warm, comforting drinks. According to Heineken, last year, mainstream premium draught beers such as Heineken and Amstel gained more volume share during the two weeks of Halloween than they did during the rest of the year. And when it comes to food and decorations, switching the theme up slightly can offer standout from your regular menu, and from other venues. Try a Day of the Dead celebration paired with Mexican craft beer, and Mexican food, says David BridgeCollyns, Founder of Drinkscraft, a specialist importer and distributor of Mexican craft beer. The company has just launched the first draught Mexican craft beers from Loba, Propaganda and Fortuna breweries into the UK. “With the Mexican public holiday Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) falling on November 2,” he says, “an obvious choice is to double up on resources and turn a one-day event into a weekend of spooky celebrations. This is your chance to do something different, start a new trend and create a trading opportunity for an otherwise quiet post-Halloween spell.”
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HOW TO HAVE A SAFE AND SPOOKY HALLOWEEN INCENTIVISE PRE-BOOKINGS Offer deals or rewards to those who reserve a table, such as a group discount or a welcome drink, or encourage future bookings, suggests David from Drinkscraft. “Create your own variation of trick or treat by picking a reservation reference at random across the weekend, and give that guest a treat such as voucher for a complimentary bottle of drink on their next visit.”
SELL ADD-ONS AHEAD OF TIME This can include offering package deals to help upsell additional items ahead of the night itself, says David. “It could be a sharing platter of Halloween snacks or Mexican-inspired tapas on arrival or a drinks selection.” UPLOAD MENUS Make sure menus are visible ahead of the day online, and use a menu app to save time on the night. “Halloween consumers tend to order cocktails and spirits, so ensure a good range to cater for this,” adds Jerry from Heineken. Vodka and tequila sell particularly well at Halloween, while pre-batched, themed cocktails are quick to serve and can help boost that spooky feel. Try hot apple pie punch or blood-red cocktails. SET THE SCENE Make the most of your space by decorating it to theme, ensuring outdoor space is weather-proofed to boost capacity. Strongbow has created ‘Carnevil’ Halloween kits, including social media headers, A2 posters, carving stencils, flags, bunting and a guide on how to make the most of the occasion. Heineken customers can request these kits via PoS Direct.
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Find the Hobgoblins and win two casks of award- WIN! winning Hobgoblin IPA! Hobgoblin IPA, the unofficial beer of Halloween, has been voted “Best English-style IPA” in the UK at The World Beer Awards 2020. To celebrate this amazing achievement, and also help pubs get into the Halloween spirit, Hobgoblin is offering one lucky Inapub magazine reader the chance to win two casks of award-winning Hobgoblin IPA plus a merchandise goodie pack featuring branded Hobgoblin glasses, premium Hobgoblin parasols, a new metal pump clip and cellar cards with top tips on ensuring a quality cask serve every time. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning this bumper Halloween prize haul is find the Hobgoblins we have hidden in the pages of this issue of Inapub! Hobgoblin benefits from having very high brand awareness. The 2020 Marston’s Eureka! Survey of consumers found that Hobgoblin has 96 per cent brand awareness and 76 per cent of ale drinkers said they had tried Hobgoblin. The survey also found that 77 per cent of cask ale drinkers want to see a nationally recognised beer on the bar. So there has never been a better time to choose Hobgoblin for your bar!
Here’s what you could win!
Pale golden with orange glints. Prepare for an intense tropical explosion of zesty oranges, grapefruit, honey and juicy bitterness
Look out for these Hobgoblins hidden in the pages of this issue!
HOW TO ENTER Email:
•2 x 9s of the NEW Hobgoblin IPA cask • 12 Hobgoblin branded pint glasses • 3 Hobgoblin premium parasols
•Y our answer (the total number of Hobgoblins you’ve spotted hidden in the pages of Inapub)
• A permanent metal Hobgoblin pump clip
• Your pub name
• Wipeable cellar wall charts including top 10 tips for keeping cask ale and how to store cask ale
• Your contact details
The competition is only open to UK licensees who are eligible to stock Marston’s products. Entrants must be aged over 18. The winning pub will be informed after the closing date of the competition. Usual terms and conditions apply, for full T&Cs visit magazine.inapub.co.uk. Promoter: Inapub, P.O. Box 4793, Iver, SL1 0DG
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to firstname.lastname@example.org by the closing date of November 30, 2020. The winner will receive the prize before Christmas.
drink ON THE BAR AT THE RAYLEIGH ARMS, WITH DEBBIE BAISDEN Being a country pub, cask beer is always popular but with unpredictable consumer patterns there are economic implications when offering a wide range of ales. Currently we are investing our energy into wine. Recently we have extended our range of wines to compliment the deli. With a plan to develop not only the takeaway market but also in-house sales. In order to grow our trade, we want to upgrade our wines but also make them accessible to a broader range of customers. To do this we are selling our wine bottles at a competitive retail price for customers to take home, we then add £9 to the take-home price across all wines to drink in the pub. In effect the customers can drink their bottle of wine for £9 in the comfort of the pub. We know it is a gamble, but we also know our customers have experimented more with wine through the lockdown and have a sophisticated knowledge of price and tastes. With this approach to wine sales we are offering an affordable experience to experiment with wines in house and
take another bottle home if enjoyed. Obviously, the fixed price across the board will have a significant effect on GPs on more expensive wines, but our intention is to be transparent with customers and offer an opportunity for customers to experiment at the pub as well as at home. Over the Christmas period we are looking to upgrade our deli counter with hamper packs filled with deli products and a varied choice of wines and ports. I’m so excited about this that I wonder whether I should have been a greengrocer rather than a publican. Also in development here at The Rayleigh is coffee – there are so many drinks that can be offered around this one product. We are confident with the coffee we have, being our own choice of roast sold in ground or bean. We are now looking at coffee menus to include a wide range of choice with or without alcohol, and over the summer sold a significant number of iced lattes.
How to get cask right post-lockdown Cask was the one product drinkers were unable to buy during lockdown so it is important to welcome them back to the pub with a top-quality pint. Here are the key things to get right post lockdown according to cask champion Marston’s… Throughput and quality • In order to deliver optimum quality, each handpull must serve at least 24 pints per day •B eware over-ranging. Consider a smaller range than before lockdown.
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The right range to drive sales • Range first by style: Amber – Gold – Amber – Dark/IPA • Range the brands that will deliver the highest rate of sale • Include a nationally recognised brand • Include a regional favourite The right price • Cask pricing should be at an index of 107 vs classic lager.
UK’s most popular wine styles Dry white – (Sauvignon Blanc or Pino Grigio) Full-bodied red (Malbec or Shiraz) Prosecco Champagne Light-bodied red (Pinot Noir) Figures from YouGov
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Serve better with SmartDispense™ When 90% of your beer and cider sales are on draught, serve with the best. HEINEKEN SmartDispense™ is more than a dispense system, it’s the beating heart of your bar. An industry-leading business solution that connects dispense technology, services and insights to help you serve your customers better. “The reduction in wastage has seen us make huge savings – at least £3k this year - while the time saved on line-cleaning has resulted in efficiencies throughout the business.” Rachael Scollen, The Gun, London, 2019.
With SmartDispense™, you can:
improve quality increase profitability improve sustainability save time improve safety Complete solutions for every kind of bar Find out how you can serve better, visit smartdispense.heineken.co.uk *CGA Strategy Volume MAT to 20 February 2020
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Desperately seeking by CLAIRE DODD
Despite the sector’s decline, premium quality ciders remain popular with customers
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Take a deep breath in, hold it, and breathe out. If you’re reading this then you deserve a hug for making it through this year so far. Adapting and getting back to business remains tough, but there’s stuff to do. Selling cider, for example. As the nation grapples with the continuing uncertainty, do they still have the taste for the fruity tipple? As a category that typically represents £2bn in on-trade sales – bigger than gin, vodka or wine, accounting for £1 for every £15 of ontrade drinks spend, according to Heineken – cider remains a big deal despite challenges from gin and a new wave of premium RTDs. And coming off the back of a summer that quite frankly outdid itself when it comes to great weather (you have to celebrate the positives where you can), in normal times, cider would have flourished.
And in many ways, it still did. “Over 1.1 million new shoppers re-entered the cider category during lockdown,” says Rob Sandall, on-trade sales director for Thatchers Cider. “We’ve seen their love of cider re-ignited. Pubs now have a fantastic opportunity to bring the ciders that have been enjoyed over lockdown to their customers, eager to experiment and trial new styles.” Offering new styles is of course, something that cider has excelled at since
Magners et al helped redefine the category in the mid-noughties. From pear, to flavoured ciders, mulled and now alcohol-free styles, cider has had no shortage of innovation. But which styles are still earning their keep? Overall, it’s not great news. “Total cider is performing at -3.6 per cent vs a year ago, with declines coming from both draught (down three per cent) and packaged (down 5.4 per cent). This is a different picture from
New ciders on the block Gravity Theory Made by an independent cider maker in Herefordshire, new cider Gravity Theory is made entirely using apples grown from a single estate and has been created in response to the demand for more craft ciders in keg, and full juice ciders. Gravity Theory Cider is fermented and matured for a minimum of six months and is suitable for gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan diets. Henry Westons Westons has launched its previously off-trade only product line, and “the nation’s favourite glass bottle apple cider” Henry Westons into the on-trade for the first time. According to Martyn Jones, head of sales at Westons Cider: “The launch offers a clear opportunity for on-trade outlets to capitalise on these credentials to drive sales.” Available in a 10 litre bag-in-box format, the range includes Henry Westons Vintage (8.2 per cent ABV), Henry Westons Family Vintage (five per cent), Henry Westons Cloudy Vintage (7.3 per cent), and Henry Westons Organic Cider (six per cent).” This Is London Urban cider maker Hawkes has created a cider made entirely from apples donated by Londoners in the 2019 harvest. According to the brand 2.5 million apples are left to rot every day in the UK, “and as cider makers we can’t stand by and watch it happen”. The August launch also marked the launch of its 2020 Apple Donors drive to collect as many unwanted apples as possible to make cider. To donate, go to www.wearehawkes.com/appledonors
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the same time in 2019, when the whole category was up three per cent,” says Paul Bolton, client director at CGA. Breaking it down by product type, apple cider is down 4.7 per cent, driven by draught apple’s 4.4 per cent fall and packaged apple’s 7.8 per cent slide. Whilst fruit remains fairly flat (down 0.9 per cent), draught fruit is in growth at one per cent. Packaged fruit has suffered a 3.2 per cent decline. “Again this is a much changed picture,” says Paul, comparing the scene with 2019, when apple was up 1.8 per cent on the previous year, packaged fruit cider was down 5.3 per cent but draught was up a mighty 36 per cent after a raft of new launches. “Cider sees huge uplifts in warm weather,” adds Paul, pointing to that along with England’s success in the World Cup for strong 2018 sales that 2019 would always have found tough to live up to. But the category is increasingly being challenged by other drinks. “New flavour launches have been the response from the packaged brands, but with more competition from gin, as well as the availability of cocktails, they are struggling to make as much impact as in previous years,” he adds. The decline is not something to brush off, but the figures don’t show the whole picture. “Premium quality ciders remain a muststock,” says Martyn Jones, head of sales at Westons Cider. “Despite recent challenges, we believe cider will play a key role in helping the on-trade recover from the impact of the pandemic. Figures reveal that the category’s most sought-after premium and crafted ciders continued to fuel growth in the category.” In fact when the on-trade began to reopen in July, the cider category recovered faster than beer, says Martyn, with cider down 10.5 per cent year on year, compared with the 21.9 per cent fall for beer. Ranging, then, has never been more important. Karen Albert, brands director for premium beverages at Molson Coors, whose brands include Aspall, agrees (perhaps unsurprisingly) that premium is key: “As we come out of lockdown, people are more likely to want to treat themselves and will be willing to pay a bit more when they go out, so look at how you can make the most of this with
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Apple cider is down 4.7 per cent, while fruit cider remains fairly flat
a range of premium options. This trend is becoming more evident in draught ciders.”
Tapping into demand
Indeed, according to Heineken – whose brands include Strongbow, Bulmers and Old Mout – the proportion of outlets with mainstream apple cider taps fell to 56 per cent during 2019, indicating that outlets are removing mainstream choices in favour of more premium options. “But this is not translating into sales,” says Jerry Shedden, category and trade marketing director. “The average throughput of mainstream apple cider sits at almost double the rate of a premium apple option,” he adds. “The same is true of flavoured cider – mainstream outdelivers premium by almost two to one. While premium ciders deliver a price advantage, this shouldn’t be at the expense of cutting volumes in half.” With the average pub having 1.9 apple cider taps, it makes sense to spreadbet with both a mainstream and a premium option. Jerry recommends testing customers’ appetite with small kegs or bags-in-boxes, to see how many are willing to trade up. But when it comes to premium, juice content is important, says David BridgeCollyns of Drinkscraft, brand owner of Gravity Theory Cider, who says consumers are looking for the same craft cues they have demanded from beer.
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Leading flavoured cider brands are responding to competition from other categories, with Kopparberg venturing into spirits and Rekorderlig focusing on botanicals
Helping hands from brands To describe 2020 as tricky is akin to describing Donald Trump as somewhat divisive. Luckily for licensees, there are brands offering a helping hand. Thatchers free keg pledge To support the on-trade through what has been one of the most challenging summers in recent times, Thatchers has pledged support worth £1million. In fact its offer of a free keg of cider to pubs that currently stock one of its draught brands, has been extended from freetrade outlets to many leased and tenanted outlets too. Over 60 wholesalers, brewers and pub partners including Marston’s, St Austell, Greene King, Coors, Carlsberg, LWC, Ei Group and Punch have signed up to the initiative, with over 5,000 kegs claimed so far. Apply at www.thatcherscider.co.uk/thatcherspledge/ Free kegs of Stowford Press Westons is also supporting the trade with free stock alongside reusable plastic glasses, branded glassware and Stowford Press parasols as part of what it describes as the biggest on-trade investment drive in the brand’s 140-year history. 1,880 free kegs of Stowford Press and 2,500 parasols have been distributed to existing customers.
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“A lot of pubs and bars have been asking for a full-juice cider,” he says. “Customers are becoming more educated and want to know more about the origin and background of their cider – in much the same way as the craft beer movement developed.” In the UK, cider has a minimum juice content requirement of 35 per cent, significantly lower than Germany at 95 per cent and the USA at 50 per cent. David adds that nine out of 10 of ciders on the UK market meet but don’t exceed this minimum requirement.
Learning in lockdown
“The lockdown had a significant impact on consumer choice,” adds Rob at Thatcher’s. “For a regular pub-goer with a naturally restricted choice of beer and cider, the offtrade represented a chance to reappraise the category and choose the brands that met their needs the most. This presented a great opportunity for trial and trade-up.” Pubs now have an opportunity to bring these ciders into their range, meeting
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F R U I T*
C I D E R N O W AVA I L A B L E ON DRAUGHT
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*IRI, Value sales, Fruit Cider, 52 weeks to 12/07/20
No- and low-alcohol alternatives are becoming a must-stock feature – especially as they are crucial for enticing healthconscious customers into the trade
demand for experimentation. Nicola Randall, senior marketing manager at Brothers Drinks Co, says: “Our brand is all about stoking curiosity with unusual flavours, which aligns with the market trend. We saw value growth of 125 per cent during lockdown, as people tried new products at home.” Its launches so far in 2020 have included Brothers Marshmallow, Tutti Frutti, and Red Apple flavours. With pink gin one of the biggest competitors tempting drinkers away from cider, it is unsurprising that leading flavoured cider brands are taking note. Just look at Kopparberg’s May 2019 launch of a strawberry & lime flavoured gin if you need proof. Rekorderlig has gone down the botanical route. However, its Botanicals range is intended to tempt drinkers looking for a “refreshing alternative to gin”, with flavours
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including Rhubarb, Lemon & Mint. And in line with the general trend for nonalcoholic products, zero-alcohol ciders are also worth consideration. Thatchers Zero was launched at the beginning of 2020. Heineken offers Old Mout Berries & Cherries Alcohol Free, which is currently in 4,500 pubs. Jerry at Heineken UK adds: “No- and low-alcohol alternatives are becoming a must-stock feature – especially as they are crucial for enticing health-conscious consumers into the on-trade.” He adds that data shows half of consumers are now moderating their alcohol intake and six per cent are proactively trying to lead a healthier lifestyle. So, with every product on the bar having to earn its place more than ever, now is the time to make sure your cider range caters specifically for your customer base, whatever their tastes may now be.
magazine.inapub.co.uk 02/10/2020 17:53
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Keep calm and
have Christmas drinks
by ANDREW IVES
The year 2020 has, to put it mildly, been challenging for the hospitality trade. Lockdown measures and confused messaging from the government about social distancing have combined to keep many people out of pubs even after the strictest measures intended to control the spread of Covid-19 were lifted. Yet there have been some positive signs. Statistics indicate that despite any fears customers may have about leaving their homes during a pandemic, the British public appears willing to go out and spend money if there is an incentive to do so. Figures released by the Treasury in September show that 100 million meals (worth about £522m) were sold under the Government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme, which subsidised a 50 per cent discount for customers on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays during August. Booking website Open Table attributes a 53 per cent year-on-year hike in reservations to Eat Out To Help Out. The last day of the scheme, Monday, August 31, saw a 216 per cent rise in reservations compared with the same day last year. Phil Sanders, out of home commercial director at Britvic, told Inapub: “We cannot say for sure what Christmas will look like this year, but with 64 per cent of people saying their top occasion post-lockdown is catching up with friends (CGA Brand Track April 2020), it seems socialising will still be high
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on the agenda for many people over the seasonal period.” Looking ahead with optimism then, customers who have spent the best part of a year under varying degrees of lockdown may treat the festive season as an opportunity to push the boat out. A special cocktail or party-friendly drinks on the Christmas menu would give them the chance to do so. Phil adds: “Premium products will continue to grow in the festive period as customers look for something with that extra sparkle. It’s important to be innovative with your cocktail menu, offering fun seasonal serves.” Jane Jones, marketing director at Fuller, Smith & Turner, agrees that customers will continue to seek out seasonal treats and experiences. She said: “Even with the current restrictions on numbers and capacity, we will be looking to make Christmas special for our customers. We will be looking to work with our suppliers to ensure we have a really vibrant range of winter drinks. “Last year we did some amazing promotions including a hot gin bar with Sipsmiths in The City and an Alpine-themed outside bar with Jubel. I think we will see more people wanting to be outside this winter, so these sorts of innovative promotions will add that extra bit of interest and sparkle.”
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magazine.inapub.co.uk 28/09/2020 23:24
Alex Williams, co-proprietor of The Polgooth Inn in St Austell, Cornwall, and 2018 BII Licensee of the Year, told Inapub: “We plan our Christmas menu in January, when we sit down and work out what worked and what didn’t. We’re a traditional pub, we serve prosecco and Champagne, but we also have a Christmas cocktail. Last year it was Baileys spiced with nutmeg. We also serve espresso martinis, made with our own fresh coffee.” ▲
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Hassle-free low & no options
Research by mindful drinking movement Club Soda (www.joinclubsoda.com) and Drinkaware Monitor 2018 shows that 42 per cent of UK adult drinkers have at some stage made an effort to cut down their drinking, with 49 per cent of those efforts coming within the last 12 months. In addition to customers who want to drink less for health and wellbeing reasons, those who drive to the pub are an important market during Christmas, says Phil Sanders at Britvic. “Designated drivers are a huge sales opportunity in the festive season for soft drinks,” he says. “Do not just look to satisfy this customer demographic; endeavour to showcase as much creativity and excitement in your non-alcoholic menu as you would across your alcoholic range.” In addition to adult soft drinks such as Britvic’s J2O, which continues to be the UK’s best-seller in that category (Nielsen Scantrack), spirit substitutes that allow for easy non-alcoholic mixed drink and cocktail options are now readily available. The idea behind spirit-substitutes is simplicity: any cocktail or spirit-and-mixer drinks on a menu can be offered with or without
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magazine.inapub.co.uk 28/09/2020 23:24
KOPPARBERG CHERRY SPICED RUM AVAILABLE NOW
For the perfect after dark drink, take a tall glass and pour Kopparberg Cherry Spiced Rum over mountains of ice before topping with cola and garnishing with a wedge of lime. @kopparbergtrade
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Designated drivers are a huge sales opportunity in the festive season. Do not just look to satisfy this demographic; showcase as much creativity as you would in your alcoholic range
alcohol – if the customer wants a booze-free G&T, barstaff simply make the drink with an alcohol-free gin substitute. Among the alcohol-free distilled-spirit brands available, Lyre’s offers perhaps the most complete selection of alcoholic-spirit substitutes, with Dry London Spirit (gin), American Malt (bourbon), White Cane Spirit (un-aged rum), and Spiced Cane Spirit (spiced rum) able to slot easily into most existing alcoholic drinks offerings. Each Lyre’s spirit contains less than 0.5 per cent ABV which, while classifying them as non-alcoholic, also means that unlike alcoholic spirits, the bottles are best kept in the fridge once open.
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Copenhagen-based ISH spirits launched their range of non-alcoholic RTDs into the UK last year. The names “Spritzish” and “Ginish & Tonic” position the cans as nonalcoholic cocktails, with a focus on highquality natural ingredients, and enjoying the party with a clear head. Both cocktails come in 250ml cans, which ISH recommends be served over ice in balloon glasses. At the more established end of the low & no spectrum, alcohol-free beer remains one of the most popular categories, with Krombacher o.0% Pils providing an easydrinking yet flavoursome alcohol-free German beer option that comes in pleasingly grown up packaging. Best served icy-cold.
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eat THE AUTUMN MENU AT THE RAYLEIGH ARMS, WITH DEBBIE BAISDEN Our vision for The Rayleigh Arms is for it to be a quality, gastro, relaxing experience, providing food that is reflective of comfort, tradition and choice. With this in mind we are currently developing a deli to offer takeaway goods and offer products on show to our diners, including a choice of cheese and charcuterie boards, so customers will be able to buy with their eyes. Although we feel we are at the right place with our house menus, we are constantly adding for set events and have our first wedding booked, where we have adjusted to meet the needs of the couple. With weddings reduced to 15 people there is a space to be filled in the market, and many brides I have spoken to still want to get married with a small informal wedding breakfast and a larger party when restrictions are eased.
We try to use local produce where we can and we are excited to extend our menu this year to include game for autumn. On Christmas Eve we are planning distanced carol singing around the tree, with a posh pizza night, and on Christmas Day we will do one sitting with a traditional meal. Who knows what will happen by New Year’s Eve but we intend to carry on planning regardless. Our head chef came up with the idea of an evening to include a four course Gatsby-themed Murder Mystery dinner party – yet another new way of entertaining. As 2021 gets closer, we will be extending our vegetarian and vegan choices too and hoping to hit the new year with some very tasty healthy options.
Lamb Stew with Barley & Herb Dumplings recipe inspiration from Premier Foods • 50ml olive oil • 2 onions (sliced) • 500g carrots (diced) •5 00g parsnips (peeled and diced) • 100g pancetta (diced) • 50g McDougalls plain flour • 500ml rich ale •1 ltr Bisto Beef Boullion (made as per instructions) •1 0g fresh rosemary (chopped) • 100g pearl barley • 1.25kg cooked lamb (sliced)
For the dumplings •2 50g McDougalls self-raising flour • 125g suet • salt • 225ml water •2 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped) • Ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 150˚C. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a high heat, add the onion, carrots and parsnips and cook for 5 minutes. Add the pancetta and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the McDougalls Plain Flour and gradually add the rich ale and Bisto Beef Boullion to make a sauce. Once combined, add the rosemary and barely and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the dumplings by putting the McDougalls Self-Raising Flour, suet and salt in a mixing
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bowl. Add the water, a little at a time, mixing until you have a thick dough. Divide the dough into 20 pieces and using floured hands shape into golf-sized balls. Place the sliced lamb into an ovenproof dish and pour over the sauce. Place the dumplings on top of the casserole allowing enough room for them to expand. Cover with a lid and cook in the preheated oven or simmer on the top of the stove for 20 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked and barley is tender.
Food favourites by JOHN PORTER
In normal times, pubs would now be gearing up for their busiest time of year – a rollercoaster of busy trading sessions and smiling customers enjoying Halloween, Bonfire Night office parties, then the tills ringing out the season’s greetings over an extended Christmas holiday. But even in the best of years, the festive period is hard work for operators. In this far from optimal year, predicting the pattern of demand is, to say the least, a challenge. At such times, striking a menu balance favouring proven winners rather than too much experimentation with unusual fare feels like a prudent approach. And predictions that customers will be looking for the reassurance of familiar favourites on the menu seem to be playing out in reality. Award-winning licensee Oisín Rogers recently added managing The Windmill in Mayfair to his role at its nearby sister Young’s pub The Guinea Grill. His menu focus on hearty classics has definitely struck a chord with customers returning to eating out after lockdown. Favourites now on the menu at The Windmill include starters such as devilled kidneys and
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Welsh rarebit, a selection of home-made pies including steak & kidney and venison & mushroom, and pub food standards such as sausage & mash and fish & chips. The Guinea pushes the boat out even further, with starters also including oysters, and beef Wellington among the mains. Oisin says: “I’m definitely finding that people are looking for the classics, the favourites. Our Sunday lunch sittings are selling out so quickly, I’ve never known anything like it. Everyone wants Yorkshire pudding, generous helpings of mashed potatoes, gravy, and then they want to see the dessert menu – it’s very much about comfort food.”
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People are looking for the classics. Everyone wants Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, gravy, then they want to see the dessert menu. It’s very much about comfort food
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Halloween, which in recent years has become an important “big night out” in the pub calendar, has the good grace to fall on a Saturday night in 2020, giving operators an opportunity to go to town, at least to the extent that social distancing measures allow. For both Halloween and Bonfire Night, traditional hand-held favourites such as burgers and hot dogs are menu staples.
Break out the breads
To make such dishes memorable, bakery specialist Lantmännen Unibake has launched its Americana thaw and serve range, which includes a Brioche Bun, Glazed Bun, Grill Marked Bun, Kaiser Cut Bun and Gluten Free Gourmet Bun. Paulina Gorska, marketing manager, says the range “can not only help operators add instant appeal to their burger offering and respond to current consumer demands, but can support operators to simplify kitchen operations and avoid food wastage during the industry’s most challenging times”. She adds: “Firm favourites, indulgent and premium offerings should all be front of
mind as the industry bounces back.” In that spirit Lantmännen Unibake also supplies pre-mixed dough pizza in frozen pucks, at the perfect size for a 12-inch thincrust pizza. A premium choice of bread also helps to drive the appeal of shared and snacking options, says Les Romney, UK sales manager at Speciality Breads. “We’ve seen massive growth in the demand for breads to serve with sharing platters and small dishes such as pinchos, tapas and meze. Diners are changing their habits and are now choosing a more relaxed style of dining. Platters and small dishes offer great ways to serve regional specialities and celebrate seasonal events without a brigade in the kitchen.”
A flexible approach to menu style may also pay off as the festive season arrives, advises Mark Rigby, executive chef at Premier Foods. “There’s still a degree of uncertainty when it comes to Christmas, and how this will look for pubs. Some customers are still likely to have hesitations with returning to their usual traditions, such as holding celebrations for large groups at their local pub. Occasions such as corporate parties are also likely to move away from public spaces.” Mark suggests that pubs which have historically relied on office party trade shift their focus toward families during the festive period. “Considering options such as a children’s festive menu and sharing dishes will help encourage people to venture out and mark the seasonal occasion,” he says. “Offering customers a traditional and delicious Christmas meal is also likely to be more important than ever before, as we move beyond these uncertain times.”
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Little by JOHN PORTER
Ruby Chocolate Crème Brûlée Serves 6 Approx. cost to make per portion 93p • Suggested selling price £5.95 • GP per portion 84 per cent • 100g Callebaut Ruby Chocolate Callets • Callebaut Ruby Crispearls • 600ml double cream • 1tsp vanilla essence • 6 free range egg yolks • 6tbsp golden caster sugar • 1tbsp beetroot powder • Whipped cream • Orange Zest Preheat your oven to 160C/ 140C Fan/Gas 3. Place a saucepan on to a low heat and add the Callebaut Ruby Chocolate Callets, double cream and vanilla essence. Stir until melted and set aside. In large bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar together until pale. Stir in the chocolate mixture along with the beetroot powder, then pour into six ramekins (175-200 ml). Place into a deep roasting tray and pour freshly boiled water halfway up the sides. Bake for 15-20 minute or until just set. Refrigerate for at least three hours. Sprinkle remaining sugar on top and caramelise with a chef’s blow torch or hot grill. Leave caramel to harden and top with whipped cream, orange zest and Callebaut Ruby Crispearls.
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‘Something from the trolley?’ The traditional method of displaying desserts by wheeling them around the dining room might not be up to the robust standards of storage and refrigeration now demanded of pubs, but it would be hard to deny its effectiveness as a marketing tool. It’s very hard to say no to a slice of Black Forest Gateau when it’s careering towards you at high speed. With pubs facing an uncertain market, desserts have the potential to boost the bottom line by encouraging customers to spend a little more. Anna Sentance, gourmet marketing manager for chocolate specialist Callebaut UK and Ireland, suggests: “Winter favourites such as soufflés and fondants are popular during the colder months, with chocolate playing a significant role in dessert menus. “Including indulgent hot options such as Callebaut’s Ruby Crème Brûlée on menus for the perfect cold-weather dessert will appeal to diners looking to enjoy a cosy end to their meal.” Ashley McCarthy, co-owner and chef at Ye Old Sun Inn in Colton, North Yorkshire, regularly calls upon his skills to create chocolate sculptures which are used to raise funds for the nearby Martin House Hospice. Among his recent works is a chocolate Elvis – Jailhouse Choc, anyone? Ashley’s tips for pub chefs working with chocolate are: • With chocolate, the general rule of thumb is the more you pay, the better the quality. Don’t be talked into buying cheap alternatives!
• Don’t be scared of having a range of favourites for different uses; e.g. rich dark for cooking and a lighter one for sauces or desserts. Take note of the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, but don’t let that influence your preference. • Treat it with care, don’t overheat it, and don’t get water into it! Oisin Rogers, licensee at London’s Guinea Grill and Windmill, is a big advocate for custard, even suggesting on Twitter that it should be served on draught alongside gravy. Oisin’s tried and trusted custard recipe is: • 150ml milk • 2 egg yolks • 20g caster sugar • 15g plain flour • Half-tsp vanilla extract He says: “I like to make custard over a water bath – ingredients in the pan, put the pan over the water bath, get the whisk out, and give it a good old going through.” Whisking up extra sales with indulgent desserts – what could be sweeter?
Cask Marque Become one of the best 10,000 cask ale pubs in Britain
‘Cask Marque’ is an independent scheme that assesses the beer quality in pubs to ensure standards are driven and maintained. Qualified assessors visit pubs to test the beers temperature, appearance, aroma and taste. pubs have increased sales since 88% ofgaining the accreditation of accredited outlets said they would 98% recommend the scheme to other licensees Benefits include: n Featured on the CaskFinder app - used 60,000 times a month to find Cask Marque pubs n A Cask Marque plaque – recognised by 77% of beer drinkers as a badge of quality n Point of Sale material – to help promote this achievement to customers n Random inspections – helping pubs to consistently serve quality beer n Access to cellar management training n Regular newsletters Sign Up today by visiting cask-marque.co.uk or calling 01206 752212
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play ON AT THE RAYLEIGH ARMS, WITH DEBBIE BAISDEN Considering ways to entertain in these times can be daunting. With restrictions in place, customers can no longer stand at the bar or partake in any live music or sports events. It’s all about bringing entertainment to the customers’ tables. In order to create an online quiz through lockdown I had to explore accessible services on the internet. I soon discovered as long as you have a solid WiFi customers can log in to any platform you want. When running Brit Pub Live, I focused on Facebook and added a software called Ecam. This enabled live feeds with recorded elements helping to create an interactive quiz. Hosted by my alter ego Dolly Slatemen, the quiz was able to reach customers (or anyone else for that
matter – “we wasn’t fussy”). The same principle is being developed to create an in-house pub quiz where customers can be interactive on their phones whilst guided by the host. Researching what is around in the digital world can help make plans for bespoke events at your pub. Customers’ phones are already used to order food – I even caught my mother-in-law scanning a QR code! Alternatively, creative workshops can include a broad range of activities and still be Covid-secure. Recently we had an embroidery workshop where customers worked from their table. Future classes will include Christmas wreaths, a night of painting and I may even deliver a class on stand-up, although Dolly has been barred!
The UK’s most unusual pub games All surviving in corners of the UK pub landscape, says the British Beer & Pub Association
average annual uplift in sales for a pub showing live sport
Aunt Sally Still popular in Oxfordshire. Players throw batons at a doll-shaped wooden skittle. Rhubarb Thrashing Two blindfolded contestants stand in dustbins and do battle with rhubarb. Ringing the Bull Swinging a nose-ring on a string in an arc so as to hook it onto a pretend bull’s nose. There is a thriving tradition at Nottingham’s Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, reputedly the UK’s oldest pub. Dwile Flonking Involves two teams of twelve players, each taking turns to dance around the other whilst attempting to avoid a beer-soaked dwile (cloth) thrown by the non-dancing team. Quoits A traditional game which involves throwing metal, rope or rubber rings over a set distance, usually to land over or near a spike (sometimes called a hob, mott or pin). Shovel Board/Shove Groat/Slide Thrift/Push Penny/ Shove Ha’penny A game known by many names that originated in Tudor times and was played on long narrow tables.. Two players or teams push coins or discs up the board.
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of searches for pubs showing sport are looking for football
of sports fans think it is important to have a guaranteed seat when they watch sport in a pub Figures from Matchpint.co.uk
37 02/10/2020 14:33
The place to go
for the big game
Watching a game of football with your friends in a pub is one of those sublime experiences that you simply cannot achieve anywhere else. If you are a football fan you will almost certainly be able to recall watching your team in a particular match. And just as much as the result, you will be able to recall exactly who you were with and which pub you were in.
Phil is looking at how to make the most of the pub’s outside space to create more viewing areas
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While the pandemic, and the restrictions it has brought with it, may have changed the way we enjoy sport in pubs, with a bit of lateral thinking the passion and spirit that football fans pour into the game can still be channelled into building atmosphere and creating occasions in your pub. We caught up with Phil Hughes who runs The Bell in Eccleshall, Staffordshire, to see how he has adapted to showing TV sport under the current restrictions. Based in the centre of the town, Phil has
been leading the team at the pub for the last two years. TV sport is a key part of the pub’s offer, and he shows games from Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon. Phil explains: “We have a strong following for rugby matches in the pub, especially internationals, but the football games are also important. The re-emergence of Wolves as a force in both the Premier League and in Europe has been good for us, especially last season with a regular following for the Europa League games on a Thursday night. We also get a reasonable following for the Stoke City games as they are our nearest big team, and we are hoping for a better showing from them this season compared with last season.” However, it’s not just the local teams that draw the customers in, the big teams do their bit as well. “We get a number of people in to watch the Man Utd and Liverpool games,” says Phil. “For the first game of the season when Liverpool played Leeds we were full to capacity, which was great.” So how does that work for the team at the Bell now it’s table service only? Phil explains that they don’t offer table bookings and
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We are looking at hot pies for our customers. We are hoping that will encourage customers to stay even longer for extra drinks and enjoy the backto-back game experience
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instead operate on a first come, first served basis. They currently only have televisions inside the pub so are also now exploring ways to make the most of the pub’s outside areas. These include adding more covered areas and creating flexible outside TV locations. “It’s very difficult to plan how outside TV viewing will work,” says Phil. “Especially as we are now entering the winter months. Although we would like to increase capacity for the big games we need to think about the weather and how we can keep our customers warm and comfortable while they are watching. There are no quick wins with this and we are exploring a number of options.”
With customers all sitting at tables and the new requirements relating to shouting and singing, the atmosphere on match days has certainly changed. But on a more positive note, this has by no means put people off coming to watch games at the pub. “It’s still the preferred way for customers to catch the big games,” says Phil. Another positive from the world of TV Sport is back-to-back fixtures, whether that be double-headers in the evenings or multiple games on a Saturday or Sunday – start-
ing in the afternoon and going right through to the evening. This has been a definite win for the pub with customers staying longer and spending more. It has also led Phil to reconsider the food options in the pub. Phil explains: “We currently offer a range of cold bar snacks but are now looking at hot pies and other hot food dishes for our customers. We are hoping that will encourage customers to stay even longer for extra drinks and enjoy the back-to-back game experience.” The increased number of games has also heightened the need to advertise what games are on and when. Phil and his team use Facebook to advertise the games and their website has an automatic system that updates the fixtures, with games being added weekly and automatically removed when they have finished. With the option to go and watch professional football, rugby or any other sport as a spectator at a local ground off the cards for the foreseeable future, as this season continues the pub has become even more important to sport fans. It still remains the go-to place to catch a game with friends and licensees like Phil up and down the country are working hard to give fans the best, most memorable experience they can.
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Booking a place in
the new normal
Six months ago we went to Ticknall in Derbyshire to meet Chris and Kaye Nix, as they started a new chapter at The Staff of Life, the pub they have owned for 25 years. We said ‘one certainty in the world of pubs is nothing stays the same for long’. Little did we know just how true this would turn out to be in 2020!
Six months later we have returned to Ticknall to see how Chris and Kaye’s plans have worked out and how they are operating in what is now a very different world. When it came to promoting the pub, Chris says: “We were not marketing our pub effectively and certainly not making the most of the new digital activities out there.” Having launched a new website with a new booking system and signed up for the Stay in a Pub service, what do they think now? “The website has been invaluable in
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communicating to our customers all the changes over the last few months, what they can expect when they arrive and the measures we have put in place to ensure their safety when they come and visit us,” Chris says. “However, the real acid test is: can we take more direct bookings through the website? Post-lockdown, it was difficult to look at year-on-year comparisons given the new world we faced. However, things have started to settle down and in the first few weeks of September we are seeing encouraging signs of increased direct bookings.” So what are their plans for the website from here? “We know the job is far from finished,” says Chris. “We are planning new content and looking at ways to drive more visitors to the website. We are looking at accessing a grant from the new round of government funding that was recently announced. This money will help us invest and improve the website and hopefully that will drive improved returns as more and more of our customers rely on the internet to book rooms and tables with us. We are also looking forward to see-
magazine.inapub.co.uk 02/10/2020 16:45
We are looking at accessing a grant from the new round of government funding. This money will help us improve the website and hopefully that will drive improved returns
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ing what the new Stay in a Pub website looks like and are hopeful that will prove a good source of new bookings.”
Tempting the tourists
The original plan to build partnerships with the local tourist attractions has obviously been put on hold, but not forgotten. As Chris said in March, they are in it for the long term and are hoping the new environment will help make organisations like the National Trust more open to helping local pubs. The website has information on a couple of tourist attarctions and they plan to add to similar content over the coming months. They feel this works for those people who are planning a staycation but don’t know what the local area has to offer. It’s not all about the website though. Pubs up and down the country are looking to tap into the new post-lockdown world, where pub-goers have become even more reliant on digital channels to find information and plan their lives, having spent so many months at home trying to get their heads around Zoom calls, Amazon orders and even organising doctors’ appointments from their homes. Chris and Kaye feel social media, in particular Facebook, is key. They have used it to launch an extended Eat Out to Help Out offer on Mondays, quiz night on Thursdays and
steak night on Saturdays. They have also introduced afternoon teas with a prosecco twist. The push on Facebook has fallen to their new management team John and Jayne. They came into the pub in July, replacing the previous management team, who had been brought in to run the pub day to day and free up Chris and Kaye to focus on developing the business. “A change in management was needed. We all tried hard to make it work but it became clear the fit wasn’t right,” said Chris. “It was best for both parties that a change was made and although it was difficult because of lockdown, it has definitely turned out to be the right decision.” John and Jane have brought higher energy levels, experience and the drive to build local trade. So with a new management team and a new marketing push, Chris and Kaye are all set for the run into Christmas and beyond. Despite all the change, a focus on great customer service with a desire to maintain the highest standards with drink, food and accommodation remains at the core of their business. They feel that this is even more important in this “new normal” market everyone in the pub trade faces, and as you know, nothing stays the same for long!
Restore the Rhythm As the pub trade bids to get back in the groove, PPL PRS has launched a push for venues to get TheMusicLicence and use music to bring life back to their business. We asked how it all works Firstly, what is TheMusicLicence from PPL PRS, and why is it needed? Under The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, permission is needed from the relevant copyright holders – those people who create music – in order to play or perform music in public. Obtaining TheMusicLicence from PPL PRS gives businesses this permission in relation to the vast majority of commercially available music. This ranges from grassroots and independent artists and composers through to the biggest names in the business. It also means they don’t have to spend time and energy contacting potentially hundreds of thousands of rightsholders individually to get permission to play or perform their music in their business. As lockdown was enforced in March, and hospitality businesses closed their doors, what did PPL PRS do to support those businesses affected? When news of the lockdown was announced we worked with our parent companies PPL and PRS for Music, and communicated to our customers that we would not be charging those affected businesses for TheMusicLicence for the period of closure. We very quickly recognised what a challenging time this was going to be for everyone involved.
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Through suspending the costs of TheMusicLicence for that period, it goes a little way to assisting with some of the outgoing strain on businesses. As a customer service-based business, the lockdown was also a challenge for us. However, we transitioned our call centre staff to work from home almost immediately to ensure that our service levels weren’t affected, and customers who were worried about the financial impact of the closures were still able to get in touch with us to discuss their music licence. As the hospitality sector starts to return to the new normal, how are you working with pubs and bars as they re-open? We are so pleased to see the hospitality industry opening back up, allowing people to visit their favourite pubs and bars again. Obviously, the months of closure will have taken their toll on businesses and their finances. We have launched a campaign called Restore the Rhythm, aimed at helping businesses to use music to get their business back to its best. We believe that using music in a business, within Government guidelines, could help to restore confidence and ease the transition back into the new normal. As part of this campaign, we want to hear from businesses who have used music to welcome their customers back. Perhaps they have changed how they use music to encourage more customers into their venues. Music played a huge part in keeping people’s spirits up during the lockdown period, and there is no reason why that can’t continue.
You say music can help get a business back to its best. How? As customers, and staff, return to venues, there is bound to be a period of uncertainty. People may feel anxious about socialising again. Workers may feel stressed about being in a busy environment or adapting to new processes. Music is such a powerful tool, it can create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for your clientele, evoking memories of great nights out, gigs they have been to, events in their lives. For your employees, music can ease anxiety, whilst also helping to increase productivity and motivation. Consider the type of music you play in your bar, and when. Playing some uplifting, feelgood music at the start and the end of the day can help motivate the team ready for the tasks ahead, and also help them through that final hour at the end of a long day on their feet. The live music industry has been particularly hard hit during this period. The time when we can dance amongst a throng of people at a live gig, singing at the top of our voices does seem to be a long way off right now. However, if you do have an outside space at your venue, you could host small live music events, adhering to the Government guidelines for noise and safety, obviously. Many people are missing out on concerts and festivals this year, so some live outdoor music at a local pub could be the answer for them, and your business! I run a pub which didn’t play music prior to the lockdown, but I’d like to introduce it into my venue. What licence do I need? To play music in a pub or bar you would
usually need TheMusicLicence from PPL PRS. Music can bring your business or event to life. And we want to make purchasing TheMusicLicence as straightforward and simple as possible. If a business decides to start playing music they simply need to contact our Customer Service team, who can talk them through the process and provide a bespoke quote based on a variety of factors, such as the size of their property and how they plan to use music. Our advisers are here to help ensure our customers are correctly licensed to play virtually all commercially released music available, which includes millions of songs and recordings not just from the UK, but also from around the world. There are also other licences from your local council which you may need, depending on your music usage. You can check which licences are relevant to you on the Government website. What licence do I need to show sports on a TV in my bar? As the sporting season returns to our screens, and people canâ€™t attend live matches as freely, it could be beneficial to show some sporting events to your customers. Along with the necessary
package from your TV service provider, for example Sky Sports or BT Sport, which gives you permission to show the live games they broadcast within your establishment, you will also need a TV Licence and TheMusicLicence. If I only show sports, why do I need TheMusicLicence if I have a TV Licence? A TV Licence gives permission to broadcast the programmes. However, it does not cover the Copyright Act, as mentioned earlier. Many sports use music during games, adverts often include music, the programmes themselves have theme tune music. Most of this music is covered by the Copyright Act, and therefore TheMusicLicence is required to ensure that the creators of that music are rewarded for its use in a commercial setting.
I understand that I need TheMusicLicence to play music in my business, but I donâ€™t really understand where the money goes? Aside from our business operating costs, all the revenue collected through TheMusicLicence goes back to the talented people who make it! Royalties are paid through our parent companies, PPL and PRS for Music, which means that those people who write, perform, compose, record, or publish music are fairly paid and rewarded for their work. Many grassroots and emerging artists and music creators rely on the royalty payments they receive as a result of businesses and venues purchasing TheMusicLicence.
I only play music via the TV; do I still need TheMusicLicence if I have a TV licence? As mentioned above, a TV Licence only covers the broadcast aspect of the television, not the copyright of the music played, therefore TheMusicLicence would still be required.
To find out more about TheMusicLicence and the Restore the Rhythm campaign, go to
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Pic: Hunter Bliss Images / Shutterstock.com
Goodbye to all this?
Making the path to purchase as easy as possible and providing great customer service have always been at the heart of running a successful pub or bar business. Customer thirst for technology is at an all-time high and the pace at which behaviours are changing has been accelerated significantly by the Covid-19 pandemic. New ways of improving service, and as a by-product, limiting contact with customers, may feel a bit forced in the current climate, but do the advantages of order & pay apps outstrip the pitfalls? by ARCHIE MILLS
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With a plethora of Order & Pay solutions flooding the market in response to Covid-19, technology is changing the trade and shaping the way we interact with customers. Daniel MacIntyre of The View in Oban, Argyll & Bute, thinks technology is the future of bar service: “Customers will expect technology solutions in the future, we are in an experience economy now. We viewed lockdown as a great opportunity to get ahead of the game, become an early adopter, and enhance customer experience by identifying the best app for our venue.” Order & pay solutions have been proven to
take pressure off the bar by providing extra channels for taking orders from tables and from groups even before they visit the pub. But what are the issues we should look out for? Daniel feels the challenges have been mainly physical, as opposed to anything to do with the app technology itself. “We experienced issues with staff learning and had the odd WiFi blackspot and trouble with access points. These were teething problems that we worked through as a team and everything is working well now. Ultimately, getting drinks to tables should be as seamless as possible. Order & pay helps cut bottlenecks and long
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Our app does the upselling for us. Customers are getting the information they need at the same time as us positioning our profitable products appropriately - Dan Bailey, Belushi’s Newquay
wait times at the bar, allowing customers to enjoy what they came in for – a good time with friends. We find the app provides us with tremendous adaptability and after a few tweaks to the content, we have managed to get to a place where we have cut waste, improved customer experience, built up true loyalty and increased GPs. If you have not already, you need to find an app that works best for you.” Dan Bailey at Belushi’s in Newquay, Cornwall, has learned that implementing order & pay at table is not a one-size-fits-all. “There are many versions of service and it’s tricky doing full table service in a venue that hasn’t had it before,” he says. “We negotiated our way through weeks of hard work in changing customer perceptions and it took a lot of effort. With many of our customers having enjoyed vertical drinking, it was a challenge, both for those visiting and for our staff, who felt the interaction they enjoyed had been taken away. We got there in the end and are glad we stuck to our guns because we are now operating with everyone’s safety in mind, and I believe we are adding value through the better service we now provide.” Does offering order & pay limit interaction with customers? Dan feels that although one-to-one service opportunities have diminished, they do still exist. “We listened to the concerns of our older customers and have made changes to the way we train staff. All our team members, including security staff who are now more like hospitality hosts, are comfortable explaining the new rules and
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bar ordering set-up and showing customers to their seats. We have also created various maître d’ stations throughout the venue and have floorwalkers at all times to keep that feeling of personal service.”
A new era for upselling
Do you lose upsell opportunities by completely removing traditional order at bar and table? Dan believes apps are now your virtual backbar hotspots and the place to put the products you want to sell in front of customers. “We started off having a shooter offer at the top of the app but quickly realised we could highlight more profitable items, so we changed to cocktails,” he says. “The results were a remarkable success. Our app offers the chance for us to embroider product descriptions so that the app does the upselling for us – customers are getting the information they need at the same time as us positioning our profitable products appropriately within the app. We see this as the beginning of being able to interact and engage with our customer database and early results have led us to already replace our physical loyalty card with in-app loyalty serving rewards, exclusive offers and updates direct to our customers on their phone. We can’t wait to take it further and are looking forward to evolving as we go.” It looks like order & pay is not just a short-term fix for Covid-19 but a prerequisite to answering changing customer needs for technology-based convenience, service and loyalty reward solutions.
magazine.inapub.co.uk 02/10/2020 16:55
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time at the bar
RICHARD MOLLOY Remember looking at your pub – that pub you think about in your sleep, that pub you compare to other pubs and decorate accordingly, that pub designed to make people feel comfortable, happy and safe – and thinking: “You know what this really needs? Loads of black and yellow tape on the floor, signs to tell people to stay away from each other, and a fucking one-way system”? No? Me neither. But here we are. Welcome back. We’ve missed you. Wash your hands. Wait here to be seated. Try not to die. New normal? Well, oxymoron notwithstanding, it had better not be the future. I reckon I could stand this for 12 months; 18 months max. Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful to have people back, and see them laughing and singing again. It’s great to have the footy on and even a bit of live music, but, frankly, it’s weird and feels like the universe has hiccupped. I guess for some people things aren’t much different. For those who cherish homogeneity and like their bars vacuous and airy; those who think that pubs were too crowded anyway, queuing at the bar should always have been a thing and table service is an absolute joy, it may even be an improvement. But if your best night out was around a table in a sterile canteen with the people you see every day, then I feel for you. It’s important to remember why we’re players in this particular social parody, and more important still that we keep the goodwill and confidence of the general public by being professional and adhering to the vague government protocols that were presumably scribbled on a blackboard in Westminster by people who consider a long drive an acceptable way to test poor eyesight. With no clear direction, it’s up to us to maintain the integrity and respect of the industry that we’re afforded by our customers, and not exacerbate the vitriol that gets chucked at us by sections of the media, people on Facebook who have cats
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Welcome back. We’ve missed you. Wash your hands. Wait here to be seated. Try not to die
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
as their profile picture, and those boring twats who suddenly found themselves becoming heroes by continuing to stay in, drinking cans of Aldi lager and watching documentaries on Channel 5 about people with multiple vaginas. So our present isn’t gift wrapped. It’s not easy and it’s not much fun, but at least it’s still ours. We have the opportunity to mould our businesses differently. We’re no longer bound by the chains of outdated tradition. Why put up with customers who rail against what we’re trying to do, who insist on doing what they want to do just because that’s what they want to do? Get rid, run your business how you want to run it. It’s not only an opportunity to come out of this cultural vacuum with a better, more streamlined business model and make our workplaces nicer working environments; it’s our duty to those who have fallen to hold up those who haven’t and do what we’ve always tried to do: make them happy and keep them safe. So hang tight. This won’t go on forever. That tape will come off the floor, the drunken hugs will return and we will stop going around in circles. The Pub 2.0 will be better for people realising what they have, what we did, and just how integral the local pub is to a happy society.
magazine.inapub.co.uk 02/10/2020 17:09
PLATE OR SLATE? Where the nation’s publicans stand on the really big questions Debbie Baisden / Dolly Slatemen
The Rayleigh Arms, Terling, Essex Our guest editor, licensee Debbie Baisden (pictured below), is an expert at multi-tasking in her pub, but also finds time to appear on stage as her alter ego, fellow landlady Dolly Slatemen (pictured right). Luckily, both of them were able to find a few minutes to answer our set of quickfire questions…
Plate or slate? DEBBIE: For me it has to be a plate. I can’t stand the texture on the slate, it reminds me of scratching blackboards at school. DOLLY Always the slate for me. I try to get any self promo in where I can! SLATE-men – get it? Mind you, I never put anything on a slate in the public bar, if you get my meaning.
Cocktails or cask? DEBBIE: Both. There’s a real need to be able to diversify with customers. Cocktails and cask offer great platforms for bespoke products. DOLLY: I do love a cocktail, but I have to watch me acrylics when I’m doing a flambé on me Cosmopolitans. Last time me hands nearly went up like the 4th of July.
Karaoke or pub quiz? DEBBIE: Pub quiz all day long. Great way to raise funds for any charity and to create some customer interaction. DOLLY: I was once a groupie for Rod Stewart and I know if he had heard me sing that night when I was chucked out of his dressing room, he would of had me as his backing singer. Without a doubt karaoke – you will always hear me singing Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?
Live sport or big screen ban? DEBBIE: Depends on the type of venue. There is a need for both as long as customers know what the pub is offering without confusing the experience. DOLLY: Big screen for sure. We’ve had some great days showing the football. Especially when West Ham met up with Liverpool in the FA Cup Final. I had to turn me bubble-making machine off though, the saloon bar didn’t like the taste of it in their lager.
Family-friendly or keep the kids at home? DEBBIE: Identifying where the trade is for a pub hugely influences this decision. Over the years we’ve had both types of venues and as long as everyone is clear on times and behaviour it can work really well. DOLLY: I wish they would leave them at home, I’ve got enough trouble with me own. .
Big night out or meal with friends?
DEBBIE: Meal with friends. When you are a publican time is a luxury, so I make the most of it when I can. DOLLY: Big night out is how I like to let me hair down. I always get a new hairpiece even though it ends up looking like a bird’s nest by the time I get home.
Wear what you like or uniforms for the staff? DEBBIE: Uniforms. Our staff like it – we’ve made it a polo shirt and jeans. DOLLY: I never know what my lot are going to turn up in, adds to the je ne sais what’s it of the place. One of me barmen turned up in a fig leaf once, that was very popular.
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time at the bar
HAIR OF THE DOG Tales of the unexpected from the wonderful world of pubs er There’s no body here, offic Crown Police made a visit to The urs bo gh in Cumbria after nei illegal called them to report an karaing lud inc ty, par wn lockdo re. the oke, was taking place find But officers turned up to ted hos ng bei s wa ty par the whole and on Lem by the licensees Russ om, and his partner Steph on Zo outside the m fro ked loo what had bar the like customers sitting at letons ske tive were actually decora ple cou the by ols sto set up on bar they as n ldre chi al loc use to am walked by. police Russ told The Sun: “The rted sta and ng usi am y ver found it taking selfies with them.”
Punter eases pain of pandemic Chris Rowlands from Craft beer bar Bubs in Cardiff did a double-take when he noticed one of his customers had rounded his £4.90 bill up to an astonishing £100. Thinking it must be a mistake, he contacted his online payment provider Yoello to query the transaction and was then put in touch with the customer – who confirmed that he had added the extra £95.10 to support the venue and its staff through the pandemic. Chris told Business Live he was “stunned”. “It was quite mind-blowing that someone would think of doing that,” he added. “It’s nice to hear there’s still some good in the world!” Not all heroes wear capes, it seems!
Pub gets less absurd name The former Edward Colston pub in Bristol has been renamed Ye Olde Pubby McDrunkface, following slave trader Colston’s dramatic fall from grace when protestors toppled his statue and dumped it in the city harbour. The temporary name is proclaimed on banners outside the pub, and underneath the banner is a board that reads: “We are listening. Black Lives Matter.” The pub’s owners are now on the hunt for a permanent new name. Licensee Paul Frost told Bristol Live: “Myself and pub owners Admiral Taverns are going to listen carefully to people’s suggestions before settling on a new name. There are people more informed than a middle-aged white man like myself. I think my voice is heard enough as it is and there are people who need to be heard more than me.”
Out of tune with the
The world has ha d to get used to a new set of rules tice from The Malt , and this noman in Glasgow has been viewed globe after being around the shared by custo mers on social m The sign, create edia. d by Rachel McCullo ch of Glasgow’s Paint it Bl ack designs, has popped up everywhere from the New Yo rk Post to news websites in Australia and Spain, and has now been copied on pub an d bar chalkboards everywhe re. Back in March, Sweet Caroline singer Neil Diamond released a socia lly distanced version of his hi t on YouTube, with the lyrics ad apted for the pandemic.
Pic: Paint it Black
inapub AUTUMN 2020
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Whatever challenges lie ahead when you open again.
Remember our door is never closed.
Weâ€™re always open 24/7 for pub and bar people. So if youâ€™d like to talk, just call 0808 801 0550 or visit www.licensedtradecharity.org.uk
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23/09/2020 11:26 16/09/2020 17:49
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