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Issue 64 April 2017 ÂŁ3.95

Not for the faint-hearted

Have you got what it takes to crack the wedding market?

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this month Could you host a wedding? • CAMRA’s Pub of the Year


drink All you need to know about cider • Must-stock wines


eat Hold the full English • Eating competitions


play How the Germans win at football• Pay per view


stay How to get a five-star rating


back-bar business Influencer marketing • Hiring security staff







oing to the pub and we’re going to get married… it might not have the same ring to it as the original song but pubs are becoming a significant player in the UK wedding industry. More operators are now getting in on the actual service as well. If the pub is the perfect place to meet with friends and family (and we would strongly argue that it is), it makes sense for couples to turn to pubs for their special day. In this issue we speak to some experienced licensees who show how you can make it extra special for brides, grooms and the pub itself. It again highlights how pubs are broadening their appeal to meet wider needs. In this issue we also focus on apprentices, food challenges, community ownership and how to harness social media influencers to help your business. None of which would have had much relevance to the industry a few years ago. We also have features on cider, wine and pub pets — proving that thankfully some things remain important staples of the industry. Cheers,

Editor Matt Eley • Deputy editor Robyn Black •

62 time at the bar Spotter’s guide to hipster hangouts • 20,000 pubs later...


Eat writer Bronya Smolen • Production editor Ben Thrush •

Cover image: Joanna Brown —











Visit us online at

Chief executive Barrie Poulter • Sales & marketing director Matt Roclawski • Sales manager Leah Gauthier • Subscriptions •

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NE W L O OK . O R IGIN A L B E E R . We love our new design. You may hate it. But that’s ok, because it’s only the beer that really matters and ours, well, it’s as original today as it was 39 years ago. And unlike branding, great tasting beer is something we can all agree on.

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this month.

BARSTOOL EXPERT all you need to know about NATIONAL PET MONTH Why are there so many dogs in here?

You think?

It’s National Pet Month.

Snuffle Dog is a zero-alcohol brew with a genuine Belgian pedigree, that comes in both beef and chicken flavours. And, if that’s not enough, there’s even a company that makes doggy tea.

Harumph. Come on! Get into the spirit of it, dogs in pubs are super cute anyway.

It’s a health and safety nightmare. According to the Food Standards Agency, pets are allowed in pubs as long as the licensee provides “adequate procedures to prevent domestic animals (pets) from getting into places where food is prepared, handled or stored.”

And I thought a bowl of water and some free dog biscuits on the bar would be enough to draw in the pet lovers. We’re just a short step away from those Japanese cafes where people go to stroke cats. Sugoi ii kangae!

What about cats?

What does that mean?

Yes, cats can come in and even horses. Why the long face?

It’s Japanese for “great idea”!

Ha bloody ha. Pets in pubs are an essential part of the experience. What better than a gently purring cat curled up in front a roaring fire or a dog fresh from a walk sniffing around for some rogue snacks?

Who are you, Chris Packham? Most people agree with me. There’s even a Twitter account, @DogsInPubs and Inapub’s own Pets Corner as well, of course, to celebrate the pawesomeness of it.

Woof! Woof! National Pet Month runs through the whole of April and there’s a host of tools on the organiser’s website for pubs that want to get involved. Check out

Barking mad: Having a no pet rule. Being pro pets can mean big bucks for pubs, especially where accommodation is concerned.

Purr-lease, let’s not go down the bad pun road. Whatefur.

What was I saying? Ah yes, people taking it too far, like whoever published that book on London’s best pub cats. And this level of enthusiasm doesn’t convince you? You can even get beer for dogs now. Maybe that is a little too far. p05 barstool expert.indd 5

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IN THE TRADE THIS MONTH Trade slams duty hike The drinks industry reacted with anger at the 3.9 per cent alcohol duty increase that was confirmed in the Budget. The British Beer & Pub Association said this uprating would see an increase in beer tax of £130m, making it tougher for licensees to avoid imposing price increases.

Sugar-free Coke outstrips regular Zero and reduced sugar Coca-Cola sales will outstrip classic Coke sales for the first time next year, according to the brand owner. This means the UK will be the first market in the world to see the change in the balance of power.

TOP STORIES ON TRADE.INAPUB.CO.UK Drinks industry unites in fury at duty hike Get the lowdown on the UK launch of Bud Light Budget 2017: Trade reaction to rates discount

Exchange rate could boost tourist trade Pubs with rooms could be in for a significant boost from overseas tourists, according to TripAdvisor. A report by the review site found Japanese tourists will benefit the most from the weak pound, with UK room costs decreasing by 17 per cent year on year for them. The dollar exchange rate, however, will leave Americans paying up to two per cent more than last year.

Next Generation heads to Manchester Manchester has been confirmed as the location for Inapub’s summer 2017 Next Generation event. The day for aspiring managers and up-and-coming licensees, will feature expert advice on various topics, plus networking opportunities. Email for details.

Six pub pies which make you go “ooh” Blog: Are you anything like Orwell’s Moon Under Water?

Sign of good breeding His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales applied the finishing touches to a pub sign to mark a recent visit to Wadworth brewery. He was in Devizes, Wiltshire, to celebrate the Pub is the Hub initiative he launched in 2001 to help rural pubs diversify their businesses. As well as seeing the work of the pub signs team he also toured the brewery, pulled a pint of Wadworth 6X and met with industry representatives, including Inapub editor Matt Eley. Speaking at the event HRH said: “I am hugely proud of what has been achieved and nothing gives me greater pleasure than visiting these pubs and seeing the difference it has made to entire communities.”


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Here’s to Community Pubs Month

How the trade reacted to the budget

In April, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) will be celebrating Community Pubs Month, which seeks to encourage more people to visit their local. Community Pubs Month gives local CAMRA branches a chance to work directly with licensees across the country to promote the role of the pub in their communities through specific events taking place. To mark the occasion, licensees can plan some community-focused events in April. These could include events such as charity fun days, barbecues, quizzes and live music entertainment. Local CAMRA branches will be able to supply pubs with promotional materials including beer mats and posters to support community pubs. To make it even easier for licensees to promote their activities, CAMRA is also in the process of updating its “What Pub” resource, which allows beer-lovers to easily search for local pubs from any location. Soon, licensees will be invited to edit their pub page to include information about events they will be putting on and special brews they are serving, which will be available for the million visits to What Pub every month. Make sure to start using the twitter hashtag #communitypubsmonth and adding @CAMRA_Official on Twitter and Instagram to share your best photos of your community events. We hope pubs will put on some great events throughout April to attract new locals and celebrate the important role that pubs play in our communities. I think we can all cheers to that!

Thanks @ALMRInfo for all your hard work on this. It may not be the 12.5 per cent cap, but £1k is not to be sniffed at @BeckySalisbury Would have been good news, ...BUT they have just increased our Business Rates by 66 per cent from April @MasonsHopperton So much for the reprieve for pubs 3.9 per cent increase based on RPI in 6 months time #budget2017 @OldEaglePub 2p a pint on duty is going to end up as at least 5p a pint at the bar @oldmudgie We call for the Govt to overhaul its flawed excise duty system. Today’s tax blow is bad for economy, business & British public #budget2017 @DiageoGB Great, so new business rates will be discounted by £1000 for one year, that means ours only go up £11,500 then #budget #pubs @saracenshead

Paul Ainsworth’s is the chairman of CAMRA’s Pubs Campaigns Group


The discount pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 will get on their business rates this year

Find us online every month at @inapub



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Essentially Cleaning

It’s spring and you know what that means! No, not fluffy little chicks and blossom on the trees but spring cleaning (and you thought we’d lost our sense of fun)! To help you out Bestway Wholesale has launched its Essentially Cleaning brand, a 40-strong product range to help you keep hygiene standards high. The range spans everything from bleach to beer line cleaner.

Nisbets porcelain tableware

Catering equipment supplier Nisbets has introduced two new porcelain tableware varieties to its Olympia range: “Brighton” and “Mineral”. The Brighton range uses white & royal blue while the Mineral range (above) uses stony nature hues — both are a huge improvement on a roof slate covered in gravy.

Invivo Wines

Cheeky chat show chappy Graham Norton has his own wine brand, which is now available from Matthew Clark. The presenter makes his wines in collaboration with Invivo Wines, a New Zealand operation. Three wines are available: a Sauvignon Blanc, a Shiraz and a rosé.


What’s new in the pub this month


Fancy a gin that can make you look younger? We thought so. Two female entrepreneurs from Oxfordshire have developed CollaGin, a gin made with angelica root, pink grapefruit and collagen – a popular ingredient in the beauty industry, as it is purported to have anti-aging properties. Skin and tonic anyone?


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this month.

Bud Light

America’s favourite beer, Bud Light, has landed in the UK to take on the fickle millennial market. The 3.5 per cent ABV lager is said to have a “fresh, clean and subtle hop aroma, delicate malt sweetness and a crisp finish.” Brand owner AB InBev says it will be its “biggest ever” launch in the UK.

Duck Crackling

West Country start-up Wilding Snacks wanted to offer an alternative to pork scratchings that are less likely to crack your teeth. They even got help from a microbiologist and a physicist to come up with a way of keeping duck crackling crispy. It’s in Harrods, don’t you know, and could be a posh treat for your pub too.

Two Tides

When we heard there was a beer called Two Tides coming out we couldn’t stop humming the Frankie Goes to Hollywood tune, “when two tides (yeah, we know) go to war…”. This is actually the opposite to a war though, it’s a collaboration between Cornish brewer Sharp’s and its Canadian sister brewery, Granville Island. The pale ale is available here until the end of the month as part of a recipe swap that will see Sharp’s Atlantic sold on the other side of that mighty sea.

Jägermeister Manifest

The leading herbal liqueur is going all upmarket with a new super-premium variant. It’s got a few added botanicals and a little extra strength at 38 per cent ABV. It’s designed to be served chilled rather than ice cold, or indeed in any other way that might come to mind… customerservices@


75 per cent of beer drinkers still haven’t tried a craft brew, according to Heineken, which has launched a new brand to try and tempt them. Maltsmiths comprises two beers — a Bavarian-style Pilsner and an American-style IPA — brewed at the Caledonian Brewery in Scotland. Both are available on draught, in bottle and cans.

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Are you the

marrying type?


You can’t cut corners because it’s your pub’s reputation on the line, it’s not just a nameless field with a marquee in it


APRIL 2016

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It’s 1998. Spice Girl Geri Halliwell’s Union Jack dress is sold for £41,000 at auction, Tony Blair is in Number 10 and David Beckham is public enemy number one. The nineties are in full swing and Kate Winslet is getting married. In a pub — a moment which could be defined as the moment weddings in pubs were put on the map. “We’d been doing weddings since 1990, but back then it wasn’t in everyone’s thought process to have their celebrations in a pub. Then we were approached by Kate.” So says Paul Clerehugh of the Crooked Billet, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, where the Titanic actress held the reception for her wedding to film-maker Jim Threapleton. “I think that’s when weddings in pubs went ballistic, suddenly the idea clicked,” Paul adds. A picture of Kate under the pub’s sign was front page news and headlines about her bangers & mash banquet flooded the media. “Our phone rang off the hook with wedding enquiries. But I made the decision to only do 12 a year,” he continues. “I didn’t want to become a wedding venue. We do a really good business from our food and I was worried that we’d destroy the trade we had already built. “Doing only 12 per year also means we can be more adventurous. 21/03/2017 13:23


Putting on a wedding is like switching off the pub and doing something completely different from your normal day

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You need to really nail down your logistics and be aware of who you can cater for. Don’t be afraid to turn people away

12 APRIL 2016

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There’s no format to our weddings. We want people saying they’ve been to millions of weddings, but this one was the best one. “You can’t cut corners, because it’s your pub’s reputation that you’re putting on the line, it’s not just a nameless field with a marquee in it.” Paul’s best bit of advice to publicans is to stay committed to throwing the best wedding you can, but be realistic. “Do it for love and with passion but don’t let a wedding detract from the bottom line profit of your business,” he says. “Putting on a wedding is like switching off the pub and doing something completely different from your normal day.” It’s a common theme that pops up in chats with licensees: if you’re taking on the wedding market you need to be 100 per cent committed to doing them well. Brett Sutton, chef patron of The White Post in Rimpton, Somerset, has been in the wedding business for more than 20 years — first as a chef in hotels and now at the pub. “All our weddings are bespoke, but you need to really nail down your logistics and be aware of who you can cater for. Don’t be afraid to turn people away. “I usually talk to the couple to find out what they want, then come up with ideas

Pub wedding nightmares Disasters are hopefully uncommon in the wedding business, but when they strike they can be enough to make your brow sweat with fear. Here are a few humdingers licensees shared with us. Brett Sutton, The White Post “The second wedding I ever did at a hotel I saw the bride get jilted at the altar. The groom just didn’t turn up. But that’s the only time I’ve ever seen that happen in 20 years.” Billy Morgan, The Grove Ferry Inn “We had a wedding on New Year’s Eve. A coach company had been arranged to pick everyone up but the coach driver fell ill. I was then left with the keys to a 48-seater bus, on New Year’s Eve when there were no taxis about, and an entire wedding party in the pub.” Paul Clerehugh, The Crooked Billet “Someone wanted an eight-tier French fruit flan for their cake, with cascades of summer berries. So I made it plus a special stand for it. On our route carrying it into the marquee where there were 200 guests waiting, it collapsed onto the floor.”

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Staff will need to be trained up, it’s not like normal Saturday service

which are going to work. “I’m honest with the customer. I’ll tell them what I make on a Saturday night, and tell them that we can’t afford to take less than that.”

Does it all add up?

Weddings might require extra staff and they need to be trained up — it’s not like a normal Saturday night dinner service. Generally pubs need to include catering in the wedding offer in order to make a decent profit. A good kitchen is essential. “You need a suitable team and kitchen. There are so many different types of chefs and ours are trained up to cover a lot of bases and food styles,” Brett explains. “It’s a pain in the bum and there’s a lot of labour involved, but you can make good money if you do it right.”

Ceremonies on site

Many pubs do wedding receptions and blessings, but fewer take on the official wedding ceremony itself. This is because to hold a

Is a wedding licence for you? For a wedding licence, which will allow people to legally get married by a registrar on your premises, you’ll need: “permanently immovable structure comprising at least a room” with a •Aconcrete base.

•Fire and health & safety procedures in place to a required standard. on the authority, disabled access, a separate room for •Depending pre-proceedings questioning by the registrar, toilet facilities and car parking provision. To apply you should submit an application in writing to your local authority ( to find out how), including a plan of the pub which identifies the room(s) in which the proceedings will take place, and a fee to fund the approval process, if the authority requires it.

wedding ceremony you need a licence. But with their pub named The True Lover’s Knot, landlord Chris Burge and his partner Chloe Harding figured they ought to offer the chance to tie it, and have recently been granted a wedding licence to officially marry people on the premises. It has proved useful, with bookings at the pub having more than doubled since they gained it. “There’s a few hoops to jump through, but as long as there is a selfcontained concrete-based building, plus your fire and safety regulations are good, then it’s OK,” he says. To keep things simple, Chris recommends taking as much of the wedding organisation as possible in-house. “I’m basically the wedding planner, because if too many other people or companies get involved then it’s messy,” he says.

Can you play by the rules?

Billy Morgan, general manager of The Grove Ferry Inn in Canterbury, Kent, recently stopped doing official wedding ceremonies as it started to interfere with his trade. “It became too difficult. To have the licence you can’t serve alcohol at certain times and you need an exclusive building devoted to the wedding,” he explains. But this hasn’t been a deal-breaker for bookings. Couples can do the official wedding in a register office or church nearby, then come to the pub. “We also get a lot of wedding parties who have done a small wedding abroad then a big reception here, so everyone can join them.” Like Chris, Billy insists that one person at the pub see the wedding through from start to finish. “For us, that’s me. I really enjoy it and that’s key because it can be hard work — this is someone’s big day so you need to care about it, everything is important to that couple. “The person in charge needs to be someone who can make big decisions. You need to say if something is possible or not, and know your GPs so that you can adjust pricing accordingly without having to wait for approval. p10-11-12-14-15 lead feat.indd 14

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“I also insist on a full itinerary for the day. This is the bride and groom’s responsibility to fill out with as much detail as possible. “It’s wise to have this written out to cover your own arse too. If you have a plan on paper and it gets to a point where they say “we weren’t expecting this”, you can show them what they agreed to.” His top tip is to make sure you have all the contact details of any outside companies the wedding party have used, for things like marquee hire or even cake delivery, so you can easily chase them down on the day. Pricing a wedding isn’t easy, and with so much hard work involved, publicans need to ensure they don’t end up out of pocket. “We operate on minimum spends which differ throughout the year, and the minimum spend needs to be split between food, drink and accommodation,” Billy says. “Our rooms above the pub are generally booked out for the wedding, and if they want to have live music then booking the rooms is mandatory. It’s not fair to sell those rooms to other people if it’s going to be so noisy.” Near, far, wherever you are, weddings could be a real profit booster for your pub if you’re prepared and ready to take them on. And for that Kate Winslet, we salute you.

Draught beer is such a defining USP of the on-trade and when faced with increasing competitive pressures, the temptation to add more choice is one that is difficult to avoid. But as we all know, spreading a finite rate of sale across too many draught beers can be counter-productive, both in terms of costs and quality. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. But if you’re asking “do I really need that many standard draught lagers on my bar?” or “is it time to move away from my Smooth?” then you’re not alone. Any modern beer festival demonstrates the vast array of choice out there. But if you stand back, shield yourself from the noise and start to look at some numbers or better still, some well-conducted consumer research, there are some trends emerging. Pale Ales now make up 55% of all the crafted keg ales in the on-trade*. In an increasingly segmented market, it is important to recognise that its these pale ales which are still the drinkers’ preferred beer style. The colder serve and refreshing flavours of brands like Shipyard, Brewdog, Meantime or 61 Deep, combined with their authenticity and provenance, means bars can now offer what drinkers demand. Couple this knowledge with the insight that four out of 10 beer drinkers claim they will actually leave your bar or just drink less** if their preferred style is not available, and you have a compelling reason to make sure there is at least one style of kegged pale ale on your bar. The only hard decision is what it should replace. *CGA Brand Index Dec 2016 **Eureka Marstons Beer Co Survey 2017

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COMMUNITY SPIRIT Matt Eley meets the man running CAMRA’s pub of the year for his village

One of the biggest strengths of the place is there is so much buy-in to the pub being successful

16 APRIL 2017

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Shortly after I arrive at the George & Dragon in the picture-perfect village of Hudswell, licensee Stu Miller joins me after a busy shift in the kitchen. He is wearing a flat cap and his whippet Isla is snuffling around our feet for any bits of pies that might have fallen from the plates of lunchtime diners. So far, so clichéd Yorkshire; but looks can be deceptive. Stu might have been born in York but prior to taking over the George & Dragon two-and-a-bit years ago he spent a decade working as a technical architect for a software company in the City of London. It’s a long way from where we are sitting now. The pub too is a little deceptive. It looks like a typical tiny village local, the kind that has faced so many pressures in recent years. A group of pensioners file out after lunch when I arrive, brass trophies and certificates celebrating sporting and beery success adorn the walls, a fire glows gently in the main bar and a solitary barman oversees a proud range of local cask ales. But there is more to The George & Dragon than meets the eye, which is why it was recently named CAMRA’s national pub of the year. For a start, it is owned by the community. They stepped in to buy it when it closed for 18 months, around the same time Stu was starting his adventure in the capital. They now rent the building to Stu, who impressed them with his business plan after he and his wife Melissa decided they wanted a change from London life. He has quarterly meetings with the committee but stresses the pub is very much his business. However, as owners of the building, the community want the pub to succeed. “That is one of the biggest strengths of the place,” he says. “There is so much buy-

in to the pub being successful.” As you would expect, the pub is at the centre of village life. Beyond the food and drink, and with help from Pub is the Hub, it offers a library service, free Wi-Fi, and there are allotments behind the pub’s garden, which provides stunning views across the Swale Valley. There’s also the communityowned shop next door, staffed by volunteers. But local trade alone is not enough and part of Stu’s business plan was to make it a destination venue. No mean feat when he himself describes the road to Hudswell as “the road to nowhere”. It’s not the kind of place you pass through. He has been helped hugely by winning CAMRA’s award, which thrust the pub into the media spotlight. “Lunchtimes have been incredible since we won,” he explains. “We would expect trade to be at least 15-20 per cent better than last year, so the emphasis is on us to keep the quality up now we are getting busier. It adds to the pressure because people are expecting so much.” What they should expect is quality beer, which is at the heart of the offer. The cask is backed up with a bottled range that Stu is keen to expand to include more speciality products, such as Iambics, imperial stouts and sour beers. He could soon be supplying himself, with plans to open a brewery down the road reaching an advanced stage. “I didn’t know if we could do a brewery and a pub at the same time but now we have the award, we have got to try,” he says. And who was among the first to say they would back the brewery financially if needed? The Hudswell community. People like that deserve what they have got — one of the best pubs of its kind in the country. 21/03/2017 22:31

this month.


more communityowned pubs

The Duke of Marlborough, Somersham, Suffolk Residents raised ÂŁ300,000 and have had an offer to buy the pub accepted. They hope to soon have its doors open again after a two year closure. The Fleece Inn, Hillesley, Gloucestershire In 2011 120 shareholders dipped into their pockets to save the pub. They now have voting rights on how the pub is run. The Punch Bowl, Battisford, Suffolk The community bought the pub and now employ a manager to ensure it meets their needs.

The George &

Dragon Hudswell, North Yo rkshire Staff: 5 Cask beers on tap: 5 Wet/dry: 55/45 Average price of a pint: ÂŁ3 Online: georgeandd ragon

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How to make soft drink sales surge in the summer More and more people are choosing not to drink alcohol on a regular basis. According to recent figures, 1 in 5 adults is teetotal and the number of young people aged 16 to 25 choosing not to drink has increased by 40% over the last decade, so soft drinks are more important to your customers than ever before. To help you make the most of this important category, we joined forces with Britvic to create the Inapub Soft Drinks Academy. Our first pupil is Nigel Mort, owner of Morts Wine Bar in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. He gets top marks for his soft drink range, which he has just revamped. “It was becoming clear to me that more people are drinking less and more of them aren’t drinking at all,” he explains.

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“So at the beginning of the year I overhauled my non-alcoholic drinks offer, adding in brands like (nonalcoholic distilled spirit) Seedlip and local juices.” The changes have paid off and soft drinks are selling well. With summer around the corner, however, Nigel is hoping the experts at Britvic can help him boost sales even further.

drinks menu, Russell says. “With craft and traditional products being key consumer trends, perhaps this could be dialled up on the menu itself,” he suggests. “It could be divided into sections for craft and traditional, for example, with brands like Seedlip and Fever Tree in the former and Fentimans and R White’s Lemonade in the latter.”

Making more of the menu Cue Russell Kirkham, Senior Customer Marketing Manager – Leisure & Licensed at Britvic GB, who came along with Inapub to see Nigel. One area on which to work could be the design and layout of the soft

Less sugar hits the sweet spot With the new Soft Drinks Levy announced by the Government last month, otherwise known as the sugar tax, which is set to increase prices on soft drinks, Russell suggests Nigel look at listing

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inapub SOFT DRINKS ACADEMY Building business with Britvic

more low and no-sugar drinks. For example Pepsi Max, which will be exempt. “It’s not just about price, either,” he explains. “People are more interested in what they are drinking and looking for lowersugar alternatives, so it’s an increasingly important category.” Making soft drinks work hard As in most pubs and bars, fridge and shelf space is limited, so Russell suggests that soft drinks are made to work harder. This means using brands such as J2O not just as a soft drink but to make mixed drinks too, using Britvic’s free website Pour More Flavour for inspiration and recipes — check it out at Nigel could also use the website to create a series of non-alcoholic “summer specials” using drinks he already stocks but in new, inventive ways. Drinks such as the Royal Spritz (J2O Pear & Raspberry, apple and lemon juice). Morts has also gained a reputation for its gin range. For a fresh summer twist, Russell suggests Nigel stock Purdey’s, which goes well with gin and also works as a standalone soft drink to offer his customers something a little different this summer.

As part of the Soft Drinks Academy we partnered with the Britvic Business Builders – expert operators who have perfected their soft drinks sales and can help you do the same. This week we are talking to Nick Harding of Gin Rickey, Chester. Nick says: “We tend to see a sales spike of at least 35-40% from our soft drinks range during the summer as the longer days and warmer weather mean more people through the door at all times of the day, so it’s really important that we make the most of the opportunity the summer brings for soft drinks. “Non-alcoholic cocktails are especially popular during the summer and carry an extra profit margin for us. Simply by mixing a premium quality lemonade, such as R White’s, with a syrup or another flavoured soft drink, adding a garnish and serving it in attractive glassware, you’ve created something for which you can charge a premium. We notice a domino effect with cocktails too – if people see other customers with a particularly eye-catching serve, they often order it. “We’ve found limited editions to be a good way to attract customers. J2O Flamingo Fling was a great success for us last summer – the bottle design was really eye-catching and our customers loved the summery, tropical flavour. We ordered 10 cases to start with but that didn’t last long as it proved so popular with our customers! “Purdey’s is also bang on-trend with our more health-conscious customers who are looking for guilt-free yet tasty refreshment. They love the fact it’s a multivitamin drink so they feel like there’s a benefit to drinking it, plus they enjoy the taste which is fresh and natural, so perfect as a booze-free treat on warm summer days!”

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drink Did you know that, on average, a drinks menu is read for just 109 seconds before a customer decides what they are going to order? 1.8 minutes is not that long, so if you think that designing one would take nothing more than an hour or so on your computer compiling a list of what you sell and their prices, you’re missing a huge opportunity. There’s a real science behind a good list. Most drinks suppliers will offer a service to help you design yours, including Matthew Clark, which showed off its “Design Studio” offer at its recent annual tasting. Its research shows that using evocative descriptions, removing £ signs and highlighting products can all increase sales, by between 12 and 27 per cent. Also, think about the language you use. Try to strike a personal, informal note by, for example, picking out profitable drinks as “bartender’s favourites.” The findings show this gives drinkers more confidence in the


recommendation. Match drinks with food — nothing complicated, nibbles and snacks will do — to boost spend, and advertise drinks with options, such as “double up for an extra £1” or “2-4-1” offers. Add colour and images too. Britvic has also done a lot of research around what works on drinks menus and it found that illustrations of drinks work best. “Not only do they give the customer a better idea of what drink they are getting, it also acts as a great tool for staff, helping bartenders make drinks that consistently look and taste the same,” explains Britvic’s senior customer marketing manager for leisure and licensed, Russell Kirkham. You also need to make sure those images, the language you use and the overall presentation of your drinks menu fits your venue’s vibe. Finally, make sure it’s on your website, because I guarantee that online prior to visiting will be the one place you are more likely to persuade customers to take more than that brief 109 seconds to check it out.

Using evocative descriptions on your drinks menus, removing £ signs and highlighting products can all increase sales

COMMERCIAL BREAKDOWN DIET COKE • Ambassador Diet Coke is hoping TV presenter Holly Willoughby will bring some sparkle to the brand this year, as the face of ads celebrating “friendship, travel, fashion and fun.” HALEWOOD • Liverpool’s Finest Liverpool FC has a new sponsor in local drinks firm Halewood Wines & Spirits. The partnership kicked off with a gin tour of Liverpool, with 10 footie fans served drinks by club legends including Robbie Fowler (pictured).

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ROBINSONS FRUIT SHOOT • It’s My Thing Kids’ favourite Robinsons Fruit Shoot is to get its first global campaign, as brand owner Britvic looks to inspire children and their parents. A campaign starring presenter Cherry Healy forms part of the activity, while in pubs the drive will be implemented with “augmented reality playboards”. 21/03/2017 23:19

drink. Beefeater 24

In a break from the more traditional green or blue gin bottles, Pernod Ricard is putting its Beefeater 24 brand into red ones from this month. The re-design was inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement of the 20th Century and reinforces the brand’s London heritage, it is said. The company hopes the move will attract new drinkers looking to explore super-premium gins.

London Pride Unfiltered

Fuller’s has described this as its biggest beer launch in a generation. It is a 4.1 per cent ABV keg version of its flagship brew that is being touted as the “least processed of all keg beers,” as it is neither filtered nor pasteurised. Aimed at the younger end of the drinking market, it is brewed to the original recipe and then dry-hopped with Target hops. 023 9271 4444

Look out for... Desperados Dos

Made with both light and dark tequila, coming in at seven per cent ABV and packaged in a 250ml bottle, this new spirit beer variant targets drinkers making the shift from early evening to the night. Brand owner Heineken says customers will see it differently from beer, helping to bring new drinkers into the category.

Blossom Hill Spritz

The burgeoning fruit wine category is getting an ontrade boost with the launch of Blossom Hill Spritz. Brand owner Treasury Wine Estates is rolling out two flavours, Elderflower & Lemon and Raspberry & Blackcurrant, to pubs and bars, aiming them at younger millennials, particularly women.

Harvey’s Brewery

Sussex-based Harvey’s is continuing its reinvention as a modern brewery with national reach, with the launch of its beer in trendy cans. Three of its beers now come in this format: Best Bitter, Gold Bier and Black Stout. 01273 480 209

On the bar Mark Harold The Windmill, Failsworth, Greater Manchester We’re just 10 minutes out of Manchester but we’re a real community pub and a lot of our customer base is made up of local families, particularly as we’ve a big play area outside. We’ve got quite a large selection of soft drinks, as a result. Fruit Shoot and J20 are the most popular with the kids and we’ve just started stocking the new alcohol free Heineken — Heineken 0.0 — for the grown-ups. We decided to give that one a go as Heineken Extra Cold is our bestselling drink. We are part of Star Pubs & Bars but it was customer demand that prompted us to put it in last October, and it proved to be good decision. Wine also does well for us here, particularly in the restaurant. On Fridays we sell Prosecco for £12 a bottle — down from £16 — and on a decent night we’ll sell 15 bottles or more of it. p20-21 drink intro*.indd 21

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Everything you ever wanted to know about by ROBYN BLACK

You may know your Shiraz from your Chardonnay and your Pilsner from your pale ale, but how much do you know about cider? Here’s everything you ever needed to know about the fruitbased beverage.

A quick history of cider

The Norman Conquest brought cider in its current form to the UK. It was already well established in Europe and around this time monasteries began to produce and sell cider, something they continued to do through the medieval period. But it was not until the late 17th and early 18th centuries that any great attention was paid to apple varieties and improving the quality of cider. The drink lost popularity in the 1800s and didn’t come back into fashion until the last century, culminating in a cider boom and the subsequent return of an appreciation of the craft of cider-making.

All about apples While some ciders are made with eating (or dessert) apples, there are apples that are specifically used to make cider — so-called bitter apples. “Bittersweet apples contain tannins, hence the bitter flavour, but the levels of tannin are different in different varieties,” says Andy Atkinson, managing director of the Fuller’s-owned Cornish Orchards. “The more common bittersweet varieties are Dabinett, Michelin and Ashton Bitter, while common dessert apple varieties include Golden Delicious, Cox and Jonagold. Dessert apples are clean with crisp acidity, so we blend these with bittersweet varieties to make palatable ciders.” Following the boom in cider, new varieties are beginning to emerge as well. “A lot of research was done by the NACM [the National Association of Cider Makers] into a range of new varieties,” says David Sheppy of Sheppy’s Cider. “These are generally earlier varieties, with the intention to extend the apple-pressing season. Some of these have proved to be a great success, producing good yields and good-quality cider. Others less so.” Clearly cider connoisseurs are interested in this level of knowledge but what about everyone else? “People are far more interested these days in what they eat and drink and how it’s made, so this sort of knowledge is becoming more important to drinkers,” says David.

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22/03/2017 01:44

A range of award winning ciders to refresh your profits as well as your customers Exclusively available on draught through Marston’s. Call 0800 587 0773 to discover more.

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A blossoming business: the recent surge in appreciation of cider-making has seen new varieties of apples beginning to emerge

East coast ciders use a combination of dessert, bittersweet and cooking apples, which makes it taste cleaner

Cider regions

Is ‘craft’ cider a thing?

Cider’s the same wherever it’s produced, right? Well, not really. Traditionally, there are significant variations between ciders that are made in different areas. Within the UK alone there’s a manifest difference between ciders produced in the east and west of the country. Amelia Knowland, marketing manager at Aspall Cyder (which is based in Suffolk), can shed some light on the matter. “West Country ciders tend to be made using a majority of bittersweet or bittersharp apples, which makes the cider taste drier and means it’s higher in tannins,” she says. “East coast ciders — such as ours — use a combination of dessert, bittersweet and sharp cooking apples, which makes the cider taste sharper and cleaner; the use of fresh apple juice to sweeten the cider also gives it a distinctive racy flavour.”

It certainly is — a loose definition being ciders made in small-batch production, using time, care and attention. Brands such as Thatchers’ Stan’s or Westons’ Caple Rd cider have tapped into this with branding inspired by craft beer, 330ml cans and compelling brand stories. “A premium traditional cider producer such as Westons is much more likely to produce a craft cider than a large cider maker or brewer, as it is already producing similar ciders in terms of the liquids, with the ciders being ‘crafted’ using premium ingredients and production techniques,” says Martyn Jones, head of on-trade at the cider maker. “Nevertheless, traditional ciders are different from craft ciders in that they embrace the status quo and use traditional cider-making techniques.” With pear cider in decline (down 24 per cent in both value and volume, according to the latest CGA stats), Martyn suggests licensees make the most of craft cider by replacing underperforming pear variants with the likes of Caple Rd.

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Cider is drunk all year round — it’s more about the occasion than the season, and cider quite readily holds its own against other categories over the winter months

Is it just a summer drink? “Cider has outgrown its seasonal pigeonhole, although of course it is — and will remain — a popular summer choice,” says Carlsberg UK’s vice-president of marketing, Liam Newton. “Cider styles have become so varied that they can be enjoyed year round for a number of drinking occasions.” Innovation within the category will help to further drive this, suggests Liam: “Consumers want to see interesting flavour combinations, served with theatre, while delivering on key touchpoints including brand quality, heritage and authenticity.” Last year Carlsberg launched Bad Apple to meet just these criteria, while other producers are taking cider out of the traditional a fternoon beer garden and later into the night, as typified by Heineken’s Blind Pig range. On top of this there are mulled ciders and cider cocktails, which appeal beyond the sunny afternoons. “Cider is drunk all year round — it’s more about the occasion than the season, and cider quite readily holds its own against other categories over the winter months,” says Rob Sandall, on-trade director at Thatchers Cider.

Fruit cider fun Increasing competition from not only its own, rather overcrowded, category, but also from other sectors such as cocktails, fruit wines and even ready-to-drinks, is making life tougher than it used to be for fruit cider producers. Nonetheless the category continues to perform — up 7.9 per cent in volume across the whole market (CGA, Total GB, to December 16). Rob Salvesen, senior marketing manager at Cider of Sweden (which owns Kopparberg), puts this down to the sector’s ongoing ability to recruit younger drinkers using “an excellent understanding of consumer trends, relevant taste profiles, innovation and consumption occasions”. The most popular flavours are mixed fruit and strawberry & lime, which remain the number one and two packaged variants, although more exotic flavours are beginning to make their mark. This can be seen through the success of launches such as Brothers Cider’s coconut and lime and Heineken’s Old Mout range, which features four variants including passionfruit & apple and the recently reformulated strawberry & pomegranate. Fruit on draught continues to make waves as well, with Strongbow Dark Fruit remaining one of the most successful product launches in recent years — it contributed an astonishing 74 per cent of growth in the draught cider category in the year following its launch in 2014.


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Future trends

We expect around 18 per cent — which would equate to most of the Cider and food matching growth in the Due to its tannins and complexity, cider is a great match with food — even with more sector — to difficult-to-pair cuisines such as curry. Thatchers Cider has been dabbling come from in this area and has just produced its Guide to Pairing Cider with Food, written artisanal apple by food and drink writer Susy Atkins. She says the most important factor in brands over the pairing is a drink’s sweetness level: “The important rule is always balance ‘like with next four years like’ in this respect. So dry drinks must

Match-maker: cider’s complexity makes it a great match with food

go with savoury food — they will taste harsh and too tart alongside sugary dishes. But sweet drinks work mainly with desserts and also with certain cheeses and rich patés.” You can download the guide from

Currently 65p in every £1 spent on cider is spent on so-called “mainstream classic” brands, such as Magners, Bulmers and Strongbow, but there is an emerging segment that is expected to generate much of the future growth of the category. Heineken calls this segment “artisanal apple”. The company’s UK brand director for cider, Emma Sherwood-Smith, explains: “We expect around 18 per cent — which would equate to most of the growth in the sector — to come from artisanal apple brands over the next four years.” With this in mind, Heineken launched a new range under the Bulmers brand last month. Bulmers Orchard Pioneers comprises two new ciders: Kier’s Cloudy Apple and Sarah’s Red Apple, which will compete against the likes of Westons, Mortimer’s Orchard and Thatchers Haze. Other opportunities are coming at the top end of the market, with superpremium versions hitting the market to take on Prosecco, such as Heineken’s Stassen, Aspall’s Premier Cru and Thatchers Family Reserve, marketed as an “apple wine”.

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Dive in and

158 pints of WIN 61 Deep The newest beer on the Burton block is Marston’s 61 Deep and Inapub readers have the chance to get their hands on a barrel-load. Well, to be more precise, two winners have the chance to win six 30-litre kegs — that’s a total of 158 pints for each pub. And it’s a prize well worth winning, with the pale ale — named after the depth in metres of the fresh water well at the brewery — already proving to be a huge hit. With three American hops and two Australian, it has a fresh and zesty aroma but — and here’s the key — the tropical fruit and citrus notes make it a thoroughly drinkable and stylish brew that will leave customers wanting more. Marston’s beer company marketing manager Lee Williams explains: “Fullflavoured, hoppy beer at an easy-drinking strength is the Holy Grail for unlocking the craft beer potential in the UK, and 61 Deep in keg ticks both boxes. We also know this is what drinkers are looking for on the bar as Pale Ales in their three recognised styles of IPA, APA and Pale Ale account for over half of the keg ales in the craft sector, so these three kegs should just fly out!”

THE PRIZE Alongside the 158 pints of 61 Deep, the two winning pubs will also be kitted out with a full range of 61 Deep point of sale — including a pump clip, glassware, drip mats and bar runners. To be in with a chance of winning this exclusive prize simply answer the question below. How deep is the fresh water well at Marston’s Burton brewery? a) 6 metres b) 61 metres c) 610 metres Email your answer, along with your name, address and pub details to before the closing date of April 30. The competition is only open to UK licensees who are eligible to stock Marstons products. Entrants must be aged over 18. The winning pub will be informed after the closing date of the competition. For our full T&Cs visit

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22/03/2017 00:45

Wines you should 10 have on your list 1

English sparkling wine


Fruit Wine


Craft wines


Considered by connoisseurs as better than most of the big-brand Champagnes, English sparkling wine is enjoying a boom. Post-Brexit could be its biggest opportunity, suggests Simon Jerrome, purchasing director at Matthew Clark. “Pubs are one of the most British of institutions, so we should put English wine on the map by promoting it in pubs,” he says.

This is the year for “fruit wine” — already worth £66.5m in the off-trade, it’s now ready to take the on-trade by storm, says Treasury Wine Estates, which has just launched Blossom Hill Spritz into pubs and bars (see page 21). Lower in ABV and with a sweeter taste profile, these wines attract younger drinkers just beginning to dabble in the category.

There’s a new generation of wines that take their cues from the craft beer market, with funky labels and strong brand personalities. Aimed mainly at young men looking for something a bit different, brands to look for include 19 Crimes (Treasury Wine Estates), Box of Budgies (Crown Cellars) or Les Hipsters Barbe (Matthew Clark).

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Pinot Grigio

The wine connoisseur’s bête noir it might be but, whatever your style of outlet, there are certain wines that everyone will expect to see and this is one of them. List it alongside Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc on your white wine selection to cover the basics.




Rosé accounts for 10 per cent of the on-trade wine market, according to the Wine & Spirit Trade Association. Most pubs will have a nice pink option for sale, and if you don’t, then you should be as “blush” as the wine. If you only have space for one then a sweet style, such as a Californian White Zinfandel, should get the spot, but adding a drier style from southern France or Spain will ensure there’s something for everyone.

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With thanks to: Charlotte Bramham-Jones, category insight manager, Accolade Wines Simon Jerrome, purchasing director, Matthew Clark Shaun Heyes channel director, Treasury Wine Estates Louise Boddington, category manager, Crown Cellars Gary Keller, senior buying manager for wine, Molson Coors, Kate Bedwell, wine brand ambassador, Pernod Ricard


French Merlot


South African Viognier

Merlot dominates the red end of wines sales, with a 35 per cent share of the market (CGA). France remains the number one supplier to the UK and offers a reliable house wine option. To cover all the popular red bases, add a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Shiraz (possibly Australian for the latter).

Having at least one or two less-wellknown grape varietals in your arsenal will appeal to those punters who do know a little more about wine. CGA data suggests that Viognier (a distinctive wine, full of apricots, blossom and honeysuckle notes) is gaining share in the on-trade, making it a good bet.


Argentinian Malbec


Italian sparkling wine

A big, powerful red that remains popular with drinkers. The trend for this mighty tipple began in the on-trade, via steak restaurants. It makes for a very simple food match where the tannins from the grape skins and oak maturation bond with the protein in the meat to soften it, so that it becomes juicier. In turn, the fat from the steak softens the wine on the palate.

Yes, Prosecco of course! But among the rumours of a global shortage, prices have also risen, so it is worth seeking out an alternative Italian fizz, such as the Chio Spumante Bianco that joined the Molson Coors portfolio last year.



Is the rise of Rioja totally unstoppable? It certainly seems so, but don’t restrict yourself to just the oaky reds. There’s a plethora of styles now available from the Spanish region, from more fruit-driven modern red wines to white Rioja (Blanco), to pink (Rosado), as well as organic, single-vineyard and even sparkling versions.

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eat How would you feel if I told you you could learn something from McDonald’s? You might be a family-run pub built on home-cooked food, but McDonald’s started out as an independent burger bar run by two brothers, before a salesman named Ray Kroc turned it into the multimillion-pound business it is today. The reason Ray was confident he would be able do this was because of two assets; the most important being kitchen efficiency. Back in the 1950s, the McDonald brothers were fed up of waiting for rubbish food at drive-throughs, so they set to work. They designed their own kitchen by chalking out

with BRONYA SMOLEN layouts on an empty tennis court and asking employees to mime the action of preparing food until the layout was perfect. Genius idea. This hyper-efficient kitchen is what inspired Ray to franchise the operation and it says a lot about the importance of a well-equipped, functioning workspace. And if you’re wondering about the second thing that inspired Ray to franchise the business, it was the name: McDonald’s. There’s more to the story, of course, dramatised in the film The Founder. Give it a watch and see what else you can learn from McDonald’s.

The kitchen of the future — four bits of tech to give your kitchen an edge CheckIt

Wireless charging

A system which takes all your checks into the digital age and allows you to ensure they’re being carried out. The cloud-based task manager reminds staff when they need to do things like carry out temperature checks and record it all online, ready for any health & safety inspection.

Wireless charging company Powermat found four out of five people say they are more likely to visit a venue that offers wireless charging for their devices, and 56 per cent would spend more while there. Which hopefully means more money for your venue.

Flypay Could your food order accuracy be improved by using this system? Flypay allows customers to order their food directly from the table using the app, without needing a waiter to come and take their order.


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pointOne EPoS A kitchen manager app which instructs chefs via a wall-mounted touchscreen that can display multiple orders. Running out of till roll could become a thing of the past. 22/03/2017 01:08


FAMOUS CORNED BEEF HASH Steve Midgley, Victorian Chop House Co, Manchester

We use Maris Piper potatoes from local supplier Oliver Kay in Bolton. We boil them, place them in a bowl with beef dripping, garlic, rosemary and thyme, then add the beef brisket. This is all fried in a ring to make the hash cake.


This is poached and served warm with chopped chives.

Beef brisket

The beef is brined in water with salt, sugar, onion, bay leaves and peppercorns, then left in the fridge for eight days. Then it is slow roasted for six to eight hours until the meat falls off the bone. All our meat comes from a local company called Birtwistles Butchers.

Gravy and HP Sauce This dish wouldn’t be complete without a lashing of gravy and some HP Sauce — it’s an ideal match.

Crispy bacon

Again from our local supplier. It’s dry cured and fried until crispy to add a different texture.

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22/03/2017 01:09

Beyond the bacon bap by BRONYA SMOLEN

Most people can rustle up a decent full English at home, so when they go out it’s an opportunity to try something different 38

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We’re not going to tell you how to suck eggs. You’ve probably nailed your English breakfast by now — but how about some American, Mexican or ‘healthier’ items? In 1305, King Edward I appointed a chef solely to cook breakfasts. Today, the mealtime retains its importance to the British public, with the sector worth£2.3bn to the on-trade [Horizons, summer 2016]. Recently, Mexican dishes such as huevos rancheros (baked spicy eggs) have been popping up on menus, while US influences including waffles, pancakes and Boston beans have also hopped across the pond. London-based pubco Livelyhood Venues cooks up an extensive brunch menu in its three pubs, including dishes such as pulled pork Boston beans and wild mushroom hash. Nick Carter, executive chef at the group, explains: “Most people can rustle up a decent full English at home, so when you go out for brunch it’s an excellent opportunity to

try something you wouldn’t necessarily know how to cook yourself. “For our Boston Beans we slow-cook smoked pork belly for around three hours then combine it with soaked butter beans, fresh tomato, muscovado sugar and a splash of apple vinegar. It’s served with cheddar and toasted sourdough”. The pub group also makes its own granola, to tap into the growing health trend. Meanwhile, the ever-changing breakfast menu at The White Horse in Quorn, Leicestershire, regularly features American -style pancakes and waffles. Licensee David Keatley-Lill says: “They’re very popular and all we have to do is bake the batter in our machine. We top them with fruit or with bacon, scrambled egg & maple syrup. The margins are great on waffles, but it’s also about driving footfall and having the most varied, attractive offer we can.”

Fed up of the full English?

Nigel Phillips, country sales manager for UK & Ireland at Lamb Weston, explains: “As consumers become more adventurous in other aspects of their lives, such as travel, they are constantly on the lookout for new and unique dishes that reflect this as well as fitting with their ‘Instagrammable’ lifestyles.” Or perhaps this desire for a more exotic menu comes from the change in attitude 22/03/2017 01:22

f o t s a f k a e Br s n o i p m a ch

From a simple poached egg on toast to a full English no breakfast is complete without Heinz! From our range of sauces which have been accompanying breakfasts for over 100 years to the Nation’s favourite beans*. It has to be Heinz. @KraftHeinzFSUK Source: Sales Out 52wk ending 13/03/1. Categories: Baked Beans <1kg


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towards how we should eat breakfast. Luke Davies, food strategy and implementation manager at Star Pubs & Bars, says: “In London, people who have the time to eat out are ignoring traditional meal times. Breakfast items are being consumed throughout the day. “We’re also witnessing a huge rise in healthy living, which licensees need to be conscious of. Superfoods, granolas, shakes and smoothies are all appearing on breakfast menus. And with more people choosing a paleo diet of eggs, fish, nuts, fruit and meat, we’re seeing a resurgence of kippers and smoked salmon on breakfast menus.” These trends also seem to be driving more vegetables onto the breakfast table, including the now infamous “smashed avocado on toast” and even kale. Duncan Parsonage, head of food development at supplier Fresh Direct, has even spotted a breakfast salad. But it’s not just about what you serve, it’s also how you sell it. Duncan says: “Terms such as ‘substantial’ and ‘wholesome’, with a few key health messages make for a winning combination on menus. Born in the USA: Boston beans have gained a foothold on our shores

Is your breakfast Britain’s best?



Think your breakfast needs some kudos? Inapub is working in partnership with Kraft Heinz to find the best pub breakfast in the UK. The winner will claim the coveted title, along with a whole year’s supply of Heinz Ketchup, HP Brown Sauce and Heinz No Added Sugar Baked Beans*. The winner will also receive a masterclass from Kraft Heinz’s culinary development manager to help develop their menu. William Dinsdale, brand manager at Kraft Heinz Foodservice, said: “At Kraft Heinz we’re passionate about breakfast. Whether it is dollops of Heinz Tomato Ketchup or HP Brown Sauce, or a spoonful of beans on your full English, we love see how people customise their breakfast. Now we want to try and find the BEST pub breakfast in Britain.” ★ HOW TO ENTER ★ Simply submit a picture of your pub breakfast with a brief description of what it is and what makes it special to Please include your pub name and address, plus a contact phone number and email. Good luck… *52 cases of each product, delivered weekly to the winner: Heinz No Added Sugar Beanz –

40 APRIL 2017

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2.62kg (cases of 6). Heinz Tomato Ketchup – 342gm Opaque (cases of 12). HP Brown Sauce – 255gm Table Top (Cases of 12) For Ts & Cs visit

22/03/2017 02:11


*Alcovision Dec 2015

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Call us on: 0344 5560109 or visit 16/02/2017 10:58 17:21 21/02/2017 18/05/2016 15:17

No guts, no glory by BRONYA SMOLEN

‘Damn, I knew I should have gone for extra cheese’…food challenge expert Kate Ovens says atmosphere and quality of service matter

Sick of healthy eating? Just about ready to tell the world where it can shove its quinoa? Hold up — how about a fix of good old-fashioned greasy grub in truly giant portions? Since US TV presenter Adam Richman began his epic tour, taking on America’s most heart attack-inducing food offerings in 2008, Man v Food-style eating challenges have started to catch on over here as well. While pub food is picking up awards left, right and centre these days, some of it is winning just for being huge. But how does it turn a profit? Phil Kiernan, landlord of the The Farmers Boy Inn in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, has promoted his “Big

Ugly” food challenges since 2015. “First it was the Big Ugly Burger challenge, then the Big Ugly Steak, then the Big Ugly Faggot, which was great marketing, but we found the burger was the best,” Phil says.

A real mouthful

The Big Ugly Burger is a 12-inch, 100 per cent prime British beef burger in a 12-inch bap, which is custom made for the pub by a local bakery. Customers pay £28 and have 30 minutes to eat it, with the event on a monthly special challenge night, which is sold out in advance. “We’re serious about our food — we’ve won awards for it — so we were careful about what clientele these challenges would bring in. The burger worked well for us,” says Phil. “Usually places pile burgers up high and it’s a mess. We decided we had to get one bap big enough to fit a giant burger in, so it’s proper Man v Food.” “It’s really important the food is good quality and it’s also got to make us a profit. The whole burger costs us £14, including staff to serve and cook it. We stopped the steak challenge as we weren’t making that much gross profit, but with the burger we can make the GP on it.” Phil also uses the challenges to get data and return custom from the participants. He says: “We tell them to enjoy the product and not to rush, but there’s lots of different tactics, and that’s amazing to watch. “Anyone who takes part has to give us their email. We want to know who is taking part so we can target them in future marketing. There’s a whole process to it.” Kate Ovens is a professional eating challenge competitor and presenter. She tours the country taking part in some of the most ludicrous contests to make videos for p42-43 competitive eating.indd 42

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eat. West Midlands. The pub has been making its Desperate Dan’s Cow Pie for more than 21 years. Chef Simran Jassal says: “60 per cent of the pies we do over the weekend are the Cow Pie. People love the challenge and the fact they get a certificate for it. “It works well because they’ll share their picture and award on social media and knowledge about the pub spreads.” Meanwhile, The George Pub & Grill in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, has made a name for itself by offering seven stomachstretching challenge dishes on the menu. “I try to put a realistic timescale next to the challenge because I want some people to win it and spread the word. It’s great marketing,” Craig Harker, owner of the pub, says. You might be thinking quinoa doesn’t sound so bad now, but clearly a gross idea for some is gross profit for others. Winner, winner, chicken dinner… a light lunch at The George in Stockton-on-Tees

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TheLADBible website, with an impressive 27,000 Instagram followers to cheer her on. So what makes a good challenge? She explains: “Any restaurant can do a food challenge but the best ones have atmosphere, great service and the food is quality, so it meets expectations. The challenge should make people want to go back and try the rest of the menu.

Who ate all the pie?

“I’ll go for a challenge that has about an 80 to 90 per cent loss rate. Anything too easy is boring and anything too hard isn’t worth it. In America there are often cash prizes for winners, but over here you usually get the meal for free, a T-shirt or vouchers to come back to the restaurant and I think that’s enough.” Perhaps one of the longest-running eating challenges can be found at Mad O’Rourke’s Pie Factory pub in Tipton, the

The Big U The Farmers gly Burger, £28 Boy Inn 12 inch beef bu , Gloucestershire rg salad, coleslaw er with chips, and onion rings The Ashville S teak, £82.95 T 72oz T-bone he Ashville, Bristol with chips, mus hroom vegetables, garl s, tomatoes, salad, toast and onion ic rings Desperate D an Mad O’Rou ’s Cow Pie, £10.99 rke’s Pie Fac tory Steak and kidn ey pie with past , Tipton ry horns The Impossible J Chicken Parm ames Arthur o, £22.95 The George P ub & Grill, S tockton Double-decker ch with chips, cole icken parmo slaw and salad

APRIL 2017 22/03/2017 01:54

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play with MATT ELEY One of the first questions licensees would have asked after BT Sport secured Champions League football for more than £1bn must have been “when will we start paying for this?” BT Sport and Sky have spent unbelievable sums of cash to secure major football tournaments over the last few years and some of that cost has to be met by customers. However, perhaps the more pertinent question is “how much is sport worth to my business?” In this issue we feature pay per view, which is only likely to grow now that British boxing has hauled itself off the

canvas to gain a broader audience. On the face of it, being asked to stump up a few hundred quid extra is fairly annoying when you pay big bucks every year to show sport anyway. But is it worth it? If that bit extra brings in hundreds of people who all buy a couple of drinks, the answer is likely to be yes. Live sport can be a huge driver of business but you have to pay for it. That investment is worth making if you can convert it into profit.

FOUR MORE YEARS... BT Sport will broadcast Champions League and Europa League football exclusively for another four years. The broadcaster secured the rights until the end of the 2020/21 season in a £1.18bn package. From 2018/19 pubs will be able to screen double-header matches, with games in the group stages kicking off at 6pm and 8pm. The tournament will also guarantee four spaces each to clubs from England, Spain, Germany and Italy. Bruce Cuthbert, director of commercial customers at BT Sport (pictured), said: “The UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League are two of the best competitions in the world and we know that pubs and clubs value being able to show top-flight, live, mid-week football.” The company also recently announced it would not be restructuring its prices to fall into line with new business rates.

46 APRIL 2017

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Chelsea v Man City

Chelsea’s relentless march to the title continues against a side who were many people’s favourites at the start of the season. April 5, 8pm, BT Sport

The Masters

The world’s best take on each other at the glorious Augusta National. Danny Willett was the unlikely winner in 2016 — who will wear that fetching green jacket this year? April 6-9 Sky Sports

Happening this month Spurs v Arsenal

Can Spurs finally break that hoodoo and finish higher in the table than their North London rivals? This could go a long way towards deciding. April 30, 4.30pm, Sky Sports

Formula 1

The tour hits Bahrain, Russia and China this month as the season slips into second gear. April 9, 16, 30 Sky Sports

Grand National

Don’t forget to tune in to Channel 4 this year for the world’s greatest steeplechase. April 8, C4

Champions League

It’s quarter final stage now. Will anyone bet against Barcelona after their heroics in the last round? April 11, 12, 18, 19 BT Sport

Pic: Action Images / Brandon Malone p46-47 play intro.indd 47

Let me entertain you Ugo Monye and Adam Saword, Shack 68, Twickenham The combination of one of the pub entrepreneurs who launched the Grand Union chain and a former England rugby international seems destined for success in the nation’s rugby capital. Unsurprisingly Shack 68, located a grubber kick from the train station, does a huge chunk of its business on rugby international weekends. The main bar and the 800-capacity marquee welcome huge swathes of fans before, during and after games. The challenge is keeping the bar busy for the rest of the year. The pair, along with a third partner, took on the site a couple of years ago and recently tweaked the offer to provide live music four nights a week, sport and corporate dining upstairs. “With big games we have the commentary on but on Friday nights we have live music,” says Adam. “We have tried to make something that is comfortable for rugby fans and others, it is not always easy getting that balance.” Ugo, who is also a BT Sport pundit, adds: “We are not trying to replicate what else is out there, it’s unique in the area. Over the last 18 months we have been establishing it and now we are taking it to the next level.”

22/03/2017 02:17

Back of ze net! by MATT ELEY

Fan forum: the walls are bedecked with merchandise donated by punters, while ‘football culture nights’ feature book readings and discussions

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If there is one thing that most football fans will begrudgingly admit, it’s that when it comes to playing, the Germans generally do it better. But do they do footy pubs better too? To find out, Inapub travelled to Munich with BT Sport and got a feel for how they bring the Champions League to our screens.

As we witnessed Bayern humiliate Arsenal 5-1 at the Allianz Arena, one or two weissbiers would have been needed that night to drown the sorrows of the away fans. A few hours before the game, we had a couple of our own as we did our journalistic duty by checking out a bar that specialises in football. Stadion, as it is now called, was a regular haunt of football fan Holger Pritzius. When he heard it was about to close he stepped up to the spot and took on the responsibility himself, turning the then student bar into a football fan’s paradise. That was back in 2006, just after the World Cup in Germany had created even more of a buzz around the sport. Ever since, along with Michael Jachan, who joined the Stadion squad four years ago, he has been building the business. The floorspace at Stadion is not much

bigger than a penalty box, but as we all know, this is an area where the Germans feel extremely comfortable. Every inch of every wall is crammed full of scarves, shirts and other pieces of football memorabilia. Holger explains: “It is all donated by people who come here. They bring it and ask if we can hang it up because then they have a part of the bar.” That sense of ownership helps to create the unified and friendly atmosphere they are after. It is why they attract fans from all over Germany and the rest of the world rather than, say, being a specialist Bayern Munich pub. “It’s all about tolerance,” adds Holger. “Everybody who loves football can come together here without any problems. In the 10 years we have had no clashes. “During the match there is shouting of course, and after the match you drink your beer together and talk to each other.”

22/03/2017 02:22


Munich, Germany Staff: 33 Wet/dry : 70/30 Opening hours: Generally noon-12.30am, though licence is flexible

All about the team: Holger (left) links up with business partner Michael

It’s all about tolerance. We have had no clashes. During the match there is shouting of course, after the match you drink beer together and talk p48-49 german footy pub.indd 49

There isn’t much choice but to sit near fans from opposition teams. They only allow 150 people in to watch the games on two big screens. They sit on benches and enjoy table service for both food and drink. Just like in England, beer (there are three local brews on draught) tends to dominate. It makes up 80 per cent of all drink sales. Food — German classics such as schnitzels and pretzels — accounts for roughly a third of sales. The gender mix is also fairly typically male-dominated but the pair say they are now seeing more women coming to the bar. It is such a popular spot that people generally book slots on the benches in advance of matches. However, a third of places are left for walk-ins on the day, in order to add to the atmosphere.

Munich’s answer to Motson

The match day feel is generated largely by the fans but it is added to with goal announcements and the occasional use of an in-house commentator who can perhaps capture the mood better than the chaps in the gantry back at the stadium. As you would expect, the most popular games are Bundesliga, Champions League or German international matches, though there is also a following for Premier League and Spanish football. It is a football bar, which Michael says means other sports do not get much of a look-in. “We show the Super Bowl and handball is quite popular in Germany. Also if a group of 15 to 20 people

request another sport we will consider it, but football is the priority.”

Students of the game

While the passion in the pub could be replicated in the UK, whether we are ready for the “football culture” nights Stadion runs during quieter periods of the season remains to be seen. Holger explains the appeal of the events: “We generally get footballers in here at the podium when we do football culture nights. “They read from books and have discussions about football. That is a thing that we do during the winter break or the international breaks.” What is even less likely to happen in one of our own pubs is a night or two like Stadion experienced in 2014. “Maybe you remember Germany won the World Cup?” laughs Holger. “But the best night was the 7-1 against Brazil in the semi-final.” Thanks Holger, we remember only too well.

BT Sport is your home of unmissable live football from the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. For more information Visit

APRIL 2017 49 22/03/2017 02:22

Boxing clever

with pay per view


You may already pay for one sports subscription — you might well be paying for two. So is it asking too much to fork out for pay per view events as well? With British boxing making a comeback as impressive as George Foreman’s return to action in the 1990s, many more will be weighing up the options. Here’s a look at how pay per view could be worth having in your corner. Round 1 British boxing is on the up

The heavyweight division has really taken off and the Joshua fight will be huge 50

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British boxing had been on the ropes but new champions and contenders across various weight divisions are capturing the attention of the public. Lee Price, the former BII Licensee of the Year, who runs The Royal Pier in Aberystwyth, believes interest in boxing is as high now as it was when Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe ruled the ring. He says: “The Bellew versus Haye fight led to an increase in revenue of 300 per cent compared with a typical Saturday night. We’d normally get a 100 to 120 per cent increase — it depends on the quality of the fight.” Ross Sutton, who runs The Railway Bell in South Woodford, London, agrees: “We noticed the interest ramp up when Karl Froch was fighting George Groves a couple of years ago. The heavyweight division has really taken off now and the Joshua fight will be huge.” Broadcaster Sky agrees. The Haye v Bellew fight attracted more than 600,000 viewers out of home. Sky expects even more to tune in this month when Anthony Joshua goes toe-to-toe with Wladimir Klitschko. 22/03/2017 02:26

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Round 2 The pub’s purse can dwarf the fee There’s no point pretending the cost isn’t a factor and the truth is the smaller you are as a business, the more difficult it will be to justify the fee you have to pay for a fight. Can you make a return on the investment? For big venues such as The Pier, which shows boxing in the pub and the pool room, it is a straightforward decision. However, Lee makes a point of not just cherry-picking the best fights. “We show lots and they don’t all attract the same kind of crowd but we believe if you are going to do it you have to be committed so people know you are the place to go,” he says. “We pay between £150 to £250 and it’s worth it for the big fights. With Mayweather v Pacquiao we could have filled the place three or four times over.” The Railway Bell has a small capacity — around 350 people — but Ross says the investment is worthwhile. He saw a 25 per cent uplift on the Saturday night when Haye fought Bellew. “It’s a good opportunity because lots of customers are not willing to pay the £25 fee to watch it at home and lots of pubs are scared of putting it on,” he says. Furthermore, a recent survey by Sky indicated 20 per cent of sports fans had watched boxing at home in the last 12 months.

Round 4 Being your own promoter has benefits

There’s a fine line between atmosphere at its height and anarchy, so we have to make sure one doesn’t spill over into the other

Round 3 Fight night ramps up the atmosphere Not many sports can generate an atmosphere like two warriors slugging it out for glory. Both Lee and Ross say only major football tournaments or rugby internationals can compete with a big fight. Lee says: “We had people singing the same songs that were being sung in the stadium for Haye v Bellew, which is when you know you have got it right and people feel like they are virtually there.” However, he does add a note of caution. “We don’t have a fight without security personnel. You have the assess the risk of public disorder. There’s a fine line between atmosphere at its height and anarchy, so we have to make sure one doesn’t spill over into the other. We really train our managers to pay attention.” The Pier has a late licence, which means it is well set up for pay per view events and will even show fights from Las Vegas in the early hours.

Lee says showing every fight means The Royal Pier has become known as the venue in the area for pay per view events. He is now looking at a ticketing system to ensure people don’t miss out. “We are considering selling tickets for the first time for the Joshua v Klitscho fight because sometimes we have regulars who can’t get in and this would guarantee their place,” he says. Ross takes to social media to ensure that people in the area know they can catch the action at the pub. “We promote it on social media, mainly with Twitter and Facebook. We boost our posts and even spending as little as £3 allows us to reach a few hundred people who we know like us and are in the area. It can make a big difference.”

The Big Fight: April 29 Anthony Joshua takes on Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium in a clash of the Titans. Can the young Brit beat the division’s dominant force of the last decade? Live on Sky Box Office.

• For tips on hiring security turn to p56 52

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Knockout stages exclusively live on

Call now 0800 678 1061 MEANS BUSINESS

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stay 11


things that can get you a ★★★★★ rating


Whether it’s a rating from an official body or being listed in exclusive guides, having an official seal of approval for your rooms can make a world of difference to your bookings. But what are the inspectors looking for when they come to stay? We spoke to a couple to help you prepare for the next mystery visit.



You can have all the Egyptian cotton sheets you like but if your pub isn’t clean you will get the kind of report kids try to hide from parents. It’s the number one thing the AA expects when checking in.

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Hospitality and friendliness of staff

This isn’t far behind on the list of priori-

ties. A simple smile and hello to recognise a customer is the start you need. Fail to do that and you’re losing points before anyone has made it as far as the bedroom.





Nobody is expecting a 24-hour concierge service at a pub, but things such as offering to carry bags up the stairs and being ready to serve at breakfast without the guest having to find you will get the right boxes ticked.

You are not a hotel and as such you are being judged on a different set of criteria. The AA will not expect you to necessarily have a check-in desk, but they will want to do this in an area away from the beer pumps. 22/03/2017 03:03



The little extras

We’re not sure if inspectors are simply biscuit crazy but both of the two we spoke to said local treats such as biscuits or fudge make a far greater impression than those bourbons that look like they’ve been hanging around since Christmas. AA commercial manager Alistair Sandall says: “Don’t bother with chocolates on the pillow. It’s a waste of time and just creates mess for everyone in the morning.”



If you want to make the leap to a fivestar venue the devil is in the detail. Fresh flowers make a great impression but replenish them regularly or you’ll be achieving the exact opposite.



Never to be underestimated, as it is the last impression you get to make. Alistair points to little details such as milk and cereals being fresh and in glass containers rather than packaging. A cooked breakfast is generally expected for a high score but Alistair adds that a good Continental can be just the ticket, especially if the pub is not ideally equipped to provide a full English.


The shower


The bed

Thankfully, Alistair says that the “traditional British shower” with a trickle of freezing cold or scalding hot water is becoming a thing of the past. People have power showers at home and they expect at least as good when they stay away.

With thanks to: David Hancock writer, inspector and managing director of Inn Places —

If in doubt, the bigger the better. This is not an area where you should be scrimping. David Hancock, managing director of top-end pub accommodation website Inn Places, says: “High on the room ‘essentials’ list is a quality bed topped with the best linen and duvets to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep.”

Alistair Sandall AA commercial manager, restaurant-and-pub

TV 10 Standard in most rooms and is

11 Accessories While hotels simply have to have hairdryers and irons to get a star worth having, this is still seen as more or a bonus in pubs. Radios and iPad docking stations are not essential but they can impress.

12 Mirrors Try to have at least one full length and one vanity mirror. Not doing so could be reflected in your rating.

13 Flooring Whether carpet or wooden, the quality and comfort provided will be taken into consideration. Nobody wants to wipe their feet before they step outside the room.

and food 14 Drinks Inspectors will be judging more than just the bedrooms so for a five-star rating you’ll need to provide a premium offer. David says: “It’s about attention to detail throughout the business — are the drinks on the bar premium? The rooms could be great but what is it like downstairs?”

with inspectors 15 Working They are not looking to find fault but they will want to give you feedback after their stay. Work with them to improve for the next time they stay the night.

definitely expected by the AA. Pubs that dispense with TV’s are likely to be penalised. p54-55 stay.indd 55

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back-bar business

top tips for 12 hiring door staff 1

Think of your door staff as your ‘meeters and greeters’

You can spend millions on a refurb but the first and last impressions of your venue will be the people on the door. So you need them to have some personable, as well as security, skills. Make sure they are friendly and “host” guests by greeting them and holding doors open, for example.


Promote the fact you have security


Make your other staff part of the ‘security team’


Expect to pay roughly £13 to £16 an hour

This is particularly useful if you rarely use door security or are using it for the first time. Letting regulars know via Facebook, Twitter and your website that they will need to bring ID and to expect some extra checks, can help avoid disappointment and conflict.

Even if you are employing a dedicated security team don’t forget the value of your front of house staff. Bartenders, waiting staff and glass collectors can act as your “eyes and ears” on the floor, alerting the professionals if they see something that needs attention.

Fully qualified professional staff will cost around this per person.

Make sure door supervisors have a Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence


Gone are the days you could employ Grant and his brother Phil to stand on the doors. p56-57 security.indd 56

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Members of a door security team must be SIA door supervisor certified as an absolute minimum.


There’s no law to tell you how many you need

Your licence condition might stipulate it, otherwise talk to your local authority, the police and do your own a risk assessment (taking into account things like the number of rooms, entrances and exits you have). Basic industry standards would suggest having two security for the first 100 customers and one for every 100 thereafter but there are many factors to take into account, so get advice.

With thanks to: Mark Worthington, licensing consultant, Worthington’s Licensing Solutions Steve Baker, chairman, National Pubwatch Daniel Davies, chief executive, CPL Training Group Liam Warren, operations director, Firm But Intelligent Security Alan Frith, licensee, The William Hardwicke, Bognor Regis Senna Atwal, chair, West Midlands Pub Association p56-57 security.indd 57


Where possible get a female

Fewer in number than their male counterparts and therefore harder to source, female security staff are nonetheless a valuable part of the team. They can have a hugely positive influence on conflict resolution, according to security experts.


Keep the same faces week after week

As much as possible, ensure the faces at your door are familiar. Regulars and security staff getting to know one another will help deal with incidents in a fair and compassionate way.


Have a register

Do your due diligence. Have a register of each member of the security team, containing their full name, their 16-digit SIA number and a note of the times they signed

in and out. If you’re using someone new then go to the SIA website and check their licence is still valid and take a colour photocopy of everyone’s licences for your records.


Seriously consider getting an ID scanner


Ask around for recommendations


You’ll need a non-frontline licence if you want to employ security staff directly

They aren’t cheap (around £12,000 to £15,000 to buy or £800 a month to hire). But they link to a national database to bring a new level of sophistication to your efforts to keep out troublemakers. Licensee Alan Frith of the William Hardwicke in Bognor Regis, says his helped him win Star Pubs & Bars’ award for Responsibly Run Pub of the Year in 2015. “When we took over the pub it had a reputation for trouble and having the machine has helped deter the undesirables,” he says.

The police will give you a list of reputable local security firms and you can visit other establishments to see their security in action. Also attend your local Pubwatch meetings, where other licensees can advise and you can often meet security professionals.

If you choose not to go through a specialised company then you’ll need to apply for one of these from SIA. It costs about as much as their other licences (circa £250) but you won’t have to do the compulsory four days training that door supervisors need to complete.

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back-bar business

The apprentices as not seen on TV by MATT ELEY

I would recommend it to anyone. It helps you get on the ladder and you can earn as you learn - Lauren Harris-Key, Marstons apprentice

Apprentices are starting to make quite an impact on the pub trade, and we are not talking about a bunch of hapless Alan Sugar wannabes creating a gin with racist undertones. More and more companies are introducing programmes that will set many on a journey (to maintain the reality TV parlance) towards a sustained career in the industry. To be fair, some of this is because they have to. This month sees the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy — a 0.5 per cent charge on company wage bills that exceed £3m a year. The money raised will be put towards the government’s bid to create three million apprenticeships by 2020. However, unless you happen to be a Premier League football club or a pubco on the scale of Wetherspoons, the levy is unlikely to affect you directly. So do you need to even bother considering running a scheme? Glen Duckett, owner of The Eagle & Child in Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester, suggests that it would be worthwhile. His pub is part of a business empire that also includes cafés and a canteen. What they all have in common is a workforce of youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds who started on apprenticeships.

Glen says: “We have had 100 people on programmes since 2011. Of those, we have an 83 per cent completion rate and more than 60 per cent progress with their careers.” The benefit from a societal perspective is clear, but Glen says there are distinct advantages for the business as well. “People come to us before they have any bad habits, so we can train them to our way of doing things,” he says. “We also find that they are very loyal.”

Looking to the future

Inspiring people at such a young age also goes a long way towards showing them that the hospitality industry is a serious career option, rather than simply a job to pay the bills while looking for something else. At a Parliamentary reception to mark National Apprenticeship Week in March, Ian Payne, chairman of managed powerhouse Stonegate Pub Company, pointed out that there are now 36,000 apprenticeship schemes in the industry. He added that in 2016 one in eight new jobs in the UK was created by hospitality. “I totally refute the argument that a job in this industry is not a proper job,” he said. “This industry offers better career progression than virtually any other in the UK.” And he should know, having started work as a barman in the 1970s and now running one of the biggest managed pub companies in the UK. It’s no surprise that apprenticeships are a key element of Stonegate’s award-winning training programmes.

Path to professionalism

Lauren Harris-Key is at the beginning of her own career journey. The 19-year-old has finished an apprenticeship with Marston’s and is working as a chef at The Old House at Home in Walsall. p58-59 apprentices.indd 58

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Learning the craft: apprentice Nancy Nangle with xxxx Dan Scott at the Craft Academy.

Apprentices come to us before they have any bad habits, so we can train them to our way of doing things. We also find they are very loyal

Skills to pay the bills: new recruits learn the ropes with HIT Training

Learning the craft: apprentices Dan Scott and Nancy Nangle at the Craft Academy. Skills to pay the bills: recruits learn the ropes with HIT Training

She says the training covered “all aspects of working in a kitchen” and has confirmed that she is on the correct career path. “I would recommend it to anyone,” she tells Inapub. “It helps you get on the ladder and you can earn as you learn.” More and more schemes are being implemented across the country. Punch recently celebrated its 100th pub apprentice while St Austell has launched a chef scholarship programme to help plug the muchtalked-about chef shortage — hospitality will need an additional 11,000 chefs by 2024. Greene King is also committed to the cause, pledging to provide 10,000 apprenticeships over the next three years. One novel approach to this is with its Craft Academy — an 18-month course teaching participants everything about making a beer, from brewing through to marketing and sales. The first creations from those on the course were available at this year’s Craft Beer Rising Festival in London. Craft Academy Apprentice Nancy Nangle, says: “I’ve always been interested in beer, so being part of the Craft Academy and getting to work on new and eclectic brews is fantastic. It’s been amazing to work on the launch of the first range of products, and we’ve got great plans to come.” The chances are that those beers and these apprentices will make more of a mark than those on that TV show.

HOW TO RUN AN APPRENTICESHIP SCHEME KNOW THE BASICS Apprenticeships take the format of on-thejob training and the apprentice will work with a mentor within your business to study role-specific skills. Most businesses partner with an external training provider who can create the apprenticeship programme for them WORK OUT WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE Do you want to plug a skills gap or train existing members of staff to move up the management structure? CHOOSE THE RIGHT PARTNER Look at a training provider’s completion rates for the sector and the subject that suits your business Tips provided by HIT Training managing director Jill Whittaker

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22/03/2017 03:35

back-bar business

How to win friends and influence people Influencer marketing might sound like another over-used business term, but the idea behind the phrase makes a lot of sense. You can use it to expand your customer base, increase your engagement on social media and generally drum up more business. A meal on the house could go a long way in the right hands

What is influencer marketing? An “influencer” is someone with a high profile or high number of followers on social media, who would in theory promote your product to their audience. The audience see this product or place is being used by said influencer, and are more inclined to use it or visit it too. The most successful influencer marketing won’t come across as an advert at all. For example, when Mary Berry wore a jacket from Marks & Spencer in an episode of Bake Off and the next minute that jacket had sold out.

So you want me to invite Mary Berry or Kim Kardashian to my pub to send out some tweets? We just want you to be clever with your customers — as they are actually your most valuable “influencers”. Your regulars might not have as many Instagram followers on social media as David Beckham (33.4 million at last glance), but they have local followers and friends who could realistically access your pub. These people are the ones to target.

So I need to make them walk around in a T-shirt with a picture of my pub? The best thing to do is incentivise them, and don’t say you are using them to market the pub. For example, tell a few of your customers: “If you share the fact you’re in my pub playing pool on Facebook, and tag everyone you’re here with, then I’ll give you five free games of pool.” Or how about this one: “If you take a photo of you and your friends having dinner here and post it on Instagram, I’ll give you a free bottle of Prosecco.” The next minute, p60-61 dmg.indd 60

22/03/2017 03:46

Once you’ve highlighted that person, it’s time to engage with them and start commenting on their posts too, especially if they’re not a regular customer or you don’t know them well. Once you have a social rapport, invite them in for a dinner on the house for two. The chances are they’ll share their experience on social media too.

How else can I increase my customer base?

Find out which of your customers are especially active on social media and offer them an incentive to post about your business



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

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someone in the area sees that their mate from work is playing pool in your pub and might remember that the next time they fancy a game. Be warned, the effect of this sort of marketing is difficult to measure. But it costs you very little.

OK, sounds simple enough. Any other ideas? Yep. If you want to take this a step further then you can do a bit of research. Take a look on Instagram or Facebook and highlight a customer or local person who gets consistent engagement on their posts. That means lots of people “like” or comment on whatever they share every time.

Using other people’s social media posts isn’t the only way to get the word out to your potential audience. How about Facebook adverts? If your pub is set up as a business on Facebook, you will have the power to “Boost” any of your social media posts for a sum of money. Not sure what boosting is? More people will see your post if you put money behind it and “boost” it. You’ll pay a certain price, for a certain audience or number of people to be shown that post, even if they don’t follow you. You could spend £20 on boosting a post to reach 5,000 people, but you’re smarter than that. Have those 5,000 ever even heard of your village? How about spending just £5 to boost a post about your new burger offer to 500 people in a 10-mile radius who have previously expressed an interest in burgers? To do this you need to click the “Boost post” button underneath whichever deal you want to boost, and follow the steps to honing in your audience. Remember, local and targeted boosting is key.

Boosting your Facebook posts will make them work harder

22/03/2017 03:46

Staff at a Cumbrian pub have swapped roles for charity, with the waiting team manning the kitchen, while the chefs took on the front of house. The Hare and Hounds in Causeway End held the Back to Front night in aid of the North West Air Ambulance and West Moorland Red Squirrels charities. Drinks were charged as normal but guests paid what they thought was fair for the food, with all proceeds going to charity. Becky Dewar (pictured), owner of the pub, said: “We thought it would be a lot of fun and it’s for two great charities. We also thought it would be useful for us — we can understand what the other side’s average shift entails.”

THE COLLECTION TIN What pubs around the country are doing to help good causes Rhys James of The Albert Square Chop House in Manchester, who died of lung cancer, has left behind a legacy by creating his own beer. He helped brew Rhys’s Remedy, which is now sold at the pub in aid of Shine Cancer Support. Oxfordshire brewer and pubco Brakspear has launched a partnership with Marie Curie, to help raise £75,000 this year for the charity, which supports those affected by terminal illness. Pubs across Brakspear’s 130-strong estate will place trays of daffodils on the bar and some pub teams and customers will wear yellow for a day in return for a donation.

Salisbury Pubs, which runs two venues in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, aims to raise £20,000 for local charities this May in its annual Pedal of Honour bike ride. Cyclists will start at the company’s pub The Alford Arms in Hemel Hempstead, and cycle 50 miles through the Chilterns to sister site The Royal Oak in Marlow, via several other pubs. The Old White Horse in Stourbridge, Dudley, has held a fancy dress breakfast book sale for World Book Day. Regulars were asked to donate old books, with all proceeds being donated to the children’s charity NSPCC.

A publican has played 106 hours of continuous pool in an attempt to claim a new world record while raising funds for a local hospice. Graham Cuthbert, who runs The Bell Inn in Kingsteignton, Devon, raised more than £7,000 for Rowcroft Hospice during the pool marathon played with pub regular Darren Stocks. Staff at the pub, owned by Ei Publican Partnerships, filmed the challenge from start to finish. Graham said: “It’s been a fantastic, not to mention an exhausting and emotional experience. “I don’t know what we would have done without the support of the community.”

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


APRIL 2017

p62 collection tin.indd 62 22/03/2017 10:42



HIPSTER PUB TRENDS What you need to up the handlebar ’tache count in your pub 1. Beards When is a beard hipster and when is a beard CAMRA? And when is a beard just a beard? Spotting the difference can be a hirsute nightmare but it’s definitely a signature of a hipster hangout.

2. Hy-breads It started with the cronut (that’s the lovechild of a croissant and a doughnut), was followed by the wonut (the waffle got involved) and now we present the scioche (scone and brioche). Thanks, but can I just get a slice of bread?

3. Jam jars, teapots etc Heaven forbid you want to drink out of a glass like some kind of Neanderthal. Those things are so passé. It gets worse — in some places the bill will now be delivered to you in a treasure chest, like it’s going to contain a nice surprise.

4. Deconstructed coffee The latest deconstructed/do-it-yourself item is apparently coffee. In Melbourne a bemused customer’s tweet about her coffee being served in three separate beakers – milk, hot water and espresso — resonated with more than two million views. Watch this space UK pubs.

5. A chip burial ground This sombre-looking serve (see left) represents some of the quirkier or downright odd ways that food can be presented in trendier hangouts. Thankfully, breakfasts served on a garden spade never really took off.

6. Shabby chic

denim. This is generally topped off with some type of neon signage on exposed brickwork.

7. Avocado with everything Toast, brownies, smoothies, smashed avocado. It’s a hipster staple. Just check out Instagram, you can barely swing a cat (also to be found in some hipster bars) for pics of avocado.

8. Craft beer We’ve been giving hipsters a hard time but let’s give them their due, they do like a craft beer and that’s no bad thing now, is it? Well that dry-hopped, pineapple-infused Imperial Russian Stout at £5 for a third might be, but that’s down to personal choice.

9. Board games If there were a Venn diagram of traditional and hipster pubs, these would be in the overlapping section. Though only in one venue will the games be played with a post-modern, ironic twist.

10. Dogs Ah, man’s best friend. To all types, in all pubs. Let’s all take our slouchy beanies off to that.

See point one. When does furniture stop being shabby and become shabby chic? In many hipster hangouts, expect to see decrepit Victorian school chairs or church pews and sofas with more rips than 1980s

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22/03/2017 10:45

time at the bar

PLATE OR SLATE? Where the nation’s publicans stand on the really big questions Oisin Rogers

The Guinea Grill, Mayfair, London Oisin started his career in pubs with Taylor Walker when he came to London from Dublin, and has since become something of a celebrity on the London foodie scene while running Young’s pubs. He now manages The Guinea Grill, with an awardwinning restaurant serving legendary British food and famed for its steak.

Plate or slate?

Brass or chrome fittings?

Always plates. Slates are disgusting. They are for putting on roofs or kitchen floors but that’s it.

I’m a bit of a brass man myself. I think traditional pubs look great in brass and dark wood, but there is certainly plenty of scope for people who prefer chrome.

Cocktails or cask ale? Cask ales every time, cocktails involve too much fannying around.

Background music or silence is golden? Background music is awful. If you have great customers your pub will be filled with stories, laughs, good craic and you don’t need background music.

Dyson Airblade or hand towels? Dyson Airblades are great, but I worry about air circulation and the cleanliness of hand dryers. Have you seen the troughs underneath them? Gross. I prefer hand towels. But if you’re going to have one, then a powerful one like the Airblade is necessary.

Table service or order at the bar? In the restaurant we have full silver waited service, but in the pub you can order a pie & mash. I think giving customers the flexibility to order what they want is important. People have enough structure and rules in their life already — they want to come to a pub to relax.

Karaoke or pub quiz? Both are terrible but if I had to choose I’d go for quiz. Quizzes are good for community businesses, there’s a sense of camaraderie.

Wellies or heels? I don’t wear heels often… but I walk my dogs every day in in the morning, so wellies are useful.

Menus online or on paper? Always menus on paper, but everyone wants to read menus online before they go, so a good website is a must. It needs to be clear and simple.

Live sport or big-screen ban? I have run businesses that did live sport and it was great, but now I run a food business, sport isn’t right for me. I’ve moved on. But sport in pubs is still very important. p64 plate or slate.indd 64

22/03/2017 10:49

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22/03/2017 13:07

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22/03/2017 13:08

Inapub magazine april 2017 issue 64  

The April issue of Inapub is like a Bank Holiday at the bar, jam-packed with interesting goings-on that should help your business. There’s o...

Inapub magazine april 2017 issue 64  

The April issue of Inapub is like a Bank Holiday at the bar, jam-packed with interesting goings-on that should help your business. There’s o...