The start of a new year brings with it new opportunities and a chance to start afresh. If you’re thinking of introducing food for the first time this year or want to refresh your menu here are some top tips from Admiral’s food team to help get you started.
New to food
Taking your first steps into catering can seem like a daunting prospect, but with the right guidance and support it’s easy to get going and find the right solution for your pub. Your first port of call should be the food team on 0844 800 6671. They can help with all aspects of starting a food in your pub, from training and supplier selection, through to menu creation and the food launch.
Steven Gilmour, Admiral’s development chef, provides on-site training to landlords, so you get hands-on learning and an opportunity to talk through your requirements and options with an expert.
Don’t be put off if you don’t have a kitchen, there are options available even if you have limited space. The Admiral food team website www.mypubfood.co.uk is packed full of ideas suitable for pubs of all sizes.
Things to consider…
Scope out the competition
Do your research and find out what your competitors are offering, at what price and how they are marketing it. It’s always important to establish your point of difference from the competition and the best way to do that is by knowing what is already on offer.
Planning is key
Don’t rush into it. Take a measured approach and do your homework. Depending on the level of offer you’re planning to launch there are a number of considerations that need to be made, such as staffing, training, costs and equipment. Researching each element of the process will enable you to minimise costs.
Speak to your customers
What food would your customers like to see on the menu? What are they willing to pay for a pub meal? Where do they regularly go to eat and why? By speaking to your customers you can gain some fantastic insight and get a feel for what will work with your regulars.
Promote your offer
Once you’ve decided on your menu, the key to generating sales is by vigorously marketing your menu to existing and new customers. Food opens your pub up to a whole new audience, particularly families, so think about how you can make them aware of your food offer and entice them into the pub.
Changing your menu
It’s important to keep your offer fresh to keep customers interested and encourage repeat business. What better time to do it than the start of the New Year.
Looking at your menu also provides a perfect opportunity to review suppliers and the price you’re paying for products. Are there cheaper alternatives available? Can you strike up a deal with a local butcher or greengrocer? Are you taking advantage of Admiral’s links with key suppliers?
However you want to change your offer, speak to the Admiral food team for inspiring ideas and practical help.
Things to consider…
Customers would always rather see less on the menu knowing it will be good than a huge list of food. It’s much easier to deliver a compact, well thought out menu.
Don’t over-complicate the menu. Keep things simple that way you will always deliver them well.
Be aware of portion size and base you costs accordingly. Every time you put a few extra chips on a plate your profit suffers- if you want to serve big portions make sure your selling prices reflect this.
Offer a balanced menu. Don’t repeat ingredients too many times, offer a range of dishes and of course as a pub there are certain dishes that should be on there like fish or scampi & chips and a good pie. Sandwiches, baguettes and jacket potatoes are an ideal lunch time offer but might devalue your main courses and make them look expensive if you continue to offer them in the evening.
Think about the presentation of your menu. Most pubs don’t suit leather bound menus with gold tassels - a simple A5 or A4 format is fine - have a look at the www.mypubfood.co.uk print creator, there are menus, leaflets, posters, table talkers and loyalty cards available for you to personalise at very reasonable prices. Items are printed by a professional printer and delivered to your door.
For more information contact the food team on 0844 800 6671 or visit www.mypubfood.co.uk