Enterprising Times – the magazine for
lessees of S&N Pub Enterprises
UNLOCK THE PROFIT FROM ‘CIDER OVER ICE’
- Pages 8-9
CONTENTS CHALLENGE 21
Latest news Meet the challenge
Inside this issue Good news Challenge 21 is your first line of defence in the battle against underage drinking.
There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but thanks to The initiative’s bar posters, door stickers and staff badges warn younger customers they
Latest news ................................................................................................ 2 Pub Enterprises’ new guide to pub PR and marketing, you will be challenged if they are fortunate enough to look under 21.
could discover plenty of ways to get free publicity for your
Challenge 21 .......................................................................................... 3
business. This handy booklet offers step by step guides to However the campaign can only offer you Campaign (AMEC) runs ‘sting’ operations
Smoking .......................................................................................................... 4 creating professional press releases that ensure your story maximum protection if every member of with police, local authorities and trading
features in local (and even national) newspapers and media. staff in your pub adopts its principles. standards officers to target pubs who
Crisis management .................................................................... 6
There’s also plenty of practical advice on planning promotional Besides displaying posters, stickers and cannot regulate themselves.
Cider over ice ........................................................................................ 8 events and how to manage press interviews to your advantage. badges prominently you should also
ensure that everyone who works behind I’m too busy to ask for ID all the time.
Warm welcome .................................................................................. 10 Your copy of the PR guide is enclosed in this issue. your bar is properly briefed…
Unfortunately, there is simply no excuse for
Food ....................................................................................................................... 12
ignoring this problem and the penalties for
Focus meeting ..................................................................................... 14 My staff are worried asking for ID
lessees who serve a minor (or who allow
will cause trouble.
– last chance to claim staff to serve a minor) with alcohol, even
Red Lion, Ruskington .............................................................. 16
Challenge 21’s high- unwittingly, are stiff; you can be fined, have
Stampers, Hawick ......................................................................... 18 profile posters not only your licence suspended or completely
The final June date to earn extra To claim, simply complete an official
cash for caps is fast approaching. deter under 18s from withdrawn.
Stanley, Preston ................................................................................ 20 form – available from your OSM –
Claims have been flooding in from clearly stating the number of caps per trying to buy alcohol;
The Westbury, Kilburn ........................................................... 22 the clearly stated I don’t know what ID to ask for.
stockists across the country to the brand. Return your collection of caps
The Blue Bell, Jesmond Vale ....................................... 24 extent that local press are now covering with the completed form to: ‘always challenge’
Challenge 21 recommends three forms of
the S&N UK promotion – The Post policy radically reduces • Card – the card should be completely
Clock Tower, Newbury ........................................................ 26 acceptable ID:
(York) reported that two bars had Cash for Caps 2007, Dept No 6268, the scope for arguments. smooth with nothing stuck on top of
already collected £1,000 for a local FREEPOST (LE6004), Market Reassure your staff that the plastic.
charity within a fortnight of Cash for Harborough, Leicester, LE16 7BR today’s teenagers are
Note: not every type of PASS card shows the
used to being asked for proof of age and • Driving Licence (with photograph).
ET regional contacts Caps going live! person’s name, this does not however, make
After verifying your application, a will usually provide ID when asked politely.
• PASS card. the card invalid.
Scotland By now you should also have a healthy cheque will be written and sent to
Suzanne Kinross - 07974 789 637 My younger staff are too nervous to
collection of caps from the seven S&N the nominated claimant at your bar. What is a PASS card? Can Pub Enterprises help me with
UK qualifying brands: Bulmers Original; Remember you could donate your ask for ID.
Northern Counties Foster’s Twist; Kronenbourg Blanc; Cash for Caps money to a UK PASS stands for Proof of Age Standards
Debbie Alderson - 07884 113 495 This is understandable but you should Scheme and the accredited cards are
Kronenbourg1664; Strongbow Sirrus; registered charity. Just write their Yes! Your OSM can provide you with
email@example.com remind younger staff they could face a
San Miguel and Jacques from details on the form – preferably with voluntary ID cards issued by local authorities materials and more information about
North West personal £80 fine if they serve alcohol to and the drinks industry. A valid card displays
Strongbow. So turn your cap collection their registration number – and S&N Challenge 21 and Pub Enterprises regularly
Telephone - 01254 295 800 minors. Encourage them to ask for help from the holder’s photograph as well as an anti-
into cash! Every cap’s worth 10p and UK will make the cheque payable to test pubs in our estate with our own
Midlands you or an older staff member if they have forgery hologram. Specimen cards are ‘undercover’ operations – but don’t worry…
Michael Haw - 07879 603 907 don’t forget Jacques from Strongbow is the cause of your choice. any suspicions. illustrated on the Challenge 21 posters and Our Proof of Age Testing Scheme is NOT
firstname.lastname@example.org worth a bonus 30p each – just keep
on the BBPA website. When checking a PASS designed to land you or your staff in court –
your Jacques caps separate when you Don’t miss out – last chance to claim,
West What if under age drinkers keep card, take a close look at the: in fact we want exactly the opposite. We
Alex Wolstenholme - 07785 523 179 make your claim. 30th June 2007!
trying? want to prevent you falling foul of the strict
Why not log each incident in a Refusal • Hologram - there are many different enforcement policies.
Record Book? types of PASS cards but all valid cards
Gareth Evans - 07768 640 090
email@example.com Important number change display the same 3D hologram. To this end we use young looking 18 year
Under age drinking isn’t a problem olds to visit our pubs and measure the
Last issue we included a feature on Pub Enterprises’ restructured and improved • Photograph/Person - if necessary, politely
Challenge 21 procedures that are in
Customer Services call centre. Please note that thanks to the introduction of a new for me. ask the cardholder to remove hoods,
Advertising enquiries place. If a problem is revealed, we will
telephone system, the number for telesales ordering has now changed: hats or sunglasses.
firstname.lastname@example.org No premises are immune from this problem. work with the lessee to strengthen
The new telesales number is: 0845 878 7076 Even if you can’t spot underage drinkers, the • Date of birth – make sure the figures strategies and make sure all customers
government’s Alcohol Misuse Enforcement add up. can be served with confidence.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of material published in Enterprising Times, neither the publishers nor Scottish & Newcastle Pub
Enterprises accept claims made by the contributors, manufacturers or suppliers. The views expressed by the contributors are not necessarily those of Scottish & Newcastle ET would like to thank Julian Sargeson for his help with this article. Julian was previously a licensee and
Pub Enterprises. Copyright of all materials published in Enterprising Times remains with Scottish & Newcastle Pub Enterprises. Articles may not be reproduced without
written permission from Scottish & Newcastle Pub Enterprises. All prices are current at time of going to press. See separate Terms and Conditions for Enterprising Times
Operations Director for S&N and currently is Director of the company Serve Legal – who run the Challenge
promotions. Enterprising Times is published by Scottish & Newcastle Pub Enterprises, 2-4 Broadway Park, South Gyle Broadway, Edinburgh, EH12 9JZ. 21 Proof of Age Testing Scheme on behalf of Pub Enterprises.
2 / ET SUMMER 2007 /
ET SUMMER 2007 / 3
don’t have to say anything. As soon as What about the front of The Red Lion? How do you think the ban will
they see they’re the only one smoking, or affect your competitors?
“Obviously we still get smokers nipping
notice our cards on the bar and tables
out the front door for a ciggie but my There are two other pubs and a restaurant
discreetly pointing out we’re smoke free,
partner Stuart made some fabulous bins in the village that still allow smoking and
they’re happy to go outside.”
Get ready to feel the difference Have you made any arrangements
for your smoking customers?
out of large plant tubs filled with sand.
We make sure the front of the pub stays
nice by emptying the tubs every morning
they don’t seem to be making any plans
for the change. I think the ban will hit
them very hard.”
– we use a cat litter scoop!”
“Adam our OSM helped us find the proper What’s been the best part about
There’s just weeks to go equipment for our patio at the back of the Have you experienced any being smoke free?
before the smoking ban in pub including a really good electric heater significant increases in costs?
“Not having to empty filthy ash trays at
with a time control. It sits under the
England becomes law on July umbrella, you push a button and you get a
“Not at all; we spent a few pounds on the the end of the night. It’s also great to go
necessary door signs for each of our upstairs without smelling of smoke or
1st and you should have in blast of heat for five minutes before it
entrances and we signed up to the stale cigarettes!”
place your plans for making switches off automatically. It’s great; it
Breathe Easy campaign. But as I said
means we’re not wasting money heating
a smooth transition to being many of our bills have gone down.”
an empty space.”
Any necessary permissions and alterations The Red Lion also features in our round up of refurbishments. Turn to pages 16 & 17.
to your licence, including applying for
pavement and street café licences, should
be well in hand and any work to provide
smokers with outside shelter should be The final countdown
near completion. Appropriate furniture, Communication Kit
such as outdoor tables, chairs, heaters July 1st presents every lessee with the
opportunity to review their entire offer Posters (pack of 2)
and ash trays, should at least be on order.
and make changes so their business Each poster’s Take A Fresh Look message
If you haven’t already done so, put a date thrives in the smoke-free era. In these last is backed by positive images of people
in your diary to give your pub a really few days, why not carry out a thorough enjoying the new, clear atmosphere.
good spring clean and start to talk to review of your business costs to make sure
your customers, staff and neighbours there is plenty of slack to ease any strain Drip Mats (pack of 200)
about how the ban will affect them. imposed by the ban.
Every time they put down their glass
your smoking customers will be
The final point, and perhaps most For example, entertainments can provide
reminded that July 1st is the date
important, is to remember to embrace Case Study – The Red Lion, Ruskington useful room for manoeuvre. Used
for the big stub-out.
properly, things like cable and satellite TV
the change as positively as you can. In
are a valuable asset, but ask yourself this: Generic Empty Bellies
Ireland, Scotland and Wales it has been
It was lessee Andrea Hunt who decided How did you communicate the is providing this service actually attracting
those lessees who have backed the ban, (pack of 4)
her newly decorated pub should be change to your customers? more customers?
even those who smoke themselves, who smoke free so ET asked her how a self These branded posters have plenty of
have made the most successful change. “The refurbishment certainly helped; the
imposed ban had affected her pub. white space to announce special offers,
brand new surroundings actually make Similarly, live entertainments can be
Moreover, the same principle seems to give-aways and competitions to celebrate
the case for us. I would say 99.9% of my a terrific way to keep your bars full after
apply to England. Have you experienced a drop in the new era.
customers really appreciate the hard work the ban becomes law. Barbecues, quiz
trade by being smoke free?
that has gone into the refit and they want nights, curry nights, music nights and
There are a number of English pubs who Promotional Empty Bellies
“It’s been quite the reverse! We might to keep their local looking its best.” party nights will make sure your
have already taken the decision to (pack of 2)
have lost a couple of smoking customers customers actually look forward to
become smoke free in advance of the but we’ve gained so many more from How has your pub benefited? July 1st. The two 7-Day calendars, in the empty belly
official ban and their experiences have other areas of the community. We are format, can be used to announce a week
been overwhelmingly positive. One such getting more families, pensioners, ladies “It is absolutely wonderful to have a pub
To help you promote your long programme of events and activities.
and even business people - who don’t that’s fresh and clean and stays that way.
pub is The Red Lion in the Lincolnshire entertainments, Pub Enterprises have
want to go to their next meeting reeking Apart from the increase in trade, we’ve also
village of Ruskington… a Communications Kit, available free Back Bar display (pack of 1)
of smoke.” noticed things like cleaning bills going
from your OSM. Each kit contains posters, All the best launches have a countdown
down. We don’t have to wash greasy
empty bellies, drip mats and a back bar and Feel the Difference is no exception.
Have your smoking regulars stayed nicotine stains off windows, pictures and
display to let everyone know your pub Our back bar display features a 14 day
at home? paintwork for a start.”
welcomes the ban. calendar so your smoking customers
“Not at all; even those who still smoke will know exactly when to light their
Have you had any problems asking
have welcomed the fact we are smoke free. last cigarette.
people not to light up?
I’ve had several regulars say our ban has
helped them give up or cut down – which “We have had an occasional customer
saves them a lot of money these days!” come in with a cigarette but usually we
4 / ET SUMMER 2007 /
ET SUMMER 2007 / 5
How Pub Enterprises can help you to help yourself
In addition to our lessee support services, Pub Enterprises’ have produced an Emergency “A small investment of time
Procedures Pack to help you plan for a potential crisis. Each pack contains:
now, could literally save
Don't panic • An Emergency Procedures Sheet:
this should be the baseline for your
thousands of pounds in lost
business, reputation, prevent
unlimited stress, inconvenience
preparation of an emergency plan.
or worse. Not to do so creates
risks which could result in legal
• An Emergency Procedures Form: this
Contrary to what many of us believe in this multi-media is a template for you to list the action following a crisis situation.
immediate steps your staff should Prevention is better than
age, disasters are mercifully infrequent. Though if the
take in the event of an emergency. cure though, thankfully, such
worst does happen, knowing you are part of a tiny The form should be displayed crises are extremely rare."
statistical group is small comfort. somewhere prominent where staff
Group Security Manager David Belcher,
can refer to it easily.
Yet even the most serious fire or flood need not damage a pub’s future business. Pub Scottish & Newcastle plc
Enterprises has in place carefully designed procedures that can help any lessee restart • Stickers with Pub Enterprises’ press
trading as soon as possible - and with the minimum disruption to trade. office telephone number.
If you haven’t got your pack, contact
Be Prepared – Keep Prepared your OSM as soon as possible.
Once you have your Emergency
Pack, remember to overhaul your
emergency procedures regularly:
The Tyneside Tavern
• Check you and your staff are still
familiar with your crisis strategy. A serious fire may seem like the end of 12.00pm: The fire is out. Thankfully
the world, but as one lessee discovered no one has been injured but damage
• Check new staff members,
nothing is ever as bad as it seems. is extensive. Smoke and water
however temporary, have been
penetration has made the lessee’s flat
trained in your procedures.
9.30am: The Tyneside Tavern’s chef uninhabitable. The OSM arranges for
discovers a serious electrical fire in the hotel accommodation for the lessee
• Check emergency and key-
holder phone numbers have not kitchen. The chef realises the fire cannot and his family.
changed and ensure you always be tackled safely and immediately alerts
have your OSM’s number readily the lessee who lives upstairs. 1.00pm: The OSM contacts the lessee’s
to hand. insurance company and immediately
9.35am: The pub has been evacuated; starts to make plans for the pub’s
• Check all safety equipment the lessee has correctly ensured refurbishment. Loss adjustors are on
including fire extinguishers, everyone has left the building safely site by the end of the day.
fire doors and panic alarms. before calling the fire brigade.
Make sure they work and are Three days later: Contractors begin
easily accessible. 9.40 am: The lessee calls Pub repairing the damage.
• Check your insurance policies
Four weeks later: The Tyneside
are up to date and provide
10.40am: Within an hour of his call, Tavern’s regulars celebrate the
How Pub Enterprises can help you sufficient cover.
a Pub Enterprises buildings manager, rebirth of their favourite pub with
Whatever the situation, speed minimises damage so you need to get help quickly. In the • If you have had a recent commercial manager and OSM are on a fabulous party!
first instance, always contact your OSM; they’re just a phone call away and they can refurbishment check your crisis the scene to assess the situation.
arrange the specialist support you need. In the event of a major crisis, and you can’t procedures are still appropriate
reach your OSM or regional office, you can contact our 24/7 press office. to your new premises. 11.00am: The fire is still burning
and threatening to spread to a “It was tremendous, within a matter of hours we had everyone
As well as damage to your property, a crisis can also affect your neighbours. To keep • If you need new emergency nursery school which is evacuated. we needed on site. The rapid response really helped me focus on
your business’ goodwill you need to make sure your neighbours know you’re doing procedure forms order them The OSM alerts the Pub Enterprises getting back on my feet and I still can’t believe we reopened in
everything in your power to return the situation to normal. from your OSM. press office and arranges for all media just four weeks. Pub Enterprises really went beyond the call of
enquiries to be directed to them. duty and we couldn’t have asked for more.”
If it’s a newsworthy story the media may become involved. In such cases, you may find Reviews should be carried out at
it difficult to control what is printed or broadcast so keep your neighbours informed of least every six months. Why not put Paul Kinnoch, then lessee, Tyneside Tavern
the situation. If you do receive interview requests from the press, TV or radio then a date for your next training session
contact the Pub Enterprises press office. They can advise you on how best to handle in your diary now?
journalists and how to get your side of the story across.
6 / ET SUMMER 2007 /
ET SUMMER 2007 / 7
Bulmer’s Original Let your customers know…
CIDER OVER ICE
A huge investment of £14 million has “I’m ordering 12 cases of Jacques In addition to the free POS kits mentioned
revived this traditionally styled every week even though it’s been above, there is a fabulous catalogue of
Herefordshire favourite. The larger bottles a pretty miserable spring here in branded point of sale products available
Cider is cool are designed to bridge the gap between
packaged and draft products meaning
this peerless heritage cider appeals to
Newcastle. Even if the weather
doesn’t improve, I’m convinced
for each of S&N’s ciders. From display
stands, chalk boards and t-shirts, to ice
troughs, glassware and drip mats every
anyone who enjoys a dry cider served Jacques is going to be ‘the’ drink item will reinforce the message that cider
over ice. In particular, 35-45 year old of this summer.” over ice is the coolest drink in your bar.
males are choosing Bulmer’s Original
Nick Spence, lessee The Blue Bell,
as an alternative to beer. Summer’s just around the corner
Newcastle upon Tyne
Cider over ice has confounded many
Sirrus from Strongbow
commentators by being popular
Strongbow enjoys near total dominance Ice Cold throughout the year but sales are bound
of the UK’s draft cider market whilst its to soar even higher during the long lazy
Stocking the right cider product for your
younger packaged brother is designed days of summer. To stock any one (or all)
customers is only half the story. To serve
to introduce a new generation to the of Scottish & Newcastle’s unique range of
cider over ice the other essential
delights of cider over ice. The lighter ciders simply call the new telesales
ingredient is, of course, ice.
taste and distinctive colour of Sirrus number 0845 878 7076.
appeals directly to fashion conscious
You may prefer to buy pre-bagged ice
younger drinkers, both males and To order ice machines, cooler cabinets
from your wholesaler but there is nothing
females, aged between 20 and 35. and point of sale material contact
to beat fresh ice from a proper ice
Impact on 08457 101 010 or email
machine. Having the ability to make ice
on the premises means you will never run
The latest addition to S&N’s cider family out and your ice buckets need never be
is a gem of a Belgian fruit cider designed full of unattractive semi-melted slush.
to convert wine drinkers to cider’s over ice You should now have
revolution. The larger bottles are designed More importantly, investing in an ice received ‘your guide to
for groups to share instead of a glass of machine need not cost as much as you unlocking profit from
wine, whilst the lightly sparkling fruits of might think. Pub Enterprises have cider over ice’. If not,
contact your OSM.
the forest flavours appeal to female specially selected suppliers who can offer
drinkers in a wide 20-45 age band. you savings of up to £222 on quality
Whirlpool ice machines and £365 on
stylish glass fronted cooler cabinets.
Better still, purchase any of the items on
offer before the 30th September 2007 Top ten tips for serving
cider over ice
and you’ll receive free point of sale kits for
Bulmers, Sirrus and Jacques ciders. 1 Use a branded glass.
2 Hold the glass up to the light to
ensure it is clean.
There will be somebody, somewhere, who still believes that cider is drunk only by Somerset LONG DRINKS MARKET – GROWTH 3 Fill one third of the glass with
ploughmen. That person should take a trip to their local pub where the chances are they will see ice cubes.
cider being enjoyed by a new generation of customers – who couldn’t be further from the 4 Use clear, fresh ice never old,
white ice and a proper scoop.
out-dated cider stereotype.
In many respects, Jacques is typical of the 5 Open and pour two thirds of the
bottle’s contents over the ice.
The cider revolution is being driven by 2011 the UK cider market is predicted packaged ciders are the fastest growing new ciders that are taking the UK’s pub
by a new range of packaged ciders to be worth a jaw dropping £1.7 billion. sector of the long drinks market market by storm, but everything about 6 Pour at 45 degrees to keep
specifically designed to be served over outperforming previous best sellers, such this product is designed to offer your the sparkle.
ice. The fashion for alcopops seems to These numbers include sales of all ciders as lager and wine, in terms of pure growth. customers something unique. Jacques’ 7 Present the glass and bottle,
be in decline as today’s pub goers including draft products like Scottish & European origin (it is brewed only in labels first, to the customer.
increasingly choose refreshing long drinks, Newcastle’s market leader Strongbow. Making the most of this huge area of Belgium) appeals to the growing number 8 Hold the glass at the base
with lower alcohol content, over spirit If the figures are broken down further, growth couldn’t be simpler. Pub of customers who want British pubs to be “Packaged ciders are the fastest never the top.
based beverages – and the figures speak and we just look at packaged ciders, Enterprises and Scottish & Newcastle more like French cafés than German beer growing sector of the long drinks 9 Don’t fill the glass brimful.
for themselves. the numbers are even more impressive. have put together a modern portfolio of halls. This association with continental
market outperforming previous 10 Don’t take too long, 15 seconds
packaged ciders, all best served over ice, style makes Jacques a premium product
The current cider market is now worth Around 10 million cases of bottled cider that are specifically tailored to today’s for which customers are happy to pay
best sellers, such as lager and should be plenty of time to open
wine, in terms of pure growth.” pour and serve!
£336 million to British pubs. The market is were sold last year and this sector of the diverse range of cider drinkers. a premium price – that means higher
growing by around 18% year on year and market is doubling every year. In fact margins for you.
8 / ET SUMMER 2007 /
ET SUMMER 2007 / 9
WARM WELCOME Case study – The Waterline, Yet John has been true to his word and he
has won customers back to The Waterline
Newcastle upon Tyne
by introducing both Sky Sports TV and
cask conditioned ales. The pub has also
Whilst The Waterline, located on benefited from new signage and a
Newcastle’s Quayside, was a managed revamped internal colour scheme whilst
house, John Carlin was at the helm for the menu has been expanded to include
14 years. When the pub was transferred popular modern favourites like paninis,
to Pub Enterprises, John produced a salads and burgers. Last but not least, John
masterful business plan which helped him introduced a staff training programme to
ET is delighted to announce land The Waterline’s tenancy despite stiff ensure his customers experience only the
The winners are:
competition from a number of established highest standards of service.
the winners of this year’s multiple operators.
Warm Welcome awards which, AWARD PUB LESSEE
John’s labours have begun to bear fruit
for the first time, have been The Waterline’s business was fairly stale quickly; The Waterline was one of the few
held on a regional basis and Scotland at the time of the handover but John bars awarded Highly Accredited status in
included a new category for Beer Bon Accord Paul McDonagh convinced Geoff Smith, his Operations Newcastle’s Best Bar None awards. In fact,
& Sales Manager, that without the John’s was the only tenanted pub to
‘most improved’ pub. Community Diamond Paul Holiday
Food Tyneside Tavern Alistair Scott constraints placed on him as a manager receive this accolade.
“This year there has been an exceptionally Specialist Food Urban Grill Alan & Jane Tomkins & Derek Marshall he could take the necessary steps to
high number of lessees who really are at the Improved Waterline John Carlin develop the business. “Both John and his wife, Pam, are
top of their game,” comments Gareth Pub N/A N/A regularly seen doing every job in the
Douglas, Pub Enterprises’ Marketing This was a bold statement as competition pub!” says Operations & Sales Manager
Manager, “so the decision was made to Northern Counties in Newcastle’s city centre is particularly Geoff Smith. “They mop floors, collect
award only regional titles for this year’s fierce. Besides Tyneside’s traditional pub glasses, paint walls, cook meals and serve
competition as it was becoming increasingly Beer Dog & Gun Carmel Newby
and club land, centred on the Bigg the growing army of regulars who enjoy
difficult to select overall national winners!” Community Blue Bell Eddie Hall & Stuart Pepper
Market and Quayside, the city is their fine food, great beer, chilled wine recognised the benefits of good service
Food Windmill Inn Janet Rowley & John Littler
The Warm Welcome awards for 2006/7 experiencing a boom in multi-million and superb service. Given the limited and set standards to which many other
Specialist Food Mill House Carl & Dianne McDonald
assessed no less than 1,537 pubs in five pound leisure developments such as capital investment, John and Pam have bars should aspire.”
Improved Rose & Crown Jon Leighton & Richard Harrison
categories: best food pub, best beer pub, The Gate entertainment complex. achieved something special. They have
Pub Mill House Carl & Dianne McDonald
best food specialist outlet, best community
pub and most improved pub. The judges
were especially keen to reward excellence,
recognise good standards and share their Beer Crows Nest David & Michelle Hughes
findings with the participating lessees. Community Alma Hotel Keith & Jill Simpson Case study – The Three
Food Stags Head Claire Holt & Paul Riggs Wheatsheaves, Nottingham
“Warm Welcome is not just about
Specialist Food Plough Hotel Karen & Francis McGrath
certificates and trophies,” Gareth
Improved Park Inn Peter & Elaine Martindale Until Tony and Toni Millership arrived at
continues, “the constructive feedback
Pub Hesketh Tavern Doug & James Almond The Three Wheatsheaves, this was a very
is designed to give an impartial view of
the pub to help lessees identify the areas run of the mill pub. The best you could
Midlands say about the latest acquisition for Pub
of strength in their business and any
areas that may require development.” Beer Duke Inn John Horton People Ltd’s portfolio was that it was not
Community Cherry Orchard Peter Wilkinson bad but not great either. In other words,
This year the judges were especially the pub simply wasn’t realising its potential.
Food Gaerwen Neil & Carol McGregor
impressed by the widespread
Specialist Food Golden Lion Jeremy Woodward
entrepreneurial spirit of lessees and their Yet without the benefit of major structural
commitment to providing better services Improved Three Wheatsheaves Tony & Toni Millership
alterations or extensive refurbishment,
for all pub customers. Pub Cherry Orchard Peter Wilkinson
Pub People and Tony and Toni have
West managed to increase trade dramatically.
For the most improved pub category,
Nowadays, The Three Wheatsheaves is a
pubs were scored against set criteria
Beer Brunswick Alan & Helen Rohman genuinely warm and welcoming place to
after an initial assessment and a second
Community Boathouse (tbc) Andy Footman & Maxine Oerton eat and drink.
mystery visit. Pubs were rewarded for
listening to comments made by the Food Horseshoe Gordon & Eve Jackson
judges on the first assessment and making Specialist Food Olive Tree Adrian Moore & Nikos Andriakopoulos Tony and Toni have transformed their pub
positive changes by the second visit. Improved Walnut Tree Jason & Jo Bedwell by playing to their strengths and paying
Pub Grouse & Ale Carlos Maidana & Joy Roberts close attention to detail. They have used
“Warm Welcome is beneficial for lessees their previous experience and expertise, Toni have made the pub more Operations & Sales Manager Drew Milne,
in several different ways.” Gareth adds, South East gained working in managed houses and female friendly, increased the level of who judged the award, summed up the
“For some it might come as a wake up marketing, to make sure service at entertainment and introduced events Millership’s simple but highly effective
call whilst for other, more entrepreneurial Beer Bulls Head Vernon Leese
The Three Wheatsheaves is second to especially targeted at students. Standards strategy. “Even during quieter, mid-
lessees, it’s a real motivation to improve Community Royal Oak Vivienne MacLeman
none and that their pub is at the heart of cleanliness are kept high and small afternoon periods,” he said, “staff make
their pubs further. But all Warm Welcome Food White Horse Lee Brown & Gareth Manning
of their local community. (but important) courtesies, such as sure there is a welcoming fire burning in
winners have one thing in common: they Specialist Food Hampshire Tom Debenham & Michael Fletcher
saying hello and goodbye to every the grate. Tony and Toni’s pub is now a
care passionately about their pubs and Improved Symonds Well Neil McEleney As the surrounding area is home to a customer, create a warm and place where I’d be happy to go and have
the service they offer their customers.” Pub Ramblers Rest Anita & Michael Butler high population of students, Tony and welcoming atmosphere. a pint and something to eat.”
10 / ET SUMMER 2007 /
ET SUMMER 2007 / 11
FOOD Case Study –
The Waverley Edinburgh Summer in the City
If your pub lacks the facilities for
The Waverley is typical of the community
Heat and eat pubs that serve the suburbs of Scotland’s
cities. Most customers live within walking
distance and no Sunday is complete
outdoor dining – no worries! Fosters
Grub Club can still help put the sizzle
into your summer. Again, just log on to
without enjoying the football or the the website to take advantage of these
karaoke in The Waverley’s bar. fantastic offers that suit pubs either
with or without an outside area:
With summer just around the corner, ET looks at the Ban, Case Study – “We didn’t do food before,” says lessee
• Two for One meal deals – Grub
barbecues and back bar catering. The Imperial Glasgow Catherine Kay, “so my customers were going
Club special offers include classics
to my competitors to get something to eat!”
July 1st will see smoking banned in English pubs but many pubs are already operating like fish & chips, burgers, pizzas and
The Imperial is an historic pub in the even chicken tikka masala.
successful smoking bans in their dining areas and restaurants. Clearly this was not a desirable situation
heart of Glasgow. Traditionally popular but Catherine had no space to install
with male customers,The Imperial was the • Recipes – spice up your summer
Over the years, such voluntary bans have helped disconnect food from smoking and a proper kitchen.
menu with free download recipes
nowadays even committed smokers feel uncomfortable lighting up whilst others are type of pub that could have suffered from
for kebabs, marinades, dips and
eating. This means that serving food can really help you make the change from a Scotland’s smoking ban – but lessee “I really wanted to do food,” Catherine Summer time specials salads.
smoke-filled to a smoke-free pub. Margaret Logue had other ideas. continues, “I checked with Environmental
Health who confirmed it was fine to turn an Cooking on an outdoor grill is a great • Stationery – the Grub Club’s
alcove at the end of the bar into a food way to treat your regulars whilst also download posters and menu makers
Pub Enterprises can help lessees establish a successful food offer or guide their existing
preparation area. Then I went to a meeting attracting new customers to your pub –
catering towards a profitable smokeless future. Whatever the size or location of your “We had no catering facilities but will give your summer food offer a
organised by Pub Enterprises that showed and if you thought running a barbecue
pub we have a range of packages and promotions to put food at the top of your I’d read a lot of literature saying truly professional look.
me the range of Back Bar equipment was beyond your catering skills then
menu this summer… food could help keep customers designed to fit just such a space as mine.” think again.
after the smoking ban,” Margaret
The small pub with no kitchen Catherine had worked in food pubs before To convert Britain to the true Aussie
told ET, “I thought bar snacks
and had been disappointed with other Barbie, Foster’s have created the Grub
If you run a small pub with either no would be ideal to give my pub ranges of pre-packaged food. However she Club which can provide you with
outside space or kitchens, do not despair. something extra.” has found the pizzas and baguettes from everything you need for a whole
We have four back bar food kits that
Lazer Foods to be very different. summer of terrific tucker. Besides 2-for-
can create tasty hot snacks and light
1 meal deals, free recipes, posters and
meals in the smallest of spaces.
Margaret had no room for a large kitchen “I have had nothing but praise from my menu makers, there’s Foster’s fantastic
The range features: customers for my new food,” Catherine
but there was a small area behind the range of branded BBQ equipment,
bar that could house a space saving says happily, “it really is good quality and including…
• Home-style soups – supplied in we add things like a salad and a dip to
handy single serve, dry-store, each serving to make a real meal.” • Deluxe, five burner,
microwavable pouches. weatherproof grill.
“I discussed what I wanted to do with
Catherine also found the equipment easy
my OSM,” Margaret continues, “and • Patio heaters.
• Steamed hot dogs – again supplied for staff to use.
Pub Enterprises were great; they put me
in convenient dry-store packs. Order • Gazebos.
today for your free point of sale kit. through a food hygiene course, organised
the ovens and helped me plan things like “You just put the package in the • Marquees.
• Hot baguettes and paninis – menus, and advertising.” oven, set the timer and you’re
the easy to use halogen ovens done. It’s so easy even the men
produce piping hot snacks in a Margaret’s new food offer has just got • Deckchairs.
can use it! We just needed a short
matter of minutes. under way and the response in even
training session where I showed • A-Boards.
a short space of time has been
tremendously encouraging. everyone what to do and try the
• Pizzas – the authentic stone baked The Grub Club’s on-line offers and
pizzas are made in Italy and supplied food for themselves.”
ordering service will be available
frozen. There’s a choice of ovens and “My regulars are very pleased with Let’s Twist Again
throughout the summer to provide you
each kit contains accessories such as my bar snacks,” Margaret says proudly, with the ideal setting for your
Catherine’s new pizzas, paninis and No lazy summers afternoon would
pizza wheels and take-away boxes. “I’m just offering the basics at first, baguettes have proved incredibly popular barbecues and the perfect backdrop be complete without plenty of cool
like baguettes and burgers, but everyone and their real value has been revealed in for Foster’s superb range of ice cold refreshment so order plenty of summer
With the exception of the soups comments on how tasty they are. Once increased sales of wet products. As summer lagers. drinks such as cider (see our special
(where you need to provide a microwave) things are properly up and running I customers no longer eat elsewhere, trade cider feature on pages 8 & 9) and
each kit provides all the ‘heat & eat’ Turning your outside areas into a little
hope to extend my range. I’ve already has shown a significant increase. lagers like Foster’s Twist. This ‘laid
equipment you need to cook food piece of the Lucky Country means your
noticed a few new faces in the bar and back’ lager is made from citrus hops
quickly, simply and with minimum of customers will spend longer and spend
when word gets around I think the “I’d really like to build on what’s already and specifically designed to be served
staff training. There’s no waste and no been achieved and extend my food more in your pub and joining the Grub
food is really going to help build up over ice. Twist is the perfect partner for
fuss which means our Back Bar catering offer,” Catherine adds, “and maybe one Club couldn’t be easier, just log on to:
my business.” summer pub grub whether served in or
kits provide you with greater margins day I’ll have a proper kitchen but until www.fosters.co.uk/fostersgrubclub out of doors.
and your customers with delicious then my little ovens are providing a
‘just cooked’ food. terrific service for my customers.”
12 / ET SUMMER 2007 /
ET SUMMER 2007 / 13
FOCUS MEETING Case Study – The Viaduct, Leeds
How the meeting works
Who’s who at the Focus Meeting
All Focus Meetings include a
In focus Typical of all Focus Meetings was the group assembled to discuss a refurbishment for
The Viaduct pub in Leeds. Five key people attended…
physical inspection of the pub, an
assessment of competitors’ premises
and discussions on the best strategy
for the future. The meeting’s
conclusions are written up in the
1 Darren, Lessee
Focus Document prepared by the
Refurbishing pub premises invariably requires considerable capital expenditure so it is vital that Whether you are new to the licensed trade or an old Commercial Manager. This provides
every penny spent produces the maximum income for the lessee. In theory, realising the potential hand at the pub game, you are always fully involved both a future business plan and a
in the discussions. The purpose of all Focus Meetings working brief for the refurbishment.
of any enterprise is simple: just give your customers what they want, when they want it and at a
is to turn your vision for your pub into a reality
price they can afford. and your views on a site’s development and potential
will form the basis of the entire marketing strategy. What happens next
Of course, this is often easier said than
done. The detailed market research that After any Focus Meeting there are
can identify exactly what customers want four further discussion stages…
is often beyond the resources of many 2 Nick Lowery, Commercial Manager
small businesses – but this is precisely Commercial Managers have the responsibility for overseeing The Focus Document
where Pub Enterprises can help. the refurbishment to ensure the project fulfils the
The PBM passes the Focus
As part of the UK’s largest estate of leased requirements of the business strategy. The Commercial
Document to the architects and
pubs, Pub Enterprise lessees have access to Manager will chair the Focus Meeting, take minutes and
interior designers of the design
all our expertise and experience of summarise the decisions in the Focus Document (see right).
team. They prepare a more detailed
marketing. Whether you are planning plan called The Proposed Scheme.
complicated structural changes or a simple
redecoration, we can help you find the best 3 Jim Hayes, Operations & Sales Manager (OSM)
The Proposed Scheme
direction for your pub’s refurbishment. Your OSM will have the responsibility of supporting you in
The Proposed Scheme turns the
the day to day running of your pub once refurbishment is
When making key decisions about the Focus Document into a blueprint for
complete, therefore their input is vital. Each area’s OSMs
future of your pub, it is vital that everyone the project and confirms the budget
have wide experience of local market conditions and can
concerned keeps an open mind. At Pub set by the focus meeting. Before
advise on how best to attract customers to a particular site
Enterprises, we firmly believe that you are work can begin, the Proposed
with the right wet products, food offers and design. Your
the person who knows your premises best Scheme must receive approval from
and we promise to do all we can to turn OSM will also prepare a Project Evaluation Form (see right).
the lessee and Pub Enterprises. After
your dreams into reality. All we ask for in approval the PBM will prepare
return, is that lessees listen to our detailed costings for the project.
4 David Boulter, Project & Building Manager (PBM)
experienced team’s suggestions about
the wide range of possibilities available The PBM advises on costs and how the physical The Project Evaluation Form
for every pub. restrictions of the site may affect design decisions.
Once any snags in costing and the proposed Besides the Proposed Scheme, your
The forum for this crucial exchange of OSM prepares a Project Evaluation
design have been resolved, the PBM will brief the
ideas is the Focus Meeting that introduces Form recording all financial
wider design team on the project’s specified goals.
you to the Pub Enterprises’ people who responsibilities; this will be submitted
will help you plan a successful for approval to both you and Pub
refurbishment. The initial meeting’s aim
Enterprises. Project Evaluation Forms
is to identify and evaluate: 5 Samantha Cox, Brand Manager
also detail your commitments in
• The business opportunities presented The Brand Manager provides the lessee with a design and terms of investment for fixtures and
by an area’s different customer groups. operational framework upon which to build their business. fittings and any proposed increases
Specific branding can help quickly reposition a pub, in rent for the upgraded premises.
• Provide a consistent method for especially one in a previously failing site, by offering
assessing a pub’s current and customers a familiar range of popular products, food The Preparation & Completion
continuing performance. offers and other services.
Before building work starts, the PBM
• Ensure that all the relevant information will obtain all the necessary legal
is gathered and given due permissions, tender the job, appoint
consideration – including the make up “The Focus Meeting should be the launch pad for any successful the successful contractor and agree
of the area’s customer base and the refurbishment. By identifying a pub’s target customers and matching a timetable for the scheme with
activities of any competitors. you. Throughout building work,
the project to that group’s particular needs we can ensure the new
the PBM makes regular site visits
In other words, Focus Meetings will make business is built on solid foundations.”
to ensure the work is proceeding
sure your investment achieves the maximum
Nick Lowery, Commercial Manager Northern Region according to the agreed brief.
return by finding the best position for your
pub in today’s leisure market.
14 / ET SUMMER 2007 /
ET SUMMER 2007 / 15
A Very Special Pub
RED LION, RUSKINGTON
Food Creating a popular village local is about
Though Ruskington already had a good a la carte restaurant, Andrea was much more than providing good quality
food and drink. To really put a pub at the
determined to make The Red Lion the premier family food destination in the area.
heart of a community, any lessee needs to
offer that little extra something and
“We have hit the restaurant’s trade
fortunately for Ruskington, Andrea and
pretty badly,” Andrea admits, “but
Julian know exactly what that ‘something’
we offer a very different style of
food. We specialise in good old
Ruskington is a pretty village in the heart of the Lincolnshire fens and The Red Lion is a typical fashioned pub grub and we are “We do try and raise as much as we can
village local at the heart of its community. At least, that is what this thriving pub has become very keen to attract families. We do for the local lifeboat and air ambulance,”
an excellent value kid’s menu and Andrea replies in answer to the question
thanks to the hard work of joint lessees Andrea Hunter and Julian Wright.
created a play area, complete with about what makes The Red Lion unique,
Andrea and Julian enjoy a highly successful professional and personal partnership that has seen The Red Lion re-branded as one of Pub bouncy castle, in the garden – it’s “and we’ve just arranged sponsorship for
Enterprises Village Inns. Since re-opening earlier this spring, after a major eight week refurbishment, Andrea and Julian have seen takings paid off. Whereas people might go a local boys’ football team.”
nearly quadruple and The Red Lion is now a firm favourite with locals and tourists alike. to the restaurant once a month,
they’ll come and eat at The Red Andrea is being modest; through the hard
Lion two or three times a week.” work of all the staff and regulars at The Red
Lion, the pub raises more money for charity
The Vision In keeping with the Village Inn strategy, than any other pub in the area. In addition
Andrea, who has responsibility
Before the refurbishment The Red Lion the £300,000 project extended the dining to their sterling charitable work, Andrea
for the kitchen, also insists that
was one of three ‘spit and sawdust’ area and removed the dark and dingy and Julian are also keen to extend use of
family friendly food does not
pubs in Ruskington. When Andrea and corners that once characterised The Red The Red Lion to non-traditional pub goers.
mean poor quality. She sources
Julian took over the pub in January this Lion. The new look pub now features an
all her fresh meat, vegetables
year, their main task was to devise a open plan horse shoe bar with one side “We love doing parties like kids’ birthdays
and bread from local producers
scheme that would make The Red reserved for diners and the other for the and christenings,” says Andrea happily –
pool and darts teams. wherever possible. that’s just as well as Andrea is expecting
Lion the pride of the village.
her own baby in the near future.
“We were very keen to keep our pub “We’re very keen to support local farmers and the village’s butcher and baker.” Everyone at ET would like to congratulate
They took advice from OSM Adam
teams happy.” Andrea adds. “We installed Andrea continues, “The baker actually makes our Pride of the Lion special sandwich.” her and wish her all the best for the
Redpath and Project Manager Stuart
Hague on the correct strategy for a new pool table and created a proper happy event!
The Red Lion’s future and it was darts area for matches. We now have two Calling the Pride of the Lion a sandwich is a bit like calling the QE2 a boat; this
agreed that the pub would perform pool and two darts teams and, what’s double-decker bap is ENORMOUS and many a diner has been defeated by the
best if branded as a Village Inn. more, two football teams have defected Pride’s legendary size. But besides man sized meals like the Pride, Andrea has also
“I couldn’t praise Adam Redpath,
The Pub Enterprises brand fitted to us from other pubs! What they like is boosted The Red Lion’s food offer with such innovations as breakfasts and coffee;
that The Red Lion is a place where they our OSM, highly enough, he is the
perfectly with Andrea and Julian’s not to mention her own dedication to complete customer satisfaction.
dream of running a proper local at can bring their families for lunch.” backbone of our success. He really
the centre of village life. “I never like to see anyone go away hungry,” Andrea explains, “even if the kitchen listened to what we wanted, he
is closed, I’ll always try and rustle up something!” backed us to the hilt and was
always at the end of the phone –
even on Sundays. He really did
give us 100% and we can’t
Smoking thank him enough.”
The Red Lion is fortunate enough Andrea Hunt joint lessee Red Lion
to have a large beer garden which Ruskington.
has helped Andrea and Julian
prepare for the smoking ban.
Behind the bar
The cellar is very much Julian’s
“We have been smoke free
responsibility and he is fiercely proud
since re-opening.” says Andrea. of the quality of his beers. Besides keg
“It certainly hasn’t hurt our favourites such as John Smiths Smooth,
trade and we do have a San Miguel and Kronenbourg, Julian
heated patio area for smokers also pulls a perfect pint of Theakston’s
cask conditioned ale.
who simply can’t give up.”
Andrea Hunt joint lessee Red Lion
16 / ET SUMMER 2007 /
ET SUMMER 2007 / 17
Making their mark
The closure of rural post offices
is nothing new. Sixty years ago
the Scottish Border’s town of
Hawick lost its sorting office The Refurbishment
and the historic building on Re-fitting an historic building always has its problems and Stampers was no exception. Food
the main street was used for Originally the £100,000, five week project was intended to install raised areas to the Whilst Jane was reorganising the
a variety of purposes before front bar but that plan was deemed unacceptable by the local planning authority. bar, Stewart took the opportunity
provided by refurbishment to give
becoming a pub. Happily, the re-submitted plans were given full approval and work began in November Stampers’ menus a makeover.
2006. The idea was to continue the work after Christmas once the planners had been
The aptly named Stampers welcomed persuaded by Stampers to accept the original design. “When we arrived, we served a lot
new lessees Stewart and Jane Fox in of pre-packed and frozen meals,”
February last year. Stewart, a qualified “In the end it wasn’t necessary,” Jane says happily, Jane continues, “but with the refit
chef, has spent much of his working life Stewart decided he really wanted to
improve the quality of our food. We
in the pub trade. His last house was in “the designers and builders did a fantastic job. They really listened now do a lot of home made meals
his native South Shields on Tyneside
to what we wanted and gave us the look we had hoped for.” especially Scottish classics like mince
but Jane’s career had mainly been & tatties and stovies, but we also
spent working in a bank. now make our lasagnes and battered
“There are lots of warm purple colours, cosy lighting and dark wooden furniture fish on the premises. Our aim is to
Stewart and Jane decided they wanted to with leather upholstery. I thought ‘this is it’ I don’t need raised areas after all!” have everything on the entire menu
run a pub together and a series of chance home made and we should achieve
With a re-modelled front bar, new loos, new disabled access and a re-decorated
incidents brought Stewart and Jane to that in the near future.”
function room, Stampers re-opened on December 6th.
Hawick. Stewart’s brother had married
a Hawick girl and was running a licensed
function room in the town. When Stewart Door Staff
and Jane got married, their wedding was
Drink England has had an accreditation scheme
held in Hawick and before the ceremony
Jane had lunch in Stampers. Little did she Despite being new to the licensed for door staff and ‘premises managers’
trade, Jane had very definite ideas of for some time and a similar scheme in
know that three years later she would be
the type of pub she wanted to run. Scotland is about to be introduced.
running this thriving, town centre pub.
“I wanted to welcome new types of
“Because the refurbishment has been such a
customers.” Jane says proudly. “I
The Vision wanted to cater for pensioners success,” Jane continues, “I have someone
Smoking wanting a coffee, ladies out for on the door at weekends. At these times,
Despite Jane’s lack of previous experience
lunch, girls wanting a glass of wine we’re very, very busy so someone to help in
as a landlady, she and Stewart decided As everyone in the licensed trade
after work and families looking for managing customers is great.”
she should have responsibility for the bar knows, Scotland’s prohibition on
a nice place to eat.”
and front of house whilst he ran the smoking has been in force for
kitchens. After settling in, they decided over a year. Has the ban affected Accordingly, in addition to a good "Constant communication between all parties ensured the
Stampers needed a refurbishment. Jane’s trade? range of beers and lagers that
includes Foster’s, Kronenbourg refurbishment had the desired effect both operationally and
and John Smith’s, Jane serves coffee, for the consumers’ experience. It is fair to say Stampers is now the
“I had great support from my OSM “That’s difficult for me to say,
wine from a strong ‘single shot’ shining star of Hawick."
Angus Campbell.” Jane told ET. “He because we didn’t have Stampers wine list and a range of ciders.
helped us find Fluid, the architects, and for long before the ban.” Jane Stewart Grant, Operations & Sales Manager
replies. “What I will say is that the “We have draught Strongbow and
the contractors Full Spec. I didn’t have
we recently switched from Magners
much idea of how a refurbishment should ban seems to have been accepted
to Bulmers and Sirrus bottled ciders. “Because we could do nothing to the historic front of the pub,
work but I did know I wanted Stampers by everyone. We don’t have a beer I do think these are excellent
to feel warm and cosy and to keep the garden just a car park, but people products and sales have been very it was amazing how many people didn’t know we’d had a
Post Office theme. I wanted it to look are happy to pop outside for a good, especially during warmer refurbishment. The solution though was very simple, I took out
traditional and not like a modern wine smoke. We’ve provided smart, weather. I also plan to stock an ad in the local paper and there’s been a steady stream of
bar, but apart from that I was happy proper bins to keep the front Jacques, the new Belgian fruit cider.
I’ve tried it and I have to say it’s
new customers ever since!”
to leave details to the experts.” tidy, but that’s about it.”
absolutely fantastic!” Jane Fox, Lessee
18 / ET SUMMER 2007 /
ET SUMMER 2007 / 19
The Stanley used to have an enviable Smoking
reputation as a food pub but a change of John and Niall’s plan for the smoking
ownership many years ago led to a ban is already in place. They
To the manor born decline in standards and customers.
Fortunately for the new lessees, the
kitchens have been preserved throughout
successfully applied for a street café
licence and created a pavement area
by simply cordoning off space with
The Stanley’s mixed fortunes. durable banners. The finishing touch
was to acquire some bright yellow
“Niall and I certainly wanted to bring garden furniture… from B&Q!
Fans of the green baize will back the pub’s reputation for good food,
be familiar with Preston’s The Vision but we didn’t want a restaurant,” John
“Everyone thought we were
Guildhall, which has staged continues. “We’re concentrating on the
John and Niall, who acquired the pub classics that our customers really
mad,”laughs John.“Who would
snooker’s UK Championship premises in October 2006, wanted to enjoy, like gammons, steak & kidney pie, put bright yellow chairs and
for many years, but just restore The Stanley to its rightful place mixed grills and lasagne. To keep the feel tables outside a pub like ours?
as a successful town centre pub. of a pub, we don’t have a dedicated
round the corner is a much But it really does work.
Their challenge was to preserve the dining room, you can eat anywhere.”
older landmark, a pub called building’s historic character whilst
The yellow matches the
The Stanley. modernising the services and facilities sandstone walls superbly and
to attract new customers. our new café area has become
The Grade II listed building which now quite a talking point!”
houses The Stanley was once a manor “At the start, our intent was to attract Behind The Bar
house but as Preston grew, the building more young people, with regular
To cater for their eclectic mix of
lost its residential role and served a customers, John and Niall stock at Future Plans
variety of purposes before becoming least 6 cask ales and a good range
John told ET, “but we didn’t want
a tavern. Over the years the pub has of keg beers – and one gamble in Despite a relatively low spend (roughly £30,000 split 50/50 between Pub Enterprises
to be a dance bar. Instead we decided
seen good times and bad but its future particular has paid off. and the lessees) the three week refurbishment has produced enormous dividends.
to specialise in Motown and
is now looking extremely bright thanks Northern Soul.”
“We’ve switched to stocking “We’ve never been busier,” says John happily. “The figures show The Stanley is
to new lessees John Cardwell and
premium spirits rather than the performing better now than at any other time during S&N’s ownership and naturally
Niall Johnson. Their music policy proved highly
cheaper brands,” says John, “and we’re delighted to be such a success.”
popular with people of all ages and
we’ve found that our customers are
this prompted John and Niall to go
The Refurbishment more than happy to pay the extra
beyond their original plans. With The new look Stanley’s winning formula has also encouraged Niall and John to invest in
60p for better quality.”
The Stanley’s listing as an historic pub Project Manager Graham Brindle and another pub, this time in Southport.
meant any structural changes were out OSM Paul Turner, they decided to
Besides premium spirits, The
make The Stanley a true town centre “We want to grow our business by creating pubs that cater for specific sectors of the
of the question. Instead John and Niall Stanley also serves superb coffee.
local offering a wide range of market.” John adds, “We want to refurbish The Crown in Southport as a gay bar and
concentrated on replacing tired bar New customers cannot fail to miss
customers a complete pub experience. we’ve plans to open a Goth bar as well. If they are all as successful as The Stanley,
fixtures and fittings, re-decorating the state-of-the-art coffee machine
Whether customers are weekend party
throughout and creating new trade areas. that is the centrepiece of the we’ll be very happy!”
goers, shoppers looking for lunch or
“We’re lucky because The Stanley has four office workers wanting to relax on the
floors.” John adds, “That meant we could way home, the refurbishment at The “We had a very good working relationship with Pub Enterprises
divide the pub into different zones for Stanley was designed to make
during the whole project. In particular we’d like to give a big thank
different customer needs. We have our everyone feel at home.
you to our Project Manager Graham Brindle and to our OSM Paul
general bar and music areas on the
ground floor whilst upstairs we are
Turner – they’ll move heaven and earth to get you what you want!”
particularly proud of the Crystal Lounge.” John Cardwell, Lessee
The Crystal Lounge satisfies today’s "The brief was simple: to enhance external presentation and give
customer’s demands for a ‘chill room’.
internal areas sparkle. My first meeting with John & Niall confirmed we John and Niall looked at several of our pubs before settling on The
It’s crammed with low tables and comfy
sofas but this is not an attempt to had two very enthusiastic lessees with lots of ideas. Some compromise Stanley. They had a very clear plan for what they wanted to achieve
“Niall and I ran a chain of coffee
recreate a New York coffee house in was inevitable but everything came together very well. Looking back shops before we moved into the
and how they wanted to get there which made everything so much
a Lancashire pub. and comparing the finished product to the original brief confirms Pub pub trade so we knew exactly what easier. Now the project is complete, their high standards have ensured
“We really wanted to keep The Stanley’s Enterprises will always listen to good ideas and use them if they are we were looking for,” John explains. their business is growing and growing. It has been a pleasure to work
“The machine cost £4,000, but it
look traditional,” John continues, “so we right for that pub. Another simple lesson is that you can achieve lots with them and they have indeed opened a gay friendly venue after
really was worth every penny. You
used lots of Victorian styling throughout. of impact for a relatively modest spend and The Stanley’s success is another high standard refurbishment. Early indications are that this
just press a button for a fabulous
We have even managed to incorporate
confirmed by the trade figures – it’s flying!" cup of coffee; the staff like it, I like venue will also go from strength to strength.
modern features, such as the new DJ
it and the customers’ like it!”
box in the downstairs bar, into the Graham Brindle, Project & Building Manager Paul Turner, Operations & Sales Manager
20 / ET SUMMER 2007 /
ET SUMMER 2007 / 21
THE WESTBURY BAR, KILBURN
own living room. I didn’t want to Like many town centre bars and pubs The
create a pool hall, but I knew a couple Westbury has no outside areas suitable for
of smart pool tables would give me the conversion into a smokers’ refuge. So is
Handled with care focus I was looking for.”
True to their vision, Riz and Steve have
Riz worried about the forthcoming ban?
“I’d say I was concerned but not
completely rebuilt The Westbury’s overly so,” Riz replies. “I think the
interior as a proper London pub, fact that it’s a blanket ban, with
complete with not one but two pool everyone in the same boat, will help
The North London suburb of Kilburn tables and Riz has designed the new and so will our food. People now
has long been famous for its Irish decor himself. accept that it’s unacceptable to
community so it is hardly surprising smoke where people are eating.”
“I don’t like to use interior designers,”
that there are a number of Irish themed he confesses. “I think when they start
talking about ‘concepts’ they are
bars in the area. The Red Lion on Kilburn The Décor Food & Drink
talking to other interior designers not
High Road was typical of many London “I wanted everything to feel warm and to my customers! I wanted fixtures and Riz and Steve inherited a young
pubs that were rebranded as Irish bars welcoming.” Riz adds, “I wanted fittings that were practical and hard Malaysian chef when they took over
chandeliers, I wanted Chesterfields and wearing yet elegant and attractive. the premises. This was fortunate
during the 1980s but a series of lessees
I wanted people to feel as comfortable Experience has taught me what works indeed as, by their own admission,
had not lavished the continued care and in The Westbury as they do in their and what doesn’t.” neither knew much about food.
attention the pub needed.
In the last few years The Red Lion Plans for the future
began to attract an unpleasant type
“We are a very young, dynamic company,” Riz says confidently. “Hopefully our different
of customer and the last straw was a perspective is good for our customers and good for Pub Enterprises because we like to
serious violent assault committed on think we are bringing something new to the pub industry. We’re thrilled that The
Westbury has joined our other successful pubs in Islington and Clerkenwell, and we “It’s true, we struggled with our
the premises. Time had to be called would love to repeat our formula elsewhere.” food offers elsewhere and we had to
on The Red Lion. learn by trial and error – mostly
In fact ET can reveal that Riz and Steve are about to sign for another pub in the London error,” Riz says with a smile. “We
area. The ink is not yet dry on the contract so details are still a closely guarded secret could see this guy had real talent
but hopefully we can bring you details of their new venture soon! but with the way the pub was run
before, he had no chance. We let
him come up with some ideas for a
The Vision “I really love old fashioned London pubs,” Riz, business partner Steve and London
new menu. We stipulated we didn’t
Riz admits. “Too many modern bars go Region OSM Keith Boreham put together
The pub’s past reputation and poor “I think we’re just custodians for the pubs we run. I want my customers want a gastro-pub, we wanted food
for minimalist looks which I think is too a plan for a £250,000 refurbishment.
performance might have dissuaded that was easy to eat and matched
cold and unwelcoming. I want my pubs The five week scheme would see The to be part of something continuous, any change should be subtle and
many lessees from attempting to restore our customers’ tastes.”
to be cosy and comfortable; I want to get Red Lion renamed as The Westbury Bar for the better. The Westbury was unusual because there was nothing
the pub’s fortunes. But fortunately Riz
back to the Victorian hey day when the and reborn as a new type of pub. The The Westbury’s hope for new
Sheikh and Steve Ball, the business brains inside worth saving! But I hope we have built something other people
local pub was a popular and elegant place new Westbury would combine a clientele was a mix of younger pub
behind a growing pub portfolio, were
for a night out.” traditional saloon bar and modern dance will want to care for, for years to come.” goers, wanting to enjoy the Riz and
ready to take on this Herculean task.
club with both a sophisticated cocktail Riz Sheikh, Lessee Steve’s DJ nights, and the pool
This is a rather extraordinary statement lounge and the type of billiards room players coming to The Westbury for
“Steve and I had already for someone who cut his business teeth usually found in a grand country house. a quieter night out.
refurbished two pubs,” Riz as a music promoter in London’s
“He came up with Dim Sum,” Riz
told ET, “The Old Queen’s Head ultra-fashionable club scene but Riz’s "The change in The Westbury following a joint refurbishment with new says in triumph, “and it’s worked a
in Islington and The Queen previous business experience has lessees Riz and Steve has been nothing short of amazing. Despite having treat. The soft shell crabs, prawn
gained him a unique understanding
Boadicea in Clerkenwell. been a successful managed house in the 1990's the pub was in need of a tempura and the rest has really set
of London’s pub customers. us apart from the competition and
We like to think we can see the major change. But I knew Riz and Steve through two other pubs they
proved hugely popular.”
potential for the whole space “One of my first jobs was working for a lease from Pub Enterprises and I was confident their vision was exactly
and we got quite excited when chain of pool clubs,” Riz continues, “I what was needed. Whilst it was a risk investing so much money in a In addition to the new menu,
The Westbury has also placed a new
we saw inside The Red Lion.” really liked the way the pool rooms previously unsuccessful pub, I knew Riz and Steve were a good bet and so
were decorated more like an Edwardian emphasis on new wet products.
It must have taken real vision to see library than a billiards hall. I noticed
far the risk is paying off. The next 6 months are really important,
“We have an extensive cocktail
past the near derelict trade areas that people came here not just to play especially with the smoking ban imminent, but I have every confidence menu, including lots of non-alcoholic
but Riz and Steve have a very strong pool but for a social evening out. The that their business will continue to grow." cocktails, and very strong wine list.
philosophy when it comes to pub tables were just the focus for eating, We especially feature wines that can
Keith Boreham, Operations & Sales Manager
refurbishments. drinking and conversation.” be drunk alone without food.”
22 / ET SUMMER 2007 /
ET SUMMER 2007 / 23
THE BLUE BELL, NEWCASTLE
Jesmond already boasts two top quality
country house restaurants that attract
discerning diners from all over the North
Heart of the community East and the suburb has a reputation as
being home to some of Newcastle’s
trendiest bars and bistros. Competition
for customers is therefore fierce…
Unusually there was no sitting
licensee available to guide the
planned £320,000 refurbishment.
Many lessees might feel nervous
about taking on premises designed
to someone else’s brief but Nik was
“We know our customers can be
happy to rise to the challenge.
very knowledgeable about food,”
“When I saw the plans I couldn’t Nik continues, “so we make sure
wait,” Nik told ET. “I’d just sold a Smoking
that everything is fresh and
pub at Alnmouth on the coast and I
was looking to come back to the homemade. We serve things like When The Blue Bell re-opened on the 29th of March, it did so as a no smoking
city. This was just what I wanted filled rolls, hot baguettes and pub – something of a risk in a city with a higher than average population of smokers.
and I knew I’d be mad to refuse it.” ciabattas but we also pride ourselves
The plans that OSM Geoff Smith on our classics like simple fish and “I wanted to do it before I was told to do it,” says Nik, “so we
and Project Manager Stephen Muir chips. We are getting a bit of a were smoke free from the start. Besides, I didn’t want to muck up
showed to Nik called for a complete reputation for our chips, now I want the new décor for the sake of a few weeks before the ban becomes
overhaul of the interior and the rest of the menu to catch up!”
gardens. The cramped trade areas, official. Quite frankly it’s been easy. Customers have accepted the
previously divided into three rooms, Actually Nik’s fish and chips would make fact we’re smoke free and I haven’t noticed trade hurt at all.”
were to be replaced with a modern even seafood gourmet Rick Stein polish
Like most cities, Newcastle upon Tyne has some special corners open plan bar. New kitchens and his fish fork. Nik’s menu always features a Of course, Nik has also made sure he was very well prepared for the ban. His beer
that are known only to locals and one of these is Jesmond Vale. dining areas would allow Nik to fresh catch of the day which could be garden includes a new decked area with patio heaters, canopies and outdoor
The Vale forms part of Jesmond Dene, a pleasant riverside park, start a proper food operation, whilst anything from monkfish wrapped in
tables and chairs for his smokers.
the large beer garden was to be bacon to ‘the whale’ – a cod fillet that
donated to the city by Victorian philanthropist Lord Armstrong. completely re-turfed and new barely fits on the plate.
Jesmond Vale is close to fashionable suburbs like Jesmond and decking added.
Heaton but also less prosperous areas like Byker and Shieldfield “My dream is to run a successful Behind the Bar
are on the doorstep. city bar that welcomes everyone
from students to professional Despite Nik increasing the emphasis on “Despite the fact that the pub was
The consequences of this wide customer base are that the pubs in and around Jesmond footballers,” Nik adds, “and the food, The Blue Bell is still very much a very run down, Pub Enterprises
have to be many things to many people. It’s a skilful lessee who can create a successful revamped Blue Bell looked perfect.” drinker’s pub…
believed in the future of The Blue
balance but lessee Nik Spence at Jesmond Vale’s Blue Bell pub has managed just that.
“The premium beer brands like San
Bell. The site was perfect and so
Miguel and Kronenbourg go very well we took the unusual decision to
here and I’ve been amazed at cider sales,” begin refurbishment without a
“What’s been done here,” says Nik. “Even at this time of year I’m tenant in place – all that was
The Blue Bell really is part of a green oasis right in the heart of the city. As a result Nik says proudly, “is to marry ordering 20 cases of Bulmer’s and 12 needed was a lessee with the vision
it could be easy to create a pub with an identity crisis; in other words, one that the country and the city. The cases of Jacques every week. Shall I let
feels too rural for the city and too urban for somewhere like Jesmond Vale… to make it work. Happily Nik loved
building is very old so the you into a secret? Jacques is going to be
THE drink of this summer.” “If I had any advice to other what he saw and he was able to
outside hasn’t been touched
lessees it would be don’t worry add his personal touch to the final
but inside the place has been
Nik’s two fold strategy, using both quality about the smoking ban. Provided phases of the work. Thanks to the
gutted. We’ve re-decorated in a food and premium beers to woo you give your smoking customers quality and standard of Nik’s offer,
completely new style, I call it customers back to The Blue Bell is already
somewhere pleasant and I’m delighted to report that The
modern-rustic, that’s a blend of producing results. Let’s take just one
example: Nik has kept The Blue Bell’s
attractive to smoke outside, they Blue Bell has now doubled its
town and country. People come
Wednesday night quiz but instead of the will accept the ban quite happily trade and is back at the heart
in and are completely
four or five customers that once turned and your trade won’t suffer.” of the community.”
flabbergasted – we went for a up to try the brain teasers, there are now
Nik Spence, Lessee Geoff Smith, Operations & Sales Manager
wow factor and we got it!” almost a 100 eager quiz fans enjoying the
unique atmosphere of the new Blue Bell.
24 / ET SUMMER 2007 /
ET SUMMER 2007 / 25
THE CLOCK TOWER, NEWBURY
Just like clockwork
The Clock Tower is one of
the most historic buildings in The Vision
the historic town of Newbury. First time lessee Mark used to work
Since being built as a bakery for a North East software company Food
until he tired of the rat race.
in the 16th Century, the pub Sunderland born Mark wanted a
Being Grade II listed meant new
has had a colourful career. kitchens were out of the question
career that would suit his young
but Mark still manages to offer The Look
For many years, it was known family and his wife wanted to move
lunchtime food to his customers.
back to her home in the south. They The project gave Mark exactly what he wanted. Despite being a small pub, with a
as the Queens Head (or the
decided running a pub would suit capacity of just 60, the designers had given him everything from a traditional oak bar
Queens Arms) before both their needs; yet when, in
“Newbury is a Vodaphone town,”
to HD TV screens.
becoming Irish themed Mark explains, “everyone either
August last year, they walked
works for them or one of their
bar Shenanigans. through the door for the first time
contractors. I see food not as a big
“I was really keen to show football matches,” says Mark, himself a passionate
neither could have imagined that Sunderland fan, “but I didn’t want a sports bar stuffed with football memorabilia.
money earner but as a way to get
Under the previous lessee, the pub The Clock Tower would become the I wanted something more mature, that’s welcoming for customers who have grown
people into the pub during the day.
became a place of pilgrimage for Heavy pub of their dreams. out of gimmicks.”
What’s really satisfying is that I see
Metal music fans, thanks to a local people staying in Newbury on
legend that Jimi Hendrix played here, To keep his customer base focused Mark introduced an over 21’s policy that is also
business coming in for two or
but popularity with bikers meant the helping to bury the pub’s biker past. The curious mix of football and traditional pub
three days, then three months later
pub was held in very low esteem by seems to be working well with trade up 25%-30% in the six weeks since re-launch.
they’ll be back. They know The
locals. The council’s decision to Clock is a place where they’ll
regenerate this part of Newbury meant “If there’s a match on people can always watch it here,” Mark adds. “Last night it
always be welcome.”
the motorcycle gangs moved on, but was the Conference play-offs and I had nine Oxford and two Exeter fans in as well as
the pub’s poor reputation remained. my regulars.”
More importantly the football isn’t driving away other customers. “People are getting
Behind The Bar the message that this is a place to come and watch the match or just have a drink and
“The planners said we couldn’t alter the “It was a bit of a nightmare,” Mark a chat,” says Mark, “and that’s just how I want it”.
Mark has made one mistake; he
fabric of the building,” says Mark admits, “the whole place was bright
started by selling his sandwiches
Goldsmith the new lessee, he continues, blue and the bar had been built out
“but the place was in such a state there of bare bricks. I wanted to run a
was no problem in ripping out the friendly local pub, where you can “This refurbishment was a project which evolved over time and a lot of
“There’s a lot of money in Newbury the procrastination was due to not having the right tenant. However
interior and restoring it to something come in on your own and always
and people are suspicious of
like what a proper pub should be.” find someone to have a chat with. once Mark was on board he turned the business around over a very
anything that seems cheap,” Mark
Before the refit it couldn’t have short period; that gave us confidence in him and, just as importantly,
explains. “I priced my sandwiches at
The five weeks, £125,000 project meant Smoking been less like what I wanted!”
£3.50 but they wouldn’t sell until gave him the confidence in us to progress with the project. The scheme
the whole pub had to shut and Mark and
As with food, The Clock Tower’s the price went up to a fiver!” has totally transformed the business and allowed Mark to introduce
his family had to live off site, but he
believes this was a blessing in disguise.
architecture and listed status meant Mark daytime food so he is in an excellent position to minimise the effects of
has no outside areas and could not apply Mark has also found it’s important
the forthcoming smoking ban. Since the Clock Tower re-opened both
for a pavement licence. to price his beer according to his
“After the first meetings I was only
the volume figures and the turnover have significantly improved and
allowed on site once a week to check on we wish Mark continued success for the future.”
things but that was a good thing. If I was
“I sell my real ales at a flat rate. My Gerard Winder, Operations & Sales Manager
there all the time I would have got “I would have liked a patio,”
customers know sometimes I make
thoroughly depressed at what looked like Mark admits, “but I don’t think a little more, sometimes I make a
lack of progress. Yet it all comes together
the ban will present too much of little less; they’re happy that they
in the last week. I actually got my pub Fortunately, OSM Gerard Winder “I was amazed how the whole project came together in the last four
know exactly what a pint costs. It’s
back three days early and I was thrilled at a problem. I’m slowly building a and Project Manager Gary Botterill
the same with my premium lagers. days. Looking back, the project actually went incredibly smoothly and I
the transformation.” already had plans to refurbish the
strong core of regulars who will Baltika has been a big hit here and I would have no problems with taking on another bar with Pub
bar and were delighted that Mark’s
keep coming because they like sell it at £3.40 a pint – not the Enterprises – I really trust their decisions.”
vision of a smart but cosy town
cheapest pint in town but not the
the pub.” centre local matched their own. Mark Goldsmith, Lessee
most expensive either.”
26 / ET SUMMER 2007 /
ET SUMMER 2007 / 27
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