Orchid to refresh entire Great British Carvery pub estate

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Public house

The new-look Orchid carvery pub concept will be rolled out to all 50 pubs in the estate over the next two years
The new-look Orchid carvery pub concept will be rolled out to all 50 pubs in the estate over the next two years
Managed pub and restaurant operator The Orchid Group has revealed it has completed the first refurbishments of its Great British Carvery pubs as it looks to refresh the estate over the next two years.

The new-style carvery pubs all feature a move away from the popular open-plan layout of some dry-led venues in favour of clearly-defined spaces to attract different groups of diners at the same time.

So far, seven of the Great British Carvery sites have been refurbished with new zoning in order to attract a wider range of consumers to the pubs.

Breaking barriers

A spokesperson for the company, founded in 2006, confirmed to BigHospitality that between £50k and £300k per site would be invested over the next two years in a large number of the 50 carveries Orchid operates.

"Massive spaces don’t work for us," said Simon Dodd, commercial and people director at Orchid Group. "They feel too empty even with several groups in and don’t create a warm, friendly atmosphere.

"Instead, we’re actually breaking down barriers by putting up special glass walls in our new style carvery pubs. These walls allow us to create spaces that are connected but retain their separate characters, meaning all sorts of customers can enjoy the same quality food and drink without one single group dominating the feel of the pub."

Wider demographic

The Moby Dick in Essex will be the next site to be refreshed followed by the Pentre Gwilym, near Cardiff.

Refurbishments have already been carried out at the Young Pretender, Kings Langley, and the Ainsworth Arms, Manchester - both pubs' general managers have reported a growth in like-for-like sales and a wider demographic using the venue.

“Previously we had a single large space that was more like an extended bar, now we have a dedicated dining space that is personalised and homely," said Jenny Searle, general manager of the Young Pretender. "Customers tell us it feels much more warm, comfy and inviting.

"The glass partitions have allowed us to create areas for different groups, so friends can come and enjoy a pint while watching the football but families and couples have their own space for enjoying a quiet meal," she added.

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