Star Pubs & Bars to spend £250k to make pubs food-led by 2020

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Food sales: currently amount to 25 per cent of overall sales
Food sales: currently amount to 25 per cent of overall sales

Related tags: Percentage point

Star Pubs & Bars, the leased pub business of Heineken UK, is to invest £250,000 across its estate as part of a drive to make food 50 per cent of overall sales by 2020.

Claimed to be its biggest-ever food programme, Star Food will offer licensees guidance on kitchen and menu design, and assist with forecasting food trends and training.

Support will also be extended to include more experienced food operators, head chefs and higher quality food pubs.

Food sales across Star Pubs’ 1,100-strong estate currently amount to 25 per cent of overall sales, up four percentage points on last year.

The company was keen to point out, however, that there is a big variance within that figure – with some pubs generating as much as 70 per cent of overall sales from food.

Star Pubs said the programme will receive continued investment and development over the next five years, enabling lessees to deliver “on-trend, profitable, quality food offers” that “are critical to strong, sustainable pub businesses”.

Star Food initiatives include:

  •  Five new menus focused on premiumising food, ranging from a traditional British heritage to a premium quality pub food menu. Each comes with a support package worth £2,000, which includes PoS, and costings and allergen information.
  •  A Star Food folder that includes up-coming food trends, “how to” training guides on common issues such as increasing speed of service, supplier offers, hazards analysis and allergen information.
  •  Free and subsidised consultancy from independent training chefs for pubs requiring specialist one-to-one support.
  •  A portfolio of kitchen specifications tailored to different pub food offers and volumes developed with industry experts using the latest equipment and techniques for capex sites.
  •  Craft food workshops for lessees and chefs to extend their culinary skills.
  •  A head chefs’ academy, covering commercial kitchen skills such as supplier negotiation and GPs.
  •  Premiumised ‘start up’ food packages for pubs not currently offering food.
  •  Regional lessee food forums.

Lessee involvement

Star Food was developed following eight months of research among lessees and chefs from around the country and planning with leading food and catering experts.

Chris Jowsey, trading director at Star Pubs & Bars, said: “It’s no longer good enough for pubs simply to offer food and expect growth – Star Food is designed to give our lessees a competitive advantage in an already aggressive marketplace, where consumers are demanding great value yet more premium food and drink.

“We have spent time with lessees from all types of food operation listening to their needs and how best we can support them, whether it’s with providing commercial master classes for head chefs at established food pubs or independent food consultancy for those requiring specific assistance.

Jowsey added: “Our Star Food 2015 activity is just the start of what will be a determined, focused long term campaign to drive food sales and footfall across the estate.”

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