Provided they get the range right, the much-reported advent of the promiscuous consumer should probably concern brand owners more than it does operators. While some drinkers may have forsaken their ‘usual’ big-name brand for an ever-changing array of craft, artisan and small-batch drinks, as long as operators can match their range to customers’ aspirations, the cash all goes in the same till. Cider is as susceptible to changing consumer trends as any drinks category.
For Joe Allen, the iconic Covent Garden restaurant that was a pioneer of the much-copied American-style diner format, the boom in the non-formal sector means it has definitely seen competition increase over the past few years.
Beer is still an important part of any festive celebration – or at least, any party that you’re thinking of inviting me to attend – and with so much choice now available on draught, as well as in bottles and cans, there’s really no excuse not to enjoy a different beer with every part of the Christmas menu.
Joycelyn Neave, the founder of the Seafood Pub Company – and nominee for the Pub & Bar Award at The Cateys 2016 – operates eight Lancashire venues, with two more in the pipeline. She talks to John Porter about how she recruits her army of ‘Seafood Soldiers’.
If the pub has a habit of regularly defying the doomsayers and demonstrating that it’s a fit and proper business model for the 21st century, that doesn’t simply happen by accident, of course. Instead, it’s a tribute to the hard work and dedication of experienced, savvy operators up and down the land. Among those building a strong reputation in this respect is Joule’s Brewery.
Figures from CGA Strategy* show that cider continues to make inroads in the eating out market. In the year to the start of August 2016, cider grew by 2.4% in volume and 3.2% in value across the on-trade as whole. In hotels, there was a 5.1% increase in value, while restaurants saw a 2.2% value increase.
Beer Day Britain on June 15 is the ideal opportunity to lock away the wine lists for 24 hours and encourage customers to explore the bounty that matching great beers with freshly cooked food offers.