‘It’s a question of doing the ordinary things extraordinarily well.’
(F.Prager- Founder of Movenpick)
Irish Publicans are very good at what they do. They love their pubs and are proud of what they create for their very loyal, if slightly more impoverished customers. They are constantly looking at ways in which the business can be tweaked, improved, spruced up and modernized. They are embracing the new technologies and using them very effectively to reach their existing and new customers. But … mention the word FOOD to the majority of publicans and he/she visibly pales at the thought.
Many publicans today are serving very good food and have deservedly been recognized for their efforts, both by the public and awarding bodies. There are however, scores if not hundreds of publicans serving food which ranges from poor to inedible who then lie awake wondering why they are not selling more of it.
Before addressing the issue of selling more food, it is important to take a rain check on some fundamentals which might be A) keeping customers away B) shaving money off the bottom line.
If you can answer YES to the following questions you are well on your way to success.
PUB FOOD AUDIT
1. Have you experienced your own pub offering as a customer in the last six months?
2. Have you eaten your own pub food in the last two weeks?
3. Is your pub spotless, inside and outside?
4. If there were four steaks missing, would you know?
5. Are your toilets spotless?
6. If you were buying more food than you need for your business, would you know?
7. If your chef were buying food for his/her family, friends at your expense, would you know?
8. If food was being poorly prepared so that 1/3 or more was being thrown in the bin, would you know?
9. If your chef had a deal going with the delivery man which means that your business is being defrauded, would you know?
10. Have you watertight control systems at the back door?
a. Trained and fully competent person checking in and responsible for deliveries.
b. Invoice only deliveries.
c. Scales to weigh meat, fish etc
d. Cross checking system for ordering /invoices/ credit notes/good in.
e. Agreed delivery times with supplier.
f. Waste management for food, water, gas, electricity, cardboard, plastic, glass, tin etc.
11. If money was being stolen from your cash register, would you know?
12. If your kitchen staff were helping themselves to your food/consumables, would you know?
13. Is all the kitchen equipment in good working order so that kitchen staff ( including Kitchen Porter) can do their jobs easily and without constant improvisation and hassle through broken, half operating or lack of proper equipment.
14. Is your food good quality i.e.
a. Do you serve a really good homemade soup – not made from yesterdays left over vege?
b. Do you serve a good sandwich on quality bread, home cooked ham or beef, quality sauces or relishes?
c. If you have carvery, do you serve quality meat, fresh seasonal vegetables, homemade sauces, gravy and real desserts.
d. If you have a carvery, do you monitor waste ruthlessly?
e. If you have a carvery, are you making money on each meal you serve?
f. If you have a carvery, are you confident that you are serving what your customers are looking for?
15. Are you using transparent refuse sacks for kitchen waste so that you can see what is being thrown out?
16. Are you using clear boxes at work stations to see who and where most waste is being generated?
17. Are you staff spotlessly presented and create a professional impression?
18. Do your front of house staff care about your business?
19. Do your front of house staff know and sell your products?
20. Do your front of house staff care about your customers?
21. Does everyone who is working in your pub care as much as you do about its progress?
22. Do you regularly meet staff to give and receive feedback?
23. Does the exterior of your premises look inviting to customers?
24. Does the menu/menu board look inviting?
25. Does your product live up to the menu promises?
26. If you were a potential customer, would you be enticed in?
27. Do you have a website/ Facebook page?
28. If you do, is it attractive and enticing to web customers?
29. Do you know what people are saying about your business on Trip Advisor?
30. Do you know your regulars who come in day after day?
31. Do you know what they like to eat, where they like to sit, how long they have to spare on having lunch, how they like their coffee served?
32. Do your staff know these things? Do they care?
33. Do your staff know that you appreciate them?
34. Do your staff have a nice space to ‘chill’ before they go back to your customers?
If you have answered yes to all of the above, you probably don’t need to read anymore.
Selling More Food
1. Serve Quality Food & Drinks
2. Take Charge of your Kitchen
3. Staff & Service Skills
5. Spread the News
6. Food Display
7. Menu Boards
10. The Silver Dollar & Women Diners
To conclude, it’s the little things that still count.
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