2016: How Pubs, Restaurants and Hotels can take part
Co-op Food is the Official Sponsor of Love British Food and British Food Fortnight 2016.Whether you are a large brewery chain, hotel or independent restaurant, taking part in the 2016 summer of British food will increase sales. You can attract new customers, increase spending from existing customers and establish a point of difference between your company and those that serve only mainstream products.
By sourcing and promoting British food in your establishment(s) year-round, you are showing that you are serious about food sourcing and provenance, and are helping the British economy as well as helping yourselves.
“British food promotions worked really well for us. We also took part last year and many customers commented on this, saying it’s good to see us backing the campaign again.” Janet Webb, General Manager of a Whiting and Hammond pub.
Suggestions for maximising sales during a patriotic summer.
- Promote your participation by displaying POS material using Union flags on menus and in restaurants.
- Run a competition or prize draw to highlight the new menu. Give every customer who ate in their restaurants during the event a gamecard featuring ‘just for fun’ questions about British food that could be entered into a prize draw.
- Ensure the whole catering team knows about the new products and suppliers and encourage them to communicate this to customers while serving food.
- Use phrases such as ‘seasonal veg’ on the menu that enable you to take a variety of stock from different suppliers.
- Use the opportunity to experiment with new dishes on your menu and set yourself a target of at least five locally sourced dishes.
- Make simple dishes special by sourcing British: Soup of the Day and Bangers & Mash are always popular and are easy to localise.
- Organise a patriotic event for example a birthday lunch or dinner for Her Majesty The Queen's Birthday. If you are able to, show the Olympic games and get behind Team GB. You could hold and Olympic themed party or even organise a small scale and fun local sports event or day at your premises. A fun run, for example, could begin and end at your pub or a fete could be held in your grounds.
- Challenge chefs to come up with ‘Chef’s Specials’ that highlight local produce. For example, a ‘Steak & Ale-of-the-Day Pie’ draws attention
to the range of ales on sale in the bar and a dish that uses a local cheese will stimulate interest in your cheese board.
- Daily menus give you the most flexibility to change dishes according to season and produce available. If changing your menu daily is not possible, use generic phrases that give customers enough information about what they are ordering but still give you flexibility: for example,‘Chef’s Special’, ‘xyz served with Seasonal Vegetables’ or ‘Seasonal Fruit Crumble’.
- Name producers and farms rather than simply use the term ‘local’ on your menu. If it is difficult to specify producers by name then use generic phrases such as ‘All the meat served comes from within 30 miles of this pub/restaurant.’
Working with Schools – your customers of the future.
In addition to the commercial reasons for taking part in British Food Fortnight, we invite you to use the national celebration as an opportunity to be proactive in educating young people about British food. Schools are being invited to take part in the initiative and so will be looking for partnerships. Visit the schools page for information about this year's schools competition.
Why not also:
- Give a cooking demonstration or lesson in your local school.
- Offer your kitchen facilities to your local school as a venue for a cooking lesson: many pubs, restaurants and hotels host successful school visits so don’t be afraid of inviting children into your kitchen! If you are worried about letting children loose in your kitchen, host a cooking demonstration rather than a lesson.
- Make your pub or restaurant a venue where children can learn about food: set them a ‘British Food: True or False Quiz’ or give them factsheets about some of the traditional dishes on your menu.
- Think about children when planning your menu promotions: child-friendly promotions will encourage parents to eat in your pub or restaurant. Offer children smaller portions of the dishes on the menu rather than having a separate children’s menu.
Sourcing British food.
Increasingly consumers want to know how their food and drink is produced and where it comes from. Sourcing products that are part of assurance schemes is a powerful way of demonstrating that you are selling or serving quality produce and that it is fully traceable to the producer.
Some pointers towards sourcing locally are:
- Contact your existing suppliers to see whether the produce they currently supply you with is British.
- Send current and new suppliers a copy of the menu you would like them to supply British food for and invite them to pitch for the business.
- Larger suppliers can still provide local produce: be specific when talking to them about what you want and don’t shy away from specifying local products as part of your requirements.
- Buy in-season products that are often available at competitive prices in order to achieve value for money.
- Check our logo and marks page for more information about sourcing British.