Star Pubs & Bars is investing £250,000 in the next six months on launching its largest-ever food programme for its lessees.
The Star Food initiative has been created to help ensure all the group’s bars and pubs sell food and that it accounts for 50% of the overall sales mix by 2020.
The programme will receive continued investment and development over the next five years to enable lessees to deliver food that is on trend, profitable and good-quality, which Star Pubs & Bars believes is critical to licensees having a strong and sustainable business.
Star Food impacts on every area from kitchen design and menu support to forecasting food trends and training, and it extends support to include more experienced food operators, head chefs and high-quality food pubs.
It was developed after eight months of research among lessees and chefs from around the country and planning with leading food and catering experts.
New initiatives in 2015 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 including menu artwork and print, point-of-sale materials, spec book, costings and allergen information.
A Star Food folder will provide a comprehensive food support package for lessees including upcoming food trends, “how to” training guides on common issues such as increasing speed of service, supplier offers, the Food Standards Agency’s HACCP food safety system, and allergen information.
Lessees can also draw on free and subsidised consultancy from independent training chefs for pubs requiring specialist one-to-one support.
A portfolio of kitchen specifications is available, tailored to different pub food offers and volumes, developed with industry experts using the latest equipment and techniques, for sites making capital investments.
Other initiatives in 2015 will include 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, regional lessee food forums, and premiumised “start up” food packages for pubs not currently offering food.
Chris Jowsey, trading director for 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 market place, 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.
“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 Star Pubs and Bars estate.”