Star Pubs’ Mark Teed on menu innovation, kitchen templates
With nearly £200m spent on its property over the last six years, Star Pubs & Bars has emerged as one of the excessive-fliers of the British pub sector. The organization has recognized meals as the middle detail of its growth approach, which impacts the manner it designs and equips kitchens. FEJ traveled to the Jolly Friar in Basildon, Essex — which itself has gone through new management and indoors refurbishment — to get the whole lowdown from Star’s meals leader Mark Teed.
It may operate in a predominantly beverage-led category, as maximum pub operations evidently do. Still, an enormous cognizance on handing over a better meal method is proving transformative for two, seven hundred-robust Star Pubs & Bars.
And that has saved meals method and implementation manager, Mark Teed, busy for the reason that he joined the Heineken-owned business 18 months in the past.
The Dorset-primarily based exec — a skilled pub and casual eating operator, who even ran his own pub for a time frame — is the enterprise’s senior source on culinary topics, which sees him liaise with all people from licensees and location enterprise development managers to Star’s belongings department and management crew.
His work involves writing gear, building schooling plans, and growing projects that collectively assist to aid Star’s burgeoning food commercial enterprise. One of the extra latest drivers has been the want to expand a reputable controlled offer that sticks out from the gang in terms of presentation, first-class, and cost for money — and reflects the most up to date meals traits — all whilst being operationally deliverable for people who run its pubs.
Teed, consequently, constantly has one eye on the wider foodservice area in a bid to evaluate if new and emerging developments can be adapted for its own business. “I want to be privy to the entirety this is taking place in the industry — what’s arising, what works, what doesn’t paintings and on the way to convey that to our commercial enterprise and also to the human beings in our leased and tenanted pub estate who perform pubs with us,” he explains.
Just Add Talent
The Star property is extensively leasehold; however, it has a growing controlled operator arm with a centralized food offer, which falls within its Just Add Talent (JAT) framework. “There are over a hundred of those, and we plan to have a hundred and fifty by the end of 2019. The majority are converted from our leased and tenanted property — so we haven’t received them, and they may be not new-builds; they may be all conversions.
There are criteria concerned about ensuring they suit the model. It is a centralized offer, so it is a suggestion that we dictate the usage of all of our learnings.”
The capability to offer an extensive degree of assistance to those with a restricted food plan or no offer in any respect is critical to the whole version. Of the 50 or so websites that will join the program through the stop of the 12 months, an amazing chew is likely to have already got kitchen facilities in the location; however, they’ll require widespread alteration to permit them to supply the proposition. “What’s exciting is that due to the fact we know what the provider is, we recognize what kitchen template is needed to deliver it,” says Teed of the merits of a centralized model.
“I think it’s miles without a doubt effective — I love sharing that records with a leased and tenanted operator, to say ‘right here are our top 10 dishes, this is what the UK population is shopping for from us’. It’s no longer distinct to another controlled pub group, but as a leased and tenanted operator, you might not broadly speaking take a day trip to study that yourself.”
The proportion of Star pubs serving meals has grown considerably in recent years, with many regarding it as the clearest manner to destiny-evidence the enterprise in what stays a competitive region. “If we can have pubs that do food, it’s miles any other street for sales. It is a part of our strategy of building sturdy pub groups with a couple of income streams which are sustainable for the long term.”
Menu evolution is a crucial element of Teed’s function. Over the summer season months, the company is selling its ‘Burger Festival’ offering — a compelling addition to the ordinary seasonal menu that gives clients an array of fanciful burger selections.
“We will usually create offers round what sells, so burgers in a community pub are in our pinnacle 10 income. However, you wouldn’t see us go down the road of doing couscous and quinoa wraps. You’ve got to make certain it is pub-applicable. We can examine tendencies that come via. However, it is all about making sure they fit the pub zone.