Selling salads to customers has to be almost as hard as selling fridges to Eskimos. Whether right or wrong, many punters stereotype the traditional British salad as dried-up cucumber along with limp lettuce and always the outer leaves, making you wonder what happens to the tastier inner ones. So fair play to Chef & Brewer for helping to dispel this poor reputation. This year and for the second time, the 118-outlet chain ran a competition to reward the pub that sold the most salads. In conjunction with Bicester-based fruit and veg supplier Fresh Direct, the pubs offered a selection of 10 salads featuring Mediterranean and other exotic flavours, as well as the more traditional British fare. The winner was the Swan at Ash Vale on the Surrey-Hampshire border and the 51 staff members were each rewarded with a new TV. The Swan's manager Derek Middleton explained: "We really wanted to offer our customers something different and were overwhelmed by the response. Everyone worked really hard to ensure the menu was a success." You never know, if more food outlets got in on the act, the days of the sad old British salad might be over.