Spirit to grow Two For One and Chef & Brewer brands

Related tags Chef Advertising Brand Chef & brewer

Spirit is to open 50 Two For One and 10 Chef& Brewer pubs this year. The outlets will mainly be converted from sites bought in the Scottish &...

Spirit is to open 50 Two For One and 10 Chef& Brewer pubs this year. The outlets will mainly be converted from sites bought in the Scottish & Newcastle Retail acquisition in October 2003.

The company,which wants to double its food sales in the next six years, has identified Two For One and Chef & Brewer as its two key areas for growth. Food sales currently account for 31% of turnover.

Table service is being trialled at several of the company's 148 Chef & Brewer pubs.

Frank Hayes, managing director of Spirit Food, said: "Full assisted service in all sites is the way I would like to go. In a premium concept like Chef & Brewer, I think customers expect it."

Table menus have also been introduced, replacing a system of customers selecting foodexclusively from menu boards. Chef's dailyspecials are still on offer, although the company is currently trialling a "central bank" of specials in 15 pubs.

Hayes said this was not a move to deskill Chef & Brewer. "This is a small test," he stressed. "It aims to make life easier for our chefs. But if the trial shows that the chefs don't want it, we won't go down that route."

The number of dishes on offer has also been scaled down.

Hayes said: "Our research showed that thecustomer journey in Chef & Brewer was too confusing.

"The menu board system was confusing and there was too much choice, which compromised our ability to get food out on time. Our customers are reassured by a smaller range and it is easier for the chefs."

The company has also reviewed its kitchen procedures and layout at Chef & Brewer to make them more efficient.

The company is testing new "lighter" décor for the brand at two sites.

Table service for desserts and coffee is also being trialled for value-for-money brand Two For One. If successful, it will be rolled out to the entire 140-strong estate.

Hayes said: "Table service is usually only offered in premium outlets. To provide that in a value-for-money pub will provide a real wow' factor for customers."

A mail drop and local newspaper advertising campaign to drive awareness and trial of the brand will be launched in the next month.

The company has also been working with suppliers on improving the quality of its 20 best-selling dishes across the estate, which will gradually be phased in as menus are changed.

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