JDW will opt for late-night meal deal under new laws

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Related tags: Non-smoking pubs, Steak

by The PMA Team JD Wetherspoon is to begin serving food until 11pm under the new licensing regime that starts in November. Chief executive John...

by The PMA Team JD Wetherspoon is to begin serving food until 11pm under the new licensing regime that starts in November. Chief executive John Hutson said the company had also spent the past year 'upgrading every aspect of the product range, with food sales a particular focus. Innovations included sourcing local products such as Exmoor beef for Devon pubs and Cumbrian lamb for pubs in the north-west. The company's steak club format had seen a 60% increase in volumes year on year. Hutson said: 'We relaunched it in JDW and added a fillet steak, T-bone steak and rib-eye steak. We've beefed the offer up and really promoted it in the past year, although our curry club is still our number one. The company has been using its 36 non-smoking pubs where food sales have increased by 10% since conversion to trial new dishes. Innovative menu items have included paella, venison casserole and haddock florentine. There is a particular push at the non-smoking pubs to use one-off food deals as part of the marketing drive to improve sales. The Southport JD Wetherspoon, for example, is selling two steaks and a bottle of wine for £12.99 on a Saturday night. Hutson said: 'One or two of the pubs are doing a quiz night and introduced a special platter for the teams. 'The non-smoking pubs have become the test bed for a lot of new ideas. A lot of the food promotional ideas are starting in non-smoking pubs but, if they work, they can be rolled out into the estate. Food sales at JD Wetherspoon stand at 25% of overall sales about £7,000 per pub per week. In the latest financial year food sales were up 2.1% overall while bar sales were down 1.4%. Finance director Jim Clarke claimed this week that 50% of overall sales are related to food £7,000-a-week of wet sales at each pub are made to diners. DISH OF THE DAY THE DISH: Home-smoked wild River Severn salmon with horseradish cream and cucumber sorbet WHERE YOU WILL FIND IT: The Trouble House, Tetbury, Gloucestershire INVENTOR: Chef/proprietor Michael Bedford, who worked under Pierre Koffmann and Gary Rhodes prior to taking over The Trouble House, which has held on to its coveted Michelin star for two years. Bedford's cooking style is rustic French and this dish appears as a starter on his daily-changing menu. PRICE: £6.50 VERDICT: Using wild salmon from the River Severn, Michael Bedford smokes the fish in the pub's own smokehouse. It is placed on long ribbons of cucumber and topped with a pale green-coloured ball of refreshing and intensely-flavoured cucumber sorbet. The horseradish cream adds a piquancy to a cracking starter which has a good balance of textures and flavours. GP WATCH Charles Inkin, Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon, Powys Dish: Welsh rack of lamb with summer vegetables Menu price: £15.50 Gross profit: 70% Average sold a month: At least 100 Why it's a winner: 'We sell huge amounts of lamb. Some of our dishes are getting a really good GP because because we grow a lot of our own stuff, including lettuce and potatoes.

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