Keeping the menu simple helps with gross profit

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It's all very well pubs being altruistic about the food they serve, but practical and commercial considerations also have to be borne in mind too....

It's all very well pubs being altruistic about the food they serve, but practical and commercial considerations also have to be borne in mind too.

After a first year, which saw a fast-rotating menu with lots of ingredients sourced from the Somerleyton estate, things have been simplified for year two, with two seasonal menus based around summer and winter, backed up by a handful of blackboard specials.

Crossley says: 'Last year we did it as a monthly seasonal menu, with things like game in the winter and venison in the summer. Most people weren't that interested to be honest, so this year we've tried to make it simpler operationally. It helps with the GP [gross profit], too, which is harder to control if the menu is constantly changing. The specials means it appears to change more often than it does.

'It also means that people don't come again and want something they've really liked before, only to find it's no longer on the menu.

The summer menu is straightforward, no-nonsense pub-style food, with starters including a smoked chicken hash with poached farmhouse egg and hollandaise (£4.80), and mains a whole grilled North Sea lemon sole with herb and shallot butter, new potatoes and green beans (£11.80).

The wet-dry split is roughly 50:50, with an across-the-board GP of around 60%. At the summer peak, they serve around 500 covers a week.

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