Indian restaurant spices up sales

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Britain's love affair with Indian cuisine has helped save a struggling village pub by increasing its sales by up to 60 per cent.The Queen's Head in...

Britain's love affair with Indian cuisine has helped save a struggling village pub by increasing its sales by up to 60 per cent.

The Queen's Head in Kirkby Malzeard, in Yorkshire, was facing the threat of closure until Trevor Parry converted his spare bar area into an Indian restaurant and employed a new chef and kitchen staff.

With other pubs in the area closing, Trevor realised drastic action had to be taken.

He said: "It was a huge gamble for us as we weren't sure how people would react, but since opening the restaurant we haven't looked back - it's been a huge success."

With the nearest Indian restaurant more than six miles away in Ripon, the idea first came from an regular who pointed out the need for a restaurant closer to home.

Now The Queen's Head restaurant - which can seat 30 people - not only maintains a steady flow of regulars but has even started to attract patrons from up to 20 miles away.

Trevor said: "I have been in the business for seven years and I am now seeing new faces again on a daily basis. This has saved the pub.

"Before we were just about surviving, but now our wet sales have increased by 60 per cent and we are bringing in £1,000 a week on food alone."

Trevor now hopes to develop his menu in order to maintain the steady flow of customers. He is currently hosting Indian tasting nights where customers can sample dishes including ostrich, venison and quail, which he eventually hopes to add to the permanent menu.

"Most pubs provide food that people can easily get at home," says Trevor. "By serving Indian food we are making going out for dinner more of an occasion so demand should remain high."

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