BII boss behind bar for British Pub Week

By Lesley Foottit

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: British pub, Member of parliament, Public house, English-language films, Neil robertson

British Pub Week chair Inez Ward, Ian Ronayne and Neil Robertson
British Pub Week chair Inez Ward, Ian Ronayne and Neil Robertson
BII chief executive Neil Robertson did his part for the pub trade last night by stepping behind the bar to serve punters in aid of British Pub Week....

BII chief executive Neil Robertson did his part for the pub trade last night by stepping behind the bar to serve punters in aid of British Pub Week.

Robertson joined Punch regional director Ian Ronayne at the Sun and Doves in Camberwell, London, to serve the masses.

"It was fun and a lot of hard work," said Robertson. "I had a few nightmares. A customer was after a medium dry wine and there were five to choose from. I didn't know which one to pour.

"Another customer asked for a Parisian coffee — it turns out that's a fancy coffee with cognac.

"Someone asked me for a malt whisky and I know quite a lot about that, so I think he was quite glad to get away from the bar in the end."

Robertson and Ronayne served for at least two hours at peak time — around 100 people were in the pub.

"It was quite stressful at one point when I looked up and it was two-deep at the bar," Robertson added.

Nicky Francey, co-licensee at the Sun & Doves with Mark Dodds, was on hand to help out the novices, as well as another member of bar staff.

"I think they were pretty good," said Dodds. "They both figured out the tills, were charming and had nice smiles and lots of eye contact. When things weren't going well, neither of them panicked. It was a nice night."

Co-licensee Nicky Francey was on hand to help out the novices, as well as another member of bar staff.

The night attracted a good industry turnout including British Pub Week chair Inez Ward, Simon Clarke and Stephen Corbett of Fair Pint, a representative from Sky and a number of other licensees.

British Pub Week (30 October to 6 November) aims to get people back into pubs through a series of events.

Tonight, Save the Pub Group chair Greg Mulholland MP will host a meeting with British Pub Week organisers for MPs and peers at Westminster pub the Red Lion to raise awareness of the week.

Related topics: Other operators, Training

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