Business boosters: fashion shows and cheese and wine

By Lesley Foottit

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Wine Cheese

Fashion show: encourages future trade
Fashion show: encourages future trade
PubChef takes a look at some top ideas for driving food sales at your pub — featuring wine and cheese nights and a fashion show.

PubChef takes a look at some top ideas for driving food sales at your pub — featuring wine and cheese nights and a fashion show.Fashion show

Where:​ Akeman, Tring, Herts,

The idea:​ A Mothers' Day charity fashion show, which raised £1,100 for AbleChildAfrica, the chosen charity for Oakman Inns' marketing executive Amy Kilpin's London Marathon run.

Kilpin says: "Held in conjunction with local businesses, including three boutique clothes shops and a hair and beauty salon, this event worked well in the community of Tring. A three-course dinner and fashion show with music also involved a successful raffle, with prizes donated by local companies, such as a BMW convertible for the weekend, a night in a hotel, beauty treatments and personal training sessions. Tickets cost £25 each."

What we needed:​ "Mini-flyers were given to Akeman customers with their bill, and we used social media and email marketing. We distributed A3 posters to the boutiques and salon. Tickets were produced for the Akeman and Oakman's four other venues and we received good press coverage. Champagne Henriot donated six complimentary bottles, enjoyed in the form of Champagne cocktails by ticketholders on entry."

Business benefits:​ "We tripled our usual Monday night restaurant covers to our maximum of 80 and doubled drinks sales. Promotion through business collaboration attracted new custom from the shops and salon, and from locals too."

Top tip: ​"Good-quality contributions from a fashion supplier are essential."

Wine and cheese night

Where:​ Tommyfield, Kennington, south-east London,

The idea: ​Old World versus New World wine tasting with a selection of UK cheeses. General manager Holly Burton says: "We held the event to boost trade and build interest in the pub, in particular our upstairs private dining room. Wine-tasting events have always been very well received at other Renaissance Pubs outlets, so we thought they would work well here too."

What we needed:​ "Guests were able to sample 24 different wines, mostly classics with a few rare varieties. The wine was supplied by Boutinot Wines, which also organised and hosted the event, and was paired with five UK cheeses, supplied by Hamish Johnston. The cheeses were Stinking Bishop, Berkswell, vintage Lincolnshire Poacher, Woolsery goats' cheese and Devonshire Blue.

As the event was held in our private master room it was additional to our normal service so we ensured we had an extra three members of staff, specifically those interested in learning about wine. Our PR agency put together an e-newsletter, which was sent to our group database of more than 12,000 customers.

The agency also used Twitter to plug the event to contacts. We promoted the evening for our Facebook friends, as well as via our internal blackboards and flyers in the wine lists."

Business benefits:​ "Approximately 100 people attended the event. It was one of the busiest Tuesdays we've had and felt more like a Saturday, with takings up by around £2,000.

We charged £10 per head, which included all wines and cheese, making around £750 net on the tickets as we negotiated some good deals on the food and drink.

There were three bottles of each wine to sample; two of which were supplied by Boutinot free of charge and one that we bought.

We also secured a good trade price on the cheese as regular customers of the supplier. The restaurant also took an additional £1,000, as a large number of people stayed to eat and drink after the event, no doubt because of the 6.30pm start time.

The popularity of the event means that we'll definitely do this again. Our plans are to host a different themed event every eight weeks."

Top tips:​ "Talk to as many guests on the night as possible and don't over-book, to allow people to taste lots of the wine and cheese."

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