Hot ideas for the chilly days of winter

By Steve Haslam

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Rain

Haslam: plenty to look forward to in winter
Haslam: plenty to look forward to in winter
So summer has ebbed away and despite the dreams of all those who fantasised about 16 weeks of cracking weather — me included — once again it didn’t happen.

When better weather did arrive, it mainly came on weekdays with just an odd weekend to rekindle the excitement that — yes the summer has arrived! At TLC we have more than 1,500 outdoor seats, four children’s play areas and two riverside gardens. So a no-show summer is disappointing to say the least.

We could have laid down and bowed to the gods but that wouldn’t be the TLC way.

Instead we had a quick switch to cinema licences, live singers and family days. Pushing weddings and corporate events filled a hefty void left by the still-absent sunshine.

Then in true British fashion, the Indian summer made a special guest appearance in major league style. Gardens filled, the drinks flowed and the tills rocked, producing a 55% boost on like-for-likes on that magic week.

So what’s our autumn and winter focus?

A new menu has been launched — a post-summer sparkle to freshen everyone up. September and October are showing fantastic growth — and hey presto, the year’s back on track.

I suppose the lesson is to never assume. Motivate your team, so that if a bit of quick thinking and sleight of hand is needed, then in true Penn & Teller style, you magically pull off the plan.

But we can’t forget that it takes a shed-load of hard work and a gargantuan team effort — and boy, are we blessed in that department.

Will it be plain sailing up to Christmas? Nice thought, but unrealistic.

A new concept, Grand Central , is opening in three weeks. The TLC take on American grills isn’t reliant on the weather — there’s another nice thought. So, if it’s been a tough summer, chin up, drive hard and let’s all look forward to a till-jangling Christmas.

Or in our case, our next new venue in January.

Related topics Soft & Hot Drinks

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