Pub Chef opinion: Business approach should be consistent

By Edward Halls

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Customer

Halls: "It is easy to take your foot off the pedal when times are perceived to be good"
Halls: "It is easy to take your foot off the pedal when times are perceived to be good"
Having pondered many subjects for this column I have decided to talk about the economy and how it helps me stay focused. Nearly everyone in our industry is finding life harder and personally, having only been open two years, I am interested to know what trading in a vibrant economy would be like?

Customers have to choose wisely in this economy. Perhaps they will go out less often and have two courses with tap water instead of three courses with wine. As I have a food led pub this significantly impacts my income.

I realise that not only am I in competition with the next pub, but, in today’s world, I am in competition with any other activity people choose to do; visiting the cinema rather than eating out, for instance.

I think the nature of how we view competition has changed and we should fight hard to keep our market share. I see clever operations evolving all the time to not only feed and water their customers but also to entertain and occupy them outside of the traditional pub remit. It is these businesses that will stand the test of time.

The financial climate we now live in has been a very dominant force in my country pub. It has led me, and I assume others, to cut costs everywhere while trying to maintain levels of service and delivery.

We try to generate more income from each customer, attract new ones in different and increasingly diverse ways, reward our existing customers and try to give each and every person a reason to come back; implementing good offers and delivering increasingly better products and service levels.

After all this, it occurs to me that a good business, a vibrant and successful business, should be doing all of this anyway and why should it take difficult times to make us approach business this way. If we worked like this in a good economy we would really make hay whilst the sun was shining.

I believe that if publicans, like me, are honest and use the same approach all the time, their businesses would be healthier, with less waste, better customer loyalty and more satisfaction all round. I know that many of you reading this will already approach your businesses this way, but I am sure you will recognise the moral of the story and appreciate that it is easy to take your foot off the pedal when times are perceived to be good.

I am a chef by profession and have entered into a wonderful industry that has taught me a great deal and I, for one, will continue to work with the same ethos no matter what happens in the world around me.

  • Edward Halls is chef-patron of the Rose & Crown, Great Horkesley, Essex

Related topics Chefs

Property of the week


£ 60,000 - Leasehold

Busy location on coastal main road Extensively renovated detached public house Five trade areas (100)  Sizeable refurbished 4-5 bedroom accommodation Newly created beer garden (125) Established and popular business...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more