Group managing director Simon Emeny said that in the new towns and cities where Fuller’s is opening pubs, coffee is a “really important lever for maximising revenue”.
He pointed out that, unlike other pub operators, Fuller’s has chosen not to team up with a high-street coffee brand. “Instead we’ve been developing our own brand. We spent time developing the blend, training our staff on coffee, and designing an identity we use on cups, aprons and merchandising.”
He said that following a “very successful” trial in some of its pubs, including its new Market Stores in Reigate, Surrey, “we are now rolling out Brewer Street to a number of our managed houses”.
Asked about the importance of coffee to its managed estate, Emeny said: “I think the challenge for all of us, particularly on the managed side, is to maximise every single day-part session.
“We trade now in 40 sites between eight and 11 o’clock. You can’t trade in those hours without having a coffee offer and some consistency to it. In those pubs, coffee now represents 6% of our sales mix and it’s growing. I think it gives us the right to sell breakfast and other items on the back of it.”
However, he rejected the idea of following Cardiff-based Brains and buying an existing coffee-shop business. Emeny said it’s “not part of our plan at the moment” to “overcomplicate” its structure by doing so.
Meanwhile, Emeny revealed that up to 30% of room bookings across Fuller’s managed estate now take place via a new, dedicated website that was launched six months ago. He also said that 70 managed pubs have introduced online table reservations, which now account for 15% of bookings.