Key business benefits of barbecued foods for pubs are their capacity to appeal to a wide demographic including diverse age groups, cultures and backgrounds and flexibility in incorporating increasingly popular flavours such as smoked ingredients. Using a barbecue also produces food that can be easy to serve and consume, relatively simple for entrepreneurial licensees and chefs to develop as a speciality, and provides an ideal pop-up platform.
Fantastic for franchise
The Bar-B-Q Shack run by ‘pitmaster’ John Hargate at Brighton’s World’s End, owned by Laine Pub Co, epitomises the appeal of a responsive franchise. "Our pub is eclectic, with its retro table-top Pac-Man machine, bar billiards, table tennis and daily drinks promotions," says Hargate. "We aim to reflect this style in our menu of barbecue smoked meats, including combos with sides; 9oz Texas-style burgers, served with salad garnish, pickles and fries, and sides such as green rice and black beans. Since we set up in 2012, barbecuing in pubs has proliferated, but we only use quality ingredients, and our customers love eating our barbecued and smoked food alongside enjoying our games, live music, quiz, sport and DJs."
Finding a niche in an increasingly saturated market is tough, so building your brand around an unusual barbecue can help your business thrive all year. The Queen of Hoxton team, in east London, make the most of their rooftop schwenkgrill fire-pit in a winter teepee by serving barbecued food such as apricot & herb stuffed pork loin and sloe gin pulled lamb shoulder to customers seated on mossy logs on summer evenings, customers relax with Rooftop Film Club screenings, blackened chilli, ginger and lime salmon fillet, or spiced barbecued polenta with sweetcorn salsa & feta, accompanied by sides such as crunchy lemon coleslaw.
Marston's follows the BBQ tribe
The Garden Grill Company launched this summer in a number of Marston's pub gardens to capitalise on the BBQ trend.
The Bell at Tong, near Shifnal, was the first pub to feature the new ‘pop up’ style concept, with the venues designed by JMDA, the creative team behind Red’s True Barbecue design concept in Leeds.
The Garden Grill Company menu is based on the principal that there are two BBQ tribes: those that want to customise every last detail (the usual proteins and grilled veg can be combined with a myriad of toppings and sides, and crammed in to a choice of wrap/bap/naan and those that want to pick the signature dish that turns heads with dishes including the Whole Hog, the Boss Burger or the Chickatikkanaa.
A bar is contained within the grill kitchen and stocked with a range of bottled beers and ciders.
Una Beck Johnson, commercial marketing director at Marston’s Inns & Taverns said: "We have some great gardens and the new Garden Grill Company concept makes the most of them, while also capitalising on the trend towards BBQ and 'street’ food."