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Business Boosters: Caribbean street food and brunch bingo

By Alison Baker

- Last updated on GMT

Business Boosters: Caribbean street food and brunch bingo

Related tags Street food

Money making ideas for your pub or bar

Caribbean street food residency

Where: ​Star of Bethnal Green, London

Website: ​

Twitter: ​@StarBethGreen

The idea:​ Caribbean street food kitchen residency.

How it works: ​Street food vendors take over the pub’s kitchen for a minimum of three months. The current resident, White Men Can’t Jerk, offer a Caribbean inspired pop-up menu which includes jerk chicken and curried mutton shepherd’s pie.

Marketing:​ At the beginning of each residency, the Wellington Pub Company leasehold holds a launch party complete with free menu samples. Free beer is ticketed in return for customers signing up to the pub’s database. Events and residencies are then promoted via e-flyers as well as through the pub’s Twitter feed.

Be prepared: ​Parent company, Electric Star Ltd, has spent the last 18 months compiling a database of suitable street food traders to run its kitchens, with most residencies lasting between three and six months. Residencies are run on a split of total turnover with some traders moving between sites. Drinks promotions are tied in with the various food offerings.

Pay-off:​Brand ownership ensures that the product is always good; operators take control of the kitchen; avoids staffing problems; allows management to focus on front-of-house.

Key benefits: ​Short term nature encourages food operators to heavily promote their offering; maintains customer interest; each residency attracts a new set of customers.

Advice​: Electric Star’s managing director, Rob Star, says: “It’s important to sit down with your food operator beforehand and gain a good understanding of each other’s expectations. Make sure you have a contract drawn up which reflects this discussion and outlines the responsibilities of both parties.”

Best outcome:​ All Electric Star sites now operate their kitchens on a residency basis.

Brunch Bingo

Where: ​The Well, Clerkenwell, London

Website: ​

Twitter: ​@thewellpub

The idea: ​Monthly Saturday morning bingo with brunch dishes, Bloody Marys and Bucks Fizz to be enjoyed throughout the game.

How it works: ​Two games of bingo are held between 11am and 1pm on the first Saturday of each month. Customers are charged £2 per person, per game. Prizes include cocktails and shots as well as two top prizes of a £50 bar tab and a complimentary meal for two at any ETM venue.

Marketing:​ The event is promoted though onsite advertising, email marketing to the Group’s 68,000-strong database, listings with third party websites, social media platforms and via press coverage.

Be prepared: ​The event is held in the pub’s ground floor restaurant.

Pay-off:​Generated a huge amount of interest amongst customers – the event is almost fully booked for the next two months; opens up the pub’s brunch offering to a wider customer-base; raises the profile of the venue; keeps customers’ dining and socialising experiences fresh and on trend.

Key benefits: ​Drives pre-lunch footfall – at around 42 people, the event draws a full house each time; maximises profitability of the pub’s brunch service; demographic of people attending and the fun nature of the event has increased alcoholic drink sales during this period by almost 90%.

Advice​: Victoria Hassett, group marketing coordinator for parent company the ETM Group, says: “Inspiration for the event came from looking at trends in America and realising that there is currently no one else in London offering this exact same format. Finding out what works and sticking to it has its merits, but identifying what isn’t working in your business and replacing it with something innovative, that broadens your customer market, can make you stand out in a very crowded restaurant scene.”

Best outcome:​ Event attracts a 500% increase in brunch covers

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