The company had planned to expand its 55-site pub chain by between one and three premises a year, however, B&P was now in a position to double its openings, managing director Mary Willcock told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser.
“It’s something that’s been coming for a while, but it’s more sensible to do it now than it has been in the past because we’re in a position where we’re not going to lose our clout if we start to open more pubs a year than in the past,” Willcock said.
There were plans to promote existing staff into many of the new roles that became available as a result of the expansion, she added.
Chef and kitchen staff vacancies would inevitably be created, said WIllcock, who was already looking for chefs. “That’s one of the big things that we’re looking for at the moment, kitchen staff.
“In the new kitchens, we could be looking at up to 10 new chefs and kitchen staff for each pub,” she said.
‘Trying to attract new staff’
In the new kitchens, we could be looking at up to 10 new chefs and kitchen staff for each pub
“We’re also actively trying to get people involved in B&P and we’re trying to attract new staff towards us and away from our competitors.”
The company was experiencing the same chef recruitment problems to the rest of the sector, Willcock admitted.
More than 11,000 chef vacancies had to be filled by 2022, according to official figures.
There were many chef vacancies open in the sector already, which had made recruitment a challenge for B&P and its competitors, she added.
Between 25 and 30 front-of-house staff vacancies would also become available in each new site, Willcock revealed.
Chefs working in the new pubs could expect to have autonomy over their menus, as the chain drew on local produce and trends as a point of difference from its competitors.
“We have got a spine of dishes that we call our core dishes that you would have on all quality pubs.
‘Our core dishes’
“But, at a local level, the chefs change dishes and have their own dishes and that’s down to local suppliers,” Willcock said.
Chefs from similar areas in the company would often get together and decide what would work best in different pubs and what should be on different menus.
Each new opening would also aim to have at least 120-covers, according to press reports earlier this week.
Willcock refused to reveal how much would be invested in the pub openings this year and next year, but said it was a significant amount.
It was also revealed that B&P was already looking at new sites to acquire in 2017.
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