Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs – Bites

Michelin-starred chefs reveal post-lockdown trading secrets

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Advice: Top chefs give sage advice and learnings
Advice: Top chefs give sage advice and learnings

Related tags: gastropubs, Tom kerridge, Paul Ainsworth, Coronavirus

Leading chefs from the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list will reveal how their pubs are trading under social distancing rules and give tips and advice to help others do the same.

From maintaining gross profit to operating a kitchen under social distancing guidelines and mental health, six top chefs give their perspective on the new trading landscape.

Speakers include Jamie May, head chef at Tom Kerridge’s two Michelin-starred the Hand & Flowers, and his colleague Tom De Keyser, head chef at the Michelin-starred Coach, who will both talk about maintaining GP in social distancing gastropubs.

Holder of the number one spot on the Top 50 Gastropubs list, and Chef of the Year, Sally Abé will also talk about running kitchens under social distancing rules, while chef-patron of the Star in Harome, Andrew Pern, will discuss maintaining the customer experience.

A full agenda is below with anyone interested in joining the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs – Bites online conference able to do so for free by clicking here​.

Top 50 Gastropubs editor Nicholas Robinson said: “There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to any of the problems gastropubs face following reopening, but by sharing solutions as a group we’ll be able to make the best out of a bad situation.

“The gastropub segment of the pub trade is one of the most creative and innovative, full of savvy operators who are willing to help one another out. We’re going to use this to make sure as many operators as possible get the help and advice they need to ensure their businesses are moving in the right direction.”

Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs – Bites Agenda:

Intro: ​Welcome to the event
Speaker: ​Nicholas Robinson, editor, Top 50 Gastropubs

Session One: ​Maintaining GP in socially distancing gastropubs
Speakers: ​Jamie May, the Hand & Flowers and Tom De Keyser, the Coach

This session explores what measures chefs can and have put in place in a bid to maintain profit levels with fewer covers in a post-lockdown gastropub. We’re able to invite fewer customers into our pubs, which places a strain on finances. But for those who do come, are they spending the same as they did pre-coronavirus? We look at what pubs can do to develop menus that tackle this issue, be it using cheaper ingredients or other ideas.

Session Two: ​Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the social distancing rules
Speaker: ​Sally Abé, the Harwood Arms

Social distancing isn’t just between you and the customers, but between you and other staff members. So, unless you live in the same household as the rest of your kitchen team, no less than a one-metre distance must be maintained while working together. And, let’s face it, a lot of our kitchens aren’t big enough to stay even one metre apart pre-coronavirus, so what can we do? Even if you are lucky enough to have the luxury of a spacious kitchen, there’s still a lot of measures to put in place to stay compliant.

Session Three: ​The customer experience
Speaker: ​Andrew Pern, Star in Harome and Estrella Damm chef ambassador

How do you maintain the unique customer experience in a socially distanced gastropub? From food to drink and staff, everything works together to ensure customers have an unbeatable experience and we hear from Andrew Pern to find out how he is maintaining that while keeping his customers and staff safe.

Session Four: ​Stop, start or continue? What place will takeaways and deliveries have post-lockdown?
Speaker: ​Heath Ball, the Red Lion & Sun

You may have already started a takeaway and delivery service, perhaps your gastropub was/is a local community shop. But should you stop or continue this activity now you’ve reopened and if you haven’t already, should you consider launching a takeout service? With gastropubs having to cut covers, anything you can do to maintain what you’re missing is going to be essential to keeping revenue and profits up.

Session Five: ​Mental health isn’t a dirty phrase
Speaker: ​Kris Hall, founder The Burnt Chef Project

Yes, we’re all working towards building our businesses back up. But let’s face it, this isn’t going to be easy and it’s likely to pile untold amounts of pressure on you, your teams and your loved ones. In this session, Kris Hall talks us through what signs you need to look out for and what to put in place to ensure your mind stays as healthy as possible.

Session Six: ​Small spaces? No problem
Speaker: ​TBC – Paul Ainsworth, the Mariners

As we’ve already outlined, pub kitchens aren’t usually the biggest spaces and that combined with the prospect of serving fewer seated guests, while also running a takeout and delivery service, could be a logistical nightmare. Here we look at how you can make the most of the whole pub to cook and serve. Perhaps you have an outdoor space. If you do, then have you thought about putting a heated marquee up to fit in those missing covers? Maybe there’s an unused space somewhere in the pub, have you thought about turning that into a prep space or an area to deal with takeaways and deliveries?

Close: ​Final remarks and update on Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs
Speaker: ​Nicholas Robinson

Questions: ​Your turn to ask questions of our speakers

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