Heath Ball, managing director, told The Morning Advertiser that the growth in food sales is due to the efforts to build a takeaway and delivery business during lockdown.
“We created a great offering that proved popular and in turn, has attracted those customers to come and eat and drink with us in the site,” he said.
“Trading has been really strong. It really demonstrated just how much the British public missed their pubs.”
While he admits it is hard to predict trading in the future he does think food sales will continue to rise.
“As was famously said, making predictions is tough, particularly when we're talking about the future, so I'm reluctant to make too many bold calls, particularly when this Government has been so unpredictable,” Ball added.
“However, I think we'll see food sales in pubs continue to rise as they look to capture a wider slice of the leisure pound. I also think that table service in pubs will continue as our trade starts to resemble more of the continental style of operation.”
In order to ensure the safety of its staff the groups has retained staff and table service throughout the venues.
“We've kept staff wearing masks. Retaining the masks gives customers that are returning to the pub more confidence that we are doing everything we can to protect them and table service proved a success during whilst we were in restrictions, offering our customers an improved experience, so that's staying too,” he added.
The multiple operator runs three sites, the Lockhart Tavern, in Haywards Heath, West Sussex; the Wenlock Arms – in Hxton, west London, and the Red Lion and Sun in Highgate, north London. Both the Lockhart Tavern and the Red Lion and Sun are food focused and they are driving the increase in food sales, while the Wenlock is wet-led.