Meet the finalists: Best Food Offer

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

Food finalists: the trio of companies in this category showcased how important their food offer is to their business
Food finalists: the trio of companies in this category showcased how important their food offer is to their business

Related tags Events Publican awards Pubco + head office Multi-site pub operators

Judges for the Best Food Offer category were looking for the finalists to demonstrate food as a key part of the business’s total sales.

Brucan Pubs

James and Jamie, the passionate chefs and owners of Brucan, are committed to putting food at the forefront of their operations. They take great pride in sourcing their ingredients locally, with a particular focus on rare breeds and regenerative farming. They prioritise quality over distance and often buy directly from local farms and farmers, including a berry farm that is frequently featured on its social media channels.

Food is truly at the heart of this business and it showed on the plate. 

At Brucan, butchery skills are highly valued, and its chefs are trained to use a nose-to-tail approach with whole carcasses of rare breeds. The kitchen maintains high standards, and even its apprentices are trained in butchery. In addition to its restaurant, it also has a farm shop, deli and café attached to the Greyhound pub, which opens early in the morning and presents new sales opportunities.


Barons is an exceptional operator that has received high praise for its sourcing ethos, kitchen standards, food quality, dietary requirements and food waste policy. However, what truly sets Barons apart is its staff and culture.

The company has a remarkable staff training and engagement programme, which has earned the company accolades in the past, particularly last year’s Publican Awards. It offers training for all employees through its internal training academy, which covers a range of topics, including food safety, allergens and management-level certification. Barons also places great importance on work experience and career progression, taking on 30 work experience employees in June and July, and boasting a staff retention rate of 96%.

The movement between front-of-house (FOH) and back-of-house is critical to the business, and Barons encourages FOH staff to occasionally move to the kitchen to gain a better understanding of how the kitchen operates. FOH staff also have the final say on whether a dish leaves the pass, improving the quality and standards of its sites as a whole.  

The Botanist

The Botanist's menu centres on kebabs, which it innovates with trendy variations, such as its Chicken Katsu kebab. Seasonal events are also important to them, with vegan specials for January and a unique pancake day hanging pancake kebab. The business prioritises dietary requirements, and QR codes on the menu make it easy to access this information. It has successfully removed gluten from the fryer and launched Sunday roasts with shared dishes served in skillets for added theatre.

The Botanist's staff training and engagement uses gamification and social media for the workplace to train staff, and it runs supplier-sponsored competitions. Staff feel proud to work for a company with innovative credentials and loyalty is rewarded by offering a four-week sabbatical programme for every 10 years served.

The business also makes good use of tech with the Chef's Portal, containing recipe books, allergens and specs, accessible through mobile and web, which has contributed to increased food sales.

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