This year’s Pub in the Park Brighton, took place at the city’s Preston Park between Friday 14 July and Sunday 16 July, with operator and brewer Greene King one of the events key sponsors for 2023.
Greene King brewing and brands event manager John Newton said: “We've released some new beers so [events like this] enable us to get out and promote those to the wider public and get people back into the pubs.
“If they've liked the new product, then that's a great way to promote the brand, the beers we brew, and then that translates back into sales in the on and off trade.”
Newton noted there were some logistical challenges, especially for smaller businesses, in preparing for an event on this scale and that the cost of participating varies, but the benefits can outweigh the obstacles.
“We're one of the main sponsors [of Pub in the Park 2023], so our costs are going to be slightly higher, but then we get a bigger footprint and more of a say about where we get put on site.
“We're in the main arena the music is, but throughout the day, everyone's wandering around everywhere, so there's plenty of opportunity elsewhere on site to be able to pop up.
“It depends on what you're looking to get out of it; you've got to put something back into it”, he added.
In addition, events like Pub in the Park can incentivise staff and offer employees variety.
Newton continued: “The staff get to come along and represent the brand in front of a good crowd.
“There's good music, lots of good food around. It is a bit of an attractive incentive. You've got a little bit of everything for everyone [at Pub in the Park].”
Head Chef at Lush by the Tom Kerridge Group, Javier Flores, who was working with the Hand and Flowers site crew over the weekend, advised investment and preparation were key for operators looking to take part in next year’s event.
He said: “You need to be keeping an eye on your cost and wastage.
“Theoretically, you could have to prepare for 3,000 people. You don’t want to be short, but you also don’t want to be over, it’s quite a difficult balance. A lot could be happening across the weekend.”
Flores advised checking the amount of ticket sales, keeping an eye on the weather and working out timings were among the key measures crucial to success, especially as chefs do not have access to their usual equipment when participating in festivals.
“You need to be ready and have a strong team because it can be quite spicy sometimes during the rush.
“In the restaurant people ordering food are happy to wait 10 minutes or something but at a festival, you need to be sure you're pumping food like crazy to be sure everyone is eating.
“You need to be sure you have the right equipment and the right people to be sure, you can manage any kind of event because it's far away from the restaurant”, he continued.
Hosted by chef Tom Kerridge, Pub in the Park sees award-winning restaurants, chefs, pubs, brewers, musicians and independent businesses come together to celebrate the sector.
This year, the food festival toured a variety of places nationwide, including Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Leamington Spa, St. Albans, Bath and London.
Take a look at what happened during the final day of the East Sussex weekend in The Morning Advertiser's round-up.