Gastropub Food Growth

Having recently spent many fun-filled days with, among others, a friend that owns a cool chain of London pubs as England somehow salvaged a draw in the Cape Town Test, I learnt plenty about the intricacies of running a gastropub.

One insight was when an order in Capetonian institution, Forresters, went way south. As an aside, one reason why remedy was so elusive was because incredibly the waitrons, and not the kitchen staff, had any mistakes deducted from their wages. In the end, the manager (as labelled by one of our troop, he “couldn’t run a bath”) accepted calls for an “apology pizza”.

I instantly recalled two similar philosophies. A kick-off conference many years ago in the courier industry where the Chief Exec had a slot about how everyone messed up, and as they did more than most, he urged his charges to admit to problems immediately and try and make amends. Do not let it fester, communicate, make compensatory gestures and people remember these actions. Then there was the UK’s largest pub chain that tried to instill in their barstaff to adapt a mindset of “glorious recovery from failure”.

Apparently, having a string of ‘apology pizza’-style options quickens resolution and heightens the prospect of return business.

The other main insight is that each time the gastropub chain revamps a menu, they’ve noticed that whatever they put on it or how ever they change it, the biggest sellers are always Sausage & Mash and Fish & Chips.

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