How to Make Your Gastropub a Cut Above the Rest
Over the past few decades, less and less of the British population go out to the pub to drink. From the smoking ban, credit crunch and cheap supermarket prices, there is no longer a drive to go out just for alcohol. Pair this with a pandemic and we are much more comfortable enjoying our drinks from the comfort of our own home. To tackle this decrease in clientele, pubs have focused largely on their food and menus, creating the British gastropub experience. This means pubs serving food have delved into the rich and tasty classics and improved them - meaning more and more people want to go out and enjoy delicious food. Gastropubs usually serve popular, robustly flavoured food that goes well with beer as well as a wide variety of ales for those that actually want to drink or get drunk. Here are our tips to improve your gastropub and beat your competition.
Provide quality beer
Any pub or restaurant owner should have a good knowledge of a range of alcoholic beverages. Gastropubs shouldn’t forget their links to beer as this is what most people will be visiting for. Having the opportunity to taste a range of quality beers is what will make customers return time and time again. Hey also want the perfectly paired beer to drink with their meal, so make sure you’re prepared to offer your guests a good range.
Bear in mind the following food pairings:
- - Vegetable dishes: Dry stout
- - Shellfish: Belgian-style Saison or German-style Hefeweizen
- - Grain dishes: Pilsner or amber lager
- - Game birds: Pale or brown ale
- - Rich meats: American-style Brett or Belgian-style Flanders
- - Braised meats: German-style bock or Baltic-style porter
Reflect a sense of community
One of the key aspects that many gastropubs don’t quite maintain is their ability to be a local neighbourhood hangout. While many people may visit for the food, they’d also like to enjoy a few drinks. So if your gastropub is in the middle of nowhere, you’ll have to entice your guests in more ways. If you start to increase prices without increasing quality, locals are likely to be put off and find another pub to spend their money in.
Pubs that are long-standing will have built a community over time to allow people to come together and enjoy their time with one another. If you decide to completely change the authenticity of the pub, these locals, who bring in a large amount of money, will start to be put off.
Opening a gastropub in a residential area, near a sports ground or other places of interest is a great way to get people through the door if you are new to the business. Otherwise, it’s best to keep your loyal customers in mind when making any drastic changes to a pub.
Try and draw on the connection between the gastropub, its surroundings and the people. Bringing all three of these together will create a sense of identity that separates your pub from any others in the local area. People need to think of your gastropub when they think of their local community, and becoming the go-to gastropub in your area for social gatherings, family parties or even weddings is a great way to establish your eatery as the best in town.
New gastropubs often lack creativity, sticking to the same standard layout that many other pubs are using. This won’t set you apart from your competitors, as you’ll need something unique to draw the crowds in. Consider the type of eatery you intend to create and how you can go about this in a way that isn’t a copy and paste of everyone else.
The interior of your gastropub should reflect the sense of community you are trying to portray. If you want to create the feel of a more refined restaurant while still sticking to the roots of a pub, consider adding candles, table linen and a creative colour scheme.
Creating a space that makes people feel at home is the best way to make them keep coming back. People want to feel comfortable in a gastropub, while still receiving a service they wouldn’t get at home.
Consider running live music events, wine and cheese tastings or ale festivals. Events are what bring new customers through the door and give you a chance to impress them so they continue to return. Events are also a great way to make a profit, particularly if you are just opening.
Opening events are a chance for you to present your selection of drinks, great-tasting food and a wonderful atmosphere. You can prepare your event by organising a musician, getting in touch with local breweries or reading up on wine and cheese pairings. Events don't need to be expensive, but a little investment will ensure you turnover great profits and introduce your new community to a fantastic new gastropub in their area.
Create a kitchen experience
Some of the most successful gastropubs and restaurants provide a quality kitchen experience. Having a serving hatch that opens the view into the kitchen allows guests to see their food being made. This is something people particularly enjoy because, not only do they know that their food is being freshly made, but they are also witnessing the spectacle of a gastropub kitchen.
This does, however, mean that your kitchen needs to be clean, organised and well-presented. This will require a kitchen team that understands the importance of ensuring the kitchen looks good. Investing in quality chef jackets and kitchen uniforms is the perfect way to make your staff look the part. You can also hire your chefs jackets and kitchen uniforms from a commercial laundry service that offers restaurant linen hire. They will also be able to provide you with linen serviettes and table linens to complete the look and feel of your gastropub.
Creating a pass between your kitchen and dining area also ensures that waiting staff have a clear route to the table to reduce the number of accidents and dropped food. Having a complex route through multiple doors or walkways can lead to dropping food which may mean a table has to wait for the dish to be cooked fresh. Not only will this cause tension in the kitchen, but your customers will not be as happy.
Use fresh and local ingredients
Nothing creates a sense of community more than using local ingredients on your menu. Not only does this help support local farmers and fishermen, but it is also a great selling point and will get people excited to try your food. You can usually use seasonal vegetables and optimally pair these with fresh meat, fish and dairy products.
A Cornish gastropub selling fresh hake, mussels and sea bass will truly bring out the quality of your food and cooking and it will also allow tourists and locals to really appreciate everything a small fishing town has to offer.
A West Country pub selling Wiltshire Ham and Cheddar cheese ploughmans will always go down a treat. See what your local farmers have to offer and order directly through them. Not only will this save you money by cutting out the middleman, but it also helps to make your gastropub more sustainable.
Use a high-quality linen supplier
When preparing your tables for dinner service, think about what your guests will really enjoy, a paper napkin or a quality linen serviette. Investing in table linens will ensure your gastropub stands out above others. You can offer a finer dining service while sticking to your roots as a pub. Using linen serviettes still allows you to have a relaxing and down-to-earth atmosphere and lets your guests enjoy quality linen.
This goes throughout your gastropub. Make sure your waiting staff have clean quality tea towels and glass cloths to wipe plates, glasses and keep the bar clean. And your kitchen staff should also look the part. Hygiene is imperative in every aspect of your gastropub, so ensure your kitchen uniform is fresh and clean so that your guests can see their food is being handled by professionals.
Johnsons Stalbridge Linen Service: Restaurant Linen Hire for Your Gastropub
If you’re in need of quality linen for your gastropub, Johnsons Stalbridge Linen Service is here to help. We can provide you with the essential items to keep your gastropub ticking round the clock. From kitchen uniforms to tea towels and table linens, we’ve got it.
Our laundry service makes your job much easier, by cleaning and delivering the items straight to you. You’ll never have to spend precious time cleaning your restaurant linen and your gastropub will look great. To learn more, get in touch today.