Star Pubs & Bars is investing £250,000 to enable 90 Just Add Talent managed operator pubs to continue their Eat Out To Help Out offer to customers extending the food discount initiative throughout September.
The move is designed to help operators build on the growth in food sales, which went from 14% to over 30% of pub turnover during the Eat Out To Help Out initiative, and to encourage families to eat at their local JAT pub, which increased significantly.
Four new premium mains dishes are being added to the menu to meet the trend towards premiumisation, which the Eat Out To Help Out initiative fuelled. There will be no cap on individual expenditure with customers able to use the scheme as often as they like.
The JAT scheme is being promoted on social media and via in-pub point of sale, which Star Pubs & Bars is providing.
Says Beki Davies: “The dishes we sold during the Eat Out To Help Out initiative reflect the change in profile of customers and in their desire to trade up, which wasn’t immediate but continued to grow over three weeks. For the first time ever our children’s menu and desserts made our top 10 best sellers. We sold 680 rump steaks in the first week compared to 1,800 last week.
“Whilst we expected to see a rise in food sales Monday-Wednesday, we actually saw a week on week increase in Thursday – Sunday total sales. We also sold more starters and desserts indicating an increase in dwell time, and more premium lagers like Heineken Served Extra Cold and Birra Moretti. Customers are changing their behaviour, coming out, more often and increasing their spend per head.”
The EOTHO scheme saw turnover across the JAT estate increase by 43% since the pubs reopened post lockdown. JAT pubs were able to capitalise on the increase in demand due to the introduction of a simpler menu with less dishes which minimised the number of staff needed in the kitchen, so they could ensure that their kitchens were operating in a C19 safe way whilst still consistently producing quality food.
September will also see JAT pubs launch their Christmas menus, further extending the halo effect of the EOTHO scheme. The new Christmas menus are designed on the back of customer and operator feedback regarding 2019 menus and offer compelling price points and the flexibility consumers want.
Vicki Gaffey licensee of The Duck Inn in Redditch said: “The Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been a real boost for our business, so it’s great news that Star Pubs & Bars is funding the 50% discount during September as it will make a real difference to footfall and help further growth in food sales.”
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