Pub and restaurant group Orchid has launched the first of its new style of carvery pubs.
Orchid said the concept differed because at a time when some pub companies were removing walls to create large, open plan pubs, it was putting in glass walls to ensure that the pubs worked for different groups of people at the same time.
Nine pubs have been refreshed so far, with plans to revamp 50 over the next two years. Spend is prioritised by front of house features such as booth seating, feature walls, in-built seat TVs and prominent carvery decks. Investment costs range from £50,000 to £300,000.
"Instead, we're actually breaking down barriers by putting up special glass walls in our new style carvery pubs.
"These walls allow us to create spaces that are connected but retain their separate characters, meaning all sorts of customers can enjoy the same quality food and drink without one single group dominating the feel of the pub."
One of the first pubs to be redesigned in the new style, the Young Pretender in Kings Langley, has already benefited from a more homely feel according to the general manager, Jenny Searle. It has seen a year-on-year sales increase by 28% as it now attracts a wider demographic.
"Previously we had a single large space that was more like an extended bar, now we have a dedicated dining space that is personalised and homely. Customers tell us it feels much more warm, comfy and inviting.
"The glass partitions have allowed us to create areas for different groups, so friends can come and enjoy a pint while watching the football but families and couples have their own space for enjoying a quiet meal," she said.
The Ainsworth Arms in Manchester is another of the new style carveries and general manager Celia Heaton said customers were pleased with the changes. The pub has seen a 62% increase in like-for-like sales over last year.
"The interior is now much brighter and fresher with a colour palette of pale blues and greys," she explained. "It is more like an inviting, friendly living room.
"It feels light and summery and our customers are really loving the new look. The food offer remains the same high quality with a focus on British Red Tractor assured meat which always keeps people coming back for more."
Other pubs to have been redesigned according to the updated format include:
White Swan, Southampton
The Pickhurst, West Wickham
The Waterside, St Helens
The Five Ways, Ormskirk
The Boddington Arms, Wilmslow
Next large scale investments will be a £300,000 reurbishment of the Moby Dick in Romford, Essex and the Pentre Gwilym in Wales (converted from Free House Dining).
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