The percentage of Punch licensees serving food has risen from 67% to 75% at its 7,600-strong leased estate in the past year, the pub giant has revealed.
In a survey of licensees who have a food offer in place, 87% said that they believed this was important to retaining their customer base.
The catering team provide a free-of-charge advisory and consultancy service on any area of the food industry, according to Alan Todd, Punch's catering development manager.
"They will visit the licensee for an initial session to assess their specific needs. It might be a pub that has no capacity for a kitchen and so the catering executive will look at alternative ways for them to offer food, for example with a pizza oven," he said.
"Or it may be that a licensee has a food offer in place, but their margins aren't quite right. The catering executive will look at everything from getting better deals from suppliers, menu design and re-launches through to kitchen hygiene and identifying any relevant training programme."
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By Daniel Thomas
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