Service with a smile 21 February 2020 Tom Kemble of the Pass at South Lodge cooks up a pumpkin masterclass and shares why it’s important for chefs to meet their customers
In this week's issue...Service with a smile Tom Kemble of the Pass at South Lodge cooks up a pumpkin masterclass and shares why it’s important for chefs to meet their customers
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The Caterer

Your Shout: Neil Morgan, Christie & Co

08 July 2004
Your Shout: Neil Morgan, Christie & Co

Not so long ago, chefs who sought Michelin stars or other awards for the high standard of their cuisine were only to be found in fine-dining restaurants. These days, more

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are establishing themselves in gastropubs, as restaurateurs and chefs acquire pubs to convert into quality bar-restaurants. In fact, such is their increasing popularity that it would not be surprising to see the formation of the first gastropub chain. The development of the gastropub has been driven by the growth in eating out, the increasing trend towards casual dining, and the fact that food is becoming king in the pub trade. This is because the profit margins are much greater, compared with wet sales, particularly in tied-lease pubs. Customers are increasingly being attracted to these pubs because of the quality food, at prices which are generally lower than those in a restaurant thanks to lower overheads and staff costs. For many, it represents the chance to eat a quality meal while still enjoying traditional pub hospitality. Pubs offer purchasers distinct advantages over city or town-centre restaurants. There tends to be less competition, there are usually good car parking facilities, and the size of the grounds often provides scope and space to extend the trading areas. In addition, a pub's informal and less "starchy" atmosphere and its "character" architectural features are ideally suited to casual dining. Finally, there is usually good-sized owner's or staff accommodation. Christie & Co is receiving more and more enquiries from qualified chefs and restaurateurs whose forays into the pub market often prove the salvation of many rural pubs. The market for leases, which can be more cheaply acquired than freeholds, is particularly benefiting from this trend, helping to increase significantly the value of such properties.
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