Side dishes and starters can boost pub profits, says McCain report

11 April 2011 by
Side dishes and starters can boost pub profits, says McCain report

Beleagured publicans are losing out on a potential £400m windfall by neglecting side dishes and starters, claims a new report by McCain Foods](

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McCain's research found that appetisers are often overlooked, or perceived as low-quality, unchanging and boring. Yet it argues that taking simple steps to extend the food offering to sides and starters - which can also be positioned as snacks and sharing platters - can add up to £8,000 to the bottom line.

Along with contemporary recipes, theatre and presentation, McCain views chips - the most common side dish - as a critical element. Research shows that - two-thirds of consumers would not return to an establishment that sold bad chips.

McCain marketing director Mike Driver added that frozen products offered a "low risk" route to expanding the menu that involved limited wastage and little labour.

The group offers 14 different styles of chips to match different dishes - such as Thin Cut and Crinkle with kids' menus, Julienne with burgers and Southern Fries Lattice with sandwiches.

As a result of the research, it has launched a number of new sides and starters - including Sweet Potato Fries (which proved to be more mainstream than expected), Mozzarella Melters and Chilli Cheese Bites.

The report, Profit on a Plate, also found that food-led pubs were weathering the economic storm best. The sector was facing five closures a week compared with 30 among wet-led outlets.

For more details about the report, call 01723 584 141 or email [

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