This year more than ever the dishes you include and how you market the menu is key as you look to attract customers over the coming months. In the AUTUMN EDITION of the Inapub magazine we look at ten food retro classics. In that list we have the prawn cocktail. Matt Smith, owner of The SORRELL HORSE in Barham, Suffolk, says: “We have always had it on our menu but sales of it have certainly grown recently. We put this down to people not being able to get it in many other places. Our best sellers are always classics such as steak and ale pie and stew and dumplings. “Our prawn cocktail recipe is a classic and hasn’t changed. It’s prawns in Marie Rose sauce, with lettuce, lemon, cucumber and brown bread and butter.”
Opinions are mixed about how customers will react to financial pressures over the winter. For example 2 in 3 UK adults said that despite the cost of living crisis, they would find it difficult to stop eating and drinking out* and one of the legacies of the pandemic is that social occasions are highly valued ** What is sure, is that competition will continue to increase and for many pubs that means a focus on what they do best or what customers want to see on the menu. Always top of the list is fish and chips and Sunday roast. Fish and chips once again crowned as the nation’s favourite pub meal in CGA’s Food Insights 2022 report.
In our Famous for Sunday Roast feature in the AUTUMN EDITION of the magazine we caught up with Chef owner James Rogers at The EIGHT BELLS near Hawkhurst. James says “To keep customers coming back for your roasts, consistency is vital”, James also adds “The core product remains the same but it’s bringing in the garnish changes with the season. I would say you should never change too much too quickly when it comes to roasts. When I’m cooking 10 or 12 joints, they need to be as good as they were last week and that won’t happen if you are constantly changing your butcher.”
*CGA by Nielson IQ, Trading Index, quarter ending 23/04/22
**BIDFOOD 2023 Food and Drink Trends Report