Chris Windle: Food & supplies service
Chris Windle operates several big food pubs in the Yorkshire area. He was one of our first Partners to use the Food & Supplies Service and, after 5 years, he has the inside information on how to make best use of the service. In fact, his latest tenancy with us is going straight onto our full menu from day one.
Having spent 40 years in the hospitality industry, Chris Windle knows what it takes to make money. Many of his businesses are very reliant on food, and he uses our service in most of his pubs.
‘I want to keep my pubs running as efficiently as possible, so I can concentrate on delivering the bestexperience to customers’ says Chris. ‘The Droppingwell in Rotherham is a large venue with 142 covers, we employ 11 people full time and five part time in our kitchen. I try to ensure that every person dining with us has a great experience and that, no matter who produces the dishes, they are a consistently high standard every time.’
‘That’s where the Food & Supplies Service comes into its own. We use the ‘create your own’ option, choosing dishes from Greene King’s huge range throughout their managed estate. Using what we want suits us because the Droppingwell has a reputation for providing something a little different. However, I’m just about to take on a new tenancy and we’ll be using the full service from day one to give us a flying start. We’re taking the pub from Greene King’s managed division which means the full service will fit perfectly.’
INVESTING IN OUR BUSINESS
‘Over the years I have worked in pubs, I have learned that you have to keep things fresh for customers. The Food & Supplies Service helps by providing access to great dishes that are thought through by home economists and trendspotters who know what’s going to be a great seller. Yes, we could do it ourselves but we may not get things right and it’s easy to make expensive mistakes.’
‘We’re about to re-open The Droppingwell after refurbishment. When customers saw us starting work, they were surprised and thought we didn’t need to do it. That’s the point though, we take pride in our business and customers can see that we care.’
‘As a group of five pubs, we have greater purchasing power than most individual operators and, of course, it’s always possible to buy cheaper if you try hard enough. But the fact that we have stuck with the Food & Supplies Service since launch is testament to Greene King’s buying power. With Brexit just around the corner, it’s nice to know that our prices are fixed for a menu cycle.’
IT JUST MADE SENSE
‘When the service first started, we were about to review our menu – it always takes time and you are never quite sure whether a dish is going to sell well. I heard about the Food & Supplies Service and it made sense from the start. Managed pubs know what they are doing when it comes to food. Every portion is carefully calculated and the margins are pretty much guaranteed beforehand.‘
GIVE US SOME TIPS
‘Most of my Managers order online and I’d recommend that you take some time to set up your own Order Pads as it makes re-ordering much faster.’
‘All of our pubs are quite large, which means that we have to cater for a lot of covers. At the Droppingwell we have plenty of storage space, but you need to have enough room to store between deliveries. This applies to freezer space too.’
‘I’m looking forward to taking on my new pub. Going full service will mean that my team is trained and ready to start right away – I think that would be really handy for anybody just moving in to a new pub or reopening after refurbishment.’