Tuesday 18 December 2012

Take out food ...

A recent article in the Telegraph's food section enjoins us all to make gifts for our loved ones this Christmas and it got me to thinking that this would be a great little USP for food-led pubs that:

a) want to ensure kitchen wastage is kept to a minimum
b) want to give their customers a taste of the pub kitchen to take home
c) buy into the concepts of seasonality, provenance, sustainability and localism
d) create a buzz and help build customer retention
e) is an all year round promotion

"And how, pray, do you achieve that?" I hear you ask. Well as it happens, the Telegraph article, suggests one of the first things I was trusted to make in the first kitchen I worked in … Chicken Liver Parfait.

I've long since lost the original recipe that I must have followed but I can happily recommend the recipe in the article … although, many of you will have your own.

The fantastic thing about the idea is that you can batch cook a large amount of this perennial favourite and reserve some for "off-sale". The parfait jars (a la Kilner style) are readily available from Leparfait who're quite happy to discuss bulk-purchasing deals that will save you.

I'll leave the pricing and GP% you want to achieve to you … but the key thing to price in is the cost of the jar (and the "gussying-up" /labelling) … whilst this would ordinarily make the product too pricy you can mitigate against this by charging a deposit (equivalent to the cost of the jar), which, should the customer return it they can redeem. At this point you have the potential to offer a re-fill or maybe some other goody such as your home-made, locally sourced, chutney or caramelised red onion jam … get the drift?

The USP can be adapted throughout the year as you use your seasonal food menu to inspire your next potted offering …  

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