Case Study: The Gate
No chef? No problem....!
The Gate, like so many hospitality businesses was set to reopen under new management following the Covid lockdown in 2021, but with no permanent head chef it was proving a real challenge.
Simon met with Cassie Davison, MD at The Gate during lockdown and knew he had the solutions to address their immediate issues and set strong foundations for the future.
"meeting Simon has proved beneficial to me and my business, saving me masses of time, helping me develop and roll out a menu I am really proud to serve my customers and a 75% food margin. I now have a highly proactive, focused and knowledgeable business partner in Profit Hound." - Cassie's view on the partnership
The Gate Hangs Well is a lovely community focussed, riverside country pub in Syston, Leicestershire.
Along with the pub The Gate features a private event space for 100+ called The Boathouse with river facing decking, a 300-cover garden and outdoor festival style event spaces as well as a covered and heated dining courtyard and outdoor kitchen.
The Gate is part of the Everards portfolio and operated by Cassie Davison and her family who took charge in March 2021.
Food was always going to be key to The Gate’s success with the intention to reflect the pubs community focus, buying locally wherever possible and delivering real value as well as sustainable profitability.
It became very clear that chef recruitment was going to be a real challenge before an Easter reopening and like many operators Cassie resorted to agency chefs which was both costly and limited the scope for food development from what was typical fayre and margins.
The last straw was the prospect of facing double time on a Bank Holiday Monday which would eat into already tight margins, something needed to change…….!!
"Following an initial meeting with Simon it was clear he knew his subject and could really add valuable support and help us get the food offering right at The Gate and I opted for the Full Profit Package."
So what happened next?
Cassie and Simon discussed the 4 P’s of Price, Product, Promotion, and Place and agreed the menu needed to deliver quality, consistency, and profitability with at the time a relatively limited kitchen team.
The intention was to use local suppliers where possible, focus on provenance and include plenty of Vegan choice.
The menu had to work hard, and we agreed a framework of Light Bites & Starters, All Day Toasties, Burgers, Pizza, Chips and Pies, solid pub fayre, executed to perfection.
With no “Nominated Suppliers” Profit Hound gives ultimate client flexibility. This led us to retain local butcher Gamble & Hollis of Syston and extend their range to include their award-winning handmade pies.
Simon’s knowledge of the UK wholesale market led to an introduction to PizzaSi and an onsite demonstration where the quality, provenance, ease of preparation and cooking time of 3 minutes blow Cassie away.
Simon also introduced a local produce supplier called AM Baileys to improve quality including proper and cut fresh chips and deliver a 30% saving!
Menu Costings & Photography
Part of the solution would be to train staff on dish specifications, so Simon worked with Cassie to photograph dishes and produce detailed specifications including product codes, method of production, cooking and service to ensure consistency.
Lastly a 4-week sales mix was reviewed for menu engineering opportunities with dish and tariff amends agreed to improve and consolidate profitability.
Bespoke Order Sheets
A fully priced order guide was developed and maintained in line with supplier pricing updates to optimise cost savings through best price purchasing again to ensure product consistency and customer satisfaction.
Flash Food Report & Ongoing Support
A chef focussed report tracking spend and revenue was introduced to measure profitability. Purchasing is regularly reviewed by Profit Hound for supplier overcharges, adherence to buying lists, and new opportunities.
Market reports, food trends and general market intelligence are all part of the Profit Hound service.
"The processes that Profit Hound have applied gives The Gate a strong foundation on which to build with confidence, we have improved quality, driven sales and exceeded my profit expectations and I would not hesitate in recommending Simon to any hospitality business.”
- Cassie, Owner, The Gate Hangs Well