Decisions about Greene King’s kitchen and catering offering are now being taken by a single department following its acquisition of the Spirit Pub Company.
The Suffolk-based pub giant paid £774m to take over the business and create a 3,000-unit strong pub empire last year, and it has spent the last 12 months integrating all aspects of the business.
That includes its food development team, which it has finally confirmed is now fully integrated and being led by Kevin Harper, who came across from Spirit. Greene King’s catering equipment activities were previously overseen by David George, who recently left the company to join the Pub People Company in a similar capacity.
Harper said the first fruits of the combined entity would be seen later this year when its winter menus are released. The menus currently in service for the spring and summer were developed when the group had two teams, albeit that they did work jointly.
“Since we acquired Spirit in June 2015, the business has been working through a period of integration, with an aim of bringing together the best ways of working from both companies and the food development team is no exception,” he said.”
“After having two teams – the Greene King and ex-Spirit teams – successfully sharing ideas and knowledge through the development of our spring/summer menus we now have one completely combined unit as we start to look forward to developing the Christmas and autumn/winter menus.”
Harper also commented on the set-up of the unified group, saying: “We have a team of food development and product innovation managers, who are predominantly based in Sunrise House in Burton, which is where our development kitchen is located.”
Harper added that the integrated team would use its combined knowledge to provide better products with greater quality, which its pub kitchen team would then seek to deliver with the consistency that customers expect.