Pub chain to spend £20m equipping and upgrading kitchens

Cooking suite

Heineken is set to spend a further £20m improving its Star Pubs & Bars estate during 2016, with a large chunk of the investment going towards modifying its kitchens, it revealed this morning.

Nearly 30% of Star Pubs & Bars’ 1,050 estate will benefit from the investment fund, which comes as it attempts to drive up food sales among licensees with focused kitchen programmes.

Heineken said that more than half of the £20m investment will be spent on 78 major refurbishments that it has planned, with an average outlay of £170,000.

Star’s major pub refurbishments will focus on ensuring that its licensees can really improve their food offer, with new kitchens and more flexible areas within pubs that can be used for private dining areas and gatherings, including meetings and parties, or to provide extra covers during peak trading.

These investments will help deliver the company’s ambition that 50% of sales from Star pubs will come from food by 2020.

Lawson Mountstevens, managing director of Star Pubs & Bars, said: “In the last three years we have invested £58m to safeguard the great British pub. We work in partnership with our licensees to improve their pubs for the consumers they serve and help them grow their sales. Great community pubs need to adapt to changing consumer needs and we’re investing to ensure Star licensees can do just that.”

Last week we revealed how the chain has invested £75,000 in independent chef consultancy support to help its pubs make more money from their kitchens.

It provided specialist support to 36 pubs last year and, following the success of that programme, is now rolling it out to a further 100 licensees this year. The support, which will be delivered by independent chef consultancy firm, Food Development Services, will be focused on driving food sales and will be tailored to each pub’s needs.

It will assist licensees with every kind of food business from those with fledgling offers looking to expand to those who have built up large, established food operations.

Training chefs will spend at least two days working with licensees and their kitchen teams at each participating pub.

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