Young’s challenges chefs to put their own style on pub menus

Old Ship, Young's

Young’s chefs will continue to be “challenged” to put their own stamp on menus despite the cost pressures inflicted upon the pub chain’s kitchens.

Like most operators in the sector, Young’s is facing huge pressure on food costs but chief executive Patrick Dardis said it was working hard with local suppliers to source the finest quality ingredient.

This focus has meant it’s been able to stay true to its philosophy of giving its kitchen teams the freedom to be creative.

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“Our highly talented and skilled kitchen teams are always learning through the power of our ‘Vegucation’ programme, where we aim to bring unusual and lesser known ingredients to the fore each month, challenging chefs to use and interpret ingredients in their own style on their respective menus to ensure that our dishes remain authentic, fresh, natural and seasonal,” he said.

Mr Dardis revealed that food now represents 30% of the revenue mix for Young’s managed houses estate, which comprises 177 pubs, including 23 hotels.

Food sales in that part of its business increased by 5.3% in total and 4.1% on a like-for-like basis for the six months to 2 October.

“The pub is still the go-to place in Britain for drinking and eating out and, while much has been written about the challenges facing the pub industry, we believe that providing customers with well-invested pubs, a quality offer and outstanding customer service is key to our success,” added Mr Dardis.

ROUNDTABLE DEBATE: How are pub kitchens changing as food sales gather momentum?

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