Is how Mark Holden FBII, owner of Inn Cornwall and three pubs, is positioning his business going forward.
Diversification becomes a long-term strategy for Inn Cornwall
A Brilliant Food Service Company, Not Just A Pub Operator!
Holden has opted to pivot his operation even further as pubs begin to reopen, as he seeks to protect his business for the long-term against the worse case scenerio, which could see only 33% of trade return.
“We’ve been powering through lockdown with delivery and takeaway services. We have adapted our offering, everything from delivering frozen pasties to bulk buying takeaway containers for resale,” said Holden.
He explained that his main objective hasn’t been to “make a killing over this time”, but to turn over enough to pay his staff, whom he didn’t furlough, buy stock and put a new business model in place to ensure their future survival and long-term success.
Having created a call centre at his Threemilestone site, he completely overhauled the ICRTouch cloud-based till system, which allowed orders to be placed centrally and sent to any kitchen. The call centre also offers a friendly voice, keeping the all-important human-to-human contact.
Using the RouteMagic delivery system and app, prep and planning for deliveries is made easier, as it helps match orders to the nearest pub.
“Our mission and vision is about providing quality products at great prices that people will love. We have adapted our service and style to be as relevant to home or in the pubs.
“Our team has a commitment to improve all aspects of our business, with the passion to support each other and provide a safe, friendly service to our guests – whether that’s over the phone, serving at the tables in our pubs or delivery to people in their homes.” He continued: “To provide our staff with the hours they need, the future is about adapting. All of our premises were over the £51,000 rate deferment level, so we have been haemorrhaging costs. We have had to combat this. “In my head, this has cost us £100k so it has been important to sustain our trade. It’s a gamble and a high-risk strategy, but I’m hoping we’ll be able to provide new revenue streams,” he said.
Holden added that his biggest week (to early June) operated at just 36% of normal weekly turnover. “Generally we have been operating between 23-25% of normal turnover, which had been £70-75,000 a week across three venues. We’re currently doing £16-17,000 a week but I believe we have the potential to up that to £26,000, perhaps even higher with more deliveries and takeaways.”
With Holden himself forced to isolate, as he suffers from sarcoidosis, colleague Justin Barnett FBII has been on the ground dealing with operations.
Creative Cloud, Dropbox, etc, have become an essential part of the business, he said, adding Vimeo Pro was being used to collate training.