Langton in the real world: Food-Led Pub
Langton sent its amateur restaurant testers to analyse the performance of a large food led, managed pub on a retail park, owned by one of the big listed pub companies. Observations are set out below:
Menu: Four of Langton’s representatives were in attendance, with ages ranging from 9 to somewhat older than that. The lack of a children’s menu was noted by one of our analysts, though said analyst’s contribution ended soon thereafter, after beginning a game of TempleRun on her mother’s phone.
The pub offered both carvery and menu meals, with menu prices around £8 for a meal, and £6-£8.35 for a carvery. We noted that there would be a difference in timing if some of us ordered carvery and others ordered off the menu, so we all got menu items.
Crowd: The pub was very busy for a Wednesday lunchtime, with several families in there for a pub meal over the half term holiday, as well as an older, and probably more regular, crowd. The unit was clean and well-maintained, if a little impersonal.
Ordering: When ordering the food we encountered a bit of dilemma as it was unclear whether we should be joining a queue which had formed by one of the tills, or whether we should just shoulder our way to the bar.
We shouldered our way to the bar, only to crumple under the half a dozen glares from the elderly couples and young mothers in the queue. A lady in the queue politely, but firmly, told us that this was the queue to order food. We were therefore pretty unhappy to later see people who pushed to the bar further down getting served before us, and have concluded that the staff could have made it clearer how to order.
Quality: The food itself wasn’t bad but wasn’t great either. Portions not particularly generous with oven chips which were fairly bland and re-boiled peas. The mains were decent quality, but we felt we’d been overcharged.
We were a little underwhelmed overall, the service was fine and the food wasn’t bad, but we didn’t go out to a pub for oven chips, especially for more than £8 each in Yorkshire. It’s pretty bad to leave customers unsure of how to order, so we’d expect an area manager to sort that out fairly quickly.
This pub was owned by one of the bigger listed pub companies, and serves as evidence that new entrants, who can more easily address the shortfalls of a local pub’s offer, can and will outperform an incumbent if given half a chance.