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jake_crew

Red Lion Cropredy

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Can anyone nearby pop in and find out what they have planned for the Fairport Fringe 9-11 August.

Edited by jake_crew

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12 minutes ago, dmr said:

I expect the "Brassnose" will be heavin'

 

................Dave

 

And totally run out of ANYTHING to drink by day 2....?

 

I do find it odd the way pubs don't seem to plan or change anything for special events occurring around or in them. Same staff, same stock levels, completely overwhelmed and all totally predictable. I first noticed this tendency when we booked a Xmas banter at the Swan in the Rushes at Loughborough, telling them 50 peeps will be attending and most of them eating (IIRC). Kitchen ran out of food of any description by 7pm.

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22 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

And totally run out of ANYTHING to drink by day 2....?

 

I do find it odd the way pubs don't seem to plan or change anything for special events occurring around or in them. Same staff, same stock levels, completely overwhelmed and all totally predictable. I first noticed this tendency when we booked a Xmas banter at the Swan in the Rushes at Loughborough, telling them 50 peeps will be attending and most of them eating (IIRC). Kitchen ran out of food of any description by 7pm.

This hot weather, plus the football, has caught a lot of pubs out. We popped into the Stanley Arms at Anderton (not a favourite pub) and it was one lager only, not even a cider. At Middlewich festival we moored right outside the BigLock and he was restocking every morning and did not run out of anything, so it can be done.

My current favourite, the Salty Dog in Northwich was packed for the football, including a crowd in the street watching through the window, and they kept 4 real ales on in perfect condition.

 

The line up for Cropredy looks brilliant this year, we are tempted, but we are going up the Rochdale next week so think it would be a huge rush? and will the Oxford summit run dry????

...........Dave

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9 minutes ago, dmr said:

and will the Oxford summit run dry????

 

It was holding up quite well on my way back from Braunston. About 3" down I'd say.

 

But I'm sure the Cropredy traffic will give it a caning.

 

 

Edited by Mike the Boilerman
speeling

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We're on the summit at the moment, it's fine.

 

I'm less confident for my return, which won't be until after the festival, but I'm not changing my plans on the off chance it won't be. I will be very interested to hear how it's holding up once we get into August.

 

Our 23" ( I think) draft got us through without problem when it was well down last summer so hopefully it will be be ok this year. At the moment I'm more concerned about the Thames, planning to get there in 8 to 10 days and be on it for a month.

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6 minutes ago, Lily Rose said:

We're on the summit at the moment, it's fine.

 

I'm less confident for my return, which won't be until after the festival, but I'm not changing my plans on the off chance it won't be. I will be very interested to hear how it's holding up once we get into August.

 

Our 23" ( I think) draft got us through without problem when it was well down last summer so hopefully it will be be ok this year. At the moment I'm more concerned about the Thames, planning to get there in 8 to 10 days and be on it for a month.

Thames is absolutely fine, plenty of water pouring over the weirs today. Mapledurham lock is however closed due to " Progress " a new electric cable for the weirs/sluices having just been installed and  switched on and gone bang. Divers in the lock at present. Heyho plenty of beer on board :cheers:

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1 minute ago, mrsmelly said:

Thames is absolutely fine, plenty of water pouring over the weirs today. Mapledurham lock is however closed due to " Progress " a new electric cable for the weirs/sluices having just been installed and  switched on and gone bang. Divers in the lock at present. Heyho plenty of beer on board :cheers:

Good to hear Tim, thanks.

 

I've just pm'd Martyn on Nightwatch as we might cross paths today or tomorrow, depending when he leaves Cropredy.

 

I'll be in touch with you when we get nearer to the Thames. Are you going up to Lechlade? If so, when do you think you'll pass Abingdon or Oxford?

 

Sean

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1 minute ago, Lily Rose said:

Good to hear Tim, thanks.

 

I've just pm'd Martyn on Nightwatch as we might cross paths today or tomorrow, depending when he leaves Cropredy.

 

I'll be in touch with you when we get nearer to the Thames. Are you going up to Lechlade? If so, when do you think you'll pass Abingdon or Oxford?

 

Sean

Hi Sean

 

Yes going up to Lechlade probably Oxford in a couple of days? Not sure now as this lock stoppage might change things? Keep in touch :cheers:

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1 minute ago, mrsmelly said:

Hi Sean

 

Yes going up to Lechlade probably Oxford in a couple of days? Not sure now as this lock stoppage might change things? Keep in touch :cheers:

I will, but I fear it's too soon as we don't expect to reach the Dukes Cut for another 8 days or so.

 

Presumably you'll be going up the Oxford after that but that may be long before our return well as we're probably getting a one month licence and going down to Windsor.

  • Greenie 1

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1 hour ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

And totally run out of ANYTHING to drink by day 2....?

 

I do find it odd the way pubs don't seem to plan or change anything for special events occurring around or in them. Same staff, same stock levels, completely overwhelmed and all totally predictable. I first noticed this tendency when we booked a Xmas banter at the Swan in the Rushes at Loughborough, telling them 50 peeps will be attending and most of them eating (IIRC). Kitchen ran out of food of any description by 7pm.

A lot will depend on how much risk they are willing to take, and what stocks they can physically hold.

 

The risk is always that the expected custom won't come, and you end up with too much stock that you can't shift before it expires.

 

Stepdaughter runs a function venue, and there is something of a game, with clients overstating the number of people who will attend (because they know that if they tell her 150 there will be more staff on), only to have 80 people turn up, and she is left with beer that ends up very short shelf-life that she has to discount to move it.

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11 minutes ago, mayalld said:

A lot will depend on how much risk they are willing to take, and what stocks they can physically hold.

 

The risk is always that the expected custom won't come, and you end up with too much stock that you can't shift before it expires.

 

Stepdaughter runs a function venue, and there is something of a game, with clients overstating the number of people who will attend (because they know that if they tell her 150 there will be more staff on), only to have 80 people turn up, and she is left with beer that ends up very short shelf-life that she has to discount to move it.

 

 

I came to this conclusion myself too, but as a consumer attending an event is is seriously disappointing to get inadequate catering when the venue KNEW the event was taking place.

 

I suspect most pubs run on a wing and a prayer, rarely more than an ace away from folding. So someone telling them their pub will be stacked to the rafters is taken with some scepticism for the reasons you outline, but if it happens then selling out is a most welcome bonus. Stocking up with extra beer and food is a risk, but they ARE running a pub, and as others point out it CAN be done. 

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11 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

 

I came to this conclusion myself too, but as a consumer attending an event is is seriously disappointing to get inadequate catering when the venue KNEW the event was taking place.

 

I suspect most pubs run on a wing and a prayer, rarely more than an ace away from folding. So someone telling them their pub will be stacked to the rafters is taken with some scepticism for the reasons you outline, but if it happens then selling out is a most welcome bonus. Stocking up with extra beer and food is a risk, but they ARE running a pub, and as others point out it CAN be done. 

By and large, stocking and staffing for anything beyond double the normal custom is high risk.

 

In the food end of things, they can only bring in the food that they can store safely. If a pub normally serves 40 meals a day, it will have storage to suit. A day when you can sell a weeks worth of meals stretches freezer space!

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1 minute ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

SO those who know the pub trade seem to be telling us there is no point in warning a pub in advance 50 or 100 people are going to turn up and expect to buy beer and food, because they will do nothing to prepare. Yes?

What often happens is less people turn up or many decide not to eat and the rest  spend four hours sipping half of the cheapest beer, I absolutely know this from personal experience. A big problem for say a pub with a need for only say four staff normaly  is to find for one or two days an extra ten staff that no  what to do work wise in  that venue, agency staff are very varied in their competence and wether they are going to turn up and a heaving pub such as the Lion at Cropredy would be an easy  target cash wise for unscrupulous staff and way too easy to nick from the owner. There realy is much more to running a pub than most people recognise. Thats why I dont fit boilers :cheers:

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13 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

What often happens is less people turn up or many decide not to eat and the rest  spend four hours sipping half of the cheapest beer, I absolutely know this from personal experience. A big problem for say a pub with a need for only say four staff normaly  is to find for one or two days an extra ten staff that no  what to do work wise in  that venue, agency staff are very varied in their competence and wether they are going to turn up and a heaving pub such as the Lion at Cropredy would be an easy  target cash wise for unscrupulous staff and way too easy to nick from the owner. There realy is much more to running a pub than most people recognise. Thats why I dont fit boilers :cheers:

 

Yes this is the impression I'm gaining. I can see the reasons and I'm not condemning the publicans for doing what is best for them, but it IS annoying all the same to find (for example) the Brasenose run out of anything to drink by the evening of day two of Cropredy festival. I can't believe even l*ger in ally barrels goes off in a week and can't be kept for a while if over-ordered.

 

What would you recommend a group of say 30 or 50 people wanting a meeting with food and good beer to do about finding a venue, if pubs are unable to cater?

 

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34 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

SO those who know the pub trade seem to be telling us there is no point in warning a pub in advance 50 or 100 people are going to turn up and expect to buy beer and food, because they will do nothing to prepare. Yes?

People running pubs are running a business, and they will (if they are good business people) do what will bring them additional revenue without additional risk.

 

So, if you tell them that 50 people are going to turn up and eat, then the assumption will be that in fact no more than 30 will turn up, and that half of them won't eat, and half will drink very little.

 

They may bring in a bit of extra beer, and one extra member of staff, but nothing more than they are sure they can sell.

 

Some kegs can have remarkably short shelf life (3 weeks typically), and a pub may only have the barrel that is on and one change as typical stock. Increasing to 3 kegs of spares for a big sale that doesn't come off can leave you with a lot of beer approaching end of life.

 

Cider, on the other hand has a shelf-life of about 9 months!

 

 

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Hmmmm.... so perhaps offering to pay the pub in advance to buy in two extra barrels might work? 

 

I can imagine a landlord turning down that idea too however, as it would reveal the gross mark-up on a pint of beer and lead to a lot of moaning about profiteering by people with no concept of how big the overheads are running a business the size of a pub. 

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1 hour ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

Hmmmm.... so perhaps offering to pay the pub in advance to buy in two extra barrels might work? 

 

I can imagine a landlord turning down that idea too however, as it would reveal the gross mark-up on a pint of beer and lead to a lot of moaning about profiteering by people with no concept of how big the overheads are running a business the size of a pub. 

:-)

 

I can tell you what the gross markup is.

 

An 11 gallon barrel (88 pints) of John Smiths, Fosters or Carling costs £102 plus VAT.

 

Waste on a typical keg is around 10%, so on average there are 80 saleable pints in a keg

 

Assuming that a pub sells at £3.20 a pint (including VAT), the net income from that keg is £213, a gross markup for the publican of £111

 

Now deduct;

Rates

Utilities

Wages

....

....

 

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And for many Pubco pubs the price of an 88pt keg is a lot  more than £102 because the pubco has a supply agreement in the lease and hikes the price to a captive publican.

N

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4 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

And totally run out of ANYTHING to drink by day 2....?

 

 

This can't have been in recent years. The Braze has been very well organised at recent festivals: pay at the door (for a token I think), one-way traffic through the pub, so no money handled at the bar as customers just hand over their token and receive a drink in exchange. Also they have set up an outside bar selling local ales (from "Nobby's Brewery" or some such). 

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1 hour ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Yes this is the impression I'm gaining. I can see the reasons and I'm not condemning the publicans for doing what is best for them, but it IS annoying all the same to find (for example) the Brasenose run out of anything to drink by the evening of day two of Cropredy festival. I can't believe even l*ger in ally barrels goes off in a week and can't be kept for a while if over-ordered.

 

What would you recommend a group of say 30 or 50 people wanting a meeting with food and good beer to do about finding a venue, if pubs are unable to cater?

 

As for instance Cropredy is a well known phenominem it is a little easier to cope with. However if you take a typical small village pub and take out the high days such as bank holidays and occasional events its never more than about 20 days a year leaving 345 days of ( normality ) It often depends on who for instance the group of people are coming back to your fifty people. Sometimes knowing they would turn up it was no problem on other occasions I would charge a deposit big enough to cover my outlay. When I did B and b at Great Tew we were busy most days and full six months ahead for Friday and Saturday so my booking policy was payment in full on booking with no money back if cancelled. I learnt this quickly when after a few occasions people didn't turn up having booked a choice of venues then decided to go elsewhere. I wasn't an ogre but some people extract the urine. The trouble with running a pub is that most people use them so think they would be amazing at running one :banghead: Its like fitting a boiler.........you just screw it to the wall and a bit of gas pipe and water and some electric string what could possibly go wrong :ninja:

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16 minutes ago, mayalld said:

Assuming that a pub sells at £3.20 a pint (including VAT), the net income from that keg is £213, a gross markup for the publican of £111

 

Now deduct;

Rates

Utilities

Wages

 

Thanks Dave. I'm surprised at how little profit there is in selling the beer. 

 

What might the Business Rates be on a pub like the Red Lion? I'd guess perhaps £20k a year. Utilities say £10k a year. Wages £50k a year. Everything else say £30k a year. Am I even warm?

 

Mind you the publican gets accommodation thrown in with that lot so perhaps a pub turning over £250k with accounts that show a small net profit if £20k not SUCH a bad deal as it first appears.

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3 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Thanks Dave. I'm surprised at how little profit there is in selling the beer. 

 

 

I remember hearing, years ago, that although it's the beer which attracted people into a pub, it was sales of soft drinks and snacks which provided much of the profit. I don't know if that is still the case.

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