Stephanie Corcoran has been running The Bell and Bear in Rowley Regis, along with a staff of 18, for the past 8 years. Billed by Stephanie and known to its locals as 'a country pub in the town', The Bell and Bear attracts a variety of customers, providing a traditional and homely venue for people of all ages.
Considering the challenges facing the industry today, Stephanie ensures The Bell and Bear stays one step ahead of the competition. Battling the dreaded credit crunch, she is determined to keep customers coming through the door, constantly thinking of new ideas to keep punters interested and regulars impressed. The food offering at the Bell and Bear reflects perfectly the traditional feel of the pub and its comfortable atmosphere. However, with many dishes being homemade, Stephanie finds her staff costs are high, taking a toll on already tight margins, and so was keen to trial the Sweet Trolley menu.
Stephanie explains, "I was in need of refreshing my desserts menu, so the opportunity to try something new which we haven't really offered before seemed perfect."
Stephanie trialled the menu featuring mouth-watering profit making products such as Choc Mini Donuts, Mini Sugared Donuts, and Large Cinnamon Donuts for two weeks, replacing her previous dessert offering. The new menu was a great success, proving quick and easy to prepare whilst delivering outstanding quality results; "The customers particularly liked the idea of sharing desserts, as people are often too full to have a whole pudding to themselves. The bite sized donuts are perfect to liven up a range of popular puddings and the lemon and strawberry mini varieties were a huge hit." Also on offer was a fantastic deal, offering a delicious Mini Lemon*, Choc Mini or Mini Sugared Donut free with any hot drink. "The preparation and presentation of the products was extremely easy, cutting staff time in the kitchen, and dishes such as the sundaes came out looking great, helping to tempt other customers to give them a try. With summer round the corner, customers are looking for a lighter treat, making the Sweet Trolley menu ideal."
The Sweet Trolley menu offers great profit making potential, see below for an example profit breakdown for the Donut Platter for four:
• 1 Large Sugared Donut £0.38
• 1 Cinnamon Donut £0.38
• 4 Mini Lemon Donuts £0.72
• 4 Choc Mini Donuts £0.60
• 4 Mini Sugared Donuts £0.56
• Raspberry coulis £0.30
• Fresh berries £0.30
• Sauce £0.10
Total Cost: £3.34
Menu Price: £7.95
Potential Profit: £4.61
*The new mini lemon and mini strawberry donuts Stephanie trialled will be available from wholesalers later in the year.
"The Sweet Trolley menu is great because it offers something different. Donuts are a popular product, everyone loves them, and they are so quick and easy to prepare. The dishes on the menu offer something new and exciting, and really appealed to the customers."
Stephanie's Top Tips for maximising a desserts menu:
- Make sure the desserts offering is easy to operate
- Ensure the products you use are cost effective
- Encourage staff to push the menu, and promote it with eye catching POS