PRESS RELEASES

Drinkaware at Work: supporting operators to ‘look after their own’

November 2017

During Alcohol Awareness Week (13 – 19 November), alcohol education charity Drinkaware is encouraging hospitality operators to ‘look after their own’ as well as their customers, with help available from the charity’s Drinkaware at Work programme.

Every year in the UK, 17 million alcohol-related sick days are taken, costing the economy £7.3 billion. Drinkaware at Work helps companies to support the health and wellbeing of their employees, through informative, engaging training and e-learning about alcohol. The programme is flexible and can be tailored to suit companies of all sizes, and to slot into existing staff wellbeing schemes.

Drinkaware Chief Executive Elaine Hindal said: “Responsible operators are doing great work in making their pubs and bars places where customers are able to moderate their drinking, by providing a range of soft drinks and low/no alcohol beers and wine and by using Drinkaware resources such as  the Drinkaware Crew and the Alcohol Vulnerability Awareness e-learning programme.

“It’s important to recognise that staff members at all levels could be drinking in ways that may be harmful, and to offer them appropriate support.  We know the majority of operators take the wellbeing of their staff seriously, and so are confident of a good uptake for Drinkaware at Work from the industry.  The programme has been designed to allow flexible use, so whatever the size of their company and whatever their training needs, Drinkaware at Work can be adapted to suit.”

Liz Gaffer, Director of Marketing & Charity Services at the Licensed Trade Charity said: “Our research shows that people working in pubs and bars are more likely to be affected by alcohol related health problems than the general population, and we provide support through our website and helpline specifically for this area.

“The Drinkaware at Work programme provides another resource that operators can use to identify and help staff who might have a problem and we would encourage all employers to look at how they might use this programme.”

During Alcohol Awareness Week (13 – 19 November), alcohol education charity Drinkaware is encouraging hospitality operators to ‘look after their own’ as well as their customers, with help available from the charity’s Drinkaware at Work programme.

Every year in the UK, 17 million alcohol-related sick days are taken, costing the economy £7.3 billion. Drinkaware at Work helps companies to support the health and wellbeing of their employees, through informative, engaging training and e-learning about alcohol. The programme is flexible and can be tailored to suit companies of all sizes, and to slot into existing staff wellbeing schemes.

Drinkaware Chief Executive Elaine Hindal said: “Responsible operators are doing great work in making their pubs and bars places where customers are able to moderate their drinking, by providing a range of soft drinks and low/no alcohol beers and wine and by using Drinkaware resources such as  the Drinkaware Crew and the Alcohol Vulnerability Awareness e-learning programme.

“It’s important to recognise that staff members at all levels could be drinking in ways that may be harmful, and to offer them appropriate support.  We know the majority of operators take the wellbeing of their staff seriously, and so are confident of a good uptake for Drinkaware at Work from the industry.  The programme has been designed to allow flexible use, so whatever the size of their company and whatever their training needs, Drinkaware at Work can be adapted to suit.”

Liz Gaffer, Director of Marketing & Charity Services at the Licensed Trade Charity said: “Our research shows that people working in pubs and bars are more likely to be affected by alcohol related health problems than the general population, and we provide support through our website and helpline specifically for this area.

“The Drinkaware at Work programme provides another resource that operators can use to identify and help staff who might have a problem and we would encourage all employers to look at how they might use this programme.”

Drinkaware at Work offers:

  • ‘For the Facts’: an engaging and interactive session delivered by a Drinkaware specialist, ideal for groups of up to 40 people.
  • Train the Trainer: for companies with their own HR/Learning & Development/training team, Drinkaware can instruct and equip them to deliver For the Facts sessions
  • Open Programmes: workshops run by a Drinkaware specialist, offering either ‘For the Facts’ or ‘Train the Trainer’. Sessions are limited to 15 participants, making them ideal for SMEs
  • E-learning: a series of modules for employees to access in their own time, with quizzes and self-testing to reinforce the learning

For more information on Drinkaware at Work: daw@drinkaware.co.uk

Drinkaware at Work offers:

  • ‘For the Facts’: an engaging and interactive session delivered by a Drinkaware specialist, ideal for groups of up to 40 people.
  • Train the Trainer: for companies with their own HR/Learning & Development/training team, Drinkaware can instruct and equip them to deliver For the Facts sessions
  • Open Programmes: workshops run by a Drinkaware specialist, offering either ‘For the Facts’ or ‘Train the Trainer’. Sessions are limited to 15 participants, making them ideal for SMEs
  • E-learning: a series of modules for employees to access in their own time, with quizzes and self-testing to reinforce the learning

For more information on Drinkaware at Work: daw@drinkaware.co.uk

Brakspear adds app-eal to Pub Trails

November 2017

More pubs to offer circular walks

With the autumn walking season underway, Henley brewer and pub operator Brakspear has made its Pub Trails available as an app and published trails for a further 10 pubs. The circular walks, which start and finish at a pub, are now linked to a total of 19 pubs across Brakspear’s Oxfordshire and Berkshire heartland.

All Brakspear Pub Trails are available on ViewRanger, a free GPS app that pinpoints the user’s precise GPS location and overlays each route on detailed maps that can be used without phone signal. All the Pub Trails, created in partnership with the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE2) and Henley Town Council, are now available as an app.

Nineteen Brakspear pubs now have three Pub Trails linked to them, offering walkers a choice of distance and difficulty level. Response from the many walkers who have already enjoyed the existing trails has been positive and Brakspear is aiming to create Pub Trails for as many pubs in its estate as possible.

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said, “Many of our pubs are located in beautiful spots and our customers like to explore the surrounding countryside, particularly in autumn when the weather is generally perfect for a good walk followed by a warming pint or bite to eat.

“Launching the Pub Trails as an app extends their reach, particularly to younger walkers. This is a great example of new technology enhancing the experience of a centuries-old tradition of the British pub and country walking, and we’re delighted to be offering it to Brakspear customers through our partnership with ViewRanger.”

Brakspear has produced beer mats promoting the Pub Trail, with the app details, which are displayed in all pubs linked to a trail. In addition, ViewRanger is emailing details of how to download the app to its 750,000 users.

In addition to the app, Pub Trails can be downloaded from the dedicated website www.pub-trails.co.uk, and printed copies are available in the pubs, for a 50p donation to Marie Curie, Brakspear’s charity partner for the year.

Brakspear has donated money to TOE2 for every trail, which will be invested in improvements to the local footpath network, such as cutting hedges, replacing stiles with gates and improving signage. The new pubs to have Pub Trails linked to them are:

• Fox & Hounds, Christmas Common
• Cherry Tree, Stoke Row
• Red Lion, Blewbury
• Five Horseshoes, Maidensgrove
• Bull & Butcher, Turville
• Chequers, Watlington
• Fat Fox, Watlington
• Leathern Bottle, Lewknor
• Unicorn, Kingwood Common
• Reformation, Gallowstree Common

Pub Trails were launched at nine pubs earlier this year: Red Lion, Peppard Common; Flower Pot, Aston; Perch & Pike, South Stoke; Catherine Wheel, Goring-on-Thames; John Barleycorn, Goring-on-Thames; Rainbow, Middle Assendon; Maltsters Arms, Rotherfield Greys; Rising Sun Witheridge Hill; King William, Hailey. A Henley town centre walk takes in the Rainbow, Maltsters and Flower Pot, and the leaflet promoting it is available in 10 of the pubs with a Pub Trail.

Brakspear’s support for TOE2, and for other community initiatives such as the Club to Pub Swim and charities Marie Curie and Sue Ryder, earned them a Highly Commended placing in the British Beer & Pub Association’s Heart of the Community Award 2017, announced in October.

Hogs Back Brewery lets the Yule Hog loose for Christmas

Hogs Back Brewery is offering pubs and bars a Christmas bonus with the launch of Yule Hog, a new 3.8% ABV seasonal session ale.

The new cask ale joins established Hogs Back festive favourites Advent Ale and Mistletoe & Swine on the Surrey brewer’s calendar for December. At just 3.8% ABV, Yule Hog is lower strength than most Christmas beers, but still packs a powerful flavour punch. A red rye beer, Yule Hog has a malty flavour and smooth character, with spicy notes and a hoppy finish, making it the perfect easy-drinking festive ale.

Rupert Thompson, managing director of Hogs Back Brewery, said, “Both Advent Ale and Mistletoe & Swine are great examples of classic Christmas ales. However, there is definitely a gap in the market for a lower-ABV seasonal ale as part of the festive line-up of beers on the bar.

“We’ve seen a strong increase in the popularity of session ales as part of our seasonal calendar this year. For example Biker, our 3.4% ABV golden summer beer brewed to celebrate the Farnham Bike Ride, was a great success. With Yule Hog, we wanted to create a festive session beer with plenty of flavour, allowing Santa to enjoy a great pint and still steer his sleigh safely back to the North Pole.”

The seasonal cask ale range from Hogs Back Brewery includes three ales, all freely available to pubs and bars:

• Advent Ale is a ruby coloured, 4.4% ABV ale with a refreshing fruity nose, a sweet liquorice and roasted malt flavour and rich dark chocolate aftertaste. Ideal served with a slice of rich Christmas cake.

• Mistletoe & Swine, at 5.2%, is a full-bodied, deep amber ale with subtle hints of sultana, peppery ginger, warm cinnamon and orange zest. Made with a mulling recipe for a real Christmas taste and feel, it goes well with mince pies or a classic cheese board.

• Yule Hog is a 3.8% red rye beer. It has a malty flavour and smooth character, with spicy notes and a hoppy finish. Yule Hog is great served with a seasonal buffet including vol-au-vents, pigs in blankets and smoked salmon.

Hi-Spirits has Christmas wrapped up with new gift pack range

November 2017

Hi-Spirits is delivering Christmas cheer across the board this year with a new range of retail gift packs spotlighting leading brands from its portfolio.

Southern Comfort, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Fireball, and the King of Soho Gin are all included in the new range, designed to give consumers a broad choice of gifting options.

The range includes:

• Southern Comfort: A Gift Box featuring a 70cl bottle of Southern Comfort Original. With revamped branding positioning Southern Comfort as “The Spirit of New Orleans,” the box includes graphics showing the city, as well as the signature of creator M.W. Heron. RSP is £21.

• Buffalo Trace: A Gift Tube including a 70cl bottle of multiple award winning Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon, along with a branded hip flask, with an RSP of £25.

• Fireball: A 50cl bottle of cinnamon liqueur Fireball with one of eight collectible shot glasses attached to the bottle, with graphics featuring the brand logo and a letter. When all eight glasses are collected, they spell FIREBALL. RSP is £14.

• The King of Soho: A Gift Box featuring a 70cl bottle of premium London dry gin The King of Soho. The box include graphics celebrating Soho landmarks including the Windmill Theatre. RSP is £34.

Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “Spirits gift packs are a very important driver of sales for both multiple retailers and independents, as customers look for interesting gifting choices. We’ve developed a range from across our portfolio with the widest consumer appeal.”

The Gift Packs are available to retailers through a range of wholesalers. For more information, contact Hi-Spirits on 01932 252 100, email info@hi-spirits.com, or visit www.hi-spirits.com.

Minimise alcohol harms over festive period, urges Drinkaware

October 2017

As pubs and bars gear up for the festive season, alcohol education charity Drinkaware is urging operators to take steps to minimise the risk of alcohol related harms in their venues.
Drinkaware chief executive Elaine Hindal said, “Alcohol is part of the festive celebrations for many people and most will enjoy a drink or two responsibly, without causing any harm to themselves or others.

“However, the sheer number of customers visiting pubs, clubs and bars at this busy time of year inevitably means a raised likelihood of alcohol harms. Responsible operators will want to create an environment that both helps customers to moderate their alcohol consumption, and supports those customers who might become vulnerable as a result of drinking too much.
“Drinkaware is keen to help operators to achieve their goals around responsible alcohol retailing, and we’d encourage them to explore the resources we can offer which include downloadable posters and an e-learning course for staff.”

Drinkaware tips for reducing festive alcohol harms

• Stock a good selection of soft drinks for customers who choose not to drink alcohol. If customers have a choice of soft drinks, they are more likely to substitute them for an alcoholic drink once or twice during the evening, which will help to limit their overall alcohol consumption.

• Include no or low alcohol options on your drinks list. Drinks that are low in alcohol don’t have to be low on taste and many brewers, for example, have focused on the lower alcohol sector lately, producing flavourful beers with lower ABVs.

• Review your wine offer. Choosing house wines that sit at the lower end of the ABV scale will help many customers to reduce their alcohol intake. Similarly, offer wine in a 125ml serve and make customers aware this size is available.

• Serve food for the same hours as you serve drink, or as close as possible. Food slows the absorption of alcohol, so customers are less likely to become vulnerable as a result of drinking too much, too quickly.

• Make it very clear that you will not serve alcohol to customers who are drunk, or who are attempting to buy for a drunken friend, both of which are against the law. Drinkaware
and the British Beer & Pub Association have produced two posters to help communicate this to customers – ‘Can’t Get Served’ and ‘Mate’s in a State’, which can both be downloaded from the Drinkaware website.

Equipping staff to support vulnerable customers

Earlier this year, Drinkaware launched an Alcohol Vulnerability Awareness e-learning course to give customer-facing staff the skills and knowledge to identify alcohol-related vulnerability and support customers at risk from harm.

The course helps staff to understand what vulnerability means, how to spot customers who are vulnerable to harm after drinking, and gives practical advice on how to support them. It includes scenarios with different types of vulnerable customers to illustrate the appropriate responses to each, and asks questions after each of the three modules. Staff have to score 70% to pass the course.

The Alcohol Vulnerability Awareness course was created following the success of Drinkaware Crew – teams of specially trained staff in venues who support vulnerable customers, currently operating in 14 cities around the country. The course is ideal for smaller venues and costs £20 per team member. To find out more, contact: elearning@drinkaware.co.uk

Hindal added, “We are grateful to the many licensees who already support our goals, whether they’re displaying posters, training staff, or taking part in responsible drinks retailing schemes such as Best Bar None. The best pubs and bars are helping us all to change drinking habits for the better.”

Start planning for a tough start to 2018, warns Lynx Purchasing

October 2017

Operators focused on winning their share of customer spend in the run-up to Christmas must start giving serious thought to the bigger challenge of trading through the first few months of 2018, warns buying specialist Lynx Purchasing

The newly published Autumn/Winter 2017 edition of the Lynx Purchasing Market Forecast offers little comfort to hospitality and catering businesses hoping for a let-up in food & drink inflation. The ‘Lynxometer’, a measure of inflation based on a basket of regularly purchased products, rose to 8% in September compared to 6% in the Summer Market Forecast.
Rachel Dobson, managing director of Lynx Purchasing, says: “Hospitality and catering operators are now pretty much geared up to deal with higher prices from food and drink suppliers this Christmas – but very few have started to plan for the challenges of trading in the New Year.

“Most of the businesses we work with have priced their Christmas menus to take higher costs into account, in the knowledge that there is usually enough trade to go round at the busiest time of year.

“What’s more of a concern is that many of the operators we speak to aren’t giving enough thought to the challenges of the first few months of 2018, when it’s very clear that inflationary pressure is going to continue.”

The Market Forecast includes a warning that Christmas turkeys will be more expensive this year, with the National Farmers Union estimating that the overall costs for UK turkey producers are up by an average of 6.6%. Other product areas highlighted in the latest Market Forecast, based on insight from the range of suppliers Lynx works with, include:

• Dairy: Up 18% year-on-year. With dairy production low, operators can expect to pay higher prices for butter, cream, cheese, desserts and bakery products. Dairy producers are gearing up to increase supplies, but this is unlikely to have an impact on prices before next year, especially as high demand for dairy from Asia continues.

• Meat: Up 6% year-on-year. Beef production has also been affected by higher dairy costs, as some farmers reduce the amount of cattle they send to slaughter in order to focus on milk. Strong global demand for beef means supplies from the US and Brazil are also commanding high prices. Continued demand for pork from China and lower EU production is pushing up prices of menu staples such as bacon and sausages.

• Fruit & Veg: Up 5% year-on-year. With southern European producers looking to recoup losses from last year’s poor crop, imported vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, tomatoes, and salad leaves are expected to cost more. However, British-grown root vegetables will remain at their best in terms of price and availability into the first quarter of 2018.

Dobson adds: “Trade is always quiet in the New Year, but with all the indicators showing a further slowdown in growth and consumer spending under pressure, any business that doesn’t have its supplier costs firmly under control will struggle to compete for customers.

“With industry analysts forecasting that we’ll see increased use of targeted deals, vouchers and special offers in order to encourage customers to eat out in 2018, operators need to look at every area of their spending and be ready to change suppliers where necessary, in order to get the best in terms of both price and quality.”

The Autumn/Winter 2017 edition of the Lynx Purchasing Market Forecast can be downloaded FREE at Lynx Purchasing Market Forecast Autumn Winter-2017.
Lynx Purchasing works with more than 2,200 hospitality and catering operators to match them with the best suppliers and get the best possible prices on food and drink, as well as a whole range of essential products and services. Lynx’s buying experts help operators buy better and save time and money, year after year.

For more information on Lynx Purchasing, visit www.lynxpurchasing.co.uk email savings@lynxpurchasing.co.uk or call 01325 377 845.