Walking into Papa’s Barn, in Ditton, Kent, new customers are greeted with a pleasant surprise. The fresh, modern building is home to more than your average local takeaway; it’s the location of one of the most highly commended independent fish restaurants in the UK.
Those familiar with the business will understand why. Highly selective sourcing and excellent marketing strategies have helped create a family restaurant that stands out from the competition; which has secured it a place as the 2014 National Fish and Chip Awards regional winner for the South East.
A viewing window shares a few of the restaurant’s secrets. Fresh produce is cooked to order in a kitchen shared by five busy chefs – and one of the largest rows of fryers in the country!
The focus on freshness means that customers tend to wait between seven and eight minutes for their food. While the pause is certainly worth it, Gavin has made the experience a pleasant one through the restaurant’s hot beverages offer.
Takeaway customers enjoy a free cup of tea (and a catch-up with staff!) while waiting for their order, while those who are seated can enjoy a refillable hot drink. Restaurant manager, Gavin says, “Many customers don’t know we replenish their drinks. When we visit their tables to ask how they are enjoying their meal, we ask if they would like more tea. Explaining that this is free of charge boosts perceptions, and ensures customers leave the restaurant feeling they’ve experienced good value.”
Having worked for one of the country’s largest café chains, Gavin understands the value of a good hot beverages offer. In a sector where tea is often an incremental purchase, Papa’s Barn has found that serving hot beverages to a high standard has driven business in normally quiet day parts. Now, six in ten of all drinks served at the restaurant are tea.
“Customers are really specific as to how they like their tea,” says Gavin. “From ‘very milky’ through to ‘extra hot’, Tetley Original or Green tea, we always accommodate personal preferences. My background has meant I’ve been able to lead by example and train our staff on serving drinks. Simple tips such as heating the cup before serving have allowed us to meet expectations.”
As a result, Papa’s Barn is open from 9am every morning, giving the business a boost from the increasing numbers of customers who enjoy breakfast out of home. It also stays open throughout the afternoon, and has created an extra stream of revenue by serving pastries to customers, making them increasingly likely to visit after lunchtime for a hot drink, when they may not seek an entire meal.”
Has tea created an extra stream of revenue in your business? Have you developed a serving style that stands out? Let us know by tweeting us @TetleyTeaOOH