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02.07.2020

Pub and hospitality trade bodies publish track and trace guidance for businesses 

Leading trade associations representing the UK’s pub and hospitality sectors have today issued joint guidance to businesses on supporting the Government’s track and trace customer registration scheme.

The guidance has been jointly produced by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and UKHospitality. It aims to provide clarity to enable businesses to take positive steps towards achieving the scheme’s public health objectives, as well as businesses’ obligations and practical tips to implement a successful scheme.

The core principles of the scheme, its objectives and practical solutions are explained, including:

·     What information should be recorded

·     How the information should be recorded

·     Relevant issues regarding GDPR.

In a joint statement, the trade bodies said: “There has been a significant amount of interest from both businesses and customers about the track and trace scheme and some confusion also.

“It is a core component of the safe reopening of businesses and it is something that all venues are going to have to get to grips with. This can help us to avoid a second spike and the disastrous consequences that would entail, for society and business.

“This guidance provides clear instructions to businesses on their obligations and reminds them why it is important that they make a success of the scheme. It is in the interests of everyone in the country that we all understand our role in the scheme and its importance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Businesses are urged to read the guidance thoroughly and ensure that they have the proper procedures in place before they reopen their doors to customers. If they are unsure abut any element, they should contact their trade association immediately.” 

BII Menu Matters - January 2022

Factor value into menu planning. Following some basic buying rules will help pubs get best value out of their food budget, says Martin Eshelby, development support chef with Oliver Kay Produce.

The start of the year is a quiet time for many pubs, even in a good year, and 2022, with continued concerns about Covid, as well as uncertainty over the cost of living making many consumers cautious, is likely to see significant challenges for many operators.
While some costs can’t be controlled, there are ways that operators can make a significant difference, and a focus on managing the food budget can deliver benefits to the bottom line quickly. 
The new year is also always a good time to review the food offer, and without taking favourites such as fish & chips, bangers and mash, roasts and pies off the menu, by varying the fish species or cuts of meat used, it’s possible to make the most of changing availability and get the best value from the high-quality produce available from specialist suppliers.
Lamb is always a popular dish on menus, but the price of different cuts can vary considerably, and change quickly according to market conditions. A dish such as chump of lamb and harissa crushed potatoes with minted peas & lettuce in a smoked butter, puts distinctive flavours on the menu and makes good use of a sometimes-underrated cut.  
https://www.oliverkayproduce.co.uk/food-info/seasonal-recipes-ideas/253-lamb-peas 
For a fish and seafood special that goes beyond some of the most-used varieties, pan fried hake with a crab and prawn croquette, and a saffron and mussel sauce will appeal to customers who want to try less familiar dishes when they eat out.
https://www.directseafoods.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Hake-recipe-from-Direct-Seafoods.pdf 
When working with less familiar cuts, it’s always worth talking to suppliers, and to consider making use of the skills of their specialist butchers, fishmongers and fruit and veg prep experts to supplement the work done in the kitchen.
For example, different fish species have varying yields, so buying a whole fish by weight may not be the best indication of how many portions will be available for the menu or specials board. Direct Seafoods, currently the MSC Fresh Fish Food Service Supplier of the Year, can prepare the fish as required and get the best value from every fish caught.
Pan fried sea bass with parsnip puree and honey roasted heritage parsnips puts this popular fish at the heart of the menu, with a dish that will appeal to customers looking for healthier options, as well as working well on Valentine’s menus. https://www.directseafoods.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Pan-fried-sea-bass-with-parsnip-puree-and-honey-roasted-Heritage-parsnips.pdf 
Steaks, chops and ribs, as well as other popular cuts, offer a similar opportunity. The specialist butchers at Cambell Brothers can trim cuts to the exact weight and menu specifications, leaving staff in the pub kitchen free to focus on the sauces and accompaniments, as well as cooking techniques, that add value for customers.
Vegan and vegetarian versions of popular pub classics are also an essential part of the menu, with a range of plant-based options. The seitan burger recipe from Oliver Kay Produce, using a wheat protein as the basis of a great vegetarian burger, has proven very popular with pubs.
https://www.oliverkayproduce.co.uk/food-info/seasonal-recipes-ideas/265-seitanburger  
There is also an opportunity to make the most of the trim from fish and meat cuts by offering favourites such as burgers, meatballs, fishcakes and fishfingers as snacks, starters and on children’s menus. Suppliers can offer these in a range of varieties, helping pubs to get the best value from food spend right across the menu.    
www.directseafoods.co.uk 
www.campbellbrothers.co.uk 
www.oliverkayproduce.co.uk 

Have the facts to hand to offer advice on alcohol-free and lower strength drinks

For many, January is a time for good intentions and new goals. For those drinkers wishing to cut down in 2022, the boom in alcohol-free and lower strength drinks may help them achieve their resolutions.

With on-trade operators also keen to maintain custom in January after a challenging festive period, what advice can you give to customers looking to the emerging category to help them cut back?  

Adam Jones, Drinkaware’s business development and partnerships director shares some guidance to help ensure those pledges count in January and throughout 2022: 
 
For many of us, New Year represents a chance to set new goals or improve our health and wellbeing. I have been delighted to see the on-trade stocking a wider range of alcohol-free or lower strength drinks than ever before, something that can directly appeal to customers looking to cut down in 2022. We know from our research however that the terminology around alcohol-free and lower strength drinks isn’t always well understood. That is just one place where Drinkaware’s guidance can help:   
 
Definitions and terminology can be confusing for staff and customers alike 
 
Our 2021 Monitor report showed people had a poor understanding of alcohol-free and lower strength drinks. Only 5.1% of our 9,137 participants were able to correctly identify what the labels of ‘alcohol-free’ and ‘low strength’ drinks mean in terms of ABV. To help clear things up:  
For drinks produced in the UK, low alcohol drinks refer to those which have an ABV (alcoholic strength by volume) of between 0.05 and 1.2% 
Drinks classified as alcohol-free may contain a small amount of alcohol but only at a strength of 0.05% or less 
Reduced or lower strength drinks have an alcohol content lower than the average strength of a particular type of drink - wine with an ABV strength of 5.5%, is a reduced alcohol wine, as opposed to a low alcohol wine 
The terms low and no are often used together but represent quite different products. Drinkaware therefore recommends using low alcohol, lower strength or alcohol-free descriptions to help consumers make the most informed decisions about their drinking.  

Definitions can also vary across different countries, so with many products being imported into the UK from oversees it is useful to always double check the ABV before advising customers.  

Suitability for anyone who cannot drink alcohol  

Low alcohol and alcohol-free drinks may still contain a small amount of alcohol and are therefore not appropriate for anyone who is avoiding alcohol completely. 

Health  

Substituting low alcohol, lower strength and alcohol-free drinks for higher ABV products can help customers reduce the amount of alcohol they drink and keep to the UK Chief Medical Officers’ low-risk drinking guidelines, which can bring many important health benefits. But these products may also contain more calories than the traditional higher strength drinks, so it’s worth remembering they cannot always be described as ‘healthier’ or ‘healthy choices’. 

Drinking lower strength and alcohol-free drinks can help prevent alcohol harm when used instead of traditional, higher strength drinks  

Drinking low alcohol and alcohol-free products can help people reduce their alcohol intake, providing a valuable moderation tool. However, the technique only works when used as substitution for higher strength alcoholic alternatives. Consuming low alcohol or alcohol-free drinks in addition to usual drinking, won’t see drinkers gain the benefits associated with reducing their alcohol intake. 

Final tips to help cut back 

In additional to alcohol-free, low alcohol and lower strength options, a few good techniques that staff can recommend to customers to help them cut back include: 
Setting a goal and tracking progress – why not suggest customers download the Drinkaware app to help stay on track 
Taking several drink free days each week 
Telling a partner, family member or friend about plans to cut down and asking them to encourage, support or join in with the goal 
For all those looking to make a positive impact on their health in 2022 by reducing how much alcohol they drink, Drinkaware is there to help. For more information, tips and advice head to
drinkaware.co.uk 
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