Greenalls to give pub grub a lift

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The Independent Online
Pub grub is about to be transformed under plans being hatched by Greenalls, one of Britain's largest pub groups.

Gone are the days of curly sandwiches and cold sausage-rolls. Soon Greenalls' customers will be able to order a bowl of oysters or a plate of smoked salmon, washed down by an expensive bottle of Chardonnay, in pubs all around the country.

Greenalls plans to launch a range of new dishes, including fish platters and a host of vegetarian meals. It is even developing new technology designed to cook a range of fresh vegetables quickly and cheaply.

The dishes will typically cost around pounds 10 each. Greenalls will also offer a range of wines from Australia, South Africa and California costing from pounds 7 to pounds 15 a bottle.

Lord Daresbury, Greenalls' chief executive, wants to take the chain upmarket to attract more affluent customers.

"People used to come to a pub just at lunch time but now they are coming for supper. This is about offering customers good food at good value in a casual atmosphere. It is aimed at increasing spend per head, getting them to stay longer and spend more on food and have a glass of wine or even a bottle," he said.

Greenalls plans to introduce its new menu in at least half of its 850- strong pub chain over the next 18 months. It is spending pounds 100m to revamp its pubs, about a third of which will be used to create its new culinary delights.

The group has also unveiled plans to build a huge leisure club at The Belfry, its famous Midlands golf course, which will house 3,000 members. The existing leisure club will be turned into a 300-room conference centre. The scheme is part of a pounds 9m investment programme designed to take The Belfry into the new millennium.

Greenalls has opened a new PGA golf course When the development is completed it will house a 360-bedroom hotel, five restaurants, three conference centres and eight bars.