HELLO 2021 & GOODBYE 2020!
By Alex Peters who is director of the Green Park Brasserie Group which is a lively restaurant and bar in Bath with live jazz, funk, soul and swing and also the Bath Pizza Co which is an award winning pizzeria set in the semi-alfresco historic Green Park Station, Bath. He also runs Bath Function Rooms: stunning event space for weddings, parties and business events .
As the year starts to turn – how are you feeling about 2021?
Optimistic, what else is there! I’m really looking forward to getting back to some normality - as and when that is. We’re fortunate to have a unique setting with two beautiful alfresco terraces and a diverse business that is quite unlike anywhere else in Bath, which helps us stand apart in the sector. Thankfully, we’ve had incredible local support this year through the pandemic. I’m confident we’ll kick on again in 2021.
Consumer confidence was relatively high during the summer months and we’re passionate about getting better and better at what we do, although of course Government action is something we have no control over. I feel the customer is seeing the improvements we’re making to the business and in light of 2020’s challenges I feel that we’ve made some good steps in the business.
What are your business goals for the coming year?
There are the obvious commercial targets and drive to continually improve our name and product. But we’re also looking to elevate the design and functionality of the business for our teams and some of the behind the scenes operations that will all contribute towards the overall guest experience. I’m expecting to see an aggressive wet sales growth across the business with our popular 2 for 1 cocktail happy hour and draught beer selection and increased guest satisfaction with more repeat visits as we strive for industry leading hospitality standards and becoming a favourite in Bath.
Will you be introducing any new products or services?
We’re hoping to further ramp up our bar and cocktail offering to supplement our very popular 2 for 1 cocktail happy hour that runs 7 days a week. We’re also looking at what the next F&B trends are and how we can adapt to them - for example if Green Park Brasserie launched on delivery services, would there be a demand for things like our burgers, fried chicken, ribs and steaks or would we need to launch under a ghost kitchen name and tweak the product for that audience? Having talked about it for sometime now, I’m also looking at launching a retail product under the Bath Pizza Co brand - watch this space!
Will you be looking to employ any new staff during the new year?
We’ll need to evaluate where we’re at when we get to late January. We’re projecting a very busy alfresco season from March through to September so we’ll take a view 4-6 weeks into the 2021 once we know what message the Government are sending out.
Will you be looking for any new local suppliers in 2021?
One of the best things about being in Bath is the immediate access to some genuinely world class food and drink producers and suppliers in the city and across Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. We’re always interested to hear from new suppliers who adhere to our quality standards and buying requirements.
Are you looking to invest in yourself as a business owner or company director in 2021 in any way?
Absolutely. There are a handful of business programmes at the University of Bath which I’m currently looking at. I also hope to meet with and share more with other business owners across the city - whatever the sector to understand more about their business needs, the challenges operating in Bath and how we can work together as an industry to continually improve Bath’s offering for locals and visitors.
Looking back across 2020 – name three highlights for you and your business?
1. In January we created a new role appointing our first Group General Manager - Alex Pitts to oversee service operations for Green Park Brasserie, Bath Pizza Co and Bath Functions Rooms. He has an incredible enthusiasm for hospitality and love for developing our people; he is an exceptional GM, I’m delighted to have him in board.
2. The summer (June to September). We performed reasonably well between the two lockdowns and felt a real sense of community led return to “normal” - albeit it temporarily! Seeing people enjoying themselves in a relaxed restaurant space with our food and drink and the joy on their faces in an environment you have created is a fantastic feeling.
3. The resilience of our team. Despite great uncertainty many of our core people have worked incredibly hard for the business to achieve what we have this year - I’m very grateful to them.
Looking back across 2020 – were there any lowlights?
The frustrations and uncertainty from the Government on their communication about hospitality. Their mixed messaging and clarity of message has been an ongoing source of frustration for everyone - especially if you’re in the hospitality sector and trying to plan.
We’ve had to respond quickly and become very agile in our approach from everything to menu planning, staffing, budgeting and how we can get through the year with different guidance changing so often.
Who, in your business community – have been the shining stars of 2020?
I nominate Charles Beer, Property Manager for Ethical Property Company who manages Green Park Station has been fantastic. He has worked tirelessly to support the businesses in the station including the brilliant Bath Farmers’ Market (every Saturday morning here at Green Park. He has enabled a sense of community and maintained an environment where people can visit, shop, eat and feel safe and relaxed and enjoy an element of normal life through the pandemic. The impact from his efforts on people’s own personal wellbeing and the contribution to the local economy has been massive.
Any special offers for 2021 you’d like to mention?
We’ve recently launched our £14.95 Steak Frites menu at Green Park Brasserie which I’m very excited about. Our guests can choose one of three cuts of steak and a one of three red wine options that are served with our fries and garlic butter. More on that here: greenparkbrasserie.com/menu We’re also returning to our regular 4 nights of live jazz, funk, soul and swing with some of Bath and the region's great musicians.
From a broader picture I’d encourage people to shop local and support independent traders as much as they can - whether that’s in Bath or wherever. These are the people that give places their unique qualities and create communities. They need your support not just now but over the next 12-18 months and beyond.
For more information visit www.greenparkbrasserie.com