Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We have had our chips....

.....or in this case our pie and mash!!

I was speaking to Rob Allen, the manager of the 'Rat & Ratchet' yesterday, and it seems that the need to start cost cutting has started early in the Ossett empire.

Rob recently returned to manage the Rat and one of his visions was to place the pub on the map for its food as well as its real ale. To that end a new kitchen was installed in the pub and they have started selling pie, peas, and mash at selected times. That was until he advised us that as from this coming weekend the kitchen would be closed and the pies no more.

Normally such a decision would not directly bother me, I rarely eat in pubs so I would not see this as a great loss. However, those who drink in the Rat will have not failed to see the concrete monstrosity at the rear of the place, which is going to become Huddersfield's new Technical College. This is why Ossett's decision has baffled me. Here, in a few months time, is a gold mine on their doorstep. A pub, a short distance from a complex that is home to loads of students and lecturers, serving food and beer in a perfect position to cash in. Surely the Ossett hierarchy could see that? So instead of closing the kitchen, why have they not stuck with it, with a view to expanding the food range when the time is right. They have the equipment and the chef to do it. It all seems very short sighted.

Whilst I am on this theme, Rob also mentioned the 'The Shepherds Boy' at Dewsbury is also closing it's kitchen. It is the pub Rob previously managed and holds in great affection. It is not a particularly busy place, partly because of its location, but it did do a good trade on Sunday lunchtimes which brought the punters in. Not only would they get a decent meal but also spend their money over the bar to boost the wet sales. To remove the kitchen here would be even more devastating than at the Rat and may even sound the death knell for the pub. Another piece of short sightedness or an essential cost cutting exercise? I will let you decide.

6 comments:

The Hearty Goodfellow said...

I do hope Ossett get back to you on this one.

I'm sure there is logic behind it, but it certainly seems well camouflaged at this stage.

Public house decisions really ought to be public, if only on moral grounds.

Anonymous said...

Strange decision indeed. Surely using the next few months to build up a reputation for food would put the pub on the front foot for when the college opens.
Perplexed of Boshaw Whams.

Will said...

It's the first I've heard about this. Not sure when this college is due to open but they'll surely want to take maximum advantage. Odd.

Mike said...

Regarding the Rat, after 3 months of offering food the demand has been surprisingly poor and this is the third time we have tried doing food there recently. We are looking at another idea for food and have invested in the kitchen so will not give up on it altogether, but for now it is far too expensive to run in the way we were doing it so apologies to those that came for the pies.

Katy at the Shepherds Boy is keen to continue Sunday Lunches and even though we have some equipment challenges there, as long as she is happy to do them we will continue for now.

Mike at the brewery

The Hearty Goodfellow said...

Nice to see that response from the brewery.

Seems like there may yet be a silver lining to this cloud...

Timbo said...

Thanks for the response Mike, hope all goes well at both pubs for the future