.....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.