In each edition of Take Stock we talk to an industry professional to see what they are planning for a forthcoming event. This issue, we look at Bonfire Night.
Bonfire Night is a popular occasion that can help blast off your profits. Take Stock spoke to Jo Rigby, bar manager at The Millstone Hare, an old English styled pub situated within the grounds of Dallas Burston Polo Club near Stratford-upon-Avon.
What are you planning for Bonfire Night?
A big event! For the past two years our team has hosted, in collaboration with Dallas Burston Polo Club, a huge bonfire event that attracts over 4,000 people. Held in the grounds, we have a small funfair, food stalls serving everything from hotdogs and burgers to candy floss and toffee apples, an outside bar manned by my team, and of course a firework display organised and set up by Komodo Fireworks. We will be doing the same this year as it has been such a huge success. Everything will be included in the price of the ticket – £5 for adults, £3 for children and £15 for a family of four (two adults and two children).
When are you celebrating the event?
Friday, 2 November. We usually light the bonfire around 7.30pm.
Are you running a special menu?
Our normal menu will be running as per usual and, in addition, we will be setting up a couple of food outlets outside serving pizza. Local farm shops will also be setting up street food stalls to sell gourmet burgers and vegetarian options. The stalls close to the funfair will provide more child-friendly food like hot dogs, burgers and chips, plus lots of sweet treats too!
What will be your best selling drinks for the event?
Our outside bar – cash only – will be serving beer, lager and pre-mixed drinks such as gin and tonic and vodka and coke. We will have a prosecco and gin bar too. There will also be drinks stalls selling mulled wine and mulled cider, as those drinks sell very well on a chilly night.
What about children’s drinks or for the non drinkers?
We will have a variety of fruit juices, water and fizzy drinks available.
Will you be offering your free taxi service for the night?
Our free taxi service for customers who live within a five-mile radius has proved very popular. It’s free to customers on the condition that they order at least four main meals or two main meals with a starter or dessert. However, this service will not be available on the night because of the sheer volume of people we are expecting. Instead shuttle buses will be available on the night to ferry customers to and from the premises. For the more local residents, we have arranged a coach service to pick up and drop off at certain points for a charge of just 50 pence each.
Is it worth all the hard work?
Definitely! It’s a huge event that sees takings go up more than 50%. It also helps to put us on the map, because lots of people don’t realise we are in the grounds of the polo club, so it helps build interest – and custom – for the whole year.