Would your best friend tell you if your breath stank?

pressing Social Network iconWhen you’re in a good relationship it’s an unwritten rule (a ‘given’) that honesty and openness are part of that relationship. So this premise can be attached to the relationship that you should have with your accountant, or tax consultant, or solicitor. Or your stocktaker. But it is a two way street – you’d be expected to be open and honest with them in the same way they can be with you. So when they give advice and tips on how best to run your business, if you had a good relationship, you’d take it on board.

Some would say that getting involved in social media, like Facebook and Twitter would be outside the average stocktaker’s brief, it would also be true to suggest that if they mentioned something that would help, or hinder your business, it would be wise to consider it.

Take David Ford for instance, his business was doing so badly he was about to close his doors but decided on making an appeal through Facebook and in one day his business increased 40-fold! What we’re not clear about is where David got the idea to use social media to turn things around. It’s unlikely he had someone like stocktaker, Jon Rutter to help him. But someone gave him sound advice in the same way any good stocktaker would have done.

The adverse effect, however was visited on ex pub-manager Alistair Dempster who, probably acted against good advice. He started a campaign of defamation against his former boss. You’d have thought that over the course of the hate-campaign someone would have told Dempster that his “breath smelled” or something similar. Maybe he didn’t have any good friends. In any event, he ended up paying his ex boss damages and costs!

However, for an anonymous chef, something that really did smell so bad that he decided to blow the whistle about it, was the way one NHS Trust outsourced the preparation of meals to a caterer who delivers the “ready meals” to the hospital. The qualified chef is reduced to operating a microwave instead of preparing and cooking the food. He tells of many patients sending food back as inedible and then it all then gets chucked out anyway.

The whistleblower-chef has decided to remain anonymous for now in case it impacts his career prospects.

He goes to great pains to point out that most other Trusts don’t do this and that their food is fine. It would only be a matter of time and elimination before the responsible NHS bosses figure out who the culinary-mole really is. The query does spring to mind, though – why wasn’t the state of the culinary offerings widely Tweeted and Facebooked by the patients or their families before now? Perhaps they were concerned that their fare would be reduced to bread and water if they complained (the whistleblower hinted that bread and water would actually be more palatable than what is presently served). Perhaps a good friend advised them not to, and they listened.

One thing’s for sure, there was no reluctance of Tweeters to broadcast the news of Gordon Ramsay’s de-starring of his New York restaurant. He went on to say,“I started crying when I lost my stars. It’s a very emotional thing for any chef.” Maybe the Tweets from some of his patrons were also the cause of bringing tears to his eyes!

Hold on to your ‘toque’ … the Chefs are on the run!

Over the years many chefs and restaurants have striven to emulate the standards set by the French in the field of cuisine. In the background there has been a cultural war going on as to which nation produces the best food, the best plating, the best techniques. And the perception has been that cost’ has reflected quality – if it costs less, “… then it can’t possibly be as good as Monsieur Chef down the road whose food is frightfully dearer.” Most people have heard of the Michelin Guide and some will glibly boast of having eaten at a 2-star restaurant without really knowing what that means.

modern-table-setting-1013tm-pic-1185Not many have heard of the Gault-Millau culinary ‘rankings’ (pronounced: “go meeyo”). Among the French some even regard this as the food Oscars but compare the Michelin Guide as being the mere Cannes, Palme d’Or of food – still glitzy but not as significant. But those in the know are suggesting that the halcyon days of charging a small fortune for a smear on a plate with a scallop or two and some flowers are over. Restaurateur Jean-Claude Vrinat indicates, among other things that restaurateurs “Re-examine your economic policies, and think of the consumer’s pocketbook.” Cheers from all the consumers out there! (This is what good stocktakers have been doing for their clients for years – constantly examining, re-evaluating and adjusting to keep the client and the consumers happy).

Some trivia here: apparently the Gault-Millau culinary ‘rankings’ work on a score up to 20 and then the restaurant/chef may display from one to five toques (five being the highest). A toque is the correct name for the headgear that a chef wears. Which possibly explains why the Aussies rate their chefs as “1, 2 or 3-hatted” – maybe they just don’t speak French that well.

Looks can be deceptive. This was borne out by the police in Nottingham who nabbed a beggar for something and discovered the chap was carrying £800.00 in notes and small change on him. The proceeds of his three days work. The police also don’t believe that he’s homeless, as he claimed. However they had to let him go, with the dosh. So if a pub or restaurant in that area happen to have what might look like a dodgy character pitch up and ask for a brew and a nice meal, don’t be so quick to move him on. He could be loaded and just wanting a bit of peace and quiet!

The security at Tesco had no difficulty in identifying a horse in their shop in Co Durham though. The recent craze that has been sweeping the world, “neknominations” was played out by the lass on the horse downing a Pepsi (instead of alcohol) as she accepted her nomination and then challenged some friends of hers to upload their own videos within 24 hours. (The “neknomination” challenge is to nominate someone to down a drink in one go while having it videoed, then to nominate two others to do the same within 24 hours). While some of these challenges have been accepted by the nominees with fun and good grace, there have been some tragic events in the aftermath of the craze as people seek to do more and more outrageous things to better those who have nominated them for the challenge. Others have turned their nominations into opportunities to engage in acts of kindness to others less fortunate, making the video and then challenging others to do similar things instead of consuming alcohol.

Organisations and clubs like Rutters Stocktakers, Brighton Rugby Club and others are always up for a bit of harmless fun in the same way some have used the “neknomination” opportunities given to them to help those in their communities – all it takes is planning and dedication – just like making any business a success.

My greengrocer’s gone underground …

“I can get some veggies and micro-greens for you, Mate. Even fresher than the ones from Covent Garden! Oh no, Guv – these ones are from a special mate of mine who’s managed to get his hands on an old air raid shelter. He’s now using it for a farm. Yes, underground. But not just any old underground. This place is using hydroplanes or something. And he’s growing all the greens you’ll need and not even a slug’s bite on anything. He’s clever, this lad. There’s no sand and no pests and he uses a special light that makes things grow. And he’s got that Australian cheffie lass, Michelle Roo, on board too. Don’t roll your eyes like that, Rodney, this is the pukka deal!”

09419118b5It would only take about 15 minutes for Del Boy to scoot over to Clapham from the flat in Peckham to pick up a load of greens from his suppliers, Richard Ballard and Steven Dring. They have managed to secure an old air-raid shelter and have embarked on a venture that will revolutionise the growing of herbs and vegetables right under the heart of London. Michel Roux Jr has teamed up with these entrepreneurs in setting up this garden that is aiming to produce top quality fresh herbs, vegetables and flowers that have never seen the light of day during the growing process. The proximity of this underground farm also ensures a pest-free environment and greatly reduced “food miles” owing to its central London location. It’s the sort of hare-brained scheme Del Boy would have been proud of – if only he’d thought of it first!

But it might have been Del Boy’s advice some landlords followed. Instead they possibly ignored the good advice of their stocktakers and decided to screen Sky Sports matches without the proper commercial viewing agreement in place, have been hit with a total £19 000.00 bill by the courts for their indiscretion. This detail would be one of the things that Jon Rutter and his colleagues would advise their customers to factor in to their planning. For those who provide sports coverage for their customers, this case proves the absolute necessity to plan carefully and ensure that all the correct licenses that they need are in place.

Stocktakers all over would agree that strategy and planning in the Industry never cease – especially with the news just out that April will see the implementation of minimum pricing of alcohol in supermarkets and shops. While some might argue that low supermarket prices have been factors in keeping people out of pubs and restaurants, with the advent of this move, those same pubs and restaurants might need to up their game in their plans to attract punters to their premises back by offering value for their £. Pubs and premises all over are trying different things from grabbing a pint at nine in the morning at a service station pub, to the round-the-clock-drinking rules that many are trying to get changed. In Blackpool, for instance, some are advocating early morning restriction orders preventing sales between 3 am and 6 am. Others are petitioning a relaxation of rules during the World Cup so that punters can enjoy watching the matches in their favourite pub.

It was jolly inconsiderate of Sepp Blatter to arrange the World Cup to be held in a time zone that causes so many problems to English fans and their publicans. I mean, who is really geared up to start watching a match at 11 pm? But it’s probably a good thing the PM has intervened and overruled Norman Baker’s refusal to extend pub hours.

There could have been a lot of miserable fans being chucked out the pub at closing time with the score on 1-0 in England’s favour!

You smell like an orchard … have you been drinking?

Pressed lemon flavoured beer!

Pressed lemon flavoured beer!

There is a London restaurant that is offering a three-course, 500-calorie meal for slimmers. Is this in response to the eternal cry of those seeking to lose a few pounds … “I can’t go to any restaurant because everything on the menu doesn’t fit into my diet?” Or is it a ploy to lure publicans from all over the country to dine in London because the CEO of the British Institute of Innkeeping has said that results of the recent survey should “… act as a wake-up call to the industry …?”

This report describes many landlords as “chublicans” because their lifestyles have made them obese. Some would argue that Tim Hulme’s words come too late because for years and years insurance underwriters have regarded workers in the Industry as high risk and slapped a loading onto any premiums – not only because of their exposure to alcohol but also because of the “unhealthy lifestyle” and diet. Well, at the Balcon, you will get beautifully presented dishes with hardly any calorific count that will satisfy most dieter’s needs. So on the strength of the research survey, don’t be surprised if you happen to see your local publican dining there on his day off in order to heed “the wake-up call” (they don’t happen to mention the cost of these low-cal dishes, though).

Stocktakers will have to add another column to their spreadsheets if the latest “must have” item is embraced by publicans whose customers have a sweet tooth. This might prove to be especially popular with the designated driver as they can have-their-beer-and-eat-it and walk out stone cold sober, too. The Germans have come up with beer-flavoured jelly beans. And pretty popular they are too by all accounts. These non-alcoholic sweets come in a variety of flavours and more are also being contemplated. Just bear a thought for the coppers on the roadblock breathalyzing everyone on whom they can smell booze. The designated driver might have scoffed a whole plateful, smell like a brewery and be as sober as a judge.

At the other end of the scale, popularity of a beer that is flavoured like fruit is also gaining momentum. The cops at the roadblock will REALLY be confused now. Chaps can smell like an orchard but might not be capable of putting their hand in their pocket! They say this is what technology is doing to improve the choices of customers.

Technology has also evolved to such a point that chaps like Jon Rutter and his team do know how to differentiate between everything that’s going on in the market place and what’s really necessary in order to keep their customers profitable and supplied with the correct choices and items. They have it all on their laptops and tablets, available at a moments notice for editing, scrutiny or consultation. No more bulky briefcases filled with reams of paper to be lugged from car to office and back.

But, there are times when “old-fashioned” paper still has its place – when tablets and technology is useless as illustrated in the short video, “Paper is not dead.”

Innovate … or go backwards!

Innovate!

Innovate!

Richard Branson has expressed the view that “if you aren’t innovating, you’re going backwards.”

Now that all the fuss about the “new-year-resolutions” has died down and everyone is back to normal, creative stocktakers all over the country are planning strategies to continue to help their customers stay in profit in spite of indications from some that people have less money to spend on going out to pubs and restaurants. So people like Jon Rutter and his team are determined not to let their 2013 efforts be “good enough” for their clients. Results show that regular stocktaking provides the accuracy and experience needed that helps improve a venue’s profitability, minimises waste, and enables the owner to concentrate on the key role of running the establishment. But using a stocktaker like Rutters doesn’t absolve the owner from the need to come with their own ideas to innovate.

We’ve all seen the videos that have gone viral on social media about men proposing to their sweethearts, or the flashmob announcements etc. Recently there have also been couples using these means to announce to their family the arrival of a child. The most recent is the couple in Toledo, Ohio who have produced a horror film type trailer announcing the “Bun-in-the-Oven … Coming June 2014.” Instead of just posting a message to their family saying, “Relax, we’re pregnant” this was a clever way of turning the announcement into something unusual and memorable. The video has had over 135 000 views and people are sharing it all over social media.

An innovative landlord, restrauteur, club or guest-house owner might consider making their own unusual and innovative video clip to announce something. And the wonderful thing about the way social media works is that even if something is not produced by Pinewood Studios or a professional videographer, if it’s clever and a quirky enough to get someone’s attention, it will be “liked” and “shared” and “advertised” with little or no effort made by the originator of the video. Today, using mobile phones and some basic free-editing software, anyone can make and publish a video. All it needs is for someone to think a little bit differently to the way they have been and then to have the “oomph” to try something different. So, landlords, don’t be surprised if your stocktaker comes to you with an idea about producing a short video clip of your chef making his special, or of the local choir singing in the grounds of your garden to advertise your community involvement – they’re just thinking “out the box” for you for 2014!

One wrong way of “thinking-out-of-the-box” was when Michael Gearty supplied a Dreambox decoder to a Nottingham pub. The set top box allowed Sky Sports coverage to be shown via an internet connection. The problem was, there was no Commercial Viewing Agreement with Sky Business and Mr Gearty is now watching TV from a prison cell. It has been reported that over 1500 licencees have been convicted for showing Sky Sports without a commercial agreement.

There’s innovation and there’s incarceration – the difference is stark!

(PS: There’s no license needed if you produce, publish and broadcast your own video!)

4 weekends till Christmas … your lights up yet?

0599-christmas-1100026406-10232013Only four more weekends till Christmas (or five if you’re into Hogmanay)! Time to arrange for the holidays is rapidly slipping away. By now you would expect all the pubs and restaurants to have finalised their festive menus and some may already be fully booked for the ‘Big Feast’ whether it be on Christmas Eve or even on Christmas Day. Decorations have been popping up on lampposts and over mantels all over the country and the music mix you hear in malls and shops has changed and the next number one on the Official Singles Charts are all being punted, depending on the preferences and taste of whoever happens to be managing the playlists.

And ‘Taste’ is such an individual thing – what appeals to some will be offensive to others. Like the photo taken of Roy Loxton. He was minding his own business, doing his work and someone asked him if they could take his picture. He said yes and the snap appeared in the local newspaper. Someone complained that a pic of Mr Loxton at work, as a gravedigger, in a hole, smiling, was in ‘bad taste’ so his work from the one funeral home has been slashed. 

But nothing can beat the Aussies when it comes to ‘tasteful’ Christmas decorations this year. David Richards and his family made a comeback from his defeat to the USA last year to regain the Guinness World Record with his 330 000+ Christmas light display on his house. His array of twinkling lights costs him £1,400.00 a month to run – but at least he doesn’t have any heating bills as the average temperature in Canberra at this time of the year is 25° (still a lot cooler than the temperature the England team are facing on the cricket field though). Part of the fallout for his success and notoriety however is that some of his neighbours haven’t spoken to him since 2011 when he won the last time. Wonder why?

It’s probably just as well that clubs, pubs and restaurants don’t go too over the top on the decorations seeing as there are more stringent rules and regs. than in Oz. Can you imagine the nightmare the poor stocktakers would have to go through if they had to account for extra fairy-lights and a bumped up electric bill? And how many people REALLY successfully keep last year’s lights for this year – I wonder how many stocktakers have become adept at untangling green wire while trying hard not to break the delicate bulbs for their customers?

Jon Rutter and his team of stocktakers have been working hard to make sure that pubs and clubs are all stocked up in time for next week’s second Ashes Test so that keen cricket followers can sit back and enjoy the game, although how they’re going to deal with the 11 hour time difference is not clear. And Australia has 5 different time zones to make it even more confusing.

So when they bowl the first ball at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday it will be 11:00pm on Wednesday night in London. Extra stamina for the second and third sessions between lunch and stumps is required.

Baubles, bungles and khazis

Toilet sign ogaCncGSolid advice given to children by no-nonsense mothers over the decades, “before you leave home to go anywhere, make sure you go to the toilet first.” Trying to arrive at the origin of this down-to-earth wisdom hasn’t yielded any results. Speculation is that the advice was dished out because any “khazi,” other than the one at home, wasn’t up to much and didn’t bear visiting!

Wetherspoon pubs across the country have received platinum awards for their loos. 96 others scooped the gold award for the “Loo of the year award 2013.” It’s always easy to forget, until it’s time to visit it, that the little room is also part of the pub or restaurant and also needs to be maintained and presented to the same standard as the public areas. Those who achieved their awards have acknowledged the role of their staff. Someone has to keep them up to standard and the landlady can’t do it on her own.

With the Awards Season on us (it seems to get longer each year), there are ten nominees being considered for the Observer Food Monthly, Chef of the Decade award. Nigella changed her image for the photoshoot when she discovered she was the only female nominated. So she dressed up as a boy in tux and bowtie to project an image of maleness as only Nigella can. According to reports, she was the most formally dressed of all the nominees and her spokesman made the point that the outfit “reflected her role as a woman in a man’s world.”

Image Adrian van Leen

Image Adrian van Leen

Jon Rutter and his stocktaker team’s efforts in helping to Beautify the Dip took another step forward with the planters scheduled to arrive yesterday. All part of making the town more attractive – hopefully the inclement weather didn’t disrupt the delivery. Clearly though, the stocktakers who attend to Selfridges managed, before the storm hit, to co-ordinate their orders of ginger and other baking ingredients in time for the Christmas window display of a gingerbread landscape. All part of the glittering display the shop is putting on. They’re even offering to sell you a 6ft polar bear for £1600. I know what my domestic stocktaker would say if I brought that home to put under the tree. Escape route, where are you?

But Shropshire chef, Daniel Baynham had a really lucky escape as his shift ended. A tractor, towing a trailer laden with maize, took the corner too quickly and overturned the load on Chef Daniel’s car, crushing it. Apparently this type of thing has happened before and even with the speed restrictions clearly displayed, the tractor drivers obviously can’t read or they think they’re on Top Gear, because they still regularly zoom round the bend. If Daniel had been in his car the outcome would have been much more serious.

Once his insurance has paid out and he can celebrate his escape from bad tractor drivers with new wheels, I’m sure the chef will find an alternative parking place. What’s on the menu tonight, Chef? Sweetcorn fritters?

Fighting talk!

Every householder is, in reality, an amateur stocktaker. A person who checks to see what they have, what they need and where to get it at the most economical price without leaving any waste. A person who needs to get the most out of every pound and, hopefully, have something left over (profit margin). Perhaps that’s over-simplifying a noble profession that is essential in today’s business world, but it’s all about budgeting and using money wisely – whether in a business or at home.

Image: Adrian van Leen

Image: Adrian van Leen

So the war that has erupted between consumers (home-stocktakers) and suppliers (supermarkets) has probably been simmering for a while now. Tesco has weighed in by accusing each household of wasting £700 quid a year on chucking food out. So they have launched “a campaign” to help curb our profligacy! Meanwhile, WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme) have retaliated by turning their ire onto Tesco and telling them it’s all their fault for packaging and presenting products in the way that they do and making it impossible for careful shoppers to buy only what they need.

Both sides have trollied out statistics and reports, with figures, to support their arguments. “… one survey indicates …” “… alarming figures show …” etc etc. Just an observation here – no one has EVER asked my opinion for a survey, nor have they ever approached any of the many people I know. Where do they get their figures? How do they come up with “15 million tons of food is junked” … why not 14.326 million tons? Or “customers chuck away 40% of apples” … why not 42%, or 31%? The numbers just seem to be too neat. It’s probably a very good thing that most pubs have professional stocktakers like Rutters doing their stocktaking. At least they know where they are. Pity the pub that uses a “survey group” to do their stocktaking – Thumb-suck Incorporated!

A fight of a totally different nature could also break out when Sir Alex releases his autobiography. It seems that the rule of “keeping things that go on in the changeroom, in the changeroom” don’t apply to him anymore. There might be some folk mentioned in his book who might like to give him a bit of the old hairdryer treatment themselves. Among lots of other revelations, he apparently goes into great detail about what he really said to this one and that one.

Sorry chaps, you’ll have to delete all those recorded after-match interviews he gave – he didn’t really mean what he told the press at the time. Posh was the underlying reason for Beck’s cut above the eye (Sir A was annoyed with how David changed when the two started walking out together), and the reader will get the low-down of how he froze Rooney out when he played away from home, again. Plus it promises to deliver a whole lot more insight into the workings of the coach’s mind and events in his long career with Man U.

Another fight won in County Durham even with energy suppliers all across the UK announcing price hikes. Victory for Licensee Leo Gillen in his legal battle with Npower over a backdated £38 000 electricity bill.

The energy company could not be reached for comment. They’re probably out there conducting another survey.

Don’t tell the Poles, but we’re off to Rio!

If you thought stocktakers only pop in to the pub occasionally to count the bottles in the back, or analyse the till slips you’d be wrong. While helping owners to devise strategies of how to maintain the balance of stable profits while keeping their customers sweet at the same time is challenging, Rutters are also involved in community affairs. They played a part in the “Beautify the Dip” initiative the other day. Some children from the local school presented their ideas on what they saw as ways to jazz up the area.

I’m sure Jon Rutter and Hertford Junior, together with the Committee will put more thought into their beautification project than was shown by the Pontypridd council who, without community involvement, decided to lay some new paving. All in all, a good idea. The problem was that the new paving was so crazy that pedestrians couldn’t distinguish where the pavement ended and where the kerb was, and 20 shoppers were injured or hospitalised after tripping up.

Another victory for “beautification” seems to have been won in the Yorkshire Dales too. Some wind turbines that haven’t worked for years but have been left to spoil all the photographs of the area have finally been removed, much to the delight of the local residents and those in the tourist industry who can now rightfully boast in their brochures of an “unspoiled landscape.” And the opponents of the wind farm project will no doubt say, “I told you it wouldn’t work!”

The other thing that probably won’t work in the UK is the idea that Nicolas Nauman, head chef at “Eat” in Brooklyn, New York has introduced to the restaurant. Once a month there is a four course meal during which no conversation is permitted. The chef justifies this by suggesting that the enjoyment of the food should not be spoiled with conversation or other noise and will give diners an opportunity to enjoy their food in a way that they might not otherwise have. One wonders how to order – is it a “set menu” so that the whole evening doesn’t dissolve into gestures, pointing, eye-rolling and eventually frustrated arm waving? Clearly, not a venue one for one of Gordon Ramsay’s TV shows.

Image: Marcelo Mokrejs

Image: Marcelo Mokrejs

One would also hope that last night was not one of the restaurant’s “silent meal” evenings with a couple of England fans dining there. In silence. But surreptitiously following the Wembly match on their mobiles held on their laps. It would have been a bit disrupting to the rest of the dining room, and Chef Nick in particular, when England scored against Poland and secured their place in Brazil, with the silence being shattered with screams of, “Yes, yes, yes – Gerrard you beauty!

Wembly erupted! Noise from both lots of fans, fireworks (tsk, tsk), chanting, flags et al. Roy Hodgson must have shed a stone in sweat and by chewing his nails off (he DID say he’d died 1000 deaths) and now England are rated 22/1 to win the World Cup. Hopefully the odds will shorten, but it would be wise to put the tenner on now.

“Profit” – isn’t a dirty word

Put any butcher, baker, landlord, or stocktaker against a wall and grill them on the cost of things and they will probably be able to reel off the list of items relevant to their trade and where to get the best value. Put a prime Minister on a radio show and he can’t even tell you the price of a loaf of bread (he bakes his own, you see) but he can plug the flour he uses and the machine too. He just doesn’t know what they cost.

Image: Mike Korn

Image: Mike Korn

But the PM will be able to confidently give you all the low-down on this or that statute, the nuances of a particular bill before Parliament or the intricacies of the trade agreements with another country. And it’s quite interesting how politicians will talk of paying millions of £’s for something as though they were discussing the cost of a packet of crisps, but get very serious expressions on their faces and talk about the generous increase in the NMW of 12p per hour to a hefty £6.30.

If you want to turn your hard-earned cash into a profit, though, just don’t send the PM or Boris off to the shops together. The only one making a huge profit from their custom would be the shop owner.

Songwriters Kandor & Ebb wrote “Money Makes the World go Round” for Cabaret, but few would disagree with the sentiment. Without it, you can’t live at the level you want to. With it, you can! Anyone who is “in business” is probably constantly working on ways to ensure that they have an excess of the stuff by applying Mr Micawber’s recipe for happiness – spending less than you have, instead of more. Jon Rutter’s teams of stocktakers know what it’s like to juggle the options and ensure that their customers work on Mr Micawber’s happiness formula rather than on Dicken’s other character, Pip, who “… began to contract a quantity of debt …

Perhaps this is what lead to Ben Hatch labelling himself as Britain’s stingiest dad, with his cost-cutting measures and frugality. His account of the tricks and ploys he uses makes fascinating reading and will have many raising their eyebrows in disbelief or astonishment. From the way he sneaks his own food snacks into Disneyland Paris (strictement interdite) to shopping almost exclusively at Oxfam, his accounts of cost cutting is ingenious. And it stems back to the example he learned from his mother. One of the lines Ben writes jumps out when he says, “… children don’t need expensive things. They just need love and your time.” He is quick to point out that his family do not lack anything. He just has a different way of approaching spending habits in order to stay in profit.

Sky is also doing things differently. They have launched the new Pub Challenge App in an effort to help landlords with their profitability. It’s designed to search for nearby Sky Sports venues that are showing Premier matches and also to incentivise patrons to spread their custom around so that they qualify for prizes and special deals.

And with the Christmas season fast approaching, be on the lookout for the calendars that are being sold to make profits for various charities and causes. Over the years, though, diverse groups have had to resort to ‘nude shoots’ as a way to get their calendars sold. Remember the Calendar Girls? That was the start. Then there have been the Troopie Wives, the Firemen, the Armed Forces etc. The latest is the Foxy Fillies Naked Posh Girls calendar, from the Jed Forest Hunt. All on horseback or holding shotguns or hanging round 4×4’s.

I wonder if there’ll be a Naked Pub Landlord calendar on the cards soon?