Statement regarding the Inn at Penallt's current plans

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The Inn at Penallt

26 January 2019

Dear Friends of the Inn,

Firstly, thanks to all who attended the meeting at Pelham Hall on Wednesday 16th January and to all those who have sent letters and emails showing support for the Inn. Special thanks to David May who has facilitated this entire process and has undertaken the administration for this consultation, more than ably supported by John Bradley, Ian Bristow and David Jones.

After careful consideration of the comments of support and suggestions voiced, we sent our proposal for opening hours, village night, showing the rugby and staffing for consideration and responses were received by us on Wednesday 23rd together with the report collating survey results.

Responses to the survey were received on Wednesday and are summarised below:-

We had 101 responses.

Of the community who completed the survey 

    ● 12% regularly attended the Inn (although extrapolating the results to the circa 400 who live in Penallt, we suspect that the % figure would be less)

    ● 30% confirmed they either visited ‘once or more a month/few times a year/ infrequently’

On a positive note, we had many good comments about beer, food and service which we fully appreciate;

However, the negative issues were:

  1. Front of house inexperience - we are addressing this with more mature staff
  2. Food – a definite trend towards the ‘traditional pub food’ only – see below how we are addressing this;
  3. Drinks prices – we believe that we are very competitive with regard to local pricing, given the rising supplier costs and alcohol duty;
  4. Inconsistent opening hours – comments taken on board, please see below for detailed response;
  5. Ensuring the pub survives even if a planning application needs to be submitted for a smaller (although just as characterful) building – 10% support / 45% maybe / 45% negative.

After careful consideration of the survey’s expressions of support, constructive criticism and suggestions, we have decided:-

Opening Hours

We suggested that we could provide the Inn’s Village Night on Fridays so that the Inn could close every Thursday evening in order to support both the Hall (supper night and fish and chip night) and The Boat who provide live music on Thursdays. The general view was that the Inn’s Village Night might be more suited for a Wednesday Night, to which we can agree.

The Inn’s Opening Hours 2019:-

Monday Close

Tuesday Close – potential for club use and summer openings

Wednesday

Lunch 12 noon until 4pm

Dinner 6pm to 8.30pm – Wednesday Special aka Village Night

First Wednesday of Every Month – Quiz Night

10:30pm bar closed

Thursday

12noon until 3:00pm Lunch

3:00pm until 5pm Cake & Chit-Chat - Cream Teas/Homemade Cake - come in a group or on your own, to have a chat and catch up with friends. Free taster samples available on first Thursday.

6pm Closed (Supporting Village Hall & The Boat)

Friday

12noon until 4:00pm Lunch

6pm to 9pm Dinner

12pm Bar closes

Saturday

12noon until 4:00pm Lunch

6pm to 9pm Dinner

11pm bar closed

Sunday

Breakfast/Brunch – 9am to 3pm

8pm bar closed


Throughout the Survey there was reference to inconsistent opening hours. We have checked through our records and found that during the last 18 months opening hours were Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. However February, March April 2017 we issued a statement saying that we would only be opening on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

We were advised by a business rates specialist that changing business hours and structure could reduce rates. We later discovered that this was not the case and reverted back to original opening hours. All other closing times were advertised on our website. Furthermore, other changes in these days and times have been due to hosting events at the Inn, which we note people feel should not happen.

However, until such time as footfall increases dramatically then it will not be economically viable to withdraw from these events. Furthermore, we note that many of the events hosted at the Inn have been held on behalf of locals and their relatives.


Rugby Six Nations

We have agreement with the Hall’s Committee that we will uniquely show the Six Nations Rugby this season. They have also kindly agreed to lend their projector and screen to us until we have sourced our own equipment. The Inn will be showing the following games:

Friday 20:00 1st February 2019

France -v- Wales

Saturday 2nd February

Scotland -v-Italy 14:15

Ireland -v- England 16:45

Saturday 9th February

Scotland -v- Ireland 14:15

Italy -v- Wales 16:45

Sunday 10th February

England -v- France 15:00

Saturday 23rd February 2019

France -v- Scotland 14:15

Wales -v- England 16:45

Sunday 24th February

Italy -v- Ireland – Will not be Shown (private party from 3pm)

Saturday 9th March 2019

Scotland -v- Wales – 14:15

England -v- Italy – 16:45

Sunday 10th February

Ireland -v-France 15:00

Saturday 16th March – Super Saturday

Italy -v- France 12:30

Wales -v- Ireland 14:45

England -v-Scotland 17:00


Menu

The consensus throughout the Survey is that locals wish for the menu at the Inn to promote classic pub dishes at cheaper prices, but be homemade and frequently updated at the same time. We have been working hard to devise a menu that fits within these specifications.

However, it must be noted that every plate of food sold firstly attracts 20% VAT and then will have to absorb staff labour, lighting, gas, water and suppliers’ inflated costs before marginal profits can be made; accordingly village night costs must be increased to accommodate these. We will therefore provide the new menu early next week. However in the meantime, Wednesday Night Specials will be as follows for the month of February:

Large £12.00 + Pint of Ale/Pint Prava/125ml House Wine/Orange Juice

Half Portion £6.00 + ½ Pint of Ale/ ½ pint Prava/75ml House Wine/Orange Juice

Week 1

Sausage, Mash, Peas & Onion Gravy

Week 2

Spaghetti Bolognese with Garlic Bread & Parmesan Cheese

Week 3

Ham, Egg, Chips & Peas

Week 4

The Penallt Fish Pie

Crispy Jacket Potato Halves Stuffed with Creamy Fish Pie & Herb Mix and Topped with Buttery Potato & Cheese, Mixed Salad.


The Inn’s Change of Name

Several people have suggested that the Inn should change its name back to ‘The Bush’. We agreed that this change would be a great idea and would also enable us to move away from the perceived fine dining restaurant that ceased 2 years ago.

We have made enquiries and have discovered that for a complete name change, we would have to change our website, create new social media accounts, companies house changes, banking accounts name changes, all suppliers would require new signed agreed accounts with new name. It would also need building sign changes, roadside sign changes and Brown Sign name changes, all of which would cost thousands of pounds and would, unfortunately, be wholly disproportionate to any benefit achieved.

We hope this statement has eased the current concerns and we would like to thank you all again for your contributions, which we greatly appreciate. Further consultations will occur during the following months but in the meantime, we are always available to discuss new ideas.

We look forward to welcoming you all at the Inn, starting with the first Six Nations match next Friday 1st February 2019 at 8pm.

Lets make this work together.

Thank you.

Chris, Bronwyn & The Team