MATTGRAY Hospitality Consultants is “raising a glass” to the two North Yorkshire rural pubs it manages, after both posted record sales.
Whilst The Castle Inn, in the village Cawood, saw its takings for the first quarter of 2019 increase by 50 per cent, its sister hostelry, The Drover Arms, in nearby Skipwith, recorded an increase of 37 per cent for the same period.
Graham Usher, who heads MATTGRAY with partner Matt Rose, took over The Drovers Arms in 2014, which had closed a few months previously, and the “struggling” Castle Inn just over a year ago.
Whilst Castle Inn is owned by Punch Taverns, the Drovers Arms is a Star Pubs and Bars property, which is part of the Heineken portfolio.
The pair put down the success to a formula used in both venues – reviewing and revamping the food and beverage offering; using local, trusted suppliers; and introducing regular “specials” and themed nights.
Graham said: “We are absolutely thrilled with these figures, which are better than we initially forecasted.
“Whilst there has been a shocking decline in the number of pubs in towns and villages over many years, I’m delighted to say that both The Drovers and the Castle are doing really well.
“However, that was far from the case when we took them over. By listening to our customers and giving them what they want, coupled by having great staff in each, we are seeing the hard work pay off.”
Matt Rose said: “We have exciting plans for both venues and I’m confident that in 12 months’ time we will be reporting more success. Our two pubs are bucking a national trend and long may it continue.”