Research by Bidfood has revealed that the aroma of a barbecue would attract more than three quarters of consumers (77%) to eat at a pub or restaurant, even if they were only planning to have a drink. This figure highlights significant potential for the sector to maximise sales this summer through an enticing alfresco dining experience.
To tempt customers, pub and restaurant operators need to ensure they have a varied barbecue menu. While the traditional English selection will continue to draw favour, with two thirds (66%) of consumers choosing it as their favourite, a taste of America follows hotly on its heels with 59% of respondents stating this amongst their preferred barbecue options. Bidfood’s research also shows that world cuisine offers standout potential with the spicy, fragrant flavours of Jamaica and the Caribbean appealing to over one third (36%) of consumers surveyed.
As expected, the usual meat options continue to rank highly with barbecue fans but, perhaps surprisingly, chicken has taken the top spot with over half (52%) of respondents choosing it as one of their most wanted barbecue items. Beef burgers came in second at 47%, closely followed by sausages at 46% and steak with 42% of the votes. However, mirroring broader dining demand, 80% of those surveyed agreed it is important for pubs and restaurants to offer vegetarian and vegan options – think jackfruit and vegan duck – after all there are now 42,000 people in the UK following a plant-based diet.
Lucy Pedrick, Insights Manager at Bidfood said: “The summer season is arguably one of the most crucial trading periods for a pub or restaurant, with 76% of those we surveyed visiting between 1-5 times a month. Barbecues present a potentially lucrative incremental revenue stream, where publicans and restauranteurs can seize the lunch-time, post-work and early evening drinks sales opportunities, and extend dwell-time considerably. As the survey results illustrate, the open-style cooking and aroma of a barbecue is appealing enough to lead consumers to put their hands in their pockets and make an unplanned food purchase.”
Pedrick continued: “With publicans and restaurateurs often running a barbecue pop-up alongside lunch and dinner menus, it’s important that chefs find ways to work smarter, not harder, to ensure they can deliver.
“Operators need to maximise consumer insight, tapping into the potential to offer not only a well-thought-out range of barbecue items, but also easy to manage toppings and sides that enable consumers to customise their purchases. For example, Bidfood’s Create Summer range includes everything from American-inspired staples such as Farmstead Tomahawk Steak and Perdix Battered Chicken Escalope to Premium Selection Barbecue Pulled Pork with Jalapeno Peppers – perfect on its own or as a burger topping – and Lion Maple and Bourbon BBQ Sauce to add that finishing touch.
“Here at Bidfood we’re big on flavour and offer a wide selection of authentic marinades, rubs and seasonings from around the world, which work perfectly for barbecues. These include Franks Red Hot Chilli ‘N’ Lime Sauce, Lion Korean BBQ Sauce and Middle Eastern Za’atar marinades. What’s more, tapping into the booming vegan trend, Bidfood’s Chefs Choice Jackfruit and a range of vegan cheeses are also on offer, along with a huge host of other meat-free options.”
Investing in high-quality, premium cuts of fresh meat that are fully traceable, means consumers can be reassured they know where their food is coming from. Bidfood takes food sourcing seriously. It’s fresh meat brand, Farmstead, is based on an ethos of trust, consistency, quality and value and comes from approved BRC accredited providers and is compliant with the EU Animal Welfare Directive 98/58/EC. The range is Red Tractor accredited and consists of over 300 products sourced from selected suppliers that we have built longstanding relationships with. Farmstead is a member of the Quality Standard Mark scheme, which is one of the highest levels of independently inspected quality assurance for meat – specifically beef and lamb. It also offers a range of Halal items, catering for all tastes and needs.
For more information on Bidfood’s Create Summer and Fresh Meat ranges, visit: www.bidfood.co.uk/inspiration/summer/create-summer-essentials/
 Survey of 500 respondents conducted by Toluna on behalf of Bidfood (April 2018)
 The Vegan Society (December 2017)