So, we closed the books to our financial year on Sunday & in reflection, what a year!
WHAT A YEAR!
If anyone, anyone, tells you to start your own business…. DO IT & say f*@k it, I can always brush myself off if it fails & go get a ‘Real Job’ – HOWEVER: Please note: with the Yummy caveat (lawyer term) that says – be prepared to turn your life upside down, allow it to f*@k you side ways & some. The swearing type expletives are required, you want to go it alone, or with friends, for a ‘no boss’ lifestyle, there is two sides to every story, I wish you the best of luck if you say f*@k it….
I bought five new pigs. Cute one’s. After a bit of feeding, less so cute, but the ginger one will always be my favourite.
I kicked three doors in & shouted at people. Two of which (people, not doors) I threw out of pubs within an hour.
Suzy, a chicken (Bantum) I disturbed from the nest some 5 months ago, has had a stunning recovery with nine beautiful chicks (which, for a Bantam, as my mum would tell you ((told me today)) is quite some feat, this late on in the year – always a farmers boy me….) soon to be residents of the Vic flat top roof (girls only) is really what Yummy is all about.
One pub almost burnt to the ground.
One pub almost flooded away, well two actually, but one really, really, (nearly) went underwater for a period of 12 torturous weeks.
One pub ran out of cookies.
One pub. Well, enough said. That pub knows who they are.
But, 36.6% (Anthony’s numbers, I trust him implicitly) UP, yes UP on like for like sales in 2013/14 V’s 2012/13 says we might, just might be doing something right?
In short, its been a phenomenal year in Yummy.
I read & digest every review on Trip Advisor & actually every online forum, we’re devils (Anthony less so) Jason & I for surfin’ late at night. Despite taking a ‘whatever’ approach to the reviews, which everyone that writes a cr@p review says we do, we don’t. We investigate, we ask questions, we look at the offer & if needed, we change. But do we respond? The simple answer is, No. We found that when we responded (2012/13) we opened up a forum, so we talk to customers that come to us, directly.
We personally deal with every single complaint that comes into Yummy. The three of us.
Can we keep doing it as we grow? Of course we can, there are 18 hours in everyday & if we split those between the three of us, we’ve got every week of every year covered, no matter how many pubs we own.
“TripAdvisor is a travel website providing directory information and reviews of travel-related content. It also includes interactive travel forums. TripAdvisor was an early adopter of user-generated content”
I call it Marmite.
You either Love it, or you Hate it. I also call Yummy Marmite. You either Love us or you Hate us, there is no middle ground. I’m the reason for that. Today I’ve designed a new A Board for the front of the Somerstown, it opens with the question -
Open For Breakfast?
Do Pigs like cheese?
I can just see it now – one person walking along at 7.30am, bored, listening to music on their iPhone, they wanted to change a week ago, but haven’t had time too, suddenly breaking into a smile as they pass the A board. Then, one person walking along at 7.31am, bored, listening to music on their iPhone, they wanted to change a week ago, but haven’t had time too, frown & shake their head as they pass the A board.
Love marketing strategy me (what normal people, outside of the marketing & PR ‘circle’ call bollocks) I call ‘fun’.
But, it’s true & it’s called human nature.
I read a review today, posted after 6 x 5* reviews of one of my pubs (I had to ask TA to move a number of them across different content related platforms as they were posted under the wrong ‘category’ of the pub, annoyingly). This particular ‘Traveller’ gave it 1* – It was horrific. They had been a ‘traveller’ since 2012, yet my pub was the first review, which gave them a ‘senior reviewer’ title. A pinch of salt in the owners deep cut wound, a visit (by me the following day, 36 hours journey), a directors audit & we decided, maybe, just maybe that ‘traveller’ didn’t appreciate what we were doing.
Maybe we are wrong? Time will tell. But, apparently it’s ‘under new ownership’ – I’ve only owned it for 6 years, maybe somebody has sneakily bought it from under me? Hope so, I’ve got a gas bill to pay….
But, have I lost business? Absolutely.
When is it that I don’t loose business? I would suggest every hour of everyday single day. It’s terrifying, but its completely true. So, it’s in my people that I trust my entire business to? Absolutely.
And what amazing people I have…..
Most companies rate their HR business performance on the ‘turnover of staff’ or ‘staff turnover’ – the number of people that leave them & have to be ‘replaced’ by others. This is our industry standard. As most things Yummy, we’ve decided that’s a crock of….so…we’ve rated ourselves on the ‘return of our team’ as a percentage….. that interestingly currently stands at 19.8% (through the difficulties of health & hygiene we have had some individuals loose vital body parts to make up the .0.8% ((or)) in reality its just math) so returning to Yummy have been & are….Toby, Jess, Jess, (there are two of them) Stu, Matt, Anouska (probably spelt wrong, but its late & she’ll forgive me), Zoe, James, Matt, Stephan, Stace, to name but a few. We are immensely proud of our people, we love the fact we have let our guys & gals live their dreams & slowly they return to the nest, for new adventures & life building dreams. We are also immensely proud of the new people we have found in the ether (tinternet for the less advanced) – Simmo, is a complete star, a COMPLETE star (slight cheat as Katie recommended him, but he still applied online). Danny, is just delivering on every level. We LOVE (big hugs & kisses) Steve, Freya & Josh, Oh, My, Lord….the Ozzies have found home, if only for a visa or two…Steve, he’s no Ozzy, but the boy can wear shorts & some…
So what beckons for 2014/15 in Yummy?
Well, Christmas, that comes first….or maybe its taking some more kids into Yummy before the winter arrives, more kids from the New Horizons Youth Centre next door (to Somerstown) who strive every single day to get kids to realise, life ain’t so bad, it might be crap right now, but look forward, there’s hope. If I could, I’d walk next door 9.30am, pick every single one of them up, give them a cuddle & say “come to Yummy” but I can’t, I’ve got 109 guys & gals working for me (terrifyingly), I’m a business, but guess what, if everyone running the big boys game came here, they could. There’s only 3000 of them. They come here, (Somerstown) day in, day out to steal (sorry, borrow) our ideas, so how about taking some of the kids? I’m bored of the politics, its taking up a lot of our tine. I’m bored of the ‘who’s going to get what payout from the government in what grant crap’. Get out of your desk, put down your latte & come to The Somerstown Coffee House, NW1 1HS. We have kids, great kids that can do great things in your business. Yes, they will take some work. Yes, they will take some management. Some of them won’t work out, because they are too damaged, but get off your arses & come down here, tell you what, just send your HR managers, we’ll do the rest, I’m bored of the politics, I’m bored of the slow game, you want kids that NEED to know what work is? Hospitality is the perfect induction. (Anthony will kill me).
Next door, they have them.
As for me, pictures tell a thousand words…..
The new Yummy ‘Hipsters’ group appearing on X Factor 2015) from right to left -
Danny – My new GM of the Vic, God help me. Billy – he’s beautiful, but infectious, a cure will arrive soon, an ointment, maybe a rub? (he’s from New Horizons!). Sarah, aka £Y€$, enough said, simply dangerous. Ellie, A future super star, but a crazy. Simply. NUTZ. Nice PJ’s though.
Suzy the chicken (Bantam) & nine chicks (most hidden). 5 x black, 4 x yellow.
The GB’s – that adventure is simply going to be amazon’ – I. Can. Not. Wait….
…& it would appear that a number of other smaller boutique pub co’s are trying to maybe imitate our style…so, just putting it out there, Yummy Pub Co are going Lego (Trade marks & all the rest understood vultures of the corporate World) in our approach to our image & our people….everyone in Yummy is now a ‘unique’ piece, not just a number (or reference number)…we’re going Lego baby….
…Can you tell who does the design yet? I especially liked the medal…