The more you Love them, the more you need to let them go…

…or, as one of my most favourite people in the World puts it “Peacocks have wings, let them fly…..”

Ed Harper is back.

A life long friend I have not known for a lifetime has flown back to Yummy, but do you need to know somebody for a lifetime to know they are right, that they are part of your future?….No…He’s my first EVER, very FIRST, it’s never, ever, never, ever, never, even, never, happened before……………”Yummy Ops Director”.

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He left to develop, learn and just do.

I now have the boy back, to do, do, do….

I tell everyone, well, nearly everyone, every day that I have “Yummy Sleepers” and usually they laugh, roll their eyes, laugh a little more….”What the f*@k is a ‘Yummy Sleeper’ the rude people say? – I go on…..usually fruitlessly that they are my secret army, the talented individuals that ‘at the time’ I couldn’t develop, I couldn’t created dreams for, I couldn’t deliver a role capable of their aspirations because my business ‘couldn’t justify it at the time’, but who would have thought, 18 months after telling him it was absolutely the right thing for him go….”Let Peacocks fly….” the boy would be back in the fold, helping us create one of the best teeny, tiny, boutique pub companies in the country…..into a reality?

Ed Harper is back.

We’re good. We’re very, very good. But we ain’t perfick. Ed, will make us ‘Perfick’… there’s no pressure, absolutely none…

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I lose people like this boy, once a month a least…

I can call him a boy because to me, he’s still one of my kids. He’s the future of my trade, I LOVE the fact he’s got the balls to leave me, he’s now crafting his own waves, sculpting his own future, but behind the pass, where he belongs.

I genuinely don’t care if its my pass or somebody else’s, unfortunately for me thinking business first, people second (which I just don’t do) he’s gone. The more than comforting thing is, he’s left to go to a phenomenal business @mudtooting  these guys are going to rock it from Tooting to Edinburgh, great people, great ideas, passion and flavour, my boy couldn’t be in better hands right now & Jason & I are chuffed to bits.

He’s a total pain in the arse.

& I LOVE him…

But, I’ve also lost somebody else close to my heart today….

97% of my business don’t know why he’s close to my heart, they question every angle, but they will see. Danny boy leaves Yummy. He’s not happy here, so I need to let him go.

I’ve tried & for me, I’ve failed.

The boy is a shining star. He needs people other than the 3 monkeys to show him the light.

He’s a star. He just needs t0 pull his head out of his arse to see it.

99% of my business will question why. (not the pulling his head out of his arse bit)

I guess that’s what makes me one of the leaders of Yummy, I can see things in people they can’t see for themselves. I can see things in people they didn’t even know existed.

Give me time & I can make it reality. Leave me too early & I can only support from the side lines.

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When they put me 6″ under, this day, this image will live with me & Danny, forever.

This is Danny. This is the boy we bought into Yummy.

As for tonight, only he, I, Anthony & Jason will know why….
For those that were there, they will remember it in exactly the same way, with their own twist, the boy is Yummy, always was, always will be.

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So, from the three monkeys…(make your own mind up for who is who)…”Au revoir” Danny Boy, we love you, highs and lows, we genuinely do.

Poxy French sayings…the door is open for the future, just come in through the one that says ‘push’ & not ‘pull’

So, we move onto a new chapter in Yummy.

This dude…

Keith x2

(trust me, if you search Keith Knowles in Google, this dude will appear….)

Erm… no, Sorry, this ‘dude’… he’s also there, like everywhere…..Google is a total pain in the arse in ‘search’ this is our chairman..

Keith B&B

Still as sexy, still as ‘cool’ … Lush.

We LOVE him to bits (although he is very particular about his porridge in the mornings)…

The soon to be HMRC honoured, no, no, typo – HMTQ honoured (Her Majesty The Queen) as he more than just deserves, just delivers, just keeps on giving, has taken the pity on my POXY, teeny, tiny, little, boutique pub company to become our chairman.

We think he’s done it for fun.

He thinks he’s done it to save lives.

Our non exec – My 5 year old son, thinks he’s done it to draw ‘dino’s’ – he has an entire box of ‘spiderman pens’ – only brought out for ‘special’ occasions to prove the fact…

…in reality it’s all a little bit confusing to be honest.

Quite fancily I don’t give a stuff what anybody else thinks (in this very, one sided isolated instance *customers first) I have loved having him in the business.

My business, our industry is made up of people. They polish your shoes, they carry your bags, they serve you drinks, they clean your dishes.

Every, single step of the way they are still people. They are grafting a way, a wave, a future. So many people in my industry try to focus on the boys at the top – “look what you could be”, “look what you could become”

They never focus on where you came from, who you are now.

Well, that’s going to change, we’re going back to basics, we’re going back to the streets, to prove that if you take an individual out of ‘circumstance’ as a very, very special person in my life said a few weeks ago, you won’t even recognise them.

Our chairman is going to help us, but we’re going to drive the business.

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The next four weeks are going to be great, life changing & emotional.

We’re going to save lives. That’s the power of my business, my people, my future.


Old and grey, both are going to happen, fact.

“I’m going to be old(er) and greyer and one day….”

…..I think I’ve said that maybe 30 times in the past 8 days as I search out the newest talent to join Yummy. In some instances I added ‘git’, in some conversations I added far more expletives and in one I was sitting in my favourite chair (I don’t have one yet, but something tells me I’m the kind that will) as an old git, many years from now, looking back in fondness at all the dreams I helped nurture…proudly, tonight one said dream is and has become reality for my chums the GB’s…and its just the bloomin’ beginning….

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Tonight the GB’s WON “UK’s coolest Baristas” and came runner up, second place, just pipped to the post, just, only just, to become “UK’s Best New Coffee Shop” in some stellar company of the coffee World…

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The nicest thing for me is that tonight and every day since they ventured on their dream the boys know its their team that make the GB’s special, they’ve know it from the beginning and they treasure it. Without the team, it would be a poxy building as it was when they took it on, just a few short months past, poxy, non descript, a character all its own, but now it breaths…

I’m so proud of the boys, I haven’t stopped taking about them at every chance when I’ve been having chats with new recruits these past months, they are what can happen when you want something, love something and have drive. Passion is a wonderful thing…

But what about me? I’m going to be the old(er) git, grey, sitting back, admiring, better get on and do some bloody nurturing….

“Its not about if your right for Yummy, but if Yummy is right for you”

…its true and has been my favourite saying for weeks, possibly months with the one exception of…”You’re a senior manager in my business” – and the ones who are Yummy, know Yummy is right for them within minutes, not just a quick fix or a stop gap, but right. I’ve seen some extraordinary talent, I’ve employed some extraordinary talent, I’ve told some extraordinary talent to keep on looking, its been fun, exhausting, but fun and it ain’t done yet.

A host of recruitment agencies have applied to my ads (very kind of them). “We can take all this off your hands Tim”. “We’ll sort through all the dross and find the great ones”. “I love your advert, you generally sound like guys we want to work for, can we have a meeting?”….

…In each reply I’ve laboured on the fact that its not a chore, an effort, a bloody waste of time nurturing new talent, its a privilege. Its true, if you’re going to apply yourself and apply for an ad you should do some bloody research too, might get you a bit further than the classic opener I hate with a passion; “To Whom it May Concern” but thats how you get through the volume so quickly. The ones who make an impression, make me go ‘nice’ or ‘wow’ or ‘must have this person in my business!’ normally don’t send me a CV, they send me a story about them, I love a good story!

But everyone keeps telling me there is a shortage in skills and desire to work with ‘generation Y’ the glory seekers, the generation that missed the phrase ‘work for a living’ as they left the school doors, but in all honesty, this past week, I’ve been blown away by the guys and girls I’ve seen. Not necessarily polished, but they’ve got drive and desire t0 excel by the boatload and prepared to work for it.

I’m off to Chicago in a few hours, I’d booked a room in a Premier Inn on the way down on the train, quick stop gap from pub to bed to airport, but as I landed into St Pancras at 12pm (which is unusual for me coming in rather than going out) I walked past too many homeless people, it was horrible seeing them crammed in door ways and under cardboard, ‘circumstance not individuals’ the guys in New Horizons told me a few weeks ago, the kids we try to help are in ‘circumstances’ whether thats upbringing, fallen into the wrong crowd, addictions, its all irrelevant if you look through it all into the person. Remove the circumstance, see the possibilities.

A lovely chap called Tony is currently in my room (hopefully still on his own and not raving it up with loads of his mates or that’s my credit card done for) he was the third guy I offered the room too, but the first one to think I was being serious. I saw a great news report today on the BBC where an experimental group had put £5 notes on a board and a note to say ‘take me if you need me’ (or similar) and the generosity in Manchester was amazing. Guess it made me think, act, do. That and I remember Ellie disappearing for hours some weeks ago handing out burgers, bare foot in King Cross…(she’s got the title loon for a reason)…

There are two upsides to it.

I’m still working and can sleep on the flight / fall asleep at this table in a nice warm pub and Tony is going to get at least one decent nights sleep and a shower. He’s got two kids, hasn’t seen them for a while, been on the streets long enough to know what he’s doing, but doesn’t know how to get off them. Maybe taking him out of the circumstance for a few hours will make him think differently? Who knows. Maybe it will be a disaster.

I get to see my babies and my beautiful ‘significant other’ in 5 days time….

…life is for living :)


Never off the clock (almost a typo…)

I’ve owned my own company for 7 years, close to 8.

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I’ve worked in it for 4 (well, full time without being thrown in jail, getting cramps all night from running service from dusk till dawn every weekend as well as a 9-5 (5-9 job 7 days a week) & skiving the odd sunny day -‘ sorry boss’, I’ve turned a shocking pub into a cracking one, then int0 2, 3, 4, 5 soon to be 6……)

Its been the hardest 4 years of my professional life.

Its also been the most enjoyable 4 years of my professional life.

(If everything goes to s*!t tomorrow, I’ve done it, I’ve built a business to be proud of…until it goes to s*!t of course….then I’ll say its been shocking, can’t believe I did it, Yummy what?)

But, i’m the oldest in Yummy….with the exception of Mummy P and Daddy P (Anthony’s mum and dad) who ‘technically’ are ‘contractors’ – so, I’m still the old git. If my old mum was still cleaning the pub (as she did at the beginning) i’d be the half oldest in Yummy by default, but I’m not, I’m the old git at 37 years old. I am however, the most fun. This is my blog and I’ll write it as I see fit. I’m a feekin’ loon. Head of Being Awesome? Come on!? I should be a Co-founder / company director (Propel Chicago delegates list) Q. who on earth has the talent to be Head of Being Awesome in print? A. Me. It’s my blog :)

To say I actually turned “professional” at 18 is a lie, in reality at 13 years old, if you can call a 13 year old; spotty, incredibly handsome (for his age) 13 year old a professional I was mixing it up in the horticultural world (moving stuff around in a garden nursery), sold stuff (worked for the old man in the auction rooms in Brighton, moving stuff around)……thats 25 years….of talent. In reality I would, should, could, run my own company.

Everyone believes they can run their own business.

In reality, they’re wrong. With the exception of a few.

Even Richard B. aint doing it alone. Nor is Sugar, or Paphitis or Cowel, they’re all doing it with help.

It takes talent.

It actually takes guts, and it takes a sheeeeeeeeeeed load of bravado.

A special kind of non consuming, non emotional, non self promotional, non idiotic, non advantageous, non self consuming, non self profiling, non…. thesaurus kind of explanation (not that I had to use a thesaurus, well, sort of ) talent. To run your own business. You need belief & luck, a shed load a’luck.

You also need mates.

I’m lucky.

I have two amazing boys by my side. Together we have built an amazing business to be proud of and we’re still building…

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This is Theo.

He’s one of my boys, but he’s not one of the boys I’ve built Yummy with, christ, he’s only 13 months old! He’s a boy I’ve developed during Yummy…not that I had much to do with it, most of the ‘development’ was taken care of by Lucy…

…However, he’s the future of Yummy Pub Co.

He’s my boy.

He’s not the future because he’s my boy & we’re a family business. Technically, we’re not a family business. We all have different mummies and daddies, but in reality we are, we’re a family. My boys are my boys. We started this business as partners, we’re running it as brothers. This squidge (above) is the future, because he’s my customer, and future pot wash. This was a snap chat of him during a 121 catch up with my right hand girl, one I couldn’t be without and one I won’t be without as long as I treat her well (I could actually pay her in Space Invader crisps) . Ellie is my Loony marketing Exec. She was still travelling between London and Surrey when we were scheduled for our 121, so Theo had some fun looking at himself on the computer.

He had a lot of fun.

Without Ellie my days would be missing something special, that little bit of ‘loon’. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a total pain in the arse on 99% of the occasions, but she knows that. What makes her special is that she cares, really, really, really, genuinely cares about Yummy & I love that, its rare, in most businesses. Those businesses would give their right arm, left arm and a leg for the loyalty that Ellie gives Yummy. That’s why she’ll be running it one day, or maybe something else, maybe a hippy commune, or a weird fashion boutique you never know, pyjamas are in right now, they could stay on trend?

(print this and show it to your mum kid, black and white, or even colour print don’t lie, even in the North…)

The kids done good & she has an amazing future ahead of her.

But she’s not unique (well she kinda is, but not, sorta thing), she’s not alone in the love of Yummy & its terrifying…..

They’re everywhere these, crazy people. Yummy is doing something that nobody else can quite grasp, its motivating talent, it’s inspiring, its creating confidence, not in a business, but in people, my people, because, terrifyingly we really do care about our people. Its not a mission statement or a memorandum or some other poxy ‘strategy’ it’s fact. That has only really come home to roost with me in the past week months as I recruit new people in, we are a true people business, I love it.

Part of why I’m doing / running Yummy is because I can see my kids, they’re a massive part of my life, why would I spend 15 – 20 years seeing them at weekends, the odd night in the week? I don’t have too. I’ve got a work / life balance although I’m always working, I genuinely am. I wake up thinking pubs, I go to sleep thinking pubs. Lucy called it an obsession last night, I call it a passion, but it gives me balance, because I never stop, I actually appreciate what I have.

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   I keep reading this crap about a chef skills shortage, the industry is f*%ked… not in Yummy its not. I’ve got some of the most amazing talent here. Giles, you missed a trick. When you have an interview, you come to meet the Head of Being Awesome, or you can get a nice easy job, close to home, you’ll just, in 8 – 12 months be wanting more, I’ll be watching, I’ll guarantee it. That’s the issue.

Chefs that jump.

Chefs that worry about what’s ‘going to happen’ if…

Chefs that don’t talk….

Chefs that think they’re the chosen ones….

Cooks that think they’re chefs…

Its total shite.

Creating a menu, serving a menu is an art. Those that think it’s a slog should get out, find another profession. My chefs are artists, not work horses, but they need to learn how to look after my people. Actually, everyone in my business apart from the three of us, needs to learn how to  look after people, my people, with a few exceptions. They’re the business, not the poxy buildings, the new shiny things, my people are Yummy, the issue is I can’t be there to cuddle everyone of them, its time for everyone to cuddle.

That’s business. A great business is a people business.

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Chef’s shortage? Bollocks, I’ll breed them, I’ll inspire them, Jay will train them (I won’t literally breed all of them, this one can pickle, grow tomatoes, strawberries, runner beans, ‘cook’ crispy cornflakes for breakfast, but give him a break, he’s only 5, his brother is 1, I have no intention of breeding more….) . For the big boys out there wanting to chuck food on plates, not knowing where it’s truly from, what farm grew what, that the next opening is actually the most important thing, crack on. You’re missing the bigger picture, we’ll grow organically.

We’ll inspire great chefs of the future.

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Nurturing talent, thats the greatest quality of my business, the thing I’m most proud of.

Yummy has roots.


Proud as punch

We closed all of the pubs on Monday night, a first for us, we’ve never actually had a pub closed before because we said so, not flooded, fallen trees, gas leak, on fire, it was a strange felling, but it was for a very special reason, The Yummy Bash 2014 aka The Yummy Conference aka Celebrating Success.

In 2014 we literally doubled in size from a bank mangers perspective, our turn over doubled, our like for like sales have ended the year far and above industry leading & all because of one common theme – people.

 More lovely customers came to visit us than ever before, more spent their hard earned cash, supported in this process by our people, us & some amazing experiences. Its been a year of highs & phenomenal lows, but we’ve stuck to the vision; “For every one thing that happens which is crap, we will do two things which are just plain fun”. For 2014 it seams to have worked.

I don’t think I was really prepared for the experience of the night though.

It’s one thing seeing a entire list of names on a monthly print out to approve a pay run, its quite another to see pretty much every single one of them in one cocktail club basement, together. It’s terrifying that we have 100+ kids relying on us for their futures, whether thats a short term fix, or a long term goal, greatly satisfying, but terrifying, from 3 loons in 7 years to a little army of nutters, love it.

Awards presentation, Yummy style

Awards presentation, Yummy style

 When we started this crazy journey we had a number of dreams, some visions & a desire to create something unique & special in our industry. Looking back at 2014 I think we’ve upheld some of those goals & looking forwards I can see a whole lot more becoming reality. The most satisfying thing for me is that even though there are so many of us, I know something about all of my people. Might just be a nugget, but its enough to generate a smile, maybe thats why I’m Head of Being Awesome? New people that join us take sometime to see that is a reality, not lip service, & Monday night was the nicest thing for new & old to mix, so many faces coming back into my business, so much talent in one room.

Chris, my new head chef at The Somerstown probably made the night for me. He’s new in, some great ideas, a fab temperament & in just a few short weeks over a crazy period in the coffee house, he turned to me & said “I don’t know how you guys do it, you actually know everyone thats works for you, not just the names, but you know them, you actually know them, not just you, but all three of you?”

I generally believe we can double again in the next 18 months, which will mean probably doubling the people that work for us, but I’m convinced I can still know all of them personally, still keep true talent in Yummy no matter who comes shopping (yes agency people out there, we can see your activity & ‘introductions’). Our commitment to the kids, older kids & middle aged kids is really beginning to show now, Mummy P is doing a fantastic job in guiding Yummy in the right direction, nurturing & maturing talent & dreams for us, you can see how she & Tom (Daddy P) nurtured her little boy into the man he is today, I hope to do half as good a job with my boys.

But onto the business in hand.

Lucien started working directly for Ellie & I yesterday, he’s joining the A team, taking over designing the websites, #YummyTreats & the raft of associated cracking comms, which I’m looking forward to seeing. The nicest thing, he was the 6th person we employed in Yummy at the start, straight out of Sainsbury’s part time shelf stacking whilst doing his A levels, into The Wiremill. I love the fact he’s dipped in & out of Yummy for the past 7 years, through education, work, watching him grow into the fella he is today & now he’s back, in a position that suits him, perfectly. I hope to keep & develop him for many years to come, Yummy Design Co. its got a nice little ring to it!

So the best way to say goodbye to 2014? Do it in pictures, here’s to 2015, it’s going to be a cracking year if all our plans play out.

Best employer in the hospitality industry? You bet ya!

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The AFD

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The first time I learnt of the AFD was at the ripe old age of 16, three days in, keen to impress. 21 years later, 21 hours in (yesterday into last night, into this morning, no clocking in & out mistakes kids) is an AFD for me, but it feels a whole lot harder now I’m an old git!

Today is a struggle, so pen to paper, coffee, chair, food.

Of course I knew how to work hard, my old man made sure of that, nothing has ever come easy to me, I have earned every, single, penny. I was showing Finn Utube videos of turkeys ‘gobbling’ this morning before school, because he didn’t believe me they made that noise…he laughed a lot!

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He’s a camel in the Christmas nativity at 2 today, he makes an impressive camel noise, almost like a dinosaur (Stego), with just a hint of chicken. Times have changed, I was in the turkey shed on the farm right now, with mum & dad when I was 5 years old, chasing them to the eventful end (didn’t do the end bit until a few years on) Lucy doesn’t believe me so I’m going to have mum tell her ALL the stories over Christmas! But its true, thats how I was brought up & the ethos runs through my blood into Yummy everyday, play hard, work harder, farm from the land.

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My boys have also changed the way I appreciate people. My colour profiles (I was profiled a lot in Carlsberg!) suggest ‘Green’ (people) in my conscious decision making & priorities, is (was) one of the lowest scores you could possibly get & its meant to get better in the subconscious, mine basically hit zero, the trainer was how can you say it “intrigued”. Its surprising as I’ve built my entire business on people, but maybe not when I look at the fact I could replace any single one of them, at anytime & evolve. Short term pain for long term gain, no one is part of the furniture, everyone earns their place in my business, not one person stands above another, there ain’t no ‘i’ in Yummy – literally!

I think the important thing is that’s what everyone who works for me knows that.

Will I nurture them, protect them, defend them, treat them like one of the family, embrace them, develop them, give them total authority, every opportunity afforded to me?

Abso – bloody – lutely.

 Because that is Yummy. Its trust. Both five letter words (Finn is learning how to read, write & spell & as it would seam, so am I) both have the same meaning, cause & ethos.

Having said all of that I need leaders in my business. I need innovators, people, people. Of late I think I’ve found them, the early indications with some teething problems & some difficult conversations, some still in progress would suggest so. At the moment I poached them, thanks to the hard work of my peers or affiliates in the early stages of their careers, its now my turn to sculpt them. But change is coming, I intend to build my own, I have plenty of candidates already being nurtured in my business.

But, right now I’m also looking for more – tim@yummypubs.co.uk via the dog & bone 07725 726847.

Got an itch? 2015 is the time to scratch it.

Yummy boys

56.7% like for like sales growth in the first 20 weeks of the new Yummy year? Yep, the magic 50% mark has been well & truly smashed with last weeks performance across all Yummy sites. It also marks the period in just 24 months where we have now doubled turnover in the pubs with only adding one new site to the fold 16 weeks ago, average weekly sales are being reported in six digits, week in week out. Are we making a bundle? Nope, Tim still rides to work on a bike (nice one), Anthony still drives his clapped out Honda, (if it starts) & Jason loves paying off the HP, but we’ve put ourselves in a position to grow into 2015 with new sites coming in quick succession, the pipeline is built, the strategy is agreed, our people are getting into place & the Yummy sleepers have been activated, whats not to love in the pub game?
It’s folk law a great GM can add 30% increased turnover to a business in the pub game, clearly with a sprinkling of three awesome owners, the nurturing of fresh talent & the loyalty that surprises me daily, Yummy ain’t making folk law, we’re laying down foundations for how it should be done.
To all our supporters out there have an amazing Christmas, for the first time in 7 years, I’m off on Friday, I have a family to enjoy, my other family can look after themselves for a bit. See you on the other side.


“Transform and roll”

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Thats the calling, the calling for all Yummy sleepers……

These three are calling you back, no matter where you are, what you are doing, it’s time to come home, it’s time to come back to Yummy…

We are calling….(we can’t keep doing al this kitchen s&*t…)

Hand in your notice (a nice long period please), tell them you’re sorry, but Yummy is where you belong, Yummy is the future, Yummy is home. 2015 is not just another year, its THE YEAR & boy do we have some fun lined up!

(AP) has become chairman of the BII, so that just means (TF) + (JR) are in charge, bloody hell let the fun times roll! Too many cooks in the kitchen? Well, we’ve fixed that…..

Let us introduce you to the new Yummy leadership team =

Anthony Pender = Managing Director (MD) = guiding the company in the right direction

(he’s done a pretty good job so far, might as well have the business card to say so)

Jason Rowlands = Operations Director (OP) = it should have happened a long time ago (but we couldn’t let him out of the kitchen, not that he’s out, he’s just part-time now)

Tim Foster = Head of Being Awesome (HBA) = he’s a pain in the arse, but he’s Yummy, the entire reason for being Yummy = a pain in the arse, but awesome, job title suits :) Learning boundaries would be nice, 21 years & its not happened yet, there’s always hope, awesome, thats what Yummy is, that’s the past, the present, & the future…

The Yummy Team, our team, our people = The leaders & inspiration in Yummy = our future…no matter the job title, no matter the grade, everyone has a voice in Yummy, everyone makes a difference…

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….Theo. He says ‘Yessssssssssss” (bribed by petit fours)…GB in the making? Oh Yes.

If he could say anything other than mmmmimmmmm, mummmm, daaaaaaaaaa, mimmmmmmm, he would say “It’s the people in Yummy that make Yummy, not the buildings, the pubs, the style, its the people, that’s what makes Yummy (he’s very wise for a 9 month old, & big, he’s very big, well, “chunky”) in our people we will grow, in our people we will be exceptional”.

Yummy is calling…..

Rosco, get off the island………tout suite….

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Edwardo, bail from the lounging types, Alex is ace, but Alex is a long, long, way away……

(ps) We LOVE Bob, we’ll we don’t actually, he’s a corporate robot, a result of managed models, a div, let peacocks fly……..peacocks without wings (clipped) squark, peacocks who can fly….create, inspire, r(ev)olutionsise, think you’ll need some of that dude.. (Alex, if you’re reading (big boss), he’s a twat, he’s not Loungers, he’s not you, he’s not how I LOVE YOU, he’s a twat, I can say that because I don’t employ him, he’s a twat…) Loungers = love, Loungers = people, Loungers = where we started. Change is good. I gave him to you with my blessing that you would look after him, I can take him away as easily as I let him go.

Let peacock fly. See what they do.

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Parry, time to deport (or I’ll release all ph0to’s, (all photos) … timeline for returning emailed please)

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Tobias, sort the visa. (We’ll send over the Marshall & Shields, but there’re coming home, get it sorted please, the GB’s are waiting for their super star (ps, thats you)

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Ashock, plane. train.tube.home.

(You ARE Yummy). We LOVE you. Always will.

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  “Transform and roll”

47% like for like sales last week, Yummy are not just here, Yummy are smashing it. Time to come home people, 2015 is calling.


16 weeks in, a new chairman & My Captain, my captain….still having fun in Yummy….

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Who knew that when we created The Gorringe family & chose Anthony as the captain, two short years later (almost to the day!) he would be announced as the new chairman for the BII??! I certainly didn’t see it coming!

Looked good then, looks just as good today, well, Friday when we tried to create a new PR shot for him with an iPhone, a very short amount of sleep & a good dose of editing software. Personally, I think he should use the captain shot.

Has it caused a slight stir in this fine industry of ours? Why of course it has, we even debated it for a good few weeks when he mentioned he wanted to put his name in the ring, but then that’s our Anthony. I know he is totally blown away by the positive comments & shear volume of support he’s had since it was announced last week & I know he will make a difference, hell, that’s what Yummy do & the boy is Yummy.

So what can a 32 year old bring to the roll? Well, he reads a lot.

He talks a lot.

He makes a lot of sense, most of the time.

He knows how to grow something from a core base.

& probably more importantly he’s already demonstrated with the Perceptions Group what can be done when you get a number of passionate people into a room, then focus on the end result, then be determined to make a difference (if creating Yummy isn’t enough) after all that’s why we started Yummy, we were bored of watching other people bumble along when they could smash down walls, I’m excited to see the difference he can make.

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As for the first 16 weeks of the new year in Yummy, well all sites are in growth V’s last year, we’ve pushed budgets hard so we are just off the mark on that, but +32% like for like sales in the first 16 weeks is a number we can live with, controlling our costs is a big one now, this is where we’re focusing our teams, control the controllables, that’s what will make the difference between a great year & an exceptional one. But, after 7 years of continuous growth, its time to focus on our baby again, give her a spruce up, take on some of the big boys who have moved in locally, see if we can innovate the mill, again. For us it’s not about revolution, but evolution of the pub, although seeing a presentation from the revolution guys, I have got to get into some of their places & have a look, what a change in such a short time, exciting & terrifying how hard everyone is having to work to be at the top of their game.

As such we went on a pub tour, unplanned, but needed. Sometimes you can spend too long in your own business & you have to force yourself to spend sometime out of it.

Much has been said about good old Harvey’s taking back Dunnings mill from a chap we respect highly some weeks ago. We think Brian, like most of our peers is one of the top, top retailers & a company we aspire to. Sadly, they are killing what he took years to create, it was horrific. Will they get it right? I don’t think so, the heart that’s needed, the soul in a pub just wasn’t there & with their approach, for me, its just a big building with some furniture in it, the team looked as happy to be there as we did, I was stunned. It certainly gave us a wake up call that there is a very fine line between success & failure.

After disturbing a team meeting in the next site visit (which they didn’t stop even when we sat down & nobody else was in the pub), then to enter a really great site, tonnes of cash spent, but a really confused offer we began to grow in confidence that locally we’re still special, when we’re on our A game. That’s the objective now, every hour we are open, every interaction with a supplier, customer, guest, colleague, we’re on our A game, in every Yummy pub.

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We’ve got some great new people joining the team & I’m really excited to see the passion they will bring with them, as Head of Being Awesome, it’s my job to make sure Yummy is the best place to be, for every interaction with my business, we’re going to be the best we can be & in doing so, we’re going to grow.

Better turn in, big day tomorrow, Jason is having to do public speaking, whoever saw that one coming…..maybe Finny will when we rig him up the the Yummyometerfuturethinkermagizmo again…we need to get a better name for that.

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