How a Belsize Park pub has adapted to weather the coronavirus storm
- Credit: Archant
A Belsize Park pub has risen to the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic by pivoting operations to takeaway and delivery.
The co-owners of The Stag, brothers Jonathan and Andy Perritt, had to react quickly when the lockdown was introduced on March 23 and all but essential public places had to shut.
They introduced a three-branch system which features delivery, off-licence services and takeaway food.
“Immediately we had to get our heads around the situation and ensure the safety of our teams and sustainability of the business during lockdown,” said Jonathan, who took over the pub with his brother in 2008.
“It was a very worrying thing in those initial hours, but as an owner I digested the implications of what was happening and realised that with the exclusions for delivery and takeaway we could refocus.”
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Patrons can now order the pub’s expanded menu for delivery or collection and pick up takeaway drinks, including the craft beer popular at The Stag.
This also benefits the small-batch breweries in the supply chain, which are also impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
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Its roast dinner is proving popular, with customers ordering during the week and collecting on Sunday to enjoy at home.
When customers are collecting items, Jonathan and Andy ensure social distancing guidelines are followed.
Jonathan added: “Our revenues are hugely down, that is the reality, but it is encouraging to see the number of people who are supporting local businesses which are not open [in the usual sense] but still providing a service with food and drink.
“It is important for a community-focussed business to see if they can still serve customers.”
He said the team have been mapping out future scenarios to help weather the pandemic.
“We would like to be open properly, and are looking forward to getting clarity on when and how that will happen,” Jonathan added.
The Stag, which was first opened on Fleet Road in 1874 by George Wadley, is part of the London Pubs Ltd group - a family business set up in 2006 which also owns The Mall Tavern in Notting Hill.
Visit the pub’s website at www.thestagnw3.com