If burgers are the king of the menu and we really all are California dreaming, then what more can pubs do to deliver the American dream?
The UK’s obsession with America is an omnipresent phenomenon that has the power to influence trends, behaviour and, rather worryingly at the moment, politics.
I could sit here and share my own personal views about the current White House resident, but this is neither the time nor the page. This is a pub and bar magazine for pub and bar operators, we’ll have no trouble here. Let’s leave the Trump talk to Twitter for now and move onto the main reason why you’ve picked up this magazine – on-trade inspiration.
I’d argue that the Americana craze shouldn’t really be seen as a ‘trend’. Burgers aren’t going anywhere, craft beer is a global expectation, and millions are obsessed with La La Land and its city of stars. It’s no fad. Pubs and bars harness this fascination to a certain extent (how many pubs aren’t offering a burger?), but, as you’ll find out in this issue, there is so much more that venues can be doing to offer that American dream experience.
Food and drink are a given, yes, but it’s always worth thinking beyond the obvious burgers, ribs and steaks. I was lucky enough to visit California a couple of years back and remember thinking how it wouldn’t be too long before poké (a Hawaiian raw fish and salad dish) would be making its way to our shores. Sure enough, restaurants dedicated to solely serving that dish have been popping up in and around London. Brands such as Ahi Poké and Island Poké will be educating your potential customers and, as such, influencing the evolution of pub menus.
Of course, the popularity of American events and occasions is an ideal hook to base your themed menus/celebrations around. In our Americana feature (page 22), which is the latest instalment of the Pub & Bar Creating Culture Series, we’ve listed a few key dates for the diary that pub operators can promote and plan around in order to generate greater footfall. From Thanksgiving and Mardi Gras to Independence Day and the NFL, there’s a lot to go on. In fact, you can read more about the latter and its growing UK fan base on page 30. Hut, hut!
Tristan O’Hana - Group Editor