Frozen food could save pubs £50k a year

Refrigeration manufacturers could be forgiven for hoping to see a spike in freezer sales after new research revealed that the average UK pub could save £50,000 a year using frozen food.

Researchers at the University of Salford created a business case using a ‘real life’ pub, analysing cost centres for the 10 most popular meals sold over the course of one week.

In comparison to using fresh/chilled product, they concluded that a total saving of £50,000 could be achieved per year by opting for frozen ingredients. This increased to £115,000 if using ready-made frozen meals.

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Brian Young, director general of British Frozen Food Federation, said that with 18 pubs closing their doors every week, there was a “compelling” business case for pubs to use frozen food to ease their finances.

“Buying frozen will save them money because of competitive and stable food prices, the ability to control portion sizes and wastage, plus the opportunity to cut kitchen labour costs,” he said. “This will help pubs to reduce their overheads, produce more accurate pricing models and protect their profits. Frozen could help many pubs to stay afloat.”

Commissioned by The British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) and conducted by the University of Salford Business and Hospitality Schools, the new ‘Frozen Lion: A Business Case’ research calculated the cost centres for preparing identical pub meals using fresh/chilled ingredients, frozen ingredients and frozen ready-made meals.

Researchers evaluated the equivalent ingredient costs for fresh/chilled and frozen ingredients, in terms of weight and quality. They also reviewed the cost of kitchen staff grades — from chef de partie to kitchen porter, plus the time needed to prepare each dish.

In addition, they investigated the total cost of utilities – including gas, electricity and water – needed to store, prepare, cook, plus wash and clean up after each chilled and frozen dish. The cost of food waste was also determined.

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