Jo Stevens MP recently visited Pitch Bar & Eatery, a traditional Welsh restaurant and cocktail bar in Mill Lane, to hear about the company’s participation in Coca-Cola’s innovative ‘Project Open’ business accelerator programme – designed to help cafés, pubs and restaurants mitigate the long-term impact of the pandemic on their business and support their recovery.
Pitch Bar & Eatery was one of several small, independent customers who received cutting-edge expertise and provided exclusive access to senior experts at Coca-Cola Great Britain, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Costa Coffee and innocent, to gain a rare look under the bonnet of a world-leading brand and discuss how its own business can respond to the challenges presented by Covid-19.
As part of the programme, Pitch Bar & Eatery was also visited by Influence at Work – a renowned team of behavioural scientists – where it received tailored insight in behavioural trends and discovered how straight-forward changes could transform the customer experience and business after lockdown.
Some of the advice included:
- Redesigning the restaurant’s first floor to celebrate Cardiff and Mill Lane’s heritage and Pitch Bar & Eatery’s passion for local ingredients
- Implementing an A-board messaging and utilising exterior walls to promote the restaurant’s rapid service to commuters
- Reducing the cocktail menu to help unsure customers in their decision making and limit the possibility of ‘choice overload’
Ben Browne, owner of Pitch Bar & Eatery said:
“We really appreciated the visit from Jo and we had a fantastic discussion. She was genuinely interested in what we had to say, and it was great to be able to explain how we had benefitted from the programme.
“Being an independent business can sometimes leave one feeling quite exposed. Covid-19 has really levelled the playing field across the hospitality industry, so any additional support is gratefully received. The whole programme has been so beneficial and a good exercise to relook at the business from a strategic point of view. I’ve been in the restaurant industry my whole life and some of the advice we received I never would have thought of!”
Jon Woods, General Manager, Coca-Cola Great Britain said:
“Last year was the toughest in memory for hospitality businesses and we know it’s our smallest customers who have been, and continue to be, the worst affected. With many of these important Coca-Cola customers struggling to navigate the challenges of the pandemic and concerned about their futures, we knew that our business expertise could play a vital role in preparing them for recovery – together with insights from external experts in human behaviour and psychology. Through this programme, we have provided some of our valued high street partners with the tools to address industry issues and survive the aftermath of the pandemic.”
With further businesses offered access to exclusive content, video tutorials and insights from the programme, the business accelerator programme is the latest in a series of initiatives launched by Coca-Cola to support its smaller customers in the hospitality sector over the past year.