Marston's strategy is based upon a clear returns-led focus. Our Group strategic objectives remain sustainable growth, reduced leverage over time and maximising return on capital. The potential for acquisitions is regularly assessed and reviewed against the consistently strong returns achieved through organic investment in the Group's programme of new-build pub-restaurants.
The innovative Pizza Kitchen brand has been integrated into our Two for One pub restaurants to give existing customers a new reason or occasion to visit the pub and to broaden the appeal of the pub to previously untapped sections of the market, such as the elusive Generation Y. Pizzas are cooked from scratch, fresh to order and 'front and centre' within the pub, not behind closed doors. The menu – which gives a new lease of life to the category – is proving really popular with all customers and is fast becoming one of our main sellers.
The Garden Grill Company menu is based on the principal that there are two BBQ tribes… those that want to customise every last detail: the usual proteins and grilled veg can be combined with a myriad of toppings and sides then crammed in to a choice of wrap/bap/naan. And then there are those that want to pick the signature dish that turns heads (and fills stomachs)... which in this case could be The Whole Hog, the Boss Burger or the Chickatikkanaan ... stacked and packed to meaty perfection... and not for the small appetite.
We have launched an authentic ice cream parlour that offers consumers an 'at bar' ice cream experience providing a range of eleven different premium flavours from 'Beechdean Dairy', made from fresh Jersey milk and rich double cream. Consumers can choose from traditional servings such as two scoop waffle cones or one of our unique baby, daddy and mummy bear bowls or as part of flavoured milkshakes, topped waffles and banana splits.
We worked with some of our biggest suppliers to create the Best in Glass perfect serve training programme for our Taverns pubs to ensure that a number of key drink serves are delivered to the desired high quality standard each time they are ordered in any of our pubs.
A renewed focus on cask ale within suitable pubs, driving awareness amongst consumers of Marston's 180 years of brewing experience in producing great tasting cask ales. POS and other items in pubs showcase Marston's expertise, talking about our Master Brewers and the ingredients and processes that go into creating our cask ales.
In a number of our community pubs we have invested in technology to improve the customer experience. This includes interactive touchscreen TVs that display our own Pub TV, digital advertising at till points and at bars and booths that allow customers to play their own music and an interactive juke box that links to customers' mobiles.