Saturday, 3 July 2010

White Hart Hotel - Progress report!

Well then, some 2 months plus how are we doing at the White Hart Hotel?? The answer - not too bad at all thank you.......... It's certainly been a learning curve for SOH and I, and we've had to learn to not to be afraid to say that we've not always got it right and we've had to make some hard business decisions.

There's no doubt that the first couple of weeks we were at the White Hart they were probably some of the most fraught times we'd had for a very long time - but you just seem to know when you've turned the corner - and it's starting to show that we HAVE now turned that corner.

Lets start with advertising the White Hart - we used a great local husband & wife team for the photo's: Tony & Nicky Burnett - Nicky is a graphic artist and she made sure with Tony that the pub looked its very best and Tony took some great pics - the montage is one of my favourites! Some great shots within that montage don't you think!

Professionally they are the and from this portfolio of photo's we were able to commission a great website for our pub using a great team of young individuals who gave us exactly what we wanted from our website.

Looking at the statistics for the period from when the website was up and running (28/5) until yesterday the 2nd July we have had 419 people look at our website - someone was sat in Florence, Italy looking at it for over 2 minutes...!! But at least 400 people were from the UK - so for a website that's not very high up on Google rankings yet - that's really inspiring.

Along with that we have of course used a number of other advertising options - one of the best was undoubtedly please click onto the link and have a look at the You Tube advert he created using Tony's photo's and his own very unique commentary - Matt is brilliant, quite brilliant!!

As well as this I put us on to this last week - we went live at and we had our first booking at 2p.m.................

The letting rooms are certainly starting to take off and we had our first 2 Trip Advisor reviews this week............ and they were great!! I must admit I held my breath when I got an e mail to say that someone had written up a review - but delighted to find TWO really good reviews! Please never underestimate how much good a great review can have on a business (and visa versa!) - so again, have a look -

Trip Advisor have got our address wrong though - but as I've joined us as owners I'm expecting that to change in the next day or two.

I also spent a good couple of hours in the office this week e mailing everyone I could find to introduce ourselves and 'sell' us - and we've had some great response - none least from Edward and his wife at a great touring park just up the road from the pub. Edward sent me a lovely e mail saying that the 'jungle drums were working and his visitors to the park were giving very good reports on us'!! Yay!!!!!!!! Well likewise - our customers are telling us that Moor View is lovely with many of them having been there for many nice holidays!

Staff wise we've had quite a change - there's no doubt that our concept of having a bright and breezy young staff was a good one - but we lacked a strong, mature and more importantly experienced leadership. So we have a new couple who are now managing the White Hart for us - Christine and Mark (photo to follow). They are lovely, and have already made lots of contacts and it's clear to see the business has changed quite quickly.

Unlike me, both Chris & Mark have the knack of remembering peoples names, and so quickly they are building up a string of 'regulars' who now get greeted by name and preference for their drinks!! 'Fishy Friday' with fresh battered Cod & Chips eat in or take away at £5.95 being one of their ideas - and the first Friday last week saw quite a few portions being sold.............. :) Sunday now sees a 2 course lunch for just £9.95 - so again we're hoping this will be another bit of the success story that's growing!

We still have a number of lovely young people working as bar staff though - and they're still mostly local youngsters! Finally, we think we now know the market we're aiming at for the food - and whilst it's a little different from the Victoria Inn - not such a massive menu - the concept of fantastic 'pub grub', fresh local produce, cooked well and presented beautifully is obviously very needed in Modbury and we have been getting rave comments. On that note the local paper are writing a review on the food and first site of it looks excellent.....
So the progress report has moved from 'has potential could try harder' to 'has great potential and is improving nicely'. We expect to see even greater progress as the White Hart matures!

A huge 'Thank You' to everyone out there who is supporting us and I look forward to giving an even better progress report in another couple of months.

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